Updated: Saturday September 24, 2016/AsSabt Thoul Hijjah 22, 1437/Sanivara Asvina 02, 1938, at 05:35:19 PM

Ilam ud Din v. Emperor 

A.I.R. 1930 Lahore 157

Ilam Din murdered Rajpal, the publisher of the pamphlet “Rangila Rasul”, on April 6, 1929.  Ilam Din was sentenced to death on May 22, 1929.  Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Farrukh Hussain filed an appeal to the Lahore High Court against the death sentence.  Following is the All India (Law) Reporter record of the case.

A.I.R. 1930 Lahore 157

BROADWAY and JOHNSTONE, JJ.

Ilam Din—Accused - Appellant.

v.

Emperor—Opposite Party.

  Criminal Appeal No. 562 of 1929, Decided on 17th July 1929 from order of Sess. Judge, Lahore, D/- 22nd May 1929.

  Penal Code, S. -302—That murderer is 19 or 20 years of age and murder prompted by veneration for founder of religion is not extenuating circumstance.

  The mere fact that the murderer is only 19 or 20 years of age and that the act was prompted by feelings of veneration for the founder of his religion and anger at one who had scurrilously attacked him, is a wholly insufficient reason for not imposing the appropriate sentence provided by law: A.I.R. 1928 Lah 531, Ref.
[P158 C1, 2]

  Mohammd [sic] Ali Jinnah and Farrukh Hussain—for Appellant.
  Ram Lal and J.L. Kapur— for the Crown.

  Broadway, J.—Ilam Din, son of Talia Mand, a Tarkhan of some 19 or 20 years of age, and a resident of Mohalla Sirianwala, Lahore City, has been convicted of having caused the death of one Rajpal on 6th April 1929, and, under S. 302, I.P.C., has been sentenced to death.  He has appealed, and the case is also before us under S. 374, Criminal P.C.

  The deceased was a Hindu book-seller having a shop in the Hospital Road.  Some little time back he had given grave offence to the Muslim community by the publication of a pamphlet entitled “Rangila Rasul.”  He had been proceeded against under S. 153-A, I.P.C., in connexion with this publication, and after a protracted trial, had been convicted in January 1927.   His conviction was, however, set aside by the High Court in May 1927.* [Rajpal v. Emperor, A.I.R. 1927 Lah. 590.]  The pamphlet was a scurrilous production and had wounded the susceptibilities of certain members of the Muslim community to such an extent that his acquittal was followed by two abortive attempts to murder the author, with the result that it was found advisable to afford him police protection.

  It seems that he had recently gone on a visit to Hardwar and, during his absence, the guard was removed.  He returned from Hardwar on 4th April and whether the guard had not yet been restored or had been temporarily absented himself (the point is immaterial) he was murderously attacked in his shop at about 2 p.m. on 6th April.

  That his assailant intended to cause death is established by the medical evidence which shows that he received no less than eight wounds, seven being incised and one a punctured one.  The nature of these injuries also show that Rajpal endeavoured to defend himself, for four of the incised wounds were on his hands.  He received a wound on the top of his head that cracked the right parietal bone, two incised wounds above the spine of the left scapula and a punctured wound in his chest.   This last pierced the heart cutting the fourth rib and caused almost instantaneous death.

  The case for the prosecution is that the appellant purchased a knife from Atma Ram (P.W. 8) on the morning of 6th April, proceeded to the ship of the deceased at about 2 p.m. and attacked him as he was sitting on the gaddi in the outer verandha writing letters.   The assault was witnessed by Kidar Nath (P.W. No. 2) and Bhagat Ram (P.W. No. 3) employees of the deceased who were in the shop at the time, the former sitting at work in the inner verandah and the latter standing on a ladder in the outer verandah or room arranging books on the shelves.  They raised an alarm, threw books at the appellant who dropped his knife and ran out.   He was pursued by Kidar Nath and Bhagat Ram who were joined outside by Nanak Chand (P.W. No. 4) and Parma Nand (P.W. No. 5).  The appellant turned into a woodyard belonging to Vidya Rattan, who had seen the pursuit from his office door and who hastened into the woodyard and seized the appellant, being assisted by the pursuers who were on his heels.  The appellant is then stated to have repreatedly [sic] and loudly proclaimed that he was neither a thief nor a dacoit but had “taken revenge for the prophet.”  Ilam Din was taken to the deceased’s shop, the police were notified and took over the appellant and the investigation.

  A very brief report was made by Kidar Nath who said nothing of the assertions made by Ilam Din when he was captured, and did not mention the name of his fellow servant.

  On the following day as a result of a statement made by Ilam Din to the Police, the shop of Atma Ram was discovered, and on 9th this Atma Ram picked out the appellant at an identification parade held under the supervision of a Magistrate as the man to whom he had sold the knife found in Rajpal’s shop.

  There can be no doubt that Atma Ram could have sold the knife as he had several of identically the same make and pattern, two of which have been produced as exhibits.   He stated that he bought these knives at an auction sale of Medical Stores.

  M. Jinha [sic] has attacked the prosecution story on various grounds.   He urged that Kidar Nath was not a reliable witness because (1) he was an employee of the deceased and therefore, “interested;” (2) he had not stated in the First Information Report (a) that Bhagat Ram was with him, and (b) that the appellant had stated that he had avenged the Prophet.  As to Bhagat Ram it was contended he, as an employee, was interested, and as to the rest that there were variations in some of the details.

  Objection was taken to the admissibility of the statements made to the police which led to the discovery of Atma Ram, and Atma Ram’s identification of Ilam Din and his testimony regarding the sale of the knife to Ilam Din were characterised as untrue and improbable.  (His Lordship after discussing the evidence held that the guilt had been established and proceeded as follows.)  Mr. Jinnah finally contended that the sentence of death was not called for and urged as extenuating circumstances, that the appellant is only 19 or 20 years of age and that his act was prompted by feelings of veneration for the founder of his religion and anger at one who had scurrilously attacked him.

  As was pointed out in Amir v. Emperor (1): [A.I.R. 1928 Lah. 531.]:
“the mere fact that the murderer is 19 or 20 years of age, * * * * is a wholly insufficient reason for not imposing the appropriate sentence provided by law.”

  The fact that Ilam Din is 19 or 20 years of age is not, therefore, a sufficient reason for not imposing the extreme penalty and I am unable to see that the other reasons advanced by Mr. Jinnah can be regarded as affording any excuse for a deliberate and cold blooded murder of this type.

  I would, therefore, dismiss the appeal and confirm the sentence of death.

  Johnstone, J.—I concur.

V.B./R.K.         Appeal dismissed.

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Courtesy: Mr. Afrasiab Mohal, Advocate, Cell 0345-46444423

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