We will be discussing culpable homicide and Murder , their distinction and
the case law related to these two topic
Meaning of the term homicide:
killing of human being by a human being , it can
of two type one is lawful homicide and other is criminal homicide, lawful commit
a homicide it would be one under any of the general exception it can further
be a excusable homicide , when the homicide is committed under necessity,
accident or by mistake of fact .the justiciable homicide when we commit a
homicide under the private defense it is called as justiciable homicide .these
are lawful homicide.
Now we come to criminal homicide which is further divided into culpable homicide
and murder. Culpable homicide is the genes and murder is one of the species
meaning by the scope of culpable homicide is wider and murder has narrow .
murder is included under culpable homicide.
whoever causes death by doing an act with the intention of causing
death, or with the intention the of causing such bodily injury as likely to
cause death, or with the knowledge that he is likely by such act to cause death,
commits the offence of culpable homicide.
The essential of section 299:
- Causing death of human being
- Such death must have been caused by doing an act
- Act must have been done by: with the intention of causing death, with
the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death,
with the knowledge that the doer is likely by such act to cause death
- Causation of death:
there has to be relation between the act of the accused and death of the
victim and death must be the result of physical conduct of the accused,
causal connection has to be there .the distinct not too remote. We will
understand it by case Joginder Singh v/s State Of Punjab, the deceased he
is sister of accused , the deceased on seeing the accused approaching him
started running in the field, the accused was following him. In order to
safeguard himself the deceased jump into a well and he had a injury at his head
and because of drowning he died, now the question aroused will the accused
persons they caused the death or not? It was held at the time he jump into well
he was very away from the accused, and he has other option as well has there ws
no actual physical contact with the deceased so they were not held liable.
other case Basappa & Others V State
,the deceased is attack by accused on the
roof of building and accused give few cut with weapon , in order to save himself
, the deceased jump from the roof and died. Here it was held the act of jumping
was necessity and the deceased doesn’t have any other option left. So the action
on the part of accused forced the deceased to jump and the accused were held
By doing an act:
the word act
include acts as a single act and
series of act, fro ex the accused stab the victim and hang it by leg and due to
loss of blood died. These act in altogether combined and caused the death. Act
also include omission . in the case Re palani goundan , the accused hit on the
head of his head and she felt on the floor and was unconscious , the accused
thought she have died and in order to make a false suicide he hang her by a rope
and actually she died due do strangulation.
It was held he was not guilty of
culpable homicide as the act of giving a blow that he doesn’t have any intention
or doesn’t have the knowledge and the second at done with different intention
and held only for grievous hurt.
The second case Re Thavamani
, in this case the accused assaulted a woman
with a intention of causing a death but the act wasn’t sufficient and the woman
felt unconscious , the accused believing her to be death he threw her in the
well and she died due to water in the lung . here the accused was held liable
for murder as the intention from the very beginning was killing of the woman and
both the act is connected.
Act must have been done by:
With the intention of causing death – the person want to ensure that particular
results follows. acting in such a manner death in caused in reality . for
example intentional drowning a person, killing by poison, stabbing multiple
times, pushing someone from height, shooting at point blank range on vital part
of body, in all these the accused known the consequences.
3(b) with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause
death.- here there is no requirement of intention of causing death, the injury
which is caused by accused which is natural consequence of his act that is
sufficient . the case Harjinder Singh v/s Delhi Administration
the accused he was
trying to assault one person and the deceased intervene, when the accused found
himself against two people he took out the knife and stab and damage the blood
vessel the deceased and due to lose of blood and died at that point. the accused
cannot take the benefit that he doesn’t have the intention to stab at that point
, and the accused will be held liable as the natural consequences of the act of
accused , the stabbing act was intentional so all the act will be considered
To decide whether bodily injury is likely to cause death or not three thing are
to be seen: part of body where injury has been caused; nature of injury; nature
3 (c) with the knowledge that he is likely by such act to cause death, commits
the offences of the offence of culpable homicide . fro example one person s
chasing the other with a bow and arrow and the distance between them was 80m ,
he shoot the arrow and hit the neck of the person who is ahead him, there was
for sure has a knowledge that his act.
Section 300 – except in the cases hereinafter excepted, culpable homicide is
murder, if the act by which the death is caused.
- Firstly 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 , - the accused knows if a small injury will be inflicted
on affected part of body of victim ,swollen appendix , the accused must have
the subjective knowledge of specific situation or health condition of victim.
- Thirdly- if I is done with the intention of causing bodily injury to any
person and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted in sufficient in the
ordinary course of nature to cause death,
the case virsa singh v state of Punjab,the accused thrust a spear on the
abdomen of the deceased and there was only one injury , but the injury was to
the hole thickness of abdominal wall , the intestine was coming out the doctor
said that the injury was sufficient to cause death in ordinary situation, the
contention made by accused is the prosecution is not able to prove the intention
to cause such a bodily injury to cause murder, it was argued that the intention
must be proved that such bodily injury in intended to be there.
understand this clause 3 is divided into 2 part first intentionally causing
that particular injury which is subjective in nature, the second part is in
objective in sense , bodily injury is sufficient In the ordinary course of
nature to cause death, looking at the injury intended to cause the court must be
satisfied that it must be sufficient in ordinary course . it’s a matter of
inference or deduction from the particular of injury . by looking and analyzing
the clause 3 the court reject the contention made by accused. And it was led
down that the prosecution must prove 4 things, first the bodily injury is
present. Second the nature of the injury must be proved .thirdly it must be
proved that there was an intention to inflict that particular bodily injury ,
lastly , of the consideration is must be proved that the injury of the type and
it is sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature.
- Fourthly- 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.
The essential ingredient of this clause is:
- The act must be imminently dangerous
- The person committing the act must have knowledge that it is so
- That in all probability it will cause death or such bodily injury as
likely to cause death
- Such imminently dangerous act should be done without any reason or
justification for running the risk of causing death or such injury. When act
done in recklessness and in negligence, it doesn’t target to one particular
person but life of many people are under the danger, and the accused is well
aware of the fact that his act put life of many people at risk. For example
firing a loaded gun at crowded place.
In the case state of AP v. R. punnayya
There were accused who followed the deceased in a bus the deceased got down
,they also get down with intention of beating up they took certain rod the
deceased was very senior and inspite of repeatedly request not to beat him,
though all of them together as a group give a nice beating and several bone get
fractured , internal injury and last the deceased died at the spot, the doctor
said the injury was sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature.
The question arose that the act done by accused were not intentional and they
have not hit him toward a particular vital organ if body , so will murder or
culpable homicide which one will be applicable
supreme court held that and gave a guideline to distinguish between these two
offences . the apex court observed that whenever a court is confronted with the
question whether the offence is murder or culpable homicide not amounting to
murder. It will be approached the problem in three stages. These are:
- The question to be considered at the first state would be, whether the
accused has done an act by doing which he has caused the death of another.
Proof of such causal connection between the act of the accused and the
- Whether the act of accused fulfilled either of the clauses of section
- Once we are done with the 2nd rule and had the certainty that it is
covered n one of the clauses of section 299 then we moved to 3rd stage ,
where the court tries to determine can the case be brought within any
clauses of section 300. Then it will be come under murder and will held that
the accused will be liable of murder.
This is how we navigate from section 299 to 300 and come to the conclusion
whether the act come under murder or is culpable homicide not amounting to
Made by: Nihal Singh