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Culpable homicide 1

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Method of Research:

The researcher has adopted a purely doctrinal method of research. The researcher has made extensive
use of the library at the Chanakya National Law University and also the internet sources.

Aims and Objectives:

The aim of the project is to present an overview of the case “CULPABLE HOMICIDE AMOUNTING TO
MURDER AND CULPABLE HOMICIDE NOT AMOUNTING TO MURDER” through cases, decisions and
suggestions and different writings and articles

Sources of Data:

The following secondary sources of data have been used in the project-

1. Cases
2. Books

Method of Writing:

The method of writing followed in the course of this research paper is primarily analytical.

Mode of Citation:

Culpable homicide 2
The researcher has followed a uniform mode of citation throughout the course of this research
paper.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION

2. CULPABLE HOMICIDE: SECTION 299 DETAILED

3. COMBINING SECTIONS 299 AND 300: CULPABLE HOMICIDE AMOUNTING


TO MURDER

4. EXCEPTIONS TO SECTION 300: CULPABLE HOMICIDE NOT AMOUNTING


TO MURDER

5. WORLD’S VIEW OVER CULPABLE HOMICIDE...

6. CASE LAWS

7. CONCLUSION

BIBLIO GRAPHY

Culpable homicide 3
INTRODUCTION
Section 299 and Section 300 IPC deals with the definition of culpable homicide and murder
respectively. Section 299 defines culpable homicide as the act of causing death; (i) with the
intention of causing death or (ii) with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to
cause death or (iii) with the knowledge that such act is likely to cause death. The bare reading of
the section makes it crystal clear that the first and the second clause of the section refer to
intention apart from the knowledge and the third clause refers to knowledge alone and not
intention. Both the expression "intent" and "knowledge" postulate the existence of a positive
mental attitude which is of different degrees. The mental element in culpable homicide i.e.
mental attitude towards the consequences of conduct is one of intention and knowledge. If that is
caused in any of the aforesaid three circumstances, the offence of culpable homicide is said to
have been committed. Section 300 IPC, however, deals with murder although there is no clear
definition of murder provided in Section 300 IPC. It has been repeatedly held by this Court that
culpable homicide is the genus and murder is species and that all murders are culpable homicide
but not vice versa. Section 300 IPC further provides for the exceptions which will constitute
culpable homicide not amounting to murder and punishable under Section 304. When and if
there is intent and knowledge then the same would be a case of Section 304 Part I and if it is
only a case of knowledge and not the intention to cause murder and bodily injury, then the same
would be a case of Section 304 Part II. The aforesaid distinction between an act amounting to
murder and an act not amounting to murder has been brought out in the numerous decisions of
this Court.

Culpable homicide 4
The distinguishing features of these different categories of unlawful homicides are: the degree of
intention, knowledge, or recklessness with which a particular homicide is committed. If the
probability of death resulting from a bodily injury is of a very high degree (i.e., where death is a
certainty) this constitutes murder,and if the probability is not of that order, it is culpable
homicide and if murder is committed under grave provocation and consent, it is culpable
homicide not amounting to murder’ For instance, if A attacks B with a sharp-edged knife in his
heart, resulting in B’s death, A would be guilty of murder.2 On the other hand, if A causes injury
to B with a stick fracturing his skull, resulting in B’s death, A would be liable for culpable
homicide not amounting to murder.3 In the first case, from the nature of the injury and the
instrument used for the purpose, it is certain that the injury will cause the death of the victim;
this is not so in the second case.

CULPABLE HOMICIDE : SECTION 299


DETAILED
299. Culpable homicide.-- Whoever 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 he is likely by such act to cause death, commits the offence of culpable
homicide.1

Culpable Homicide in the most simple understanding refers to taking the life of a person. The
term constitutes of two words, culpable which refers to the mental element and homicide which
refers to the physical element Culpable denotes a ‘blameworthy state of mind’ and homicide
refers to killing a person. Thus culpable homicide refers to taking life of another person, where
the act has been done with criminal intent.

Culpable Homicide

Culpable Homicide is defined in Section 299 of the IPC. If you study the definition you shall
find that the definition stresses both on the physical and mental element, where an act is
committed which is done with the intention of causing death, or with such knowledge that the
1
Bare act , indian penal code

Culpable homicide 5
act which he or she is going to undertake is going to kill someone, or causes such bodily or
physical injury which will lead to a person’s death. Also read the explanations to the Section
which are actually clarifications to the Section.

Explanation One: Tells us that where knowingly a person accelerates someone’s death in such
as situation it is considered culpable homicide. Example: Y is diagnosed with terminal illness
and needs certain drugs to live from day to day. X confines him in a room and denies him his
medication as a result of which Y dies. X is guilty of Culpable Homicide.

Explanation Two: Tells us that where a person inflicts such bodily injury on someone and the
latter dies because of such injury, it will not be an excuse that if the person had received medical
attention his life would have been saved.2

Example: Ganda mows over a pedestrian deliberately. The pedestrian bleeds on the road and no
one helps him and he dies as a result of Ganda’s actions. Ganda cannot take the excuse that if the
pedestrian had taken medical treatment at the right time, the pedestrian would have lived and
there would be no culpable homicide

Explanation Three: Tells us that abortion does not constitute culpable homicide. However if
any part of the child is outside the womb, and the child is then killed, it constitutes culpable
homicide. A word of caution, however, infanticide and abortion on the basis that the womb is
bearing a female child is a criminal offence in India. Culpable Homicide can happen by
commission or by omission, i.e. by an overt or conscious act or failure to act, by which a person
is, deprived of his/her life. Now let us study the ingredients in detail.3

Ingredients of Culpable Homicide

Acts

The Act should be of such a nature that it would put to peril someone’s life or damage someone’s
life to such an extent that the person would die. In most cases the act would involve a high
degree of violence against the person. Instances such stabbing a person in vital organs,

2
(1910) 11 Cr LJ 295. Gour , H.S., Penal law of india , 10 th ed. Vol. Iii pp. 2214-2235

3
(1912) 13 Cr LJ 145 ( 146)

Culpable homicide 6
shootingsomeone at point blank range, administering poison would include instances which
would constitute culpable homicide. 4

However this is not always the rule and there are exceptions to this rule. Remember the section
says “causes death by doing an act”, so given the special circumstances certain acts which may
not involve extreme degree of violence, but may be sufficient to cause someone’s death. For
example, starving someone may not require violence in the normal usage of the term, but may
cause a person’s death. The Section also covers administration of bodily injury which is “likely”
to cause death.

Intention

Sometimes one is required to do certain dangerous acts, even in everyday life where there is a
risk of death or causing hurt to such an extent that a person may die. Mundane things such as
driving possess the potential of taking someone’s life. The question however is was the act
committed with the “intention of causing death”. Thus where you push someone for a joke and
the person falls on his head has a brain injury and dies, there was no “intention of causing death”
but when you pushed the person deliberately with the idea that the person falls and dies, in that
case the act is with the “intention of causing death” To prove intention in acts where there is
bodily injury is “likely to cause death”, the act has to be can be of two types. Firstly where
bodily injury itself is done in a fashion which cause death. For example bludgeoning someone
on the head repeatedly with a blunt instrument. Secondlyin situations where there are injuries
and there are intervening events between the injuries and the death provided the delay is not so
blatant, one needs to prove that injuries were administered with the intention of causing death.5

Knowledge

Knowledge is different from intention to the extent that where a person may not have the
intention to commit an act which kills, he knows that the act which he commits will take
someone’s life or is likely to take someone’s life will be considered having the “knowledge that
he is likely by such act to cause death”. For example, a doctor uses an infected syringe

4
Draft penal code , note M , pp 138-139

5
Draft penal code , p. 148 see ratanlal and dhirajlal , law of crimes , 24th ed., vol.2, (1998), p. 1243

Culpable homicide 7
knowingly on a patient thereby infecting him with a terminal disease. The act by itself will not
cause death, but the doctor has knowledge that his actions will lead to someone’s death.6

COMBINING SECTIONS 299 AND


300: CULPABLE HOMICIDE
AMOUNTING TO MURDER
Section 300 deals with Culpable Homicide amounting to murder. In other words the Section
states that culpable homicide is murder in certain situations. This makes us come to two
conclusions, namely:

1. For an act to be classified as murder it must first meet all the conditions of culpable homicide.

2. Secondly, all acts of murder are culpable homicide, but all acts of culpable homicides are not
murder. Pictorially speaking:- Section 300, IPC, 1860. Murder: Except in the cases hereinafter
excepted, culpable homicide is murder, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the
intention of causing death, or- Secondly- 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, or- Thirdly- 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,
or- Fourthly,- If the person committing the act knows that it is so imminently dangerous that it
must, in all probability, cause death or uch 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
Now, let us study the situations in which culpable homicide does amount to murder. Section 300

6
Indian penal code , 3rd ed., K.D. Gaur , p. 397-398

Culpable homicide 8
states, that except for situations states (which do not concern us as of now) culpable homicide is
murder in four situations:

When an act is done with the intention of causing death

The degree of intention required is very high for murder. There must be intention present and the
intention must be to cause the death of the person, not only harm or grievous hurt without the
intention to cause death. Instances would include:

1. Shooting someone at point blank range.

2. Stabbing someone in the hurt

3. Hanging someone by the neck till he dies

4. Strapping a bomb on someone

5. Administering poison to someone.

Remember the act must be accompanied with the intention to “cause death.”7

Inflicting of bodily injury which the offender knows is likely to cause death

The second situation covers instances where the offender has special knowledge about the
victim’s condition and causes harm in such a manner which causes death of the person. look at
this part of Section 300 very carefully. It states that the offender “knows likely to be the cause of
death” Instances would include:

1. Sundar is a hemophilic patient. Bandar knows this and cuts him in multiple places, which if
carried out on an ordinary person would not have cost him his life.

2. Lolo is suffering from jaundice. Bebo knows this and slips in alcohol in Lolo’s medicine in
order to rupture Lolo’s liver so Lolo dies. Lolo dies as a result of consuming the adulterated
medicine.

Bodily injury which causes death in the ordinary course of nature

7
Allen gledhill , the indian penal code in nigeria. Year book of legal studies , (1960) department of legal studies , madras P. 17

Culpable homicide 9
These situations cover such acts where there is bodily injury which in ordinary sequence of
events leads to the death of the person. Read the part of the section carefully. The section
actually has two conditions Firstly, the bodily injury inflicted is inflicted with the intention of
causing death of the person on whom it is inflicted. Secondly, the bodily injury caused in the
ordinary course of events leads to death of someone.An instance of the same would be:

1. Musharraf wants Sharif dead. In order to kill Musharraf picks up a hockey stick and
repeatedly hits him on the head. Sharif dies as a result of the injury.

Commission of an imminently dangerous act without any legitimate reason which would cause
death or bodily injury which would cause death. This head covers the commission of those acts
which are so imminently dangerous which when committed would cause death or bodily injury
which would result in death of a person and that such an act is done without any lawful excuse.
Cases under this head have three requirements Commission of an inherently dangerous act the
knowledge that the act in all probability will cause death or bodily injury which will cause death
and the act is done without any excuse (the excuse must be lawful or legitimate excuse)

Instances would include:

1. Throwing a high intensity bomb in a crowded public place.

2. Thrown loaded cast iron boxes from a multi storied building in a busy thoroughfare.8

Illustrations

(a) A shoots Z with the intention of killing him. Z dies in consequence. A commits murder.

(b) A, knowing that Z is labouring under such a disease that a blow is likely to cause his death,
strikes him with the intention of causing bodily injury. Z dies in consequence of the blow. A is
guilty of murder, although the blow might not have been sufficient in the ordinary course of
nature to cause the death of a person in a sound state of health. But if A, not knowing that Z is
labouring under any disease, gives him such a blow as would not in the ordinary course of nature
kill a person in a sound state of health, here A, although he may intend to cause bodily injury, is

8
Ratanlal and dhirajlal , law of crimes, 24th ed., (1997) vol. I , p. 169

Culpable homicide 10
not guilty of murder, if he did not intend to cause death, or such bodily injury as in the ordinary
course of nature would cause death.

(c) 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. (d) A without any excuse fires a loaded cannon into a
crowd of persons and kills one of them. A is guilty of murder, although he may not have had a
premeditated design to kill any particular individual.

EXCEPTIONS TO SECTION 300:


CULPABLE HOMICIDE NOT
AMOUNTING TO MURDER
When not murder, culpable homicide is a crime by itself. As stated above a situation must first
become culpable homicide before it becomes murder. Though dealt with in detail in the
following section, the basic difference between culpable homicide and murder is the level of
intention involved. Where there is a very high level of intention involved the act usually falls
under murder. In addition to this general understanding (that acts when not murder are culpable
homicide) the IPC itself lists certain cases when death is caused to be read as culpable homicide
not amounting to murder covers five specific situations:

Acts under grave and sudden provocation

When a person looses self control on account of certain situation and causes the death of some
person. The provocation must be grave, it must be sudden, i.e. there must be no scope for pre
meditation and thirdly, it must not be self invited so as to use it as an excuse to deprive a person
of his/her life.

An example of this situation will be:

Culpable homicide 11
A has an affair with S. A’s husband returns home to find A in a compromising position with S.
Seeing his wife in such a position and without further thinking he reaches out for a knife and
kills S. S will have committed culpable homicide not amounting to murder.9

When Private Defense is exceeded in good faith

In exercising private defense either with respect to property or person, if a person accidently
exceeds his or her right in good faith or in wrong judgment and the act causes the death of a
person, the act is culpable homicide and not murder 10

Exceeding the Ambit of Discharging Public Duties

When an officer or public servant exceeds his or her mandate of duties or authority given o him
or an officer or public servant assisting him exceeds the same, it is considered culpable homicide
not amounting to murder.11

Example:

Inspector Chulbul was given instructions to capture Gabbar but not shoot him. When the
transport convoy broke down and Gabbar moved from his seat Chulbul thought he is going to
escape and shot him. At best Chulbul would have committed culpable homicide not amounting
to murder.

Illustrations to Exception 1: (a) A, under the influence of passion excited by a rovocation given
by Z, intentionally kills Y, Z's child. This is murder, in as much as the provocation was not given
by the child, and the death of the child was not caused by accident or misfortune in doing an act
caused by the provocation. (b) Y gives grave and sudden provocation to A. A, on this
provocation, fires a pistol at Y, neither intending nor knowing himself to be likely to kill Z, who
9
Draft penal code , note m, p 144,. The code has also provided for a lanient punishment in case of offences committed on
provocation (i) under section 334 and 335 (ii) under section 358 read with sections 352 and 335 , I.P.C.

10
Draft penal code , note M. Pp. 147, 148 ;ramlal , 1927 ILR luck 244

11
The indian penal code , 3rd ed., K.D. Gaur , pp. 412

Culpable homicide 12
is near him, but out of sight. A kills Z. Here A has not committed murder, but merely culpable
homicide. (c) A is lawfully arrested by Z, a bailiff. A is excited to sudden and violent passion by
the arrest, and kills Z. This is murder, in as much as the provocation was given by a thing done
by a public servant in the exercise of his powers. (d) A appears as witness before Z, a Magistrate,
Z says that he does not believe a word of A's deposition, and that A has perjured himself. A is
moved to sudden passion by these words, and kills Z. This is murder. (e) A attempts to pull Z's
nose, Z, in the exercise of the right of private defence, lays hold of A to prevent him from doing
so. A is moved to sudden and violent passion in consequence, and kills Z. This is murder, in as
much as the provocation was given by a thing done in the exercise of the right of private
defence. (f) Z strikes B. B is by this provocation excited to violent rage. A, a bystander,
intending to take advantage of B's rage, and to cause him to kill Z, puts a knife into B's hand for
that purpose. B kills Z with the knife. Here B may have committed only culpable homicide, but
A is guilty of murder.

When death is caused in sudden fight or heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel

Similar to the first situation, when at times fight gets out of hand and a person hits someone or
injures a person in such a fashion that may cause death of a person. Culpable homicide is not
murder if the offender, in the exercise in good faith of the right of private defence of person or
property, exceeds the power given to him by law and causes the death of the person against
whom he is exercising such right of defence without premeditation, and without any intention of
doing more harm than is necessary for the purpose of such defence.12

Illustration Z attempts to horsewhip A, not in such a manner as to cause grievous hurt to A. A


draws out a pistol. Z persists in the assault. A believing in good faith that he can by no other
means prevent himself from being horsewhipped, shoots Z dead. A has not committed murder,
but only culpable Homicide

Exception 3- 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

12
Dandapati china nagadu v. Emperor , 1937 Mad WN 1129

Culpable homicide 13
necessary for the due discharge of his duty as such public servant and without ill-will towards
the person whose death is Caused

Exception 4. -Culpable homicide is not murder if it is committed without premeditation in a


sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel and without the offender having taken
undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner. Explanation- It is immaterial in such
cases which party offers the provocation or commits the first assault.

When death is caused of a person above eighteen years of age who voluntarily took the
risk of death

When death is caused in a situation where a person has by his own consent put himself to risk
the same would be culpable homicide and not murder An example of this illustration would be:
Bhola instigates Bobby to commit suicide. Bobby after independently considering the suggestion
and without any pressure from Bhola commits suicide. If Bhola was an adult , then Bhola would
be guilty for assisting in culpable homicide. 13

WORLD’S VIEW OVER CULPABLE


HOMICIDE ...
Canada

The term is part of the Criminal Code of Canada (sec 222), where all killings of persons are
classified as culpable or not culpable homicide. In Canada there are three types of culpable
homicide: murder, manslaughter and infanticide. Killings classified as not culpable are
justifiable killings; thus the term is used to define the criminal intent or mens rea of a killing.
Non-culpable homicide includes those committed in self-defence. Self-defence is only
admissible if the assault resulting in murder was unprovoked. (Self-Defence Against
Unprovoked Assault S. 34 CCC)

India

The offences include causing death whether by intention or not.

13
Draft penal code , note 4, pp. 145-146

Culpable homicide 14
"Culpable homicide" is an offence under s.299 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), defined as
"Whoever 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 he is likely
by such act to cause death, commits the offence of culpable homicide."

"Culpable homicide not amounting to murder" is an offence under s.304 of the Indian Penal
Code. It applies to an event where the death is intentional but does not come within the IPC
definition of "murder". Accused charged with culpable homicide will not get bail. It is non-
bailable.

Pakistan

The Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) in earlier form included the offence of "culpable homicide" for
acts of homicide resulting from the infliction of intentional harm upon a person.

s.299 Culpable homicide


s.301 Culpable homicide by causing death of person other than person whose death was
intended

Amendments in recent years have replaced the specific phrase "culpable homicide" within those
sections and introduced terms from Sharia law but it remains in s.38 (Persons concerned in
criminal act may be guilty of different offences).

The current equivalent sections are :-

"300. Qatl-e-Amd:

Whoever, with the intention of causing death or with the intention of causing bodily injury to a
person, by doing an act which in the ordinary course of nature is likely to cause death, or with-
the knowledge that his act is so imminently dangerous that it must in all probability cause death,
causes the death of such person, is said to commit qatl-e-amd."

"301. Causing death of person other than the person whose death was intended:

Where a person, by doing anything which he intends or knows to be likely to cause death, causes
death of any person whose death he neither intends nor knows himself to be likely to cause, such
an act committed by the offender shall be liable for qatl-i-amd."

Following sections of the PPC deal further with the offence in increased detail.

Culpable homicide 15
Scotland

Culpable homicide is committed where the accused has caused loss of life through wrongful
conduct, but where there was no intention to kill or "wicked recklessness". It is an offence
undercommon law and is roughly equivalent to the offence of manslaughter in English law.

While the offence charged remains the same there can be a great variation between individual
cases including whether or not the act was voluntary or involuntary:

 Voluntary culpable homicide is homicide where the mens rea for murder is present but
mitigating circumstances reduce the crime to culpable homicide.
 Involuntary culpable homicide is homicide where the mens rea for murder is not
present but either the independent mens rea for culpable homicide is present, or the
circumstances in which death was caused make it culpable homicide. Involuntary culpable
homicide may arise in the context of an unlawful act or a lawful act. The mens rea
requirement is different in each case.

The offence has previously been applied to individual defendants but following the collapse of a
trial brought against Transco following the deaths of four people in a gas explosion in Larkhall
in 1999 and other fatal events involving corporate bodies the Corporate Manslaughter and
Corporate Homicide Act 2007 has introduced a new statutory offence of "corporate homicide"
into Scots law.

Singapore

"Culpable homicide" is defined under s299 of the Penal Code: "Whoever 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 he is likely by such act to cause death,
commits the offence of culpable homicide". Murder is a subset of "culpable homicide", and is
defined under s300.

Causing death through a rash or negligent act is considered not to amount to "culpable
homicide" and is defined under s304A instead.

South Africa

Culpable homicide 16
"Culpable homicide" has been defined simply as "the unlawful negligent killing of a human
being".

CASE LAWS
1. SANWAT SINGH AND OTHERS VS STATE OF RAJASTHAN

Facts : --The 9 appellants, along with 34 other persons, were accused before the Sessions Judge,
Merta. Briefly stated the case of the prosecution was as follows : There were two factions in
village Harnawa - one consisting of Rajputs and other of the cultivators of the village.
Admittedly there were disputes between these two factions in respect of certain fields. At about
3-30 p.m. on October 31, 1951, the day after Diwali, popularly known as Ram Ram day, both the
groups went to a temple called Baiji-kathan. The cultivators went first to the temple and sat in
the place which was usually occupied by the Rajputs. Subsequently when the Rajputs went
there, they found their usual sitting place occupied by the cultivators and took that as an insult to
them. Though they were invited by the pujari to sit in some other place, they refused to do so
and went to a banyan tree which was at a short distance from the temple. There they held a brief
conference and then returned to the temple armed with guns, swords and lathies. The Rajputs
fired a few shots at the cultivators and also beat them with swords and lathies. As a result, 16 of
the cultivators received injuries and of these 6 received gun-shot injuries, of which two persons,
namely, Deena and Deva, succumbed to the injuries. Out of the remaining 14 injured persons, 3
received grievous injuries and the rest simple ones. Forty-three persons, alleged to have taken
part in the rioting, were put up for trial before the Sessions Judge, Merta, for having committed
offences under s. 302, read with s. 149, and s. 148 of the Indian Penal Code. Five of the accused
admitted their presence at the scene of occurrence but pleaded that after they had made their
customary offerings at the temple and when they were returning they were attacked by the
cultivators. Others pleaded alibi.

Decision of the court :-- The learned Sessions Judge held that it had not been established that
the accused had a common object to kill the cultivators and that it had also not been proved
beyond any reasonable doubt that any of the accused was guilty of a particular offence. On
these findings, he acquitted all the accused. On appeal the learned Judges of the High Court

Culpable homicide 17
found that the accused were members of an unlawful assembly, that they were animated by a
common object of beating the cultivators and that further out of the 43 accused it had been
clearly established that the appellants, who are 9 in number, took part in the activities of the
unlawful assembly. On that finding they held that the accused were guilty of culpable
homicide not amounting to murder under s. 304, read with s. 149, Indian Penal Code; they
also held that appellants 1, 2, 3 and 4 were also guilty under s. 148 of the Indian Penal Code,
as they were armed with deadly weapons, and the rest under s. 147, Indian Penal Code. For
the offence under s. 304, read with s. 149, the appellants were sentenced to ten years' rigorous
imprisonment, and for the offence under s. 148, appellants 1 to 4 were further sentenced to
one year's rigorous imprisonment and the rest under s. 147, to six months' rigorous
imprisonment. Having examined the entire evidence, they agreed with the learned Sessions
Judge that no case had been made out against the other accused beyond any reasonable doubt.
The appeal was, therefore, allowed in respect of the nine appellants and dismissed in respect
of the others.

2. STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH VS RAM PRASAD

In this case clause 4 of section 300 was applied by the supreame court in a totally different
context . In this case the accused ram prasad and his wife raji had a quarrel. Villagers were called
to mediate , but to no avail. At that time the accused poured kerosine oil over the wife and set
her on to the fire . She suffered extensive injuries and died as a result of these injuries . The
supreame court observed that in respect of clause 1-3 of section 300 , the question would arise as
to what was the intension of the accused , the nature of injuries he intended to cause etc. Which
would all be matter of speculation . The SC coined that it would be simpler to rely on clause 4
only . Because it contemplates only knowledge and no intention . The court held that though
generally the clause is invoked where there is no intension to cause the death of any perticular
person , the clause in its own terms may be used in those cases where there is such callousness
towards the result , and the risk taken is such that it may be stated that the person knows that the
act is likely to cause death . In the present case when the accused poured kerosine and set fire to
his wife he must have known that the act would result in death . As he had no reason for
incurring such risk , the offence was held to fall within clause 4 of section 300. And would be
culpable homicide amounting to murder .

Culpable homicide 18
CONCLUSION
Section 299 and Section 300 IPC deals with the definition of culpable homicide and murder
respectively. Section 299 defines culpable homicide as the act ofcausing death; (i) with the
intention of causing death or (ii) with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to
cause death or (iii) with the knowledge that such act is likely to cause death. The bare reading of
the sectionmakes it crystal clear that the first and the second clause of the section referto
intention apart from the knowledge and the third clause refers to knowledgealone and not
intention. Both the expression "intent" and "knowledge" postulatethe existence of a positive
mental attitude which is of different degrees. The mental element in culpable homicide i.e.
mental attitude towards the consequencesof conduct is one of intention and knowledge. If that is
caused in any of the aforesaid three circumstances, the offence of culpable homicide is said to
have been committed. Section 300 IPC, however, deals with murder although there is noclear
definition of murder provided in Section 300 IPC. It has been repeatedly held by this Court that
culpable homicide is the genus and murder is species andthat all murders are culpable homicide
but not vice versa. Section 300 IPC further provides for the exceptions which will constitute
culpable homicide not amounting to murder and punishable under Section 304. When and if

Culpable homicide 19
there is intent andknowledge then the same would be a case of Section 304 Part I and if it is
onlya case of knowledge and not the intention to cause murder and bodily injury, then the same
would be a case of Section 304 Part II. The aforesaid distinction between an act amounting to
murder and an act not amounting to murder has been brought out in the numerous decisions of
this Court.In the scheme of the Penal Code, "culpable homicides" is genus and "murder"its
specie. All "murder" is "culpable homicide" but not vice-versa. Speaking generally, "culpable
homicide" sans "special characteristics of murder", is "culpable homicide not amounting to
murder". For the purpose of fixing punishment, proportionate to the gravity of this generic
offence, the Code practically recognises three degrees of culpable homicide. The first is, what
may be called, "culpable homicide of the first degree". This is the greatest form of culpable
homicide, which is defined in Section 300 as "murder". The second may be termed as "culpable
homicide of the second degree". This is punishable under the first part ofSection 304. Then,
there is "culpable homicide of the third degree". This is thelowest type of culpable homicide and
the punishment provided for it is, also, the lowest among the punishments provided for the three
grades. Culpable homicideof this degree is punishable under the second part of Section 304."

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BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. The Indian Penal Code , 30th Ed , Justice Y V Chandrachud and V R Manohar

2. The Indian Penal Code , 14th Ed, Surya Narayan Mishra and Sanjay Mishra

3. The Indian Penal Code, 5th Ed, Prof. T. Bhattacharyya

4. Indian Penal Code , volume 3 , Manohar and Chitaley

5. The Indian Penal Code, 3rd Ed, K.D. Gaur

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