Summary of Recent judgment

Case: Nanhe v. State of U.P.

Date of Order / Judgment: 21th November, 2023

The Matter Heard by Bench: Justice Abhay S.Oka Justice Pankaj Mithal


This case has been presented by the appellant before the Supreme Court against the order of conviction passed by the Trial Court and confirmed by the High Court. The incident was narrated by the informant Mohd. Ali (father of the deceased) who had lodged an FIR in the police station. The informant stated that on May 30, 2007, at approximately 3:30 p.m., he and his son, Saddam Hussain (deceased), were leaving their house to buy some household goods at Sant Ram's store. Upon arriving at the shop, he witnessed a fight breaking out between Mahendra and Nanhe (the appellant) Sant Ram, who happens to be Mahendra's brother, stepped in and asked Nanhe, to leave the area. On this, Nanhe walked away. However, after taking 15 to 20 steps, he turned around and shot Mahendra in the head with a country made handgun, piercing the deceased's neck. The appellant, Nanhe, was apprehended immediately. After being brought to the District Hospital, Saddam died after being shot in the neck by Nanhe. It was established by the evidence on record that a single shot was fired from the country made pistol after hitting and piercing the deceased in the neck and finally hit Mahendra in his head. On the basis of the evidence of the eye witnesses though one of them had turned hostile, the trial court as well as the High Court came to a definite conclusion that the appellant is guilty of an offence under Section 302 IPC. Aggrieved by the decision of the Trial Court and High Court, the appellant approached the Supreme Court.


The Supreme court observed on that β€œIt may be true that the deceased may have been killed accidently by the appellant in the state of intoxication but there is no iota of evidence to establish that due to intoxication he was incapable of knowing the nature of his act or that the act which he was doing or likely to do was so dangerous so as to cause death of any person. Thus, in the absence of such evidence, coupled with the fact that it is not the case of the appellant that he was administered intoxication without his knowledge or against his will, the provision of Section 86 IPC would not be applicable and he would not be entitled to reduction of sentence from 302 IPC to one falling under Part-II of Section 304 IPC.”


Can the offence of murder in this case be treated as Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder falling under second part of Section 304 IPC?
What would be the impact of the intoxication of the appellant at the time of the incident?


The Supreme Court confirmed the conviction of accused under Section 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. The Apex Court dismissed the appeal and found no illegality in the impugned judgment and order of High Court.