Libertatem Magazine

Rawalpenta Venkalu and Another v. State of Hyderabad

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The unlawful killing of a human being with malicious intent by another human being is known as murder. Murder is defined under Sec 300 of INDIAN PENAL CODE as followsSec 300 IPC  “Except in the cases hereinafter, excepted, culpable homicide is murder, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or- 

Secondly,- If it is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of the person to whom the harm is caused, or-

Thirdly- If it is done with the intention of causing bodily injury to any person and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death, or-

Fourthly- If the person committing the act knows that it is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, and commits such act without any excuse for incurring the risk of causing death or such injury as aforesaid.”

SEC 302 – Punishment for Murder 

Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life. and shall also be liable to fine.

In the present case, the appellants were charged with murder under sec 302 omission of sec 34 of IPC. 


There was a  long dispute between the accused and the deceased. On the night between 18th and 19th, Feb 1953 the two appellants ( First appellant – Venkalu, Second appellant – Bodla Ram Nasiah ) along with three others conspires to murder Md. Moinuddin(deceased)  . They sat fire in the room of the deceased while he was sleeping,  by locking the room from outside. The servant P.W 8  was sleeping in front of the room of the deceased. He awakes by the noise of locking the door. At that moment, Moinuddin called servant, P.W. 8, and asked him to unlock the door to which servant replied he could not do so because the door was locked from outside. Other employees P . W 4, 11, and 12 who were watching from far were called out for help. When they came near they were assaulted by the accused and beaten up. These two accused set fire to the cottage.   When villagers came up for help they were harmed by the appellants. FIR was lodged at Penpabad Police station by the cousin of the deceased.  There it was convicted that both these appellants had a common intention and intended to kill the deceased. The appellants were charged under SEC 302 of IPC for the murder of  Md. Moinuddin. 

Issue and fact of law 

  • Whether the confession was given under police pressure?
  • Whether appellants were guilty of murder under sec 302?
  • Whether the appellants intended to kill the deceased 
  • Whether the confession was given voluntarily  
  •  Whether it was a preconcert plan? 


Two appeals by special leave arise out of the same judgment and order of a Division Bench of the Hyderabad High Court dated the 15th April 1954 confirming those of the Sessions Judge of Nalgonda dated the 18th January 1954, In Criminal Appeal No. 43 of 1955 Rawalpenta Venkalu is the appellant and in Criminal Appeal No. 44 of 1955, Bodla Ram Narsiah is the appellant.

Appeal dismissed and the sentence and conviction by the High court were upheld. The circumstances disclosed in the evidence further pointed to the conclusion that the offense was committed after a preconcert plan to set fire to the cottage after the man had as usual occupied the room and had gone to sleep. There was no doubt therefore that on the evidence led by the prosecution in this case the charge of murder has been brought home against both the Appellants and that in the circumstances there is no question but that they deserve the extreme penalty of the law.

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