CULPABLE HOMICIDE VS MURDER.

    Yukta Bajaj

    HOMICIDE

    Homicide is a term which originates from the latin term ‘Homo’ means human and ‘caedere’ means killing. Culpable homicide is therefore considered as the genus while the murder is regarded as a species. Homicide can be lawful and unlawful. Culpable homicide is punishable by law and is further divided into two categories:

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    CULPABLE HOMICIDE VS MURDER
    • Culpable homicide amounting to murder :- This is known as simple murder.
    • Culpable homicide not amounting to murder:- In this both intention and knowledge is necessary.

    Homicide is unlawful when the death is caused by an intentionally.

    CULPABLE HOMICIDE AS PER SECTION 299 OF THE INDIAN PENAL CODE

    Section 299 of IPC reads as follows:

    299. Culpable homicide — Whoever 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.

    In the case of Ram Kumar v. State of Chhattisgarh

    In this case, the appellant falls so madly in love with his sister-in-law that one day before her marriage he called her in a field and hit her head with an axe. The girl went running towards her house and then went to the police office to file an FIR. After that she was taken to the hospital but she died on the way. The court tried to dwell on the legal nature of the FIR as to whether the same was admissible as evidence of dying declaration. 

    The difference between murder and culpable homicide is intention. If the intention is present, then crime will come under Section 300 of IPC. If the intention is absent, then the crime come under section 304 of IPC.

    ILLUSTRATION

    (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.

    MURDER

    The term “Murder” originate from the Germanic word “morth” which means secret killing. Murder means when one person is killed by another person or a group of persons who have a pre-determined intention to kill or end life of the former. Section 299 and Section 300 of Indian Penal Code deal with murder.

    MURDER AS PER SECTION 300 OF THE INDIAN PENAL CODE

    Section 300 of the IPC Murder.

    (Firstly) —Except in the cases hereinafter excepted, culpable homicide is murder, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or—

    (Secondly) —If it is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of the person to whom the harm is caused, or—

    (Thirdly) —If it is done with the 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, or—

    (Fourthly) —If the person committing the act knows that it is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, and commits such act without any excuse for incurring the risk of causing death or such injury as aforesaid.

    INGREDIENTS OF MURDER

    • Causing death: There should be an intention of causing death
    • Doing an act: There should be an intention to cause such bodily injury that is likely to cause death or

    The act must be done with the knowledge that the act is likely to cause the death of another.

    ILLUSTRATIONS

    (A) A shoots B with an intention of killing him. As a result, B dies, murder is committed by A.

    (B) D intentionally gives a sword-cut to C that is sufficient to cause death of anyone in the ordinary course of nature. As a consequence, C dies. Here, D is guilty of murder though he did not intend to cause C’s 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.

    DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CULPABLE HOMICIDE AND MURDER

    There is a thin difference between the murder and culpable homicide. The difference between murder and culpable homicide is only of “intention to commit murder”. If A kills B and A had no intention to kill then the crime is said to be committed under section 299 that is Culpable homicide and if A had an intention to kill by then the crime is said to have been committed under section 300. For example, suppose the offender has used the sharp weapon and struck on the vital part of the body. Naturally, the injury is sufficient to cause the death and the offender has the knowledge that his act is danger and, in all probability, death is bound to occur. This kind of death is called Murder. On the other hand, where the blunt and hard weapon like stick and stone are used and injuries are caused in the hard part of the body, death is likely rather than probable, and therefore it is culpable homicide and not murder.