Updated On : May 15, 2023
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Get ready to dive into a captivating world of legal precedents with the "100 Most Important Judgements - Indian Penal Code"! Brace yourself for a thrilling journey through landmark cases that have shaped India's criminal justice system.
This compendium brings together a collection of groundbreaking decisions, each filled with fascinating twists and turns. From infamous criminal trials to groundbreaking legal interpretations, these judgements showcase the intricate dance between law, justice, and society.
Explore the fascinating legal battles that have defined and redefined the Indian Penal Code. Prepare to be inspired, amazed, and perhaps even challenged as you uncover the compelling stories behind these influential judgements.
Mobarak Ali v. State of Bombay (1975)
In the case of Mobarak Ali v. State of Bombay (1975) the Supreme Court had observed that the presence of an accused in the Indian territory at the time the offense had been committed, would not be an essential ingredient for the person to be charged under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
In this present case, the Apex Court convicted the petitioner on the grounds that the jurisdiction under Section 2 was the locality where the offense had been committed, and the corporal presence of the accused in India stood immaterial.
Chirangi v. the State of M.P., (1952) 53 CrLJ 1212 (M.P.)
In this case, a widower holding axe accompanied by his son, went to the woods to gather ‘siadi’ leaves. After some time, his nephew discovered that the accused was sleeping under the tree and the child was missing.
Later the child was found dead. It was transpired in evidence that the accused at the time was seized of the state of mind in which he visualized that a tiger was going to attack him as by mistake he killed his son considering his son as the tiger.
The court stated that it was a mistake of fact that immunized him from liability. He had no intention to kill his son.
State of Orrisa v. Khora Ghasi
The accused while guarding his field shot an arrow at the moving object in good faith that it was a bear, but the shot resulted in the death of a person. Here, he gets immunity under the mistake of fact.
Regina V. Dudley and Stephens (1884)
In this case, Thomas Dudley and Edwin Stephens were the defendants. The said defendants and a cabin boy named Richard Parker were cast adrift in a boat without food and water due to a shipwreck.
Later, on the eighteenth day, when the three of them had been without food for seven days and without water for five days, Dudley proposed to Stephen that one should be put to death to save the rest.
Accordingly, they decided that it would be better to kill Parker so that they could save their own lives. Dudley and Stephens killed Parker on the twentieth day and fed on his flesh for four days. Later, a vessel rescued them and they were charged with committing the murder of Richard Parker.
It was held by the Court that killing an innocent person in order to save one's own life does not justify murder even though it was committed under the extreme necessity of hunger Subsequently, the defendants were sentenced to death, however, it was later reduced to six months Imprisonment.
M ‘Naughten’s Case
Basdev vs State of Pepsu, 1956
The law of dominance has been very briefly summarised. The appellant Basdev of the village Harigarh was a retired military jamadar, who was charged with the murder of a young boy named Magarh Singh (15 or 16 years old).
The two of them and others of the same village went to attend a wedding and to take the mid-day meal; some had settled down in their seats and some had not. T
he appellant asked Magar Singh, the young boy to step aside a little so that he could occupy a convenient seat but Magar Singh did not move in a fit of anger, the appellant whipped out a pistol and shot the boy in the abdomen. The injury proved fatal.
Barendra Kumar Ghosh v. King Emperor, 1925
Two people demanded money from a postman as he was counting the money, and when they shot a handgun at the postmaster, he died on the spot. All of the suspects fled without taking any money.
In this instance, Barendra Kumar claimed that he did not shoot the gun and was only standing by, but the courts rejected his appeal and found him guilty of murder under Sections 302 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code.
The Court further held that it is not required that all participants participate equally. It is possible to accomplish more or less. However, this does not mean that the individual who did less should be exempt from blame. His Legal responsibility is the same.
Topandas v. State of Bombay (1955) SC
In this case, the appellant and three others were charged with the offense under Section 1208 read with Sections 471 and 420 I.P.C. for conspiracy to use forged documents. The Trial Court acquitted all the accused, but the High Court, in appeal, reversed the appellant's acquittal and convicted him for the substantive offense and criminal conspiracy.
In the appeal, the Supreme Court held that it is a matter of common sense that one person alone can never be held guilty of criminal conspiracy for the simple reason that he cannot conspire. It was held that the appellant could not be convicted under Section 120B when his alleged co-conspirators were acquitted of that offense.
When all the alleged co-conspirators have been acquitted, the accused alone cannot be held guilty of conspiracy unless it can be proved that he conspired to commit an offense not only with the co-accused but with some third person(s) who has not been tired, because he is minor or is absconding.
Dharam Pal Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh (4) that;
“Where only five named persons have been charged for constituting an unlawful assembly, and one or more of them are acquitted, the remaining accused (who are less than five) cannot be convicted as members of unlawful assembly, unless it is proved that the unlawful assembly, besides convicted persons consisted of some other persons as well who were not identified and so could not be named."
Virsa Singh vs. State of Punjab
Priya Patel v. State of Madhya Pradesh
Suneeta Pandey v. State of UP
The Allahabad High Court recently held that although a woman cannot commit the offense of rape, if she facilitates the act of gang-rape of any woman by a group of people, then she may be prosecuted for the offense as per the amended provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Pyare Lal Bhargav v. State of Rajasthan
Even a temporary wrongful gain or wrongful loss comes within the purview of the offense of theft.
Dhananjoy v. Provat Chandra Biswas
The subject matter of the offense of Criminal Trespass is both movable and immovable property.
Navtej Johar and ors. V. Union of India
The Supreme Court decriminalized consensual unnatural sexual intercourse (Section 377).
Sherras V. De Rutzen
There is a presumption that means rea is essential for every offense. But this presumption is liable to be displaced either by the words of the statute creating offense or by the subject matter with which it deals
Bachan Singh V. State of Punjab AIR 1980 SC
Supreme Court held that the death sentence should not be passed except in rarest of the rare case.
Mahbooh Shah V Emperor (Indus River Case) AIR 1945 PC 118
The court held that common intention implies a pre-arranged plan a prior meeting of minds or prior consultation between all persons constituting the group. The laid down the following principle under Section 34:
Rishidev Pandey V. State of U.P. AIR 1955 SC 331
Supreme Court held that common intention can develop on the spot also during the course of the commission of the office.
Pandurang V. State of Hyderabad AIR 1955 SC 216
Supreme Court differentiated between similar intention and common intention. The court held that several persons can simultaneously attack a man and each can have the same intention, namely the intention to kill, and each can individually inflict a separate fatal blow and yet none would have the common intention required by the specific section because there was no prior meeting of minds to form a pre-arranged plan.
Director of Public Prosecutions V. Beard. (1920) AC 479
Dominic Varkey V. State of Kerala AIR 1971 SC 1208
Abhayanand Mishra V. State of Bihar, AIR 1961 SC 1698
State of Maharashtra V. Mohd. Yakub, AIR 1980 SC 1111
Supreme Court held that some action must be done towards the commission of an offense and such act must be 'proximate' to the intended result.
Proximity need not be in relation to time and action but in relation to intention.
R.S. Nayak V. A.R. Antulay and Anr., 1986 Cri 1J J 922 (SC)
Supreme Court held that for an offense of extortion, fear or threat must be used. There can be no extortion without fear.
R.K Dalmia V. Delhi Administration, AIR 1962 SC 1821
The words of Section 405 are wide enough to include the case of a partner if it is proved that he was in fact entrusted with the partnership property, or with a dominion over it, and had dishonestly misappropriated it or converted it to his own will.
State of Tamil Nadu V. Nalini 1999 Cri. LJ 3124 (SC)
Supreme Court held that association of the accused with the main accused or knowledge of conspiracy would not make the accused a circumstance agreement is a sine qua none for the offense.
Kedar Nath V. State AIR 1962 SC 955
Supreme Court held that Section 124-A does not violate Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution as it is a reasonable restriction.
K M Nanavati V. State of Maharashtra AIR 1962 SC 605
Supreme Court observed that if an accused pleads exceptions contained in Indian Penal Code then there is a presumption against him and the burden to rebut that presumption is on him.
Jacob Mathew V. State of Punjab 2005 Cri LJ 3710 (SC)
The word ‘Gross’ has not been used in Section 304 A but it is settled that in criminal law negligence must be of such high degrees as to be gross the express ‘rash and negligent act’ is to be qualified by the world.
Om Prakash V. State of Punjab. AIR 1961 SC 1782
A person commits an offense with the intention to murder and in pursuance of such intention does an act towards its commission, he will be liable to attempt murder. It is not necessary that bodily injury capable of causing death should have been caused.
Vardarajan V. State of Madras, AIR 1962 SC 942
The Supreme Court said that there was a distinction between the ‘taking’ and ‘allowing’ a minor to accompany any person something more has to be shown, some kind of inducement or active participation of the accused in taking the person.
T.D Vadgama, V. State of Gujarat AIR, 1973 SC 2313
Supreme Court held that the word ‘entice’ seems to involve the idea of inducement or allurement by giving rise to or desire on the other.
Independent Thought V. Union Of India (2007) 10 SCC 800
Supreme Court read down Exception 2 of Section 375 court held that sexual intercourse with a wife below the age of 18 years constitutes rape. Therefore, after the decision of the Supreme Court, in this case, fifteen years, ‘in Exception 2 of Section 375 should be read as eighteen years.
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