Culpable Homicide Amounting to Murder

Section 300 deals with Culpable Homicide amounting to murder. In other words the Section states that culpable homicide is murder in certain situations. This makes us come to two conclusions, namely:

For an act to be classified as murder it must first meet all the conditions of culpable homicide.

Secondly, all acts of murder are culpable homicide, but all acts of culpable homicides are not murder. Pictorially speaking:-

Now, let us study the situations in which culpable homicide does amount to murder. Section 300 states, that except for situations states (which do not concern us as of now) culpable homicide is murder in four situations:

1. When an act is done with the intention of causing death

The degree of intention required is very high for murder. There must be intention present and the intention must be to cause the death of the person, not only harm or grievous hurt without the intention to cause death.

Instances would include:

Shooting someone at point blank range.

Stabbing someone in the hurt

Hanging someone by the neck till he dies

Strapping a bomb on someone

Administering poison to someone.

Remember the act must be accompanied with the intention to “cause death.”

2. Inflicting of bodily injury which the offender knows is likely to cause death The second situation covers instances where the offender has special knowledge about the victim’s condition and causes harm in such a manner which causes death of the person. Look at this part of Section 300 very carefully. It states that the offender “knows likely to be the cause of death

Instances would include:

Sundar is a hemophilic patient. Bandar knows this and cuts him in multiple places, which if carried out on an ordinary person would not have cost him his life.

Lolo is suffering from jaundice. Bebo knows this and slips in alcohol in Lolo’s medicine in order to rupture Lolo’s liver so Lolo dies. Lolo dies as a result of consuming the adulterated medicine.

3. Bodily injury which causes death in the ordinary course of nature

These situations cover such acts where there is bodily injury which in ordinary sequence of events leads to the death of the person. Read the part of the section carefully. The section actually has two conditions-

Firstly, the bodily injury inflicted is inflicted with the intention of causing death of the person on whom it is inflicted.

Secondly, the bodily injury caused in the ordinary course of events leads to death of someone.

An instance of the same would be:

Musharraf wants Sharif dead. In order to kill Musharraf picks up a hockey stick and repeatedly hits him on the head. Sharif dies as a result of the injury.

4. Commission of an imminently dangerous act without any legitimate reason which would cause death or bodily injury which would cause death.

This head covers the commission of those acts which are so imminently dangerous which when committed would cause death or bodily injury which would result in death of a person and that such an act is done without any lawful excuse.

Cases under this head have three requirements _ Commission of an inherently dangerous act _ the knowledge that the act in all probability will cause death or bodily injury which will cause death and _ the act is done without any excuse (the excuse must be lawful or legitimate excuse) Instances would include:

Throwing a high intensity bomb in a crowded public place.

Thrown loaded cast iron boxes from a multi storied building in a busy thoroughfare.

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By Hassham

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