In a Venn diagram, murder would be in the inner circle and culpable homicide would be on the outer circle. Hence all Murders are Culpable Homicides but all Culpable Homicides are not Murders.
Homicide is derived from the Latin term “homo” which means man and the Latin term “caedere” which means to kill. Hence, it can be understood that homicide means the killing of a human being. Homicide can be divided into lawful homicide and unlawful homicide. Culpable homicide and murder are not the same. Many people regard both these terms as one and the same. The difference between murder and culpable homicide has been discussed in this article.
Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code talks about culpable homicide, while murder is discussed in Section 300 of IPC. Unlawful homicide can be classified into culpable homicide which comes under Section 299, murder which comes under Section 300, rash and negligent act which comes under Section 304 A, and suicide which comes under Section 305 and 306.
According to Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code, 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.
* Causing death of human being * Intention of causing death : Mens rea or a guilty mind is an important ingredient * Intention of causing bodily injury likely to cause death * Knowledge of act likely to cause death
The essential ingredients for murder are as follows
* Causing death of human being * Intention of causing death : Mens rea or a guilty mind is an important ingredient * Intention of causing bodily injury likely to cause death * Knowledge that the act done is sufficiently dangerous to cause death.
Hence the main importance between murder and culpable homicide is that in culpable homicide the word “likely” is given importance while in murder “sufficiently” is given importance. Let us look at these more closely with an exemplary scenario. A harms B with a blunt knife while C harms D with a sharp knife. Both B and D dies. Here, A will be held for culpable homicide while C will be held for murder because C deliberately wanted to kill D and knew that if he attacks D with a sharp knife it will cause death.
Illustration of Culpable Homicide
* Y is suffering from a terminal illness and needs to take certain medications on a daily basis. X knows about this and locks Y up in a room. Y dies because he did not take his medicines. X will be held for culpable homicide. * A got a stent in his heart recently and B did not know about this fact. During an argument, B punches A near his heart and A dies. B will be held for culpable homicide.
Illustrations for Murder
* A shoots B with a gun while having an intention to kill him. B will be held for murder. * X got a stent in his heart recently and Y knows about this fact. During an argument, Y punches A near his heart and X dies. Y will be held for murder.
Exceptions for murder
* Sudden Provocation: Murder should be planned and there should be an intention. If homicide happens out of sudden provocation it is not murder.* Right of private defence: If while trying to save himself from being killed, X kills Y, then it is not murder.
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