Murder and Culpable Homicide not amounting to Murder


The term culpable homicide and murder are the two most befuddling terms in the Indian Penal Code, 1860. There is a swoon line distinction between them two. Where section 299 of IPC characterizes Culpable homicide and section 300 arrangements with idea of Murder.

These terms consistently growl up the person who starts learning these ideas. As per Sir James Stephen, the meaning of culpable homicide and murder are the most vulnerable piece of the code, as they are characterized in structures intently looking like one another and now and again it gets hard to recognize the two, as the causing of death’ is normal in both. Notwithstanding, the essential distinction between these two offenses lies in the gravity with which the offense has been executed.

In like manner speech Sec. 300 is a sub-set of the sec 299 (Culpable homicide is a variety and murder its specie), Every unnatural human passing is homicide yet when it is combined with expectation and not just information (culpable homicide not adding up to kill) at that point it is a homicide.

The point to be specific qualification of Murder and Culpable homicide not adding up to Murder is extremely indispensable. Alluding to section 299 and 300 of IPC, Whitely Stocks, Previously Law individual from the committee of the Governor-General of India, in first experience with the Indian Penal Code in the Anglo-Indian Codes, Volume 1, distributed in 1887, Page 41 remarks as follows:

The definitions just alluded to are the most fragile piece of the code, and the law regarding the matter ought to be reworked to communicate unmistakably what is or tried to be the aim of the governing body.

Be that as it may, shockingly, such an administrative exercise didn’t occur. It has been left to the courts to bring out and clarify the distinction between culpable homicide and murder, as characterized in the above said sections.

The scholastic qualification among ‘murder’ and ‘culpable homicide not adding up to kill’ has vexed the courts for over a century. The most secure method of way to deal with the understanding and utilization of these arrangements is by all accounts to keep in center the watchwords utilized in the different conditions of sections 299 and 300.

Exception as enumerated in section 300 IPC:

There are sure excellent circumstances under which, if murder is submitted, it is decreased to culpable homicide not adding up to kill culpable under section 304, IPC and not under section 302, IPC. IPC perceives such five special cases which are:

  • Grave and Sudden Provocation
  • Private Defense
  • Exercise of Legal Power
  • Without premeditation to a sudden fight and
  • Consensual homicide/suicide pacts.

Culpable homicide not amounting to murder:

Culpable homicide is a class and murder its specie. All killings are culpable homicide; however, all culpable homicides are not murder. As indicated by section 299 of IPC culpable homicide implies the unlawful slaughtering of a person, and this executing becomes murder when the demonstration right off the bat satisfies all the states of section 299 and afterward section 300.

According to section 299 of IPC which characterizes culpable homicide says, whoever causes demise by doing a demonstration with

  • Goal of causing demise.
  • Deliberately causing real injury which is probably going to cause passing.
  • Doing a demonstration with information that it is probably going to cause demise.

Section 300 which characterizes murder says, whoever causes demise by doing the demonstration with:

  • Causing such substantial injury as the guilty party realizes it is probably going to cause passing of an individual.
  • Deliberately causing substantial injury which is adequate to cause passing.
  • Doing a demonstration with information that it is so inescapably risky and more likely than not causes passing.

If we cautiously look at the bare act language of both the section 299 and 300 of IPC, there is meager line contrast between both the segments. Section 299 incorporates term ‘a demonstration’ which shows vulnerability, that signifies ‘doing a demonstration by which likelihood of death isn’t sure. Then again section 300 incorporates the demonstration, which shows sureness, that implies where the likelihood of death is sure by that demonstration.

The genuine difference between culpable homicide and murder is just the distinction in degrees of aim and information. A more prominent the level of goal and information, the case would fall under homicide and a lesser degree would result culpable homicide. It is in this manner hard to show up at any restraint contrasts between culpable homicide and murder. Incomparable Court occasionally through various cases give their perspectives on this subject. As on account of Thangaiah v. state of Tamil Nadu, Supreme court held that following elements ought to be mulled over for deciding demise is culpable homicide or murder weapon utilized, spot of injury, savagery of assault, perspective of the denounced.


Distinction between section 304 part 1 and part 2:

To grant sentence sec. 304, IPC separates culpable homicide not adding up to kill in two sections based on force and gravity.

Part 1 – (a) which is viewed as progressively genuine and grave in nature, obligation must be demonstrated based on aim of the individual while submitting the offense.

It covers those cases which can be categorized as one of the special cases 1 to 5 of sec. 300. IPC and cases which fall inside second statement of sec. 299, IPC.

Punishment – Imprisonment forever, or detainment for either portrayal for a term which may reach out to ten years and fine.


part 2 – (a) which is viewed as less genuine in nature, the obligation doesn’t rely on the goal rather information is the reason for discipline.

(b) It applies when the demonstration is finished with the information that is probably going to make passing however no expectation cause demise (third proviso of sec.299, IPC). Nonetheless, if an offense is submitted with the information that it is so quickly risky that it should no doubt cause demise or such real injury as is probably going to cause passing, and such act is managed with no reason, at that point the offense will be removed from the domain of sec. 304, Pt II, and would be secured under sec. 302, as the offense would add up to kill under sec. 300, cl (4). Along these lines, the information alluded to in Pt II of s 304 is of a lesser degree than the uncommon information alluded to in cl (4) of sec. 300.

(c) Punishment – Imprisonment stretching out if 10 years or fine.



From the above synopsis it develops that at whatever point a court is stood up to with the topic of whether a slaughtering is murder or culpable homicide, it will be helpful to move toward the issue in 3 phases:

In first stage, evidence of causal association between the demonstration and demise is resolved.

In second stage, it is resolved whether the demonstration of the blamed adds up to culpable homicide’. If the appropriate response is yes’, at that point the third stage is reached.

In third stage, it is resolved whether the demonstration is murder’ for example case inside the ambit of four provisos of Sec. 300. In the event that the appropriate response is negative, at that point the offense would be culpable homicide not adding up to kill’ culpable under the first or second piece of Sec. 304, contingent upon whether the second or third condition of Sec. 299 is material.

In the event that the appropriate response is sure yet the case comes surprisingly close to the special cases listed in Sec. 300, the offense would even now be culpable homicide not adding up to kill’ under the initial segment of Sec. 304 (State of A.P. v R. Punnayya, AIR 1977 SC 45).

Author: Mayank choudhary,
Jagran lakecity university

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