COURT: HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
APPELLANTS: Asgarali Pradhania
JUDGES: JOHN LORT WILLIAMS AND G.D. Mc NAIR
DECIDED ON: 21 JULY 1933
CITATION: AIR 1933 CAL.893
Facts of the Case
The complainant who is divorced by consent lives with her father in a cookhouse shed. The appellant was a neighbor who was a married person with children. He was on good terms with the complainant’s father and had lent money to him. The complainant affirmed that the appellant used to give presents and intended to marry her further which sexual intercourse took place and she became pregnant. She implored to fulfill the promise, to which the appellant denied and suggested her to miscarry the child by way of taking drugs. She tasted the powder brought by the appellant but finding it salty and strong she spat it out. Though she didn’t take the red liquid. The appellant after noticing that she has not taken any forced her to take them. However, she demanded that it might be dangerous for herself and started yelling further which the appellant fled.
Whether the appellant was liable for the attempt to cause miscarriage to the complainant?
Arguments of Both the Parties
- The complainant herself wanted to miscarry the baby as she herself took the drug but she was afraid of the ill-effects of the process to herself which points out that she herself was a wrong-doer.
- It was contended that the word “Attempt” in itself means if the said crime is committed then the person would be charged for the said offense. In the present case, the facts proved do not constitute an attempt to cause miscarriage as the amount taken wasn’t sufficient enough to do so which means this cannot be termed as an attempt to miscarry the child. So the appellant must not be convicted.
- The medical evidence report suggests that the drug taken doesn’t directly act upon the uterus, and is not harmful unless taken in large quantities, when it may induce abortion. Therefore, the stated facts don’t constitute an attempt to cause miscarriage.
On the facts stated in this case, the appellant cannot, in law, be convicted of an attempt to cause a miscarriage. What the appellant did was not an “act done towards the commission of the offense” of causing a miscarriage and neither the liquid nor the powder is harmful to do so and it couldn’t have caused a miscarriage. The appellant’s failure ’was not due to a factor independent of himself. Therefore, the appellant is not guilty of an attempt to cause miscarriage under section 511 of IPC. Hence, he was acquitted.
The judgment was delivered by Justice John Lort William and Justice G.D. Mc. Nair in favor of the appellant. They inferred that the appealing party’s failure was not because of the factor autonomous of himself but because of external reasons that are the force of failure was independent in itself. Furthermore, the attempt too must be towards the commission of an offense. In this way, the conviction and sentence must be set aside and the appellant ought to be acquitted. Consequently, the action is brought under Section 312/511, IPC.
Things that one can learn from the present case is that a mere intention followed by preparation may not be sufficient grounds on the basis of which someone’s liability be questioned for an attempt to cause a miscarriage. Attempt together with successful completion of that particular attempt is necessary in order to hold someone liable for an offense. Also, the aggrieved party’s conduct to help in understanding the facts of the case in a better way particularly in a case like the present one.
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