S.397 IPC: Use Of The Weapon Does Not Require That The Offender Should Actually Fire Or Stab, Mere Exhibition Or Brandishing of the Same Is Sufficient: Supreme Court

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S.397 IPC: Use Of The Weapon Does Not Require That The Offender Should Actually Fire Or Stab, Mere Exhibition Or Brandishing of the Same Is Sufficient

Case: Ram Ratan v State of Madhya Pradesh

Coram: Justices N.V.Ramana, A.S.Bopanna, HIma Kohli

Case No.: Criminal Appeal No.1333 Of 2018

Court Observation: “It is clear that the use of the weapon to constitute the offence under Section 397 IPC does not require that the ‘offender’ should actually fire from the firearm or actually stab if it is a knife or a dagger but the mere exhibition of the same, brandishing or holding it openly to threaten and create fear or apprehension in the mind of the victim is sufficient.”

“If the charge of committing the offence is alleged against all the accused and only one among the ‘offenders’ had used the firearm or deadly weapon, only such of the ‘offender’ who has used the firearm or deadly weapon alone would be liable to be charged under Section 397 IPC.”

“The use of the weapon to constitute the offence under Section 397 IPC does not require that the ‘offender’ should actually fire from the firearm or actually stab if it is a knife or a dagger but the mere exhibition of the same, brandishing or holding it openly to threaten and create fear or apprehension in the mind of the victim is sufficient.”

“If the charge of committing the offence is alleged against all the accused and only one among the ‘offenders’ had used the firearm or deadly weapon, only such of the ‘offender’ who has used the firearm or deadly weapon alone would be liable to be charged under Section 397 IPC. The Court finally held that Section 397 of the IPC can be applied in cases where the accused has used a deadly weapon to commit robbery, to the extent of causing fear in the mind of the victim by showcasing the weapon, it is not necessary to cause grievous hurt with the said weapon. The Court also held that the “offender” is the accused who actually uses the weapon and the co-accused cannot be held liable if they are not proven to have used a deadly weapon.”

“In such circumstance, in the teeth of the offence under Section 397 IPC being applicable to the offender alone,the vicariability of the same will also have to be noted if the charge against the accused under Sections 34, 149 IPC and such other provisions of law, which may become relevant, is also invoked along with Section 397 IPC.”

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Keywords

S.397 IPC


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