Murder and Culpable Homicide


The term “Murder” traces its origin form 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 end life of the former.

The act is committed with an intention to cause death. The act is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury for which the offender has knowledge that it would result in death.

The person has the knowledge that his act is dangerous and would cause death or bodily injury but still commits the act, this would amount to 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.


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


Section 299 of IPC:

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 Reg. v. Govinda ( 1877) ILR 1 Bom 342), the accused had knocked down his wife, kept a knee on her chest and gave two to three violent blows with the closed fist on her face. This act produced extraversion of blood on her brain and afterwards, the wife died due to this. The act was not committed with the intention of causing death and the bodily injury was not sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. The accused was liable to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.


The thin line is the intention behind the act. All murders are culpable homicide but the vice-versa is not true. The most confusing aspect is ‘intention’ as in both the provisions the intention is to cause death. Hence, you have to consider the degree of intention of offenders. If the person is killed in cold-blood or with planning then it is murder because the intention to kill is in high degree and not out of sudden rage or provocation. On other hand, if the victim is killed without pre-planning, in sudden fight or in sudden anger because of somebody’s provocation or instigation, then such a death is called culpable homicide. Hence, whether the act done is culpable homicide or murder is a question of fact.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.