You are on page 1of 14




Roll no. 22, SEMESTER- IV






UNIVERSITY do hereby declare that. This project is my original work and I have not copied
this project or any part thereof from any source without due acknowledgement . I am highly
indebted to the authors of the books that I have referred in my project as well as all the writers of
the articles and the owners of the information taken from website for it .it is only because of their
contribution and proper guidance of my faculty advisor MR. PRAMOD RANJAN, that I was
able to gather light on the subject.



B.Com .LL.b




SAURABH GUPTA I am glad to submit this project report on“Culpable Homicide Not
Amounting to Murder” as a part of my academic assignment .the project is based on Research
methodology. It further studies meaning, sources and methods of research methodology and
further discusses the interview method. I hope this would be significant for academic purpose as
well as prove informative to all readers.

Here though I declare that this paper is an original piece of research and all the borrowed texts
and ideas have been duly acknowledged.



B.Com. LL.b




I would like to express my earnest and deepest gratitude to, Mr. PramodRanjan, Faculty
for Indian Penal Code , for giving me to this opportunity to do a project on such a valuable
topic of “Culpable Homicide Not Amounting to Murder”. I am grateful for the assistance,
guidance, and support that were extended during the course of excellent research. I am also
thankful to the college administration for providing the resources necessary for the research
work. I thank my parents and friends for their moral support and love throughout my research
work and project preparation. Above all I thank the God Almighty for blessing me with
health and vitality to complete this project.

B.Com. LL.b.


INDEX Table of Contents Page

1. Introduction 6
2. Culpable Homicide: Meaning & Definition 6
3. Culpable Homicide not amounting to Murder & Punishment 7-8
4. Elements of Section-304 8-11
5. Section- 304 – When intention is basis for liability. 11-12
6. Section- 304 – When knowledge is the basis. 12
7. Conclusion 13
8. Biblography 14


Homicide is the killing of a human being by a human being. It is either (a) Lawful or (b)
Unlawful. Lawful homicide or simple homicide, includes several cases falling under the General
Exceptions. And Unlawful Homicide includes Culpable Homicide not amounting to Murder,
Murder, Rash or Negligent, Sucide. Punishment for Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder
refers that whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder, shall be punished with
imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten
years, and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which death is caused is done with the
intention of causing death, or causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death or with
imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine or with
both, if the act is done with the knowledge that is likely to cause death, but without any intention
to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.


According to Section 299. Of Indian penal Code Whoever cause 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 act to cause death, commits the offence of
culpable homicide.

A person who causes bodily injury to another who is laboring under a disorder, disease or bodily
infirmity, and thereby accelerates the death of that other, shall be deemed to have caused his
death. Where death is caused by bodily injury, the person who causes such bodily injury shall be
deemed to have caused the death, although by resorting to proper remedies and skillful
treatement the death might have been prevented. The causing of the death of a child in the
mother’s womb is not homicide. But it may amount to culpable homicide to cause death of a
living child, if any part of that child has been brought forth, though the child may not have
breathed or been completely born.

Culpable Homicide is the first kind of unlawful homicide. It is the causing of death by

(i). An act with the intention of causing death.

(ii). An act with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death; or

(iii). An act with the knowledge that it was likely to cause death.



According to Section 304 Whoever commits culpable not amounting to murder, shall be
punished with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may
extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which death is caused is done
with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death;

Or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with
fine, or with both, if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but
without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.

This section provides punishment for two separate degrees of culpable homicide depending upon
the intention to cause death or bodily injury likely to cause death under para I and knowledge
that the act is likely to cause death under para II. In a case the accused, during a quarrel lifted and
threw on the ground from some distance with sufficient force one D who was an old man with an
enlarged and floppy heart. D’s ribs were fractured and he died of rupture of the heart. It was held
that the accused was liable under section 325 for causing grievous hurt and not under para II of
section 304 because, he had no intention or knowledge to cause death1. In Keshoram v. State of
Assam,2 the deceased D entered the land of the accused and assaulted the co-accused with a lathi
which provoked the accused and he purporting to act in self-defence assaulted the deceased and
caused his death. As none of the appellants received any injury the Supreme Court held that the
appellants had exceeded the rights of private defence and that they were guilty of an offence
under section 304, Part II of the Code. It is submitted that in this case no reasons were given as
to why conviction under part I would have been more appropriate. In A. Gopaiahv. State of
A.P.,3as a result of a sudden quarrel accused beat the deceased with the stones which were lying
there. It was held that they could be presumed to have known that the injuries caused by them are
likely to cause death of the deceased though each of them while beating the deceased with stones
did not know that they were causing fractures of the ribs. Hence they would be liable under
section 304.

In State of U.P. v. Premi,4 respondents 1 and 2, their father and another person entered the house
of Raghubir (PW-3) at about mid night of the 15th-16th January 1977 while he was sleeping with
his wife and children. After removing quilt, the respondents held fast PW-3 and hit him on the
head with the butt of a country made pistol. When Budhwati wife of PW-3 Raghubir came to
save him, she was also assaulted with the butt of pistol. On hearing their cries Mathuri(PW-4)
and Balwant living in the same compound came whereupon the accused ran away. PW-3

1. Putti Lal, 1969 Cri. L.J. 531.

2. 1978 Cri. L.J 1089 (S.C.).
3.1978 Cri. L.J. 798 (A.P)
4. 2003 Cri. L.J. 1554(S.C)


Raghubir and his wife was assaulted because PW-3 was cited as a prosecution witness against
the respondents and their father in the case of murder of one Rajinder son of premSahai where
they were accused. The policestation is at about 9 kms. From the place of incident, the FIR was
lodged at 8:30 a.m. by PW-3 and Budhwati died at about 9 p.m. on 16th January. 1977.

The trail was held and the Sessions Court convicted the three accused on appreciation of
evidence of PW-3, the police official and the doctor. The fourth person was not identified and
thus could not be apprehended. The source of light for witness to identify accused was not
mentioned in the FIR but the investigating officer had mentioned the existence of bulb in the
room.The husband of deceased made categorical statement that he identified the accused/

The High Court reversed the judgement of trial court and acquitted the accused. Therefore State
preferred an appeal to Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court held that the mere fact that only a single blow was inflicted on the
head by itself is not enough to alter the conviction from section 302 to section 304. As for the
question of light for enabling PW-3 to identify the assailants is concerned the court held that the
presence of bulb was mentioned in the site plan prepared by police. The statement of PW-3 that
electric connection was taken a year before relateto date of incident and not date of statement.
The inference that he had admitted about non-availability of electricity is not proper. Further,
mere omission to mention about light in the FIR or in the statement under section-161, Criminal
Procedure Code was wholly inconsequential. The fact that eyewitness stated that deceased was
hit on the head by butt of the pistol and doctor finding injury inflicted by sharp edged weapon
but also stating that injuries in question could be inflicted with the butt of revolver and mention
of use of butt of pistol in FIR which was recorded promptly cumulatively show that the medical
evidence cannot be so inconsistent with the ocular evidence as to believe the ocular evidence.
Therefore contradictions in injuries and weapon used are not of much importance so as not to
justify conviction under section 302, Indian Penal Code. During the pendency of appeal the third
accused died, the appeal thus abated against him but the other two accused were convicted under
section 302 of Indian Penal Code.


Section 304, Part-I:

In Jai Bhagwanv. State of Haryana,1 the incident arouse out of land disputes between the
accused and deceased. The two appellant Jai Bhagwan(A-1) and Sunil (A-3) were charged to
have caused the death, by murderous assault by deadly weapon, of their uncle Prithvi on

1. 1999 Cri. L.J. 1634


exhortation given by their mother. Appellant No.2 Anil attempted to murder Wazir Singh (PW-
6) his daughter-in-law, Smt. Krishna(PW-8) and his daughter Smt.Chander (PW-5) went to the
land to irrigate the same. The deceased party told A-1 that he would have the turn of water and
irrigate the land after settlement of dispute A-1 could do it. This was objected by A-1 who stated
that he would settle the matter right then. A-1 stated abusing the deceased and during altercation
his mother Smt. Parwari exhorted the accused to give a blow. A-1 who who was armed
withballam dealt a blow with it on the head of the deceased. A-3 gave a blow with knife on the
face of deceased who fell down and A-2 dealt a blow with gandasi. Others caused several
injuries on his body. In the process PW-5, PW-8 and PW-6 were also injured the deceased and
party amounts only to criminal trespass within the meaning of section 441, Indian Penal Code.
Therefore the right of the accused extended only to causing of harm other than death. Accused
person who were already deceased. It was not a case of free fight and it cannot be said as that
they did not intend to cause the injuries inflicted by them. They exceeded their right of private
defence of property under section – 104, Indian Penal Code and therefore accused A-1 and A-3
were rightly convicted under Part I of section 304 read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code
but accused A-2 who was convicted under section 326, Indian Penal Code by the High Court was
acquitted because he acted in the exercise of right of private defence of property under section
104 which justify any harm other than death.

In State of U.P. v. Lakhmi,1 the respondent was charged with the

offence of murder. The trial court held him guilty under section 302, Indian Penal Code. But the
High Court acquitted the respondent owing to non-reliability of witnesses. The accused admitted
the fact that he murdered his wife but High Court did not attach any importance to it. The
Supreme Court on examination found that because the accused had seen one of the prosecution
witnesses near his wife which enraged him and he murdered his wife. The Supreme Court
allowed the benefit of grave and sudden provocation to the accused and held him liable under
section 304, Indian Penal Code and not under section 302, of Indian Penal Code.

In State of Rajasthan v. Raj Narayan2, the accused and the complainant were neighbours and had
dispute over boundary wall. On the date of incident quarrel took place between accused and
complainant. The accused brought a knife from his house and aimed at complainant. It was held
that upon considering the fact, the accused had no intention to cause death of complainants
brother who had intervened in the quarrel, hence the conviction of the accused under section 304,
Part I would be proper.

In Rampal Singh v. State of U. P.3 accused and deceased were related with each other. There was
no animosity between them. Incident took police over demolition of the accused of construction
made by the deceased to prevent garbage being thrown in his land. Accused after heated
exchange of words climbed on roof with gun. He warned deceased to keep away from him. On
1. A.I.R. 1998 S.C. 1007.
2. A.I.R 1998 S.C. 2060.
3. (2012) III Cri. L.J. 3765(S.C.)


challenge given by deceased accused fired one shot at lower part of deceased. Incident was thus
without premeditation and in spate of anger. Accused had no intention to kill but being a member
of armed force had knowledge that it may cause death. Accused thus intended to cause injury,
which could result in death. He was held liable to be convicted under section 304 Part I and not
in section 300 of I.P. Code.

In Sukumar Roy v. State of West Bengal1on 11-8-1984, while the deceased PrafullaNayak was
collecting seedlings from his land, the accused PhaniBhusan Roy, his son the appellant Sukumar
Roy, his wife Urmila Roy and Tarani Roy, the wife of his elder brother entered into the land with
lathi, bhali etc. in their hands and altercation took place between the parties when Phani Roy told
the deceased that he had purchased the land and as such he would cultivate the land. In the
course of alteration accused Phani struck Prafulla on his head with lathi and his son Sukumar hit
with bhali which pierced the abdomen of Prafulla. The local persons on hearing hue and cry
rushed to the place of occurrence but the accused persons ran away in the mean time. Medical
examination revealed 4 inches deep wound in abdomen.

The Supreme Court held that the deceased and his men were unarmed and there was no
provocation on their part and intention of accused to kill or cause injury as is likely to cause
death is clearly established by nature of injury caused to the deceased by piercing ballam 4
inches deep in abdomen. Therefore, conviction under Section 304, Part I read with Section 34
was held to be proper.

Section 304, Part II-

In Tholanv. State of Tamil Nadu2 the accused started remonstrations using fifthly language
against certain organisers of a chit fund who had no connection with the deceased in front of the
house of the deceased. The deceased came out of this house and asked the accused to go away.
The accused on spur of moment gave only one blow with knife to the deceased and pushed him
to some distance. The accused could not be attributed on these facts of requisite intention to
commit murder through he could be attributed with knowledge that he was likely to cause injury
which was likely to cause death. He was held guilty under this part of section.

In Jagat Singh v. State3a dispute arose between the appellants and the family of the
deceased while watching television. Next day when the deceased with his family was going to
lodge a report to the police, the accused attacked them at bus stand of the village. The deceased
was given a good beating and when he fell down on the ground, the appellant sat on his chest and
he with one Subh Ram twisted the neck of the deceased. He was taken to the hospital where
doctors declared him dead. The accused were held guilty under this provision because in the
1. 2006 Cri. L.J. 4776(S.C.)
2. 1984 Cri. L.J. 478 (S.C.)
3. 1984 Cri. L.J. 1551 (Delhi)


circumstances it could be said safely that they had the knowledge that their act was likely to
cause death although they had no intention to kill him.

In SandhyaJadhavv. State of Maharashtra,1 the accused persons are tenants of complainant

landlord. Landlord demanded rent from tenants and the accused persons assaulted the landlord.
When nephew of landlord tried to intervene he was also given knife below resulting his death.
The Supreme Court held that exception 4 to section 300 has full application and conviction of the
accused under section 302 is liable to be altered to section 304, Part II as neither there was no
intention to kill nor injuries inflicted were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause
death. There was only knowledge that injury was likely to cause death.

It was further pointed out that a solitary blow causing death does not always rule out
applicability of Section 302. But fact situation has to be considered in each case.

SECTION -304 When intention is basis for liability

The connection between the ‘act’ and the death caused thereby must be direct and distinct; and
though not immediate it must not be too remote. If the nature of the connection between the act
and the death is in itself obscure, or if it is obscured by the action of concurrent causes, or if the
interval of time between the death and the act is too long, the above condition is not fulfilled. But
where as many as 34 injuries had been caused to the deceased with axe and sticks and some of
which had damaged the kidney’s and lungs and some resulted in compound fracture the intention
to kill could be easily inferred from the number and nature of injuries caused2. Where bodily
injury sufficient to cause death is actually caused it is immaterial to go into the question as to
whether the accused had intention to cause death or knowledge that the act will cause death3.
Where a constable fired five shots in succession at another constable resulting in his death, it
was held that it would be native to suggest that he had neither any intention to kill nor any
knowledge that injuries sufficient to kill in ordinary course of nature would not follow. His act
squarely fell in clauses 2,3 and 4 of S. 300, I.P.C., i.e., culpable homicide amounting to , murder.
Where a person for his audacity in complaining against the thana staff to the Superintendent of
Police was falsely arrested in a dacoity case and thereafter mercilessely beaten at the police
station which resulted in his death and the Doctor gave clear evidence that there were 19 injuries
on various parts of body of the deceased and these injuries caused his death, the case clearly fell
within clause secondly of S.300 and as such the Daroga and the constables could be held guilty
under S. 302 but as the Sessions Judge convicted them only under S.304- Part-II, I.P.C., and the
State did not file any appeal against that order of the Sessions Judge though it did file an appeal
1. 2006 Cri. L.J. 2111 (S.C.)
2. Laxman, 1974 Cr L.J. 1271:A.I.R 1974 SC 1803
3. State of Bihar v. Pasupati Singh, 1973 Cr. L.J. 1832


against the outright acquittal of the accused by the High Court, the Supreme Court in setting
aside the order of acquittal passed by the High Court resorted the conviction under S. 304- Part-
II, I.P.C., though it felt that it was a clear case of murder. In finding out whether there was the
requisite intention or not, the court has not to go merely by the part of the body where the blow
fell, but also the circumstances and the background of the offence and also the ferocity of the
attack. The accused was near his shop. Over a trival quarrel in the dim light of the hour he
inflicted a single knife which fell upon chest causing death. There was no attempt to cause any
further injury. The Supreme Court held that para 3 of S.300 was not applicable. The case would
be within S.300 was not applicable. The case would be within S.304 Part II because at best it
could only be said that the accused had knowledge that he was likely to cause an injury which
was likely to cause death.

SECTION- 304 When knowledge is the basis.

Knowledge is a strong word and imports a certainty and not merely a probability. Where a
person caused injury in the abdomen with a knife, it was held that though the intention to cause
death or such bodily injury as was likely to cause death could not be attributed to him, this
knowledge was attributable to him that an injury by knife into abdomen was likely to cause death
and, therefore, his act amounted to causing culpable homicide not amounting to murder
punishable under Part-II of S. 3041. The nature and number of injuries and their location as well
as the “weapon” used lead to conclude that to a reasonable person, an attack of the nature
launched by the appellant on Dalip Singh could cause his death. While it may be difficult to
delve into the mind of the attacker to decode his intentions, knowledge of the consequences of
his actions are likely to cause the death. He would, therefore, be guilty of culpable homicide not
amounting to murder and liable to be sentenced under the second part of Section 304 of the IPC.
Where the victim was caught hold of by two accused persons and the third inflicted five to six
dagger wounds, the Supreme Court held that the conviction could not be converted from murder
to culpable homicide not amounting to murder2. Where the accused inflicted injury by piercing a
sharp edged weapon into the heart of his victim, resulting into his death and the witnesses also
testified that the accused uttered the words before inflicting the injury “ of doing away with
him”, the court said that the intention to kill the deceased could be inferred3.

1.TakhajiHiraji v. ThakoreKubersingChamansing, AIR 2001 SC 2328.

2. BahadurNaik v. State of Bihar, AIR 2000 SC 1582(2000) 9 SCC 153.
3. KattaRamadu v. State of A.P., AIR 1997 SC 2428.



At last I want to conclude that a murder is a culpable homicide in which death is caused with the
one of the following must hold true- i) intention of causing death.ii) intention of causing such
bodily injury which is likely to cause death of the person, and this is known to offender. And the
person whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder, shall be punished with
imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten
years and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which death is caused is done with intention of
causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.



 Ratanlal&Dhirajlal, “The Indian Penal Code”, LexisNexis, 34thEdition, Reprint 2014.

 Surya Narayan Mishra, “The Indian Penal Code”, Central Law Publications, Allahabad,
19th Edition, Reprint 2013.