Virsa Singh vs The State Of Punjab : Case Summary

Case Name : Virsa Singh vs The State Of Punjab

Author : Aditi gupta


AIR 1958 SC 465

(Criminal Appeal no. 90 of 1957 before Hon’ble Supreme Court Of India)


P.B. Gajendragadkar

Syed Jaffer Imam

Vivian Bose, J


This case  is dealing with Sec 300(3) under IPC which defines Murder and Sec 302

which deals the punishment for an offence of murder . In this case appellant Vira Singh has been found guilty of murder by the first court , further High Court of Punjab upheld the decision of first court .The appellant was tried with  five others  u/s Sec 302/149 , Sec 324/149 and 323/419 of IPC .

The appellant was charged individually under Sec 302 and others were acquitted of murder as charged by first court but were convicted under Sec 326 , 324 , 323 with Sec 149 of IPC . On appeal to the High Court they all were acquitted. As there was single injury on Khem Singh ,so both the courts agreed that appellant caused it and as a result of spear thrust and examination by doctor while khem singh was alive , said it was a “Punctual wound” .


The accused thrust spear into the abdomen of deceased  . This injury caused the death of deceased . According to doctor the injury was sufficient to cause death in the ordinary coursee of nature .The appellant was found guilty for the Murder of Khem Singh . Doctors found only a single injury , result of spear thrust . However the victim died on the subsequent day at 5 p.m whereas the incident occurred at 8 p.m on the previous night of 13.07.1955

The Session Judge found that the accused had a intention to cause grievous hurt which is sufficient to be guilty of Murder – sec 300(3)of IPC and thus accused was convicted and sentenced of imprisonment under SEC 302 .

This conviction was upheld by High Court and said   SEC 300 (3) was not applied as the intention of the accused  was not proved to cause such bodily injury which is sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature .

Issue and fact of law

The matter before this court is limited over the question of what offence is made out as having been committed by the petitioner .

Also , prosecution has not proved that there was an intention to inflict bodily injury that is sufficient to cause death .


This was brought by special leave . The appellant was convicted by sentence of imprisonment for life u/s 302 for the murder of khem singh . The appellant was also tried with five others u/s 302/49, 324/149 and 323/149 Indian Penal Code. The court agreed that injury was caused by appellant . He was also charged individually under s. 302.

The court laid down following  ingredients  for this clause .

Firstly ,  the injury must be present and can be clearly inferred from the case facts .

Secondly ,  the nature of the injury should be proved  , whether it  is a vital organ or it was on leg or arms and how deep the injury is inflicted .  

Third , it is not accidental or unintentional, i.e, the injury inflicted on the person of an individual has to be intended to be on that part of the body and not otherwisely ,

 Fouth ,death is caused in ordinary course of nature is an objective inquiry as it is to be inferred from the facts established and has to do nothing with the element of intention .

The hon’ble judge made it clear that if supposedly intention was assumed even for this objective inquiry, it would render S. 300 3rdly meaningless because both 1stly and 3rdly would mean the same. Therefore S. 300 1stly and 3rdly respectively are standalone parts under the section. S.300 1stly makes it clear that nothing else was intended but death of the person and this should not be mixed with 3rdly. Judge even jokingly said that this was one of the favorite defenses used in such cases.

The appeal was therefore dismissed .