Case Analysis – Bishambher v. Roomal AIR 1951 All 500

Introduction – In this case, the complainant molested a girl. Immediately, around 200 people gathered to punish him. Three local people intervened and tried to bring out a middle way. All the people gathered before the Panchayat and the plaintiff agreed to follow the decision of the Panchayat.

The Panchayat ordered the plaintiff to take a round of the village with his blackened face. All the intervening people were arrested and prosecuted for Section 323 and 502 of the IPC. The accused are claiming defence under section 87 of the IPC for the act done in good faith.

 

Facts of the case

The complainant, Bishambhar, had molested a Chamar girl, named Nathia. Khacheru, Mansukh and Nathu, who were among the accused persons, are related to Pooran, the father of the girl. On account of the indecent assault on the girl, the Chamars were very much agitated; and, having armed themselves with lathis, about 200 Chamars had collected near the house of one Ghasita Chamar. They were determined to punish the complainant and had caught hold of him. Rumal Singh, Fateh Singh and Balwant Singh had intervened and tried to bring about a settlement. They along with other accused, who were the relations of the girl, had, in good faith, collected a Panchayat; and with a view to avoiding other harm to the complainant and with his consent, the Panchayat had decided, in the interest of and for the benefit of the complainant, to blacken his face and to give him shoe-beating. In pursuance of the decision of the Panchayat the complainant’s face was blackened and he was given a shoe-beating.

 

Issues of the case

Whether the accused are liable for the defence u/s 87 of the Indian Penal Code.

Whether the accused had any other criminal intent to cause hurt to the complainant.

 

Case analysis –

The case includes the following points.

Firstly, the complainant who has molested the girl of chamar was ready for the punishment given to him by panchayat which was constituted as per the interference of the accused.

The second point is that the complainant has already submitted a written signature on a blank paper that he must agree with the terms and condition to blackened his face and take a shoe beating.

Thirdly Through the good office of these people the Chamars, who had caught hold of the complainant, were persuaded to release him on condition that those who had assembled would punish him suitably.

Fourth the allegations made on the accused under section 323 and 506 of IPC with section 114 does not prove the criminal intent of the accused whether they want to cause any serious hurt to the complainant. They are doing a common act which panchayats basically done with the consent.

 

Conclusion

The court held in ordinary circumstances such conduct would not be tolerated, and those responsible for it would be dealt with according to law. But, in a case like this, when the accused persons acted bona fide, without any criminal intent, in order to save the complainant from serious consequences, resulting from his own indecent behaviour, with his consent obtained in writing and for his benefit, the position is entirely different.  that it was justified in giving the accused benefit of the exception contained in Section 81 and 87 of the Indian Penal Code and to acquit them. The allegations in the complaint being false, it was rightly dismissed.  therefore, see no reason to interfere with the order of acquittal passed in this case.

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