Apr 23,2020 | 5 min read

IPC Section 302 in India | Law & Punishment

IPC Section 302 in India - Law & Punishment

Author - Vivek Mishra

In layman’s language the unlawful killing of a human being with an evil intention by another human being is known as murder. Legal Provisions of Sec 302 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. Section 302 IPC is one of the most important sections of the Indian Penal Code. The section provides punishment for the offence of Murder. Sec 302 IPC states that Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine."In other words, the Indian Penal Code prescribes only two kinds of punishment, death sentence and imprisonment for life, out of which one shall be imposed on the accused if found guilty of the crime and shall also be liable for fine if the court so deems necessary.

Definition of Murder

An act under Section 302 of IPC mentions the cases of culpable homicide that can be called as murder. Those cases are:-

Act by which death is caused was done with intention of causing death

Here action also includes intentional omission. Where a child was very ill and his family members refused to take him to the hospital for providing necessary treatment, as a result the child dies. Such a case shall be called as murder.

Having intention to cause bodily injury which is likely to cause death

Here the offender has the intention to cause bodily harm and knowledge that by his act death will be caused. This clause may include those cases where the victim was suffering from a trauma or disease that the offender knew about and used it as an advantage by inflicting bodily injury which resulted in death of that person, what may not have caused death of a normal person.

When injury is sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature

For this clause the offender must have intention and would’ve caused a bodily injury that is sufficient enough to cause death to any other person in ordinary course of nature.

Death caused in a sudden fight

For this exception, the death should be caused in a sudden fight without any premeditation due to the heat of a sudden quarrel. Keeping in mind the accused should not have crossed any line. It does not matter who started the fight, it just have to be with the person who got killed. Here the fight is between two or more persons, with or without weapons.

Questions of an common man

Can murder be  justified?

It is not justified killing any human being but it is not punishable as well under any law. There are certain exceptions under the IPC Section 302 where there it is mentioned four exceptional cases where killing of a human being is not considered as murder. Those exceptions are:-

  1. Provocation

  2. Private Defence

  3. Duty of Public Servant

  4. Death Caused in sudden fight.

Except the above mentioned cases all the other cases of killing is either murder or culpable homicide. There are a few things common in these exceptions that are firstly, there shouldn’t be any intention or knowledge of the accused to cause death or a bodily injury that might cause death.

What is attempt to murder?

Attempt to murder is a crime where the act was done with the intention to cause death. But due to certain circumstances it could not get completed. Attempt to murder contain all the cases where there is intention and knowledge that if the act would have been completed it would cause death. Punishment regarding attempt to murder is mentioned under Section 307 of IPC.

Is attempt to murder bailable?

No, attempt to murder is not a Bailable offence. It’s a non- bailable offence. A non-bailable offence is when a person get caught and is detained, then only court other than high court or court of session can decide whether or not the accused cab be set out in public on bail or not

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Vivek Mishra

Allahabad High Court , Supreme Court of India , Delhi High court , Bombay High Court