Difference between attempt to murder and causing grievous hurt.
Penal Code, 1860, Section 307 and 324:
307. Attempt to murder.—Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to imprisonment for life, or to such punishment as is hereinbefore mentioned. Attempts by life convicts.—When any person offending under this section is under sentence of imprisonment for life, he may, if hurt is caused, be punished with death.
(a) A shoots at Z with intention to kill him, under such circumstances that, if death ensued. A would be guilty of murder. A is liable to punishment under this section.
(b) A, with the intention of causing the death of a child of tender years, exposes it in a desert place. A has committed the offence defined by this section, though the death of the child does not ensue.
(c) A, intending to murder Z, buys a gun and loads it. A has not yet committed the offence. A fires the gun at Z. He has committed the offence defined in this section, and if by such firing he wounds Z, he is liable to the punishment provided by the latter part of 3[the first paragraph of] this section.
(d) A, intending to murder Z by poison, purchases poison and mixes the same with food which remains in A’s keeping; A has not yet committed the offence defined in this section. A places the food on Z’s table or delivers it to Z’s servant to place it on Z’s table. A has committed the offence defined in this section.
324. 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 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.
Decision on these facts:
Both eyewitnesses Anoop Bhargava (PW-1) and Ramprakash (PW-4) have turned hostile. It was established that Manjeet Singh has sustained gunshot injury. Dr. Vikram Singh Tomar (PW-2), on examination, found two entry wounds over the lateral aspect of left shoulder and interior aspect of upper part of left scapula region of Manjeet Singh. However, firearm injury suffered by Manjeet Singh (PW-3) could not be impeached in their cross-examination. It is also evident that the accused fired at Manjeet Singh without any pre-meditation. The injury suffered by Manjeet Singh was not on the vital part of his body. In our view, the prosecution has failed to prove that accused intended to cause the death of the deceased. Therefore, the appellant can only be convicted under Section 324 of the IPC and not under Section 307 of the IPC. Therefore, the appellant is convicted under Section 324 of the IPC instead of Section 307 of the IPC.
The appellant has already been imprisoned for about four months. Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, it is just and proper to reduce the sentence to the period already undergone by the appellant