Chandigarh: What is the difference between an ‘inch’ and a ‘centimetre’ and between a ‘diameter’ and a ‘circumference’? This question has been posed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to a Judicial Magistrate Class 1 posted at Ambala in December 2018.
The question by Justice Gurwinder Singh Gill came in regard to a petition filed by a complainant named Jaffru against an order passed by the JMIC on December 6, 2018, as per which the court ordered the framing of charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections of voluntarily causing injury, grievous injury, and trespass. The sections of IPC invoked were 323, 325 and 452, along with Section 34 of the IPC.
The petitioner’s appeal was that the charges should have also been pressed under Section 326 of the IPC rather than under 323 – causing grievous injury by using a dangerous weapon. While under Section 323 of the IPC, the maximum punishment is a prison term of up to one year, under Section 326 of the IPC the punishment may extend from 10 years in prison to life imprisonment depending on a case-to-case basis.
The case made by the prosecution was that the accused inflicted wounds on the petitioner’s daughter with a sariya (long iron rods used for construction work) or simply an iron rod. Justice Gill asserted that either the trial court had not complied with its directions on the ‘details of the dimensions’ or didn’t know what was the difference between a ‘centimetre’ and an ‘inch.’
Justice Gill said that the court sought the correct dimensions of the sariya since the Bench felt that an approximately three-inch diameter of the weapon of offence, if it was a sariya, was rather unusual. And, if that was the case then the weapon of offence would have to be called a “thick iron rod.”
The court asserted that the right description of the weapon of offence is of foremost importance to ascertain whether the intent of the accused was to just ‘hurt’ or was it an ‘attempt to murder.’
The HC asserted that the judicial officer lacked awareness and told the Ambala Additional Sessions Judge to call the presiding officer and apprise her of the difference.
Justice Gill said that the ADJ Ambala should call the presiding officer concerned with the case, get a measuring tape, and wrap it around the iron rod to let the presiding officer know the difference between a circumference (the peripheral or circular length of the iron rod) and a diameter (thickness of the iron rod).
However, the court dismissed the petition saying that it lacked merit and said that the measurements of the weapons needn’t be exact to the millimeter but should give a fair idea to the court to arrive at a decision.
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