The Supreme Court has stated that a medical witness’ evidentiary value is critical in corroborating the prosecution’s case and that it is not only a check on eyewitness testimony but also independent testimony, because it may establish certain facts apart from other oral evidence.
The order of conviction passed against two people under Section 324 IPC and Section 27 of the Arms Act for causing bodily injury by bullets on a man on the basis of a minor altercation was upheld by a bench consisting of Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli.
The trial court found them guilty of attempting to murder and sentenced them to five years in prison plus three years in prison under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code.
However, following an appeal to the High Court, the conviction was changed from 307 IPC to 324 IPC, and the five-year sentence was reduced to three years, while the three-year sentence under Section 27 of the Arms Act was preserved.
One of the defendants entered an alibi plea, claiming that he was not present at the time of the alleged incident. However, the Supreme Court noted that the prosecution witness stated categorically that appellant Manoj Singh was present at the time of the incident.
Furthermore, the Court has stated that the prosecution’s medical evidence has strong corroborative value because it shows that the injuries could have been caused in the manner claimed. One of the defendants entered an alibi plea, claiming that he was not present at the time of the alleged incident. However, the Supreme Court noted that the prosecution witness stated categorically that appellant Manoj Singh was present at the time of the incident.
“It is undeniable that there are minor inconsistencies with respect to the time of the occurrence of injuries attributed to the hand or foot,” the Court said, “but the consistent narrative of the witnesses is that the appellants were present at the place of occurrence armed with guns and they caused the injury on informant” (PW-6).
However, as this court noted in Narayan Chetanram Chaudhary & Anr. Vs The State of Maharashtra, a witness’s testimony in a criminal trial cannot be thrown out simply because of minor inconsistencies or omissions.”
In the case at hand, PW-8 Dr Himkar, who examined PW-6, stated unequivocally that all of the injuries attributed to the informant were caused by firearms, and that tattooing may not appear over the wound (injured area) if a person fired from 6-7 feet. It is common knowledge that the term “hurt” refers to any action that causes physical pain, injury, or disease in a person.
Hurt can be inflicted voluntarily or through the use of dangerous weapons or deception. Under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code, a person will be liable for causing harm voluntarily with dangerous weapons and means, as follows:
Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means. Whoever, except in the case provided for by section 334, voluntarily causes hurt by means of any instrument for shooting, stabbing or cutting, or any instrument which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, or by means of fire or any heated substance, or by means of any poison or any corrosive substance, or by means of any explosive substance or by means of any substance which it is deleterious to the human body to inhale, to swallow, or to receive into the blood, or by means of any animal, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.”
“It is clear from the testimony of prosecution witnesses that the two appellants used firearms to injure the body of the informant, PW-8, as a result of an altercation between the appellants and the informant PW-8,” the Court said.
It is also corroborated by the prosecution witness’ testimony that there was the previous animosity between the parties due to a land dispute, as evidenced by their actions. As a result, the two appellants are charged under Section 324 of the IPC.
Once the charge of voluntarily causing injuries by firearm, which is a dangerous weapon, is established against the appellants under Section 324 IPC, they cannot avoid the punishment prescribed by Section 27 of the arms act.