Section 302 IPC | Murder charge can be added against Accused if Victim Dies because of Septicemia, after being discharge from Hospital: Madhya Pradesh High Court

Madhya Pradesh High Court Murder

MADHYA PRADESH: Madhya Pradesh High Court observed that the offense of murder cannot be ruled out at the stage of framing of charges. Recently, Trial Court add a charge for the offense of Murder punishable under Section 302 IPC against the accused after the injured person died 13 days subsequent to being discharged from the hospital and the High Court refused to interfere with the decision of the trial court.

The bench comprising Justice Sanjay Dwivedi observed-

…in my considered opinion, the trial Court did nothing wrong because it can very well form an opinion at the time of trial or after the conclusion of trial whether an offense under Section 302 is made out or not. Taking note of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of Veerla Satyanarayana (supra) wherein the Supreme Court has held that if death is caused due to septicemia, an offense under Section 302 of IPC is rightly made out, I am also of the opinion that the order passed by the trial Court does not suffer from any patent or material irregularity and at this stage, it is not proper for this Court to interfere in the same or to form an opinion that the offense under Section 302 is not made out against the applicant.

In a recent matter, FIR was registered against the Petitioner for offenses punishable under Section 294, Section 333, 353, and 307 of IPC. However, 13 days after being discharged from the hospital, the injured person died due to septicemia. Considering the said development, the trial court charged the Petitioner/accused under Section 302 IPC and Section 25-1(B)(b) of Arms Act along with the other offenses mentioned in the FIR.

“No doubt that the High Court could have itself exercised suo moto powers and enhanced the sentence. However, prior to doing so, the High Court was required to give notice to the appellants. Admittedly, the same has not been done.”

The Petitioner submitted that the deceased was discharged from the hospital after the doctors had concluded that he had suffered a simple injury. It was contended that since the injured person died later due to septicaemia, the same ought to be attributed to negligence on the part of the doctors who had treated him earlier and not to the Petitioner. Therefore, it was argued that the offence under Section 302 IPC was not made out against him.

Per contra, the State supported the order passed by the trial court by submitting that the cause of death shown by the doctor was septicaemia which admittedly got developed owing to the injury caused by the Petitioner and as such, offence under Section 307 IPC was rightly converted into Section 302 IPC. It was further argued that it was just a charge levelled against the Petitioner and that he could challenge the same during the trial.

Examining the submissions of parties and documents on record, the Court concurred with the lower court’s decision. Referring to the decisions of the Apex Court, the Court opined that murder could very well be attributed to septicaemia caused by the injury inflicted upon the deceased by the accused-

Furthermore, the Court noted that Petitioner was at liberty to convince the court below as to why the offence U/S 302 IPC is not made out against him- With the aforesaid observations, the Court held that the petition filed by the Petitioner did not have merit and accordingly, the same was dismissed.

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