Murder - IPC Section 300

Murder - IPC Section 300

The word "murder" derived from the Germanic term "morth," which means "Secret Killing." Murder means when one person is killed by another person or a group of people having a pre-determined intention to end the former's life. An offence will not amount to “murder” unless it contains an act that falls under the definition of culpable homicide as per the definition of Murder under IPC. All culpable homicides are not murders but all murders are homicides. The offence of “Murder” comes under section 300 of the Indian Penal Code and it also states five exceptions when culpable homicide is not considered as murder.

What is IPC 300?

Section 300 IPC is one of the provisions relating to the offence of “Murder. According to this section, culpable homicide is considered as murder if:

  1. The act by which the death is caused is committed with an intention to cause death.

  2. The act is done with the intention of causing such bodily injury that the offender has knowledge that it would likely result in death.

  3. The act is committed with the intention of causing bodily injury to a person and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature.

  4. The person committing the act knows that his act is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, result in death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death. 

The ingredients of section 300 are as follows–

Causing Death – There must 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.

The act must be done – it must be done with the knowledge that the act is likely to cause the death of another.

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There are some exceptions to section 300 of IPC where Culpable Homicide is not considered as murder- Clauses 1-4 of section 300 mention the essential ingredients, wherein culpable homicide amounts to murder. Section 300 after laying down the condition in which culpable homicide becomes murder states some exceptional situations under which, if murder is done, it is reduced to culpable homicide not amounting to murder punishable under section 304 of IPC and not under section 302 IPC.

The exceptions are –

  1. Grave and sudden provocation

  2. Exercise of legal power

  3. Private defence

  4. Consent in case of passive euthanasia and

  5. Without premeditation in a sudden fight.

Is IPC 300 cognizable offence or non-cognizable offence?

The offence of murder under section 300 of IPC is a Cognizable Offence and arrests can be made by a police officer without any prior permission or order of the Court. The offences under section 300 are triable by the Court of Session.

Is IPC 300 bailable or non-Bailable?

The offence under section 300 of IPC has been categorized as a non-bailable offence. It is also regarded as a non-compoundable offence.

What is the punishment for an offence under IPC 300?

The punishment for IPC 300 is covered under section 302 of IPC.  Section 302 deals with the punishment for murder. According to this Section whoever commits murder is punishable with:

  1. Death;

  2. Life imprisonment;

  3. Imposition of fine.

 How to file/defend your case for IPC 300 offence?

The case under Section 300 will simply be whistled by registering a First Information Report at the nearest police station to the place of occurrence.

How to defend?

When someone is charged with offences u/s 300 IPC or is accused of the provisions u/s 300 IPC, then it is advised that he/she shall hire an expert lawyer who has experience in dealing with criminal cases. Because the offences u/s 300 are cognizable, non-bailable, and also, the punishment u/s 302 extends up to death or imprisonment for a lifetime, accompanied by a fine of a convict.

Charged with a crime is a serious matter, whether major or minor. A person who is facing criminal charges risks serious penalties and consequences. That is why it is important to hire an expert criminal lawyer. A criminal lawyer can help you to understand-

  1. The nature of the charges filed

  2. Any defenses available

  3. What kind of plea bargains are most likely to be offered;

  4. What is expected after trial or conviction?

Also, during the trial, an experienced lawyer would strive to defend your case and would for sure benefit you, either by obtaining an acquittal in your favor or by reducing the punishment.

Important judgment

State of Karnataka v. Shariff, AIR 2003 SC1074: According to the Statement of a child witness who was deceased’s son, that his father tied hands and legs of his mother and burnt her cannot be rejected on the basis of the stray statement in cross-examination where he has stated that he was in his grandmother’s house when his mother caught fire, is fairly reliable on the factum of the incident and the same cannot be rejected, held accused was liable.

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K.M. Nanavati vs. the State of Maharashtra, 1961 (AIR 1962 SC 605): In this case, the Supreme court had explained the law relating to provocation in India. The court observed that: -

  1. The test of “sudden and grave provocation” is whether a reasonable man from the same society as the accused is placed in the circumstances in which the accused was placed would have been so provoked as to lose his/her self-control.

  2. Under some circumstances, words and gestures may also lead to sudden and grave provocation to an accused, so as to bring his act under an exception.

  3. The mental background of the victim can be taken into consideration and also taking into account his previous act to ascertain whether the subsequent act leads to sudden and grave provocation for committing the offence.

  4. The fatal blow should clearly trace the influence of passion that arises from the sudden and grave provocation. It should not be after the provocation has cooled down due to a lapse of time, otherwise, it will provide scope to the accused of altering the evidence.

Rawalpenta Venkalu vs State of Hyderabad AIR 1956 SC 171: Where the accused set fire to the single room hut, in which the deceased was sleeping with the intention of causing the death of the deceased. They also locked the door of the room from outside and also prevented the villagers from going to the rescue of the helpless inmate of the room.

The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the sessions court and held that the intention of the accused to kill the deceased was a clear case of Murder under section 300 and granted the death penalty under section 302.

Selvaraj vs State of Tamil Nadu (1998) 9 SCC 308: In this case, the accused because of some dispute stabbed the victim on his left chest with a knife and brought it downwards. The victim’s intestine came out of the abdomen with bleeding. The supreme court in this case held that the intention to kill the deceased was very clear from the act of the accused and was liable for the offence of murder.

Conclusion – In this blog, we discussed section 300 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which deals with “Murder”. It is considered one of the heinous crimes. The act of taking away someone’s life with proper knowledge and intention is punishable with either death or life imprisonment and fine. The Court grants the death penalty only in the rarest situations, where the accused is a threat to society as the Court recognizes the value of life. The Court has the right and power to lower the punishment. killing another person is considered one of the gravest crimes known, with the exception of sedition and treason.

This article on section 300 of IPC was drafted by Ms. Puja, BBA LL.B, 4th-year student, school of Law, UPES Dehradun
Offence Punishment Cognizance Bail Triable By
Murder Death or imprisonment for a lifetime, accompanied by a fine of a convict Cognizable Non-Bailable Magistrate of First Class
Offence Murder
Punishment Death or imprisonment for a lifetime, accompanied by a fine of a convict
Cognizance Cognizable
Bail Non-Bailable
Triable By Magistrate of First Class


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