Culpable homicide and Murder are two most perplexing terms in Indian Penal Code, 1860. Culpable homicide is under Section 299 of the IPC, 1860 and Murder is under Section 300 of the IPC. Culpable homicide is the genus while murder is the species. There is a very thin line between culpable homicide and murder. Both culpable homicide and murder means to harm the person but there are certain things which make murder different from culpable homicide. All murders are culpable homicide but all culpable homicides are not murder.
The word ‘homicide’ is derived from a Latin words homi which means man and cido kill. Homicide is an act of killing human being by another human being. Under Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 Culpable Homicide is defined as “Whosoever causes death by doing an act with the intention of causing death or with the intention of causing such bodily injury as it 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.”
Section 304 Of IPC, 1860 defines punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder which is imprisonment for life or imprisonment which may extend to ten years and also be liable to fine.
Ingredients of culpable homicide
- Causing the death of a human being
- Death must have been caused by such an act
- The act must have been done
- 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 such an act of the doer is likely to cause the death of the injured.
Aggravated form of culpable homicide is murder. Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code defines murder as – Except in the cases, culpable homicide is murder if –
- Firstly, the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death.
- Secondly, if it is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows likely to cause death of the person to whom the harm is caused
- Thirdly, if it is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury to any person and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death
- Fourthly, if the person committing the act knows that it is so immediately dangerous that it must in all probability cause death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death and commits such an act without an excuse for incurring the risk of causing death or such bodily harm.
For example; X shoots Y with the intention of killing him. Y dies in the consequence. X commits murder and is guilty of murder. In case of culpable homicide, the probability of death is much less than that of murder. The punishment for culpable homicide amounting to murder is under section 302 Of IPC, 1860 which is death penalty or life imprisonment and also be liable to fine.
Ingredients of Murder
- Act by which the death caused is done with the intention of causing death
- With the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause death
- With the intention of causing bodily injury to any person
- Person committing the act known that it is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death, or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.
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