Murder: Section 299 & 300 of the Indian Penal Code

MURDER

 

 

INTRODUCTION:  

Murder is the unlawful killing of another human being without any justification or valid excuse with a malice intention. Murder is considered as one of the serious crime in our society which demands harsh punishments for the purpose of retribution, deterrence and incapacitation. In most of the countries a person convicted of murder generally faces a long term prison sentence in fact a life sentence where permitted. Death penalty for murder are also charged upon the criminals sometimes and at some places but this kind of punishment has been less in practice.

 

DEFINITION OF MURDER:

 Before defining Murder we should know the definition of “CULPABLE HOMICIDE”. The Legal meaning of Murder is Homicide. So according to this concept let’s define what culpable homicide is:

SECTION 299: CULPABLE HOMICIDE:

 Section 299 of IPC defines culpable homicide. It means Who ever causes death by doing an act with the intention of causing death, or with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or with the knowledge that his act is likely to cause death, commits the offence of culpable homicide.

ILLUSTRATIONS:

  • A lays sticks and turf over a pit, with the intention of thereby causing death, or with the knowledge that death is likely to be thereby caused. Z believing the ground to be firm, treads on it, falls in and is killed. A has committed the offence of culpable homicide.

 

  • A knows Z to be behind a bush. B does not know it. A intending to cause, or knowing it to be likely to cause Z’s death, induces B fires and kills Z. Here B may be guilty of no offence; but A has committed the offence of culpable homicide.

 

SECTION 300: MURDER: Culpable homicide leads to murder when:

  1. If the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or

 

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 

ILLUSTRATIONS:

  • A shoots Z with the intention of killing him. Z dies in consequence. A commits murder.
  • A intentionally gives Z a sword-cut or club-wound sufficient to cause the death of a man in the ordinary course of nature. Z dies in consequence. Here, A is guilty of murder, although he may not have intended to cause Z’s death.

 

EXCEPTIONS WHEN CULPABLE HOMICIDE IS NOT MURDER:

  1. CULPABLE HOMICIDE IS NOT MURDER:

Culpable homicide is not a murder when the offender, whilst deprived of the power of self-control by grave and sudden provocation, causes the death of the person who gave the provocation or causes the death of any other person by mistake or accident.

The above exception is subject to the following provisos

First– That the provocation is not sought or voluntarily provoked by the offender as an excuse for killing. Or doing harm to any person.

Secondly– That the provocation is not given by anything done in obedience to the law, or by a public servant in the lawful exercise of the powers of such public servant.

Thirdly– That the provocation is not given by anything done in the lawful exercise of the right of private defense.

 

  1. CULPABLE HOMICIDE IN EXERCISE OF GOOD FAITH:

Culpable homicide is not amounted to murder if it’s done in exercise of good faith to protect the public or private property. If someone exceeds his power given by law and kills someone in order to save something or someone it cannot be amounted as Murder.

 

  1. CULPABLE HOMICIDE IN CASE OF PUBLIC SERVANT:

Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, being a public servant or aiding. A public servant acting for the advancement of public justice, exceeds the powers given to him by law, and causes death by doing an act which he, in good faith, believes to be lawful and necessary for the due discharge of his duty as such public servant and without ill-will towards the person whose death is caused.

SECTION 301: CULPABLE HOMICIDE BY CAUSING DEATH OF A PERSON OTHER THAN A PERSON WHOSE DEATH WAS INTENDED: Culpable Homicide amounts to murder if any other person who was not intended to die, dies due to the conditions and acts done by the perpetrator even if he has planned the murder for someone else.

SECTION 304 A: CAUSING DEATH BY NEGLIGENCE: Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

SECTION 307: ATTEMPT TO MURDER: Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, and if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to 1[imprisonment for life], or to such punishments decided by the court of law accordingly.

ILLUSTARTIONS:

  • A shoots at Z with intention to kill him, under such circumstances that, if death ensued. A would be guilty of murder. A is liable to punishment under this section.

 

  • A, with the intention of causing the death of a child of tender years, exposes it in a deserted place. A has committed the offence defined by this section, though the death of the child does not ensure.

SECTION 308: ATTEMPT TO COMMIT CULPABLE HOMICIDE: Whoever does any Act with such intention or knowledge and under such circumstances that, if he by that Act caused death, he would be guilty of culpable homicide not amount to murder and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both, and if hurt is caused to any person by such Act, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.

 

 

 

 

 

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