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The Concept Of Murder with Exception

The term murder is derived from Germanic word 'morth' which means secret killing. Murder is when one is slain with a man's will, act and with malice or forethought. Murder is unlawful homicide with malice aforethought. Murder is more serious offence than the culpable homicide. Culpable homicide is a genus, whereas murder is a species. An offence cannot amount to murder unless it falls within the definition of culpable homicide.

Murder (section 300)

Murder is defined under section 300 of the Indian penal code.

  • The act is committed with an intention to cause death.
  • The act is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury which the offenders has knowledge that if 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 manner amount to murder.

    E.g. -A shoots Z with an intention of killing him, as a result, Z dies in that consequences murder. Is committed by A.

Exceptions Of Murder

(Culpable homicide not amounting to murder)
  1. Grave and sudden provocation:
    Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, whilst deprived of the power of self - control by grave and sudden provocation, causes the death of the person who gave the provocation or causes the death of any other person by mistake or accident.

    The exception is subject to the provisos:
    • That the provocation is not sought or voluntarily provoked by the offender as an excuse for killing or doing harm to any person.
    • That the provocation is not given by anything done in obedience to the law. Or by a public servant in the lawful exercise of the powers of such public servant.
    • That the provocation is not given by anything done in the lawful exercise of the right of private defence. (nathan, 1972)

    In The Case: K.M Nanavati V. State Of Maharashtra [Air 1962 Sc 605)

    Fact:
     was a naval officer. He had three children and was married. His wife admitted to him one day that she had an affair with Prem Ahuja, the deceased. Enraged, the accused returned to his ship, got a semi-automatic pistol and six rounds from the ship's shop, proceeded to the deceased's flat, entered his bedroom, and shot him to death. Following that, the accused turned himself in to the police. The Supreme Court had to decide whether the accused actions were covered by Exception 1 of Section 300.

    The following postulates pertaining to the grave and abrupt provocation were established by the Supreme Court:
    • The test of 'grave and sudden' provocation is whether a reasonable man from the same social group as the accused would be so outraged as to lose his self-control in the position in which the accused was put.
    • In India, words and gestures may give grave and sudden provocation to an accused, so bringing his act within the first exception to Section 300 of the IPC.
    • In determining whether the succeeding action produced significant and immediate provocation for committing the crime, the mental context formed by the victim's earlier act may be taken into account.
    • The fatal blow should be clearly traced to the influence of passion arising from that provocation and not after the passion had cooled down by lapse of time, or otherwise giving room and scope for premeditation and calculation.
    Judgement:
    he accused was convicted for murder under sec. 302 and sentenced to life imprisonment. He could not get the benefit of sec. 300 exceptions 1. In this case fact was grave but caused by nanavati was not sudden. It took him three hours that was sufficient to regain his self control. Certain grave and sudden must be decided according to the facts and circumstances of the case.
     
  2. Right Of Private Defense:
    As per exception 2 of sec. 300 of the code, culpable homicide is not murder if the offender exercises in good faith of the right of private defense of person or property.

    To apply this provision the following conditions must be fulfilled:
    • Act must be done in exercise of right of private defence of person or property;
    • Act must have been done in good faith;
    • The person doing the act must have exceeded his right given to him by law and have thereby caused death;
    • Act must have been done without premeditation and without any intension of causing more harm was necessary in self-defence.

    In The Case: - Nathan V. State Of Madras (1972)

    The accused and his wife were in possession of some land that they had been farming for some years. They had fallen behind on their lease payments to the landlady. The accused was forcibly evicted, and the landlord attempted to harvest the crop. As a result, the accused killed the dead in the exercise of his right to private property defence.

    The Supreme Court agreed with the claim that the incident occurred when the accused was exercising his legal right to private defence against the property. The right to private property defence was restricted to the degree of causing any harm other than death under u, IPC because the deceased person was not armed with any lethal weapons and there could not have been any fear of death or severe harm on the part of the accused and his party.

    As a result, the accused's right to private defence was violated, and the case was classified as culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Exception 2 to Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code because the act was done in good faith and without the intent to cause death. The accused's death sentence was commuted to a term of life in prison.
     
  3. Exercise of legal powers:
    Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, being a public servant or aiding a public servant acting for the advancement of public justice, exceeds the powers given to him by law and causes the death by doing an act which he, in good faith, believes to be lawful and necessary for the due discharge of his duty as such public servant and without ill-will towards the person whose death is caused.

    The essential ingredients of this exception:
    • The offence must be committed by a public servant or by a person aiding a public servant;
    • The act alleged must have been committed by the public servant in the discharge of his official duties;
    • He should have exceeded the powers given to him by law;
    • The act should be done in good faith;
    • The public servant should have believed that his act was lawful and necessary for the due discharges of his duties;
    • He should not have borne any ill-will towards the person whose death was caused.

    In The Case: Dakhi Singh V. State (Air 1955 All 379)

    A constable of railway protection police shot a thief suspected to be tampering with sugar bags from the goods wagon on order by the havaldar. He did so in discharge of his duty and that it was just an accident that he hit the firemen instead. He was convicted under sec 302 by the lower court, on appeal; it was held that the case would be covered by exception 3 to section 300 IPC.

    In the present case, there was no ill-will between the appellant and the deceased. The appellant was a public servant and his object was the advancement of public justice. He caused the death of the fireman by doing an act which he, in good faith, believed to be lawful and necessary for the due discharge of his duty. In such circumstances, it was held that the offence committed was culpable homicide not amounting to murder punishable under sec. 304, part - II of IPC and not murder. The conviction under section 302 for murder was set aside.
     
  4. Death caused in sudden fight:
    Culpable homicide is not murder if it is committed without premeditation in sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel and without the offender's having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner.

    The only requirements for this exception are that:
    • The murder be committed without premeditation;
    • It is committed in a sudden fight;
    • It is committed in the heat of passion;
    • It is committed upon a sudden quarrel;
    • It is committed without the offender taking undue advantage or acting in a cruel or unusual manner.

    In The Case: Surinder Kumar V. Union Territory Of Chandigarth [Air 1989 Sc 1094]

    The appellant had an argument with the deceased and there was heated exchange and the appellant got enraged, went into the kitchen and returned with a knife with which he inflicted blows on the deceased and the deceased collapsed on the floor and later died. Considering the facts that there was no ill-will between the parties the court held that the appellant was entitled to the benefit of exception 4 of section 300. The accused was convicted under section 304.
     
  5. Death with consent:
    Culpable homicide is not murder when the person whose death is caused being above the age of 18 year, suffers death or takes the risk of death with his own consent.

    The points to be proved are:
    • The death was caused with the consent of the deceased;
    • The deceased was then above 18 year of age
    • That such consent was free and voluntary and not given through fear or misconception of facts.
       

In The Case: Dasrath Paswan V. State Of Bihar [Air 1958 Pat 190]

The accused was a tenth class student and failed thrice. He decided to end his life and informed his wife. She asked him to first kill her and then kill himself. In accordance with their pact, the accused killed his wife aged 19 years. He was arrested before he could kill himself. He was convicted under sec 302, IPC for the murder of his wife and sentenced to transportation for life.

On appeal, the Patna high court having regard to the extraordinary nature of his case, held that a moderate sentence is proper. The appellant is immature young man and was suffering from an inferior complex. The loss of a devoted wife has already been a great punishment to him. Appellant was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment under sec 304 parts-I of the IPC, relying upon exception 5 to 300.

Conclusion:
These are the Exception of section 300 in which if someone causes injury or death to another person then he will get the benefit under these exceptions. But the person has to fulfil all the important points which are described under this Section. There is a say that there is always an exception to everything.

And this section gives protection to the accused, if he has done any act under the private defence, sudden fight, consent, etc then the accused can take the benefits of these sections. But the court has a duty that he will take the cases very seriously and read all the important points and facts of the case.

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