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HOMICIDE

.
Latin word homi(man) and cide(cut)
Meaning

The killing of one huma


n being by another hum
an being.
.
Early English common law divided homicide into two
Broad categories
1 .Felonious
2. Non Felonious
Historically,the deliberate and premeditated killing o
f a person by another person was a felonious homicid
e and wa classified as Murder.Non felonious homicide
included justifiable homicide and excusable homicide
. Although justifiable homicide was considered a
crime.

The offender often received a pardon. Excusable homi


cide was not considered a crime.
.
All homicides require the killing of a living
person. In most states, the killing of a viable
fetus is generally not considered a
homicide unless the fetus is first born alive.
In some states, however, this distinction is dis
regarded and the killing of an
unborn viable fetus is classified as homicide.
in other states, statutes separately classify th
e killing of a fetus as the crime of feticide.
Homicides can be divided into many
overlapping types, including:
Murder,
Manslaughter,
Justifiable homicide,
Killing in war,
Euthanasia,
Execution,
Homicide in English law

For a crime to be considered homicide, it


must take place after the victim's legally
recognised birth, and before their legal
death.
.
Homicide
Lawful Unlawful

Justifiable, Excusable Manslaughter Murder


Sec.76,77,78 80,82,83,84 299,304A 300
79,81,100,103 85,87,88&92 305, 306
Manslaughter

All deaths which were not murder were


classified as "manslaughter"
Voluntary manslaughter

There are three types of voluntary


manslaughter:
That resulting from loss of self-control;
That resulting from statutorily defined
diminished responsibility; and
Killing in perseverance of a suicide pact.
Involuntary manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter involves the


causing of the death of another person
without intent to kill or intention to commit
grievous bodily harm.
Culpable homicide
Homicide can be lawful or unlawful. Lawful
homicide includes situations where a person
who has caused the death of another cannot
be blamed for his death. Culpable means
blame worthy. Thus,Culpable Homicide
means killing of a human being by another
human being in a blameworthy or criminal
manner.
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 of
Section 304.

Then, there is 'Culpable Homicide of the third degree'. This is


the lowest type of Culpable Homicide and the punishment
provided for it is also the lowest among the punishments
provided for the three grades. Culpable Homicide of this
degree is punishable under the second part of Section 304.
Section 299 of IPC defines Culpable
Homicide as follows -
Section 299 - Who ever 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
Explanation 1 - A person who causes bodily injury to another
who is labouring under a disorder, disease or bodily
infirmity, and thereby accelerates the death of that other,
shall be deemed to have caused his death.
Explanation 2 - 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 treatment the death might have been
prevented.
Explanation 3 - The causing of the death of child in the
mother's womb is not homicide. But it may amount to
Culpable Homicide to cause the 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.
Illustrations
(a) A lays sticks and turf over a pit, with the
intention of thereby causing death, or with
the knowledge that death is likely to be
thereby caused. Z, believing the ground to be
firm, treads on it,falls in and is killed. A has
committed the offence of culpable
homicide.
(b) A knows Z to be behind a bush. B does
not know it. A,intending to cause, or knowing
it to be likely to cause Z's death,induces B to
fire at the bush. B fires and kills Z. Here B
may be guilty of no offence; but A has
committed the offence of culpable homicide.
(c) A, by shooting at a fowl with intent to kill
and steal it,kills B, who is behind a bush; A
not knowing that he was there.
Here,although A was doing an unlawful act,
he was not guilty of culpable homicide, as he
did not intend to kill B or to cause death by
doing an act that he knew was likely to cause
death.
Following are the essential elements
of Culpable Homicide
1. Death of a human being is caused - It is
required that the death of a human being is
caused.However, it does not include the
death of an unborn child unless any part of
that child is brought forth.
2. By doing an act - Death may be caused by
any act for example, by poisoning or by
hurting with a weapon. Here act includes
even on omission of an act for which one is
obligated by law to do.
3. Intention or Knowledge - There must be an intention of any of
the following
1. Intention of causing death - The doer of the act must have
intended to cause death. It is important to note that intention of
causing death does not necessarily mean intention of causing
death of the person who actually died. If a person does an act
with an intention of killing B but A is killed instead, he is still
considered to have the intention.
2. Intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause
death - The intention ofthe offender may not have been to cause
death but only an injury that is likely to cause
the death of the injured
Or the act must have been done with the
knowledge that such an act may cause death
When a person does an act which he knows that
it has a high probability to cause death, he is
responsible for the death which is caused as a
result of the act. In Jamaluddin's case 1892,
the accused, while exorcising a spirit from the
body of a girl beat her so much that she died.
They were held guilty of Culpable Homicide
Reg. v. Govinda
In Reg. v. Govinda the accused who was a boy
of 18 years was married to a girl of 15. The
boy appeared to have been habitually ill-
treating the girl. On the fateful day the
accused knocked his wife down, put one
knee on her chest, and struck her two or
three violent blows on the face with closed
fist, producing extravasations of blood on the
brain, and she had died in consequence
either on the spot, or very shortly afterwards
The accused was held guilty of the offence of murder
by the Sessions Judge. The case came up before a
Bench of two Judges of the Bombay High Court for
confirmation of the death sentence. As there was a
difference of opinion between the Judges constituting
the Bench as to whether the facts constituted an
offence of murder or an offence of culpable homicide
not amounting to murder, the case was for opinion to
a third Judge, Melvill, J. His lordship compared the
provisions of Sections 299 and 300, I.P.C., viz., cul-
pable homicide and murder thus:
JUDGMENT Melvill, J.
1. I understand that these proceedings have
been referred to me under Section 271-B of the
Code of Criminal Procedure, in order that I may
decide whether the offence committed by the
prisoner was murder, or culpable homicide not
amounting to murder.
2. For convenience of comparison, the
provisions of Sections 299 and 300 of the Indian
Penal Code may be stated thus:
3. I have underlined the words which appear
to me to mark the differences between the
two offences.
4. (a) and (1) show that where there is an
intention to kill, the offence is always
murder.
5. (c) and (4) appear to me intended to apply (I
do not say that they are necessarily limited) to
cases in which there is no intention to cause
death or bodily injury. Furious driving, firing at a
mark near a public road, would be cases of this
description. Whether the offence is culpable
homicide or murder, depends upon the degree
of risk to human life. If death is a likely result, it
is culpable homicide; if it is the most probable
result, it is murder.
6. The essence of (2) appears to me to be
found in the words which I have underlined.
The offence is murder, if the offender knows
that the particular person injured is likely,
either from peculiarity of constitution, or
immature age, or other special circumstance,
to be killed by an injury which would not
ordinarily cause death. The illustration given
in the section is the following:
A, knowing that Z is labouring under such a
disease that a blow is likely to cause his
death, strikes him with 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.
7. There remain to be considered (b) and (3), and it is on a
comparison of these two clauses that the decision of doubtful
cases like the present must generally depend. The offence is
culpable homicide, if the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is
likely to cause death; it is murder, if such injury is sufficient in the,
ordinary course of nature to cause death. The distinction is fine,
but appreciable. It is much the same distinction as that between
(c) and (4), already noticed. It is a question of degree of
probability. Practically, I think, it will generally resolve itself into a
consideration of the nature of the weapon used. A blow from the
fist or a stick on a vital part may be likely to cause death; a wound
from a sword in a vital part is sufficient in the ordinary course of
nature to cause death.
8. In the present case the prisoner, a young man of 18, appears to
have kicked his wife, (a girl of 15) and to have struck her several
times with his fist on the back. These blows seem to have caused
her no serious injury. She, however, fell on the ground, and I think
that the evidence shows that the prisoner then put one knee on
her chest, and struck her two or three times on the face. One or
two of these blows, which, from the medical evidence, I believe to
have been violent and to have been delivered with the closed fist,
took effect on the girl's left eye, producing contusion and
discoloration. The skull was not fractured, but the blow caused an
extravasation of blood on the brain, and the girl died in
consequence either on the spot, or very shortly afterwards. On
this state of facts the Sessions Judge and the assessors have found
the prisoner
guilty of murder, and he has been sentenced to death. I
am myself of opinion that the offence is culpable
homicide, and not murder. I do not think there was an
intention to cause death; nor do I think that the bodily
injury was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to
cause death. Ordinarily, I. think, it would not cause death.
But a violent blow in the eye from a man's fist, while the
person struck is lying with his or her head on the ground,
is certainly likely to cause death, either by producing
concussion or extravasation of blood on the surface or in
the substance of the brain. A reference to Taylor's Medical
Jurisprudence (Fourth Edition, page 294) will show how
easily life may be destroyed by a blow on the head
producing extravasation of blood.
9. For these reasons I am of opinion that the
prisoner should be convicted of culpable
homicide not amounting to murder, and I
would sentence him to transportation for
seven years.
10. This order was accordingly passed by the
Court.
Murder (When Culpable Homicide
amounts to Murder)
Murder is a type of Culpable Homicide where
culpability of the accused is quite more than
in a mere Culpable Homicide. Section 300,
says that Culpable Homicide is Murder if the
act by which the death is caused is done
1. with the intention of causing death
2. or with an intention of causing such bodily injury as
the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of
the person,
3. or with an intention of causing such bodily injury as
is sufficient in ordinary course of nature to cause
death.
4. It is also Murder if the person committing the act
knows that the act is so dangerous that it will cause
death or such injury as is likely to cause death in all
probability and he has no valid reason for doing that
act.
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 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.
Exception 1.-When culpable homicide is not
murder.-Culpable homicide is not murder if
the offender, whilst deprived of the power
of self-control by grave and sudden
provocation, causes the death of
the person who gave the provocation or
causes the death of any other person by
mistake or accident
The above exception is subject to the following provisos:-
First.-That the provocation is not sought or voluntarily
provoked by the offender as an excuse for killing or doing
harm to any person.
Secondly.-That the provocation is not given by anything
done in obedience to the law, or by a public servant in the
lawful exercise of the powers of such public servant.
Thirdly.-That the provocation is not given by anything done
in the lawful exercise of the right of private defence.
Explanation.-Whether the provocation was
grave and sudden enough to prevent the
offence from amounting to murder is a
question of fact.
Illustrations
(a) A, under the influence of passion excited
by a provocation given by Z, intentionally kills
Y, Z's child. This is murder, inasmuch 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 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 asmuch as
the provocation was given by a thing done by
a public servant in the exercise of his powers.
(d) A appears as a 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,
inasmuch as the provocation was giving 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.
Exception 2.-Culpable homicide is not murder
if the offender in the exercise in good faith of
the right of private defence or 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.
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
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's
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.
Exception 5.-Culpable homicide is not murder
when the person whose death is caused,
being above the age of eighteen years,
suffers death or takes the risk of death with
his own consent.
Illustration
A, by instigation, voluntarily causes Z, a
person under eighteen years of age, to
commit suicide. Here, on account of Z's
youth, he was incapable of giving consent to
his own death; A has therefore abetted
murder.
Distinction between s 299 and 300
Culpable homocide Murder
A person commits Culpable Homicide if A person commits Murder if the act by
the act by which death is caused is done which death is caused is done -
1.With the intention of causing death 1.With the intention of causing death
2. with an intention to cause such bodily 2. with an intention to cause such bodily
injury as is likely to cause death. injury as the offender knows to be likely
to cause death of the person to whom
the harm is caused
3. with the knowledge that such an act is 3. with an intention of causing bodily
likely to cause death injury to any person and the bodily injury
intended to be inflicted is sufficient in
ordinary course of nature to cause death
4. With the knowledge that the act is so
imminently dangerous that it must in all
probability cause death
All 'Murder'
are'Culpable Homicide'
but not vice-versa
Section 300 (3)
The section provides that, culpable homicide is
murder if the act by which death is caused:
Is done with an 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. For
cases to fall within Clause (3), it is not necessary
that the offender intended to cause death, so
long as the death ensues from the intentional
bodily injury or injuries sufficient to cause death
in the ordinary course of nature
Chamru Budhwa Vs. State of Madhya
Pradesh
After an exchange of abuse accused dealt a
blow on the head of the deceased with the
lathi. After that 2nd appellant dealt another
blow to the deceased, the injury inflicted
proved fatal and both the Courts below came
to the conclusion that the Appellant was
guilty of the offence under Section 302 IPC.
As per the doctor the injury inflicted on the
head was sufficient in the ordinary course of
nature to cause death.
The Supreme Court was of the view that it
appears that the crime was committed
without premeditation in a sudden fight in
the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel
thus bringing the case within Exception 4
thereto with the result that the offence
committed was culpable homicide not
amounting to murder
Willie (William) Slaney vs. The State
of Madhya Pradesh
In another case of Willie (William) Slaney vs. The State of Madhya
Pradesh , William was on terms of intimacy with sister of
deceased. The brother did not like their intimacy. On the evening
of the day of the occurrence, there was a heated exchange of
words. The accused gave one blow on his head with a hockey stick
with the result that his skull was fractured. He died in the hospital
ten days later. The doctor thought that injury was only likely to
cause death. In the opinion of court, the appellant could hardly be
presumed to have had this special knowledge that the blow was
sufficient to cause death at the time he struck the blow. So the
offence falls under the second part of section 304 of IPC. While it
has been made clear in Virsa Singh's case that such knowledge is
not necessary.

The approach of the court in the above mentioned cases


seems, that more reliance was placed on the nature and
seriousness of injury rather than the intention to cause
such injury. It is very evident when judge in Slaney's case
says that, All blows on the head do not necessarily cause
death. The approach has been to find out whether the
ingredient namely the intention to cause the particular
injury is present or not and it is held that circumstances
like sudden quarrel in a fight or when the deceased
intervenes in such a fight, would create a doubt about the
ingredient of intention as it cannot definitely be said in
such circumstances that the accused aimed the blow at a
particular part of the body.

Earlier the courts first searched the intention


to kill and IN ITS ABSENCE the act can be
murder only if that injury would be sufficient
in the ordinary course of nature to cause
death.
The Landmark Judgment Virsa Singh
vs. State of Punjab AIR 1958 SC 465
Facts: The appellant was allegedly guilty of
the murder of one Khem Singh. There was
only one injury on his person, which was a
result of a spear thrust. The doctor said that
the injury was sufficient in the ordinary
course of nature to cause death.
Medical Report: The injury was a punctured
wound 2- x transverse in direction on the left
side of the abdominal wall in the lower part
of the iliac region just above the inguinal
canal. Three coils of intestine were also
coming out.
The appellant was convicted by the first court
under section 302 IPC and his conviction was
upheld by the High Court. He was granted
special leave to the Supreme Court on the
following:
Issue: On the finding of High Court what
offence is made out as having been
committed by the petitioner
Arguments advanced: It was argued with
much circumlocution that the facts set out
above do not disclose an offence of murder
because the prosecution has not proved that
there was an intention to inflict a bodily
injury that was sufficient to cause death in
the ordinary course of nature.

Reasoning and decision: The court said that actual


reading of this section infers that it is not enough to
prove that the injury found to be present is sufficient
to cause death in ordinary course of nature but it
must be in addition shown that the injury found to be
present was the same injury that was intended to be
inflicted. Whether it was sufficient to cause death in
the ordinary course of nature is a matter of inference
or deduction from the proved facts about the nature
of the injury and has nothing to do with the question
of intention.

Four -point test


The court gave a four-point test which
prosecution must observe and prove in order
tobring the case under this section:
i) First, it must establish, quite objectively,
that a bodily injury is present;
ii) Secondly, the nature of the injury must be
proved; These are purely objective
investigations
iii) Thirdly, it must be proved that there was
an intention to inflict that particular bodily
injury, that is to say, that it was not
accidental or unintentional, or that some
other kind of injury was intended. Once
these three elements are proved to be
present, the enquiry proceeds further and,
iv) Fourthly, it must be proved that the injury
of the type just described made up of the
three elements set out above is sufficient to
cause death in the ordinary course of nature.
This part of the enquiry is purely objective
and inferential and has nothing to do with
the intention of the offender.
Once these four elements are established by
the prosecution (and, of course, the burden is
on the prosecution throughout) the offence is
murder under s. 300, thirdly.
Khuman Singh vs. State of Madhya
Pradesh (2004).
The facts were that the villagers from different villages were
assembled in connection of the flag ceremony of a temple. The
stick of Khuman Singh, appellant struck the one who was beating
the drum. An altercation took place and parties were pacified by
intervention of the deceased. After ceremony was over, the
complainant party was chased by the appellants. The deceased
was overpowered and was assaulted with lathi blows and stones.
Some accused also trampled on his body and he died on the spot.
According to the medical report none of the injuries was sufficient
to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. The death had
actually resulted due injury to the liver caused by fracture of rib
bone, which punctured the liver.

Decision: The court observed that what


happened was not premeditated and appellants
were not prepared for the incident. The injuries
were inflicted by lathies and stones. Medical
report showed that it was the ribs that had
entered the liver and if liver was not damaged
death would not have resulted. This injury was
not one which was intended by the court and it
was at best accidental and therefore s. 300 (3) is
not attracted.
What needs to be proved is that the accused had an
intention to cause the same bodily injury found to be
present on the person of deceased which was later
found to be sufficient to cause death. Such a principle
is based on broad lines of common sense because if
intention is considered to be of causing an injury
which is sufficient to cause death; then any person
could always plead that he never had an intention to
cause such a injury and it would have been very
difficult to prove him wrong.

That is why the court observed that:


Once these four elements are established by the
prosecution the offence is murder under s. 300,
thirdly. It does not matter that there was no
intention to cause death. It does not matter that
there was no intention even to cause an injury
of a kind that is sufficient to cause death in the
ordinary course of nature. It does not even
matter that there is no knowledge that an act of
that kind will be likely to cause death.
Once the intention to cause the bodily injury actually
found to be proved, the rest of the enquiry is purely
objective and the only question is whether, as a
matter of purely objective inference, the injury is
sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause
death. No one has a licence to run around inflicting
injuries that are sufficient to cause death in the
ordinary course of nature and claim that they are not
guilty of murder. If they inflict injuries of that kind,
they must face the consequences; and they can only
escape if it can be shown, or reasonably deduced that
the injury was accidental or otherwise unintentional.

Dhupa Chamar vs. State of Bihar


Dhupa Chamar vs. State of Bihar dealt in great
detail on the requirement of intention and
applicability of this section. In this case,
lordships had discussed almost all apt
authorities and above-mentioned cases in this
regard. They mainly threw light on the question
that infliction of single blow, which proved fatal
should not be equated with the intention to
cause death or an injury sufficient to cause
death in ordinary course of nature.
In this case, there was an incident of assault by fists and
slaps between Ramu Chamar and appellant No. 2-Tokha
Chamar and due to this reason next day, appellants and
their men armed with bhalas, lathies and with brickbats
came near the house of Ramu Chamar and started
abusing his family members whereupon, villagers arrived
there. One of them, a lady, made a protest whereupon
appellant No. 1-Dhupa Chamar gave a bhala blow on the
left side of her neck and the same was pulled out forcibly
from the neck as a result of which she fell down and died
instantaneously. Appellant No.2-Tokha Chamar assaulted
one other person in the abdomen with bhala as a result of
which he died in the hospital.
Decision and reasoning: Under Clause Thirdly the intention to
cause that particular injury is a subjective inquiry and when once
such intention is established and if the intended injury is found
objectively to be sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to
cause death, Clause Thirdly is attracted and it would be murder
unless one of the exceptions to Section 300 is attracted. If on the
other hand this ingredient of 'intention' is not established or if a
reasonable doubt arises in this regard then only it would be
reasonable to infer that Clause Thirdly is not attracted and that
the accused must be attributed knowledge that in inflicting the
injury he was likely to cause death in which case it will be culpable
homicide punishable under Section 304 Part II IPC." Keeping in
mind the aforesaid principles it appearred to court that the
accused persons came
armed with deadly weapons and there was an altercation and exchange
of hot words whereafter appellant No. 1 assaulted victim with a bhala
causing injury on the chest rupturing important blood vessels resulting in
her instantaneous death. The above circumstance would show that
accused intentionally inflicted the injury and the same would indicate
such a state of mind of the appellant-Dhupa Chamar that he aimed and
inflicted the injury with deadly weapon. In the absence of evidence or
reasonable explanation to show that this appellant did not intend to
inflict injury by bhala in the chest with that degree of force sufficient to
rupture important blood vessel and cutting of aorta and other artery, it
would be perverse to conclude that he did not intend to inflict that injury
that he did. When once the ingredient 'intention' is established then the
offence would be murder as the intended injury was sufficient in the
ordinary course of nature to cause death. Therefore, inevitable
conclusion would be that appellant committed the offence of murder u/s
300 (3).
Harjindar Singh v. Delhi
Administration
Harjindar Singh v. Delhi Administration, appellant was
beating one person and the deceased intervened to
rescue. When the three were grappling with each other
appellant took out the knife and stabbed the deceased
once. Cause of death was shock and haemorrhage from
injury to femoral vessels in the thigh. The appellant did
not use the knief when he was engaged in the fight. The
deceased came intervening in a crouching position to
separate the two. Therefore it can't be said with any
definiteness that the appellant aimed a blow at this
particular part knowing that it would cut the artery. He
was convicted under 304 I of IPC.
Tholan v. St. of Tamil Nadu
Tholan v. St. of Tamil Nadu, the accused and deceased had
no enimity but were remonstrating with each other on
some point. In the course, accused took out a knife and
stabbed deceased on right of side of chest. Deceased
succumbed to the injury and died. Cause of death was
stated to be shock and haemorrhage on account of stab
injury and sufficient to cause death in ordinary course of
nature. Court concluded that there was no dispute,
quarrel or malice of accused with deceased and presence
of deceased was wholly accidental. Everything happened
on the spur of the moment and requisite intention cannot
be attributed to the accused. Thus he was held guilty for
committing an offence under 304 II of IPC.
Jaiprakash v. State (Delhi
Administration)
Jaiprakash v. State (Delhi Administration), the
appellant was having illicit relations with wife of the
deceased and his visits to her house were resented
and objected by him. On the day of occurrence, the
accused visited the house in absence of deceased
armed with a kirpan. When deceased came and
objected to his presence there was only an altercation
and exchange of hot words and not a fight.
Thereupon, he took out the kirpan and stabbed on
the chest of the deceased resulting in his
instantaneous death. The above circumstances would
show that the accused intentionally inflicted that
injury and though it may not be premeditated one.
All such circumstances certainly indicated a state of
mind namely that he aimed and inflicted the injury
with a deadly weapon. As observed in Virsa Singh's
case, in the absence of evidence or reasonable
expalnation to show that he did not intend to stab on
the chest with the degree of force sufficient to
penetrate the heart, it would be perverse to conclude
that he did not intend to inflict the injury that he did.
When once ingredient ?intention? is established then
the offence would be murder if injury is found to be
sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause
death.
Abdul Waheed Khan and Ors. v. State
of Andhra Pradesh
Abdul Waheed Khan and Ors. v. State of Andhra Pradesh,
three accused rushed to the deceased and began stabbing
him indiscriminately with their three knives, while
another accused tried to snatch the bag containing the
cash. Further knife blows were given by the three accused
persons till the deceased collapsed. They away the cash
bag and all of them fled. the three appellants had
indiscriminately stabbed the deceased, though their
object was to rob him. the doctor said that the stab
wounds as well as the head injury are individually
sufficient to cause death". The stab wounds came first and
then the possible fall. Taking into account the totality of
the circumstances the accused was held guilty for murder.
Where murder is caused by a single
blow
Kulwant Rai v. State of Punjab, (1981),
Randhir Singh v. State of Punjab (1981),
Gurmail Singh v. State of Punjab (1982),
Jagtar Singh v. State of Punjab (1983),
Tholan v. State of Tamil Nadu (1984),
What are the Ingredients of Grave
and Sudden Provocation?
Exception 1
(1) That the accused received provocation;
(2) That the provocation was (a) grave, and (b)
sudden;
(3) That he was deprived by the provocation of
his power of self-control;
(4) That while thus deprived of his power of self-
control and before he could cool down he
caused the death of the person who gave him
the provocation.
No abstract rule of reasonableness can be
laid down. What a reasonable man, i.e., a
normal person will do in certain
circumstances depends upon the cultural,
social and emotional background of the
society to which he belongs.
The court must consider the reaction not of
the normal man in the abstract but the
normal man whose impulses are conditional
by the same environments as those of the
accused.
In 1707 Lord Holt specified four categories of
acts that constituted legally sufficient
provocation. These were:-
Hearing angry words followed by a physical
assault.
Seeing a friend being assaulted.
Observing a citizen detained by force.
Seeing ones wife in bed with another.
The acts legally insufficient at common law to
constitute provocation included:-
Mere words.
Insulting gestures.
Trespass to property.
Misconduct by a child or servant.
Breach of contract.
The accused, Nanavati, at the time of the alleged murder, was
second in command of the Indian Naval Ship Mysore. He
married Sylvia in 1949 and had three children.
Since the time of marriage, the couple were living at different
places having regard to the exigencies of service of Nanavati.
Finally, they shifted to Bombay.
In the same city the deceased Ahuja was doing business in
automobiles and in the year 1956, Agniks, who were common
friends of Nanavatis and Ahujas, introduced Ahuja and his sister to
Nanavatis. Ahuja was unmarried and was about 34 years of age at
the time of his death.
Nanavati, as a Naval Officer, was frequently going away
from Bombay in his ship, leaving his wife and children in
Bombay.Gradually, friendship developed between Ahuja
and Sylvia, which culminated in illicit intimacy between
them.
On April 27, 1959, Sylvia confessed to Nanavati of her
illicit intimacy with Ahuja.
Enraged at the conduct of Ahuja, Nanavati went to his
ship, took from the stores of the ship a semi-automatic
revolver and six cartridges on a false pretext, loaded the
same, went to the flat of Ahuja entered his bed-room and
shot him dead.
Thereafter, the accused surrendered himself to the police. He was put under
arrest and in due course he was committed to the Sessions for facing a charge
under s. 302 of the Indian Penal code.
But the defence version was that the accused was away with his ship from April
6, 1959, to April 18, 1959. Immediately after returning to Bombay, he and his
wife went to Ahmednagar for about three days. Thereafter, they returned to
Bombay and the accused noticed that his wife was behaving strangely and was
not responsive or affectionate to him. When questioned, she used to evade the
issue.
At noon on April 27, 1959, when they were sitting in the sitting-room for the
lunch to be served, the accused put his arm round his wife affectionately, when
she seemed to go tense and unresponsive.
After lunch, when he questioned her about her fidelity, she shook her head to
indicate that she was unfaithful to him. He guessed that her paramour was
Ahuja. As she did not even indicate clearly whether Ahuja would marry her and
look after the children, he decided to settle the matter with him. Sylvia pleaded
with him not go to Ahujas house, as he might shoot him.
Thereafter, he drove his wife, two of his children and a neighbors
child in his car to a cinema, dropped them there and promised to
come and pick them up at 6 P.M. when the show ended. He then
drove his car to his ship, as he wanted to get medicine for his sick
dog, he represented to the authorities in the ship, that he wanted
to draw a revolver and six rounds from the stores of the ship as he
was going to drive alone to Ahmednagar by night, though the real
purpose was to shoot himself.
On receiving the revolver and six cartridges, and put it inside a
brown envelope. Then he drove his car to Ahujas office, and not
finding him there, he drove to Ahujas flat, range the door bell,
and, when it was opened by a servant, walked to Ahujas bed-
room, went into the bed-room and shut the door behind him.
He also carried with him the envelope containing the
revolver. The accused saw the deceased inside the
bed-room, called him a filthy swine and asked him
whether he would marry Sylvia and look after the
children. The deceased retorted, Am I to marry every
woman I sleep with? The accused became enraged,
put the envelope containing the revolver on a cabinet
nearby, and threatened to thrash the deceased.
The deceased made a sudden move to grasp at the
envelope, when the accused whipped out his revolver and
told him to get back. A struggle ensued between the two
and during that struggle two shots went off accidentally
and hit Ahuja resulting in his death. After the shooting the
accused went back to his car and drove it to the police
station where he surrendered himself.
The trail court convicted under S.304 A of IPC and in
appeal the high court convert it into S.302 of IPC.
So the accuse made an appeal before the SC and at the
same time he made an application to governor under
Art.161.
The definition of provocation as explained by
the Supreme Court of India in the case of K. M.
Nanavati v. The State of Bombay, is as follows :-
The test of grave and sudden provocation is
whether a reasonable man, belonging to the
same class of society to which the accused
belongs, and placed in the situation in which the
accused was placed, would be so provoked as to
lose his self-control.
In India, words or gestures may also, under
certain circumstances, cause grave and
sudden provocation to an accused to an
accused so as to bring his at within the first
exception to section 300 of the Indian Penal
Code.
.
The mental background created by the previous act of
the victim may be taken into consideration in
ascertaining whether the subsequent act caused
grave and sudden provocation for committing the
offence.

The fatal blow should be clearly traced to the


influence of passion arising from that provocation and
not after the passion had cooled down by lapse of
time, or otherwise giving room and scope for
premeditation and calculation
In the case of R v. Duffy, the court gave a very
clear definition of the term provocation which
is as follows :
Provocation is some act, or series of acts, done
by the dead man to the accused, which would
cause in any reasonable person, and actually
causes in the accused, a sudden and temporary
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.
Words alone :-

Under the Indian law, it is well established that words


alone, whether in the form of insults or abuses or
whether in the form of providing information
regarding adultery etc. can amount to provocation.
This particular position of Indian law is largely based
on the 1837 draft of the Penal Code wherein the
following is provided :-
it is an indisputable fact, that gross insults by
word or gesture have as great a tendency to move
many persons to violent passion as dangerous or
painful bodily injuries; nor does it appear to us that
passion as excited by insult is entitled to less
indulgence than passion excited by pain. It
would be a fortunate thing for mankind if
every person felt an outrage which left a
stain upon his honour more acutely than an
outrage which had fractured one of his limbs
Cumulative provocation :-

Indian courts have accepted the principle of cumulative


provocation ever since the inception of the code. Courts
could relegate all matters having an element of time in
them to the requirement of suddenness, leaving alone
matters not related to the time factor to be framed under
the head of grave provocation.Under sudden rovocation,
the following could be considered :-
Response to the provocation (the homicide) was
unexpected as opposed to planned and calculated.
Interval between the homicide and the provocation must
be short.
Accused is operating under loss of self control
But what matters most is whether the previous
provocations however numerous the occasions, had
an impact on the accuseds mental state at the time
of killing. For example, in the case of Aktar v. State
the Court held that the particular situation and past
experiences of an accused in relation to the deceased
must be taken into account to understand the extent
to which the accused was provoked into losing self-
control. In many similar cases, the courts held that
cumulative provocation has to be given due
consideration and that the act of the homicide should
not be looked at in isolation.
Provocation in the presence of the
defendant :-
Indian courts recognize the possibility of provocation even
in the absence of the defendant. This sort of provocation
is called hearsay provocation under English common law.
In the case of Chanan Khan v. Emperor, the court was
prepared to regard the provocation although it was not in
the presence of the accused on the basis that he received
the provoking information from a very reliable source and
the fact that the act was committed in very close
proximity to the accused itself which meant that the act
could be verified immediately. Thus, the court held that
the provocation in this case was just as much as if the
person provoked had seen it happen with his own eyes
Self-induced provocation :-

Exception 1 to section 300 of the Indian Penal


Code expressly disallows the defence from
succeeding when the accused has sought the
provocation.
The first proviso to the exception states that :-
That the provocation is not sought or
voluntarily provoked by the offender as an
excuse for killing or doing harm to any person.
Harchandra v. State of Rajasthan
In Harchandra v. State of Rajasthan, the facts
are that the incident took place all of a
sudden and there was no evidence to show
that the injuries were inflicted on the body of
the deceased with the motive or intention to
kill him or to cause such bodily injury which
was likely to cause death. The High Court of
Rajasthan held that the offence caused by
the accused would amount to culpable
homicide not-amounting to murder.
Exception 2:
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.
Exceeding the right of private defence:
In order to apply this Exception (2) certain conditions
must be fulfilled
(a) The act must be done in exercise of right of private
defence of person or property.
(b) The act must be done in good faith.
(c) The person doing the act must have exceeded his right
given to him by law and have thereby caused death.
(d) The act must have been done without premeditation
and without any intention of causing more harm than was
necessary in private defence.
Illustration:
Deceased though committing criminal
trespass was not armed. There could have
been no apprehension that death or grievous
hurt was likely to be caused to accused. It has
been held that the accused far exceeded his
right of private defence of property by using
dangerous weapon, chhura, with deadly
effect and causing two injuries which cut the
heart and lung. Hence, he was guilty of an
offence under Section 304, Part I, I.P.C.
In Ram Avtar v. State of U.P., the Supreme
Court held that the sequence of the events
shows that the assault by accused continued
even after the danger of life of the accused
had ceased. Therefore, the accused exceeded
the right of private defence because it is
limited to the extent it could have been
available against a private individual.
In a case the accused was going in his jeep
when he was surrounded by the victim and
his companions whereupon he fired thrice
from his revolver. It was held that it cannot
be said that he fired with an intention of
causing death of any particular person, and
he exceeded in the exercise of right of private
defence. As such he had only knowledge that
his act was likely to cause death and he was
convicted under Section 304, I.P.C.