‘Homicide’ means killing of a human being. Homicide can be excused or justified if the accused relies on general exceptions like insanity, private defence etc. In other cases, homicide is unlawful and the accused is liable to punished.

Generally, unlawful homicide is of two kinds:

  1. Culpable homicide not amounting to murder
  2. Murder

Culpable Homicide:

Section 299 of the IPC defines the offence of culpable homicide.

  • ‘By an act which is done with the intention of causing death.

Example: A, points a loaded gun at B’s temple, and shoots him from close range. B dies instantaneously. A’s act of pointing the gun at B’s temple and firing it, shows his intention of killing him. A is guilty of culpable homicide.

  • Act done with the intention of causing death
  • Intention of causing bodily injury which is likely to cause death


Murder is an aggravated form of culpable homicide. The possibility of death being caused is very high in murder as compared to culpable homicide.

Example: A hits B with sledge hammer on his skull due to which B dies.

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Essential Elements of murder:

Section 300 of the IPC defines the offence of murder.

  • When the act by which death is caused is done with the intention of causing death.
  • When death is caused due to an act which the accused knows to be likely to cause the death of the victim.
  • When death is cause by causing such bodily injury which is sufficient to cause the victim’s death in the ordinary course of nature.

Exceptions to the offence of ‘Murder’ :

  1. Grave and Sudden Provocation:

The provocation must cause the accused to lose his self-control.

  1. Exceeding right of private defence:

The accused was exercising his right of private defence.

  1. Exercise of legal powers by a public servant:

A public servant or any person aiding a public servant (i.e., the accused) was acting according to law.

  1. Sudden Quarrel:

The accused does not act in a cruel or unusual manner.

  1. Death by consent:

The victim consented to his death or voluntarily took the risk of death.

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