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 Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 19:07 GMT
Indian testicle attack 'is murder'
BBC graphic
The victim died instantly from a knee in the groin
The Indian Supreme Court has ruled that anyone who inflicts fatal injuries to the testicles should face first-degree murder charges.

The ruling was handed down in a case in which a man had kneed another in the testicles, killing him instantly.

The attacker had been convicted in a lower court on the lesser charge of culpable homicide, not amounting to murder.

The Supreme Court said that if a person, with an intention to kill, fatally injured another in "the private parts", the accused would be charged with murder.

'Self defence'

Those convicted would then face either a life term or the death sentence.

Indian Supreme Court
The Supreme Court's ruling is unlikely to set a precedent

"The evidence of the doctor clearly shows that death was caused due to neurogenic shock resulting from injury to testicles and scrotum," a two-judge bench said.

"This is a case where the conviction should have been under Section 302 (first-degree murder)."

The ruling was made in response to a petition from Karnataka state in southern India appealing against the order by the lower court.

The lower court had sentenced the accused on lesser charges that carry a maximum prison term of seven years with parole facilities.

The accused was said to have kneed the man in self defence.

Legal experts say the ruling is unlikely to set a precedent given the extraordinary circumstances of the case.

See also:

18 Dec 02 | South Asia
17 Dec 02 | South Asia
16 Dec 02 | South Asia
04 Oct 02 | South Asia
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