Culpable Homicide and Murder 

Culpable Homicide and Murder 

Introduction

Section 299 of IPC (Indian Penal code) talks about culpable homicide and Section 300 of IPC deals with murder. There is a faint line difference between both of them. According to Section 299 of the India Penal Code, culpable homicide means the unlawful killing of a human being, and this killing becomes murder when the act firstly fulfills the conditions of Section 299 and then fulfills the conditions of Section 300. The punishment for culpable homicide is mentioned under Section 304; if the culpable homicide is amounting to murder then the punishment for murder will be under Section 302.

Culpable Homicide Amounting to Murder: When any act fulfills the conditions of Section 299 and then the 1st part of Section 300.

Culpable Homicide Not Amounting to Murder: When any act fulfills the conditions of Section 299 but it either does not fulfill the conditions laid down in section 300 or lies in exceptions to section 300, that is the second part (if an act comes under exceptions of 300 then the act of murder becomes culpable homicide) and 5 exceptions listed under section 300 of this Code which mention the circumstances, when culpable homicide does not amount to murder.

Definition:

Culpable Homicide: Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code defines culpable homicide not amounting to murder and Section 299 states that if any person causes death, by doing any act with an intention of causing death or causing such bodily injury with the intention that such injury is likely to cause death, or with the knowledge that by his act, he is likely to cause death then such a person is said to have committed the offence of culpable homicide under the Indian Penal Code.

Murder: If a person, by doing anything which he knows to be likely to cause death, commits culpable homicide by causing the death of any person, whose death neither intends nor knows to be likely to cause, the culpable homicide committed by the offender is of the description of which it would have been if caused the death of the person whose death intended or knew himself to likely to cause.

Death caused due to Rash/Negligent:

Section 304A says that “whoever causes the death of any person, by doing any rash or negligent act, not amounting to culpable homicide”, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Difference between Culpable Homicide and Murder:

1. Culpable homicide is wider than the murder. Culpable homicide is considered as the genus while murder is as a species. All culpable homicides are not murder, but all murders are culpable homicide.

2. Murder is an aggravated form of culpable homicide.

3. In murder, the offender has definite knowledge that the act would result in death while as in culpable homicide the knowledge is not so definite.

4. The probability of causing death is higher in murder than culpable homicide.

When does an act become Murder?

An act becomes murder only when, it is culpable homicide and complies with conditions under section 299, and then it fits in section 300 too.

The intensity and degree of murder are much higher. For example: if hitting someone with bat or stick and hitting someone with a sword is totally different.

Conclusion:

We can clearly see that an act when done with intention but not with knowledge, will not amount to murder, and it will be culpable homicide not amounting to murder. But even if there is an absence of knowledge and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted, in the ordinary course of nature is sufficient, it will amount to murder.

-Niyti Jangra
Associate at Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar, Advocate & Associates

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