Culpable homicide and murder with their differences under Indian penal code,1860: Before we discuss culpable homicide and murder, we must first understand culpable homicide. Homicide is the murder of one person by another person.
Homicide can be lawful or unlawful, and lawful homicide includes several cases that fall under general exceptions, whereas unlawful homicide includes cases that fall under the conditions of Section 299. Lawful homicide falls under the general exception (sections 76–106), which is justified by the law.
Unlawful homicide is discussed in sections 299-318
of the I.P.C. and is classified as follows:
- NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE OR RASH (SEC.304A)
- DEATH BY SUICIDE (SECTIONS 305 AND 306)
- CULPABLE HOMICIDE IS NOT THE SAME AS MURDER (SEC.299)
Culpable homicide can mean killing or not killing. It is a less serious crime than murder, which carries a death sentence or life imprisonment as a punishment.
The essential ingredients of section 299
OF THE INDIAN PENAL CODE, 1860 IS AS FOLLOWS:-
A person is said to commit culpable homicide if the act that causes death is committed,
- Is committed with the knowledge that such a crime is likely to lead to death,
- Is committed in order to cause death,
- Is committed with the aim of causing physical harm likely to lead to death,
Punishments for (c.h) culpable homicide but not murder:
If the act that causes the death is done with the intent of causing death or bodily harm, SEC 304 OF IPC provides the following punishments:
Punishments: Whoever commits a C.H. not equivalent to murder, is punishable by life imprisonment or imprisonment for a term of ten years and is equally punishable if the death is done for a purpose to cause death or injury to his body.
If the act is done with the knowledge that it may cause death or physical injury likely to result in death, either description, fine, or both may be punishable by imprisonment for a term of up to ten years.
SECTION 304 of the code clearly distinguishes between sentences to be given when there is an intention to kill and sentences to be given when there is the knowledge that death is likely to result.
SECTION 300 OF THE I.P.C DEALS WITH CASES OR CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH CULPABLE HOMICIDE AMOUNTS TO MURDER.
Murder’s essential ingredients are as follows:
- The action falls within the culpable homicide definition. In other words, before it can be considered murder, an act must be murder
- Subject to certain exceptions (outlined in Section 300 of the IPC), culpable homicide is murder if the act that results in death is:
- With the intent to cause death; or
- In order to cause bodily harm that the offender is aware of, or
- • knowing that the act is so imminent that it will likely lead to death or bodily wound which may cause death and does this without excuse to incur the risk of death; or
- knowing that the offender is suspected of causing injury to a bodily person.
When C.H. is not considered a murderer:-
ACCORDING TO SEC.300, THE FOLLOWING FIVE EXCEPTIONS CULPABLE HOMICIDE DOES NOT AMOUNT TO MURDER:
Exception 1. Serious and sudden provocation:
A person who, due to severe and sudden provocation, led to or caused another person’s death by mistake or accident without self-control does not commit murder
The following proviso applies to the above exception:
First, the offender did not seek or voluntarily provoke the provocation as an excuse for killing or endangering anyone.
SECOND, the provocation is not the result of a lawful act or of a public servant acting in the lawful exercise of his or her powers.
THIRDLY, the provocation isn’t caused by the lawful exercise of one’s right to self-defense.
The Supreme Court discussed Indian law relating to the grave and sudden provocation in the leading case K.M. Nanavati vs. The State of Maharashtra. Provocation under section 300, exception 1st, must be grave and sudden, according to the supreme court. Grave and unexpected provocation is put to the test.:-
- Whether or not a reasonable man of the accused’s social class would be provoked to the point of losing control.
- The killing or death should be obvious as a result of a serious and unexpected provocation.
The court says provocation is sudden if the time for the passion to cool down is not right and serious if it is enough to excite the passion of a person.
Exception 2. Exaggerating privately held rights of defense:
C.H is not murdered if the offender acts in good faith in order to prevent harm to someone or property.
IN THE CASE OF BALJIT SINGH VS. STATE OF U.P.,
It was held that if a person goes beyond the legal right of private defence and kills the person against whom he is exercising the right, it is not considered murder.
Exception 3. A public servant overriding his or her powers:
It is essential for the public employee or person who supports the public servant on the basis of good faith: To think his actions are lawful and necessary for the fulfillment of his or her duties as a public servant.
Exception 4. Sudden fight
IN SADANANDA VS. STATE
Court held that if death is committed suddenly in heat of passion, without premeditation, or in an unusual or unusual manner, the case falls under exception 4 of section 300, and if the death of the defendant is committed suddenly and without undue advantage.
Exception 5: The victim’s consent caused death.
It should be noted that to cover a case under this exception, the consent of the deceased must be free. If consent is given under some distress or compulsion, the case will not be covered by this exception.
Finally, it should be noted that consent must be given unconditionally and without reservation.
These are the only cases in which culpable homicide does not constitute murder.
Punishments for murder
SECTION 302 of the Code stipulates the death, life imprisonment, and fine for anyone who commits the murder.
SECTION 303 of the code stipulates the penalty for a life sentence for murder, but in the case of Mithu, Surjeet Singh & Others VS. Union Of India (the judgment was delivered by the Hon’ble Chief Justice Y.V ChandraChud), section 303 of the code was struck down because it violated articles 14 and 21 of the Indian constitution. All murders, whether committed by a life-sentenced person or others, will now be punished under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
S.MURTAZA FAJALALI, J. made a distinguishable distinction between culpable homicide and murder with a specific test in STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH VS. RAYAVASAPU PUNNAYYA AND ANOTHER.
The genus is guilty of murder, and the species is murder in the Indian Penal Code. All murder is C.H. But not all C.H. is murder. The code recognizes practically three grades of guilty homicide to punish the seriousness of such a genetic crime.
- The first is known as the “First Stage C.H.” This is the most serious type of C.H., which is defined in Sec.300 as murder.
- The second is referred to as “second-degree culpable homicide.” This is an encroachment of the first part of Section 304.
- There’s also a third-degree C.H. This is the most basic form of C.H., and the punishment for it is also the most basic of the three stages. This C.H is punished in the second part of section 304.