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Dhupa Chamar and Ors v State of Bihar

AIR 2002 SC 2834, [2002] 6 SCC 506

JUDGES: U.C. Banerjee and B.N. Agrawal

Date of Decision: 02-08-2002


Briefly, the facts of the case are as under:-

There was an incident of assault by fists and slaps between Ramu Chamar and Appellant No. 2-Tokha Chamar and due to this reason, next day, Appellant No-1 Dhupa Chamar, Appellant No.-2 Tokha Chamar, Appellant No-3 Doma Chamar and their men armed with bhalas, lathies and with brickbats came near the house of Ramu Chamar and started abusing his family members whereupon, villagers arrived there. One of them, a lady named Ram Patia Devi, made a protest whereupon appellant No. 1-Dhupa Chamar gave a bhala blow on the left side of her neck and the same was pulled out forcibly from the neck causing injury on the chest rupturing important blood vessels and cutting of aorta and other artery as a result of which she fell down and died instantaneously. Appellant No.2-Tokha Chamar assaulted one other person in the abdomen with bhala as a result of which he died in the hospital.

Consequently, four out of seven accused arrested namely; Dhupa Chamar-Appellant No. 1 and Tokha Chamar-appellant No. 2 were convicted by the trial court under Section 302 of IPC and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life. Each of them was further convicted under Section 148 of IPC and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment of one year. Doma Chamar-appellant No. 3 and Adalat Chamar- Appellant No. 4 were convicted under Sections 302/149 of IPC. Remaining three accused was acquitted.

The four accused whose appeal before the High Court of Judicature at Bihar, held confirmed of their conviction and sentences with this modification only that conviction of Tokha Chamar-appellant No. 2 under Section 302 was converted into one under Section 302/149 of IPC have preferred this petition with special leave before this Court from which this appeal arises. 


  • Whether, or not the accused had the intention to kill the deceased?
  • Whether, or not the accused can be held liable for the murder of the deceased?
  • Whether, or not the unlawful assembly was exits?


There is a fundamental principle in criminal law jurisprudence that is the not the act that is punished but the intention behind the act, in absence of which the commission of murder cannot be established.

Learned counsel on behalf of the appellants could not point out any infirmity. However, following submissions made:-

  1. Conviction of appellant No. 1-Dhupa Chamar under Section 302 of IPC under the fact the he inflicted a single blow to deceased Ram Patia Devi, does not attract clause 3 of section 300 of IPC and hence, unwarranted.
  2. acquittal of three out of seven accused by trail court for offence under section 302/149 itself makes the conviction of appellant Nos. 2, 3 and 4 unwarranted as the number of accused necessary to form unlawful assembly falls below five.
  3. Release appellants no.-2, 3 and 4 as they served maximum sentence awarded.

Hon’ble Court remarked:-

  1. the accused persons intentionally came armed with deadly weapons and there was an altercation and exchange of hot words thereafter appellant No. 1 assaulted victim with a bhala with that degree of force sufficient to cause injury on the chest rupturing important blood vessels, cutting of aorta and other artery, resulting in her instantaneous death
  2. When once the ingredient ‘intention’ is established, then the offence would be murder as the intended injury was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death.
  3. Submission (b) & (c) found strong and effective.

Keeping above facts in mind, Hon’ble Court upheld conviction for the appellant No.1 correct and allowed appeal to Set aside conviction & acquittal under Sections 302/149 for appellant No. 2, 3 and 4 and order their release on being served maximum sentence for the other charges.


The most important ingredient of murder is the intention to kill, in existence of which the commission of murder can be established.

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