It cannot be laid down as a rule of universal application that when the death occurs on account of a single blow, Section 302 IPC is ruled out.
The Supreme Court has observed that even in cases when death occurs due to single stab injury section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (Murder) can be attracted. A bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhusjan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah while disposing off a criminal appeal that there is no hard and fast rule that in case of single injury section 302 IPC would not be attracted.
The bench relied upon two cases Kunhayippu v. State of Kerala (2000) 10 SCC 307 and Musumsha Hasanasha Musalman v. State of Maharashtra (2000) 3 SCC 557 to contend that for causing a single stab injury, section 302 IPC shall not be attracted.
However, taking note of the circumstances and evidence on record, the bench observed that the case would fall under section 304 Part I of the IPC and not under Section 302 or 304 Part II of IPC.
Considering the totality of the fact and circumstances of the case and more particularly that the accused inflicted the blow with a weapon like knife and he inflicted the injury on the deceased on the vital part of the body, it is to be presumed that causing such bodily injury was likely to cause the death. Therefore, the case would fall under section 304 Part I of the IPC and not under Section 304 Part Iii of the IPC.
The bench then held the accused guilty for the offence punishable under section 304 Part I and sentenced him to undergo 8 years R.I. with a fine of Rs 10,000/- and in default to further undergo one year R.I.