DEFINITIONIn criminal law, provocation is a possible defense by excuse or exculpation alleging asudden or temporary loss of control as a response to another's provocative conduct sufficient to justify an acquittal, a mitigated sentence or a conviction for a lesser charge. Provocation can bea relevant factor in a court's assessment of a defendant's
, intention, or state of mind,at the time of an act of which the defendant is accused
.It is evident that the Penal code does not provide a definition of provocation, but it doesprovide some indication of what the elements of the defence are. Since the Malaysian PenalCode is in parimateria with the Indian Penal code, it is wise to observe what the authors of thecode say when they frame exception 1 to s.300 as follow:
µ«. In general, however, we would not visit homicide committed in violent passion, whichhad been suddenly provoked, with the highest penalties of the law. We think that to treat aperson guilty of such homicide, as we should treat a murder, would be a highly inexpedientcourse«..¶The classic definition of provocation is that provided by Delvin J in R v Duffy
, where he stated:µ provocation is some act or series of acts, done by the dead man to the accused, whichwould cause in any reasonable person, and actually causes in the accused, a sudden andtemporary loss of self-control, rendering the accused so subject to passion as to make him or her for the moment not master of his mind¶However, since 1957 the definition of provocation is a combination of the abovestatements and s. 3 Homicide Act 1957. Similarly the Indian and Malaysian courts also construethe definition with modification. The court in India and Malaysia does not make any distinctionbetween words and acts in the application of the doctrine of provocation. Whereas, under English Law words alone does not entitle for this defence.
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