The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 9th September 2020, in the matter of Stalin v. State represented by the Inspector of Police pronounced that there is no hard and fast rule that in a case of single injury Section 302 IPC would not be attracted.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:
There is no hard and fast rule that in a case of single injury Section 302 IPC would not be attracted. It depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. The nature of injury, the part of the body where it is caused, the weapon used in causing such injury are the indicators of the fact whether the accused caused the death of the deceased with an intention of causing death or not. It cannot be laid down as a rule of universal application that whenever the death occurs on account of a single blow, Section 302 IPC is ruled out. The fact situation has to be considered in each case, more particularly the events which precede will also have a bearing on the issue whether the act by which the death was caused was done with an intention of causing death or knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without intention to cause death. It is the totality of the circumstances which will decide the nature of offence. (Para 7.2)
Motive is not an explicit requirement under the Penal Code, though “motive” may be helpful in proving the case of the prosecution in a case of circumstantial evidence. (Para 8)
The absence of motive does not disperse a prosecution case if the prosecution succeed in proving the same. The motive is always in the mind of person authoring the incident. Motive not being apparent or not being proved only requires deeper scrutiny of the evidence by the courts while coming to a conclusion. When there are definite evidence proving an incident and eyewitness account prove the role of accused, absence in proving of the motive by prosecution does not affect the prosecution case. (Para 8.1)
Copy of judgement: Judgement_09-Sep-2020
-Adv. Tushar Kaushik