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IPC Study Notes :Offences Against Human Life

Dear Readers, 

Here we are providing you updated and most relevant Study notes on IPC of Offences Against Human Life for Law Entrance Exam. These study notes are highly recommendable for all those who aspire to crack CLAT, DULLB, AILET and other Law Entrance Exam.

Offences Against Human Life:

Homicide means killing a human being by another human being. 
  1. Culpable homicide not amounting to murder
  2. Murder
  3. Rash/Negligent homicide
  4. Attempt to commit suicide

Culpable homicide is murder:

If the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing-
  1. Death
  2. Such bodily injury-
As the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of the person to whom the harm is caused
Or
Is sufficient, in the ordinary course of nature, to cause death,
Or
If the offender knows that the act by which the death is caused is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death.

Culpable homicide is not murder in the following cases
[Exceptions to Sec. 300]
Exception 1: Culpable homicide is not murder, if the offender, causes the death of the person who gave grave and sudden provocation to the offender
.
Example: B gives grave and sudden provocation to A, A, on this provocation, fires a pistol at B, neither intending nor knowing himself to be likely to kill Z, a passerby. A kills Z. Here, A has not committed murder, but merely culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Exception 2: Culpable homicide is not murder, if the offender, in the exercise in good faith of right of private defence, exceeds the legal limit and causes the death of the person without a pre-meditation and without any intention of doing more harm than necessary.
Example: A, suspecting house-breaking, saw B, the total stranger, coming out of A’s house at night through a hole apparently made by B. A immediately attacked B and killed him. The Court held that A was guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Exception 3: Culpable homicide is not murder, if the offender, a public servant, exceeds his legal powers and causes death, by an act, which he believed was in good faith, lawful and necessary to discharge his duty and without ill-will towards the person killed.

Exception 4: Culpable homicide is not murder if the victim consents to his/her death being caused.
Example: A patient in the last stage of cancer, suffering from excruciating pain requests her husband to remove the life support. (This is passive euthanasia)
Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering.
Passive euthanasia entails the withholding of common treatments, such as antibiotics, necessary for the continuance of life

Active euthanasia entails the use of lethal substances or forces, such as administering a lethal injection, to kill and is the most controversial means.

CAUSING DEATH BY RASH /NEGLIGENT ACT

  1. In the case, the death of a person is caused by doing any rash or negligent act, not amounting to culpable homicide.
  2. It is punishable with two years’ imprisonment and fine.
  3. The provisions of this section apply to cases where there is no intention to cause death and no knowledge that the act done, in all likelihood, would cause death.

Practice exercise:

1. What does homicide mean?
A. Killing of animals
B. Suicide
C. Killing a human being by another human being
D. All of the above
Ans: C

2. Culpable homicide is murder if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing
A. Death
B. The Bodily injury likely to cause death or is sufficient, in the ordinary course of nature, to cause death.
C. An act by which the death is caused is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death
D. All of the above
Ans: D

3. B gives grave and sudden provocation to A, A, on this provocation, fires a pistol at B, neither intending nor knowing himself to be likely to kill Z, a passerby. A kills Z. Will A be liable for culpable homicide amounting to murder?
A. Yes
B. No
Ans: B

4. A, suspecting house-breaking, saw B, the total stranger, coming out of A’s house at night through a hole apparently made by B. A immediately attacked B and killed him. Will A be liable for culpable homicide not amounting to murder?
A. Yes
B. No
C. Maybe
Ans: A

5. A patient in the last stage of cancer, suffering from excruciating pain requests her husband to remove the life support. Will this be murder?
A. Yes
B. No
Ans: B

6. A lays sticks and turf over a pit, with the intention of thereby causing death, or with the knowledge that death is likely to be thereby caused. Z believing the ground to be firm, treads on it, falls in and is killed. Has A committed the offence of culpable homicide?
A. Yes
B. No
Ans: A

7. A knows Z to be behind a bush. B does not know it. A, intending to cause or knowing it to be likely to cause Z's death, induces B to fire at the bush. B fires and kills Z. Has A committed the offence of culpable homicide?
A. Yes
B. No
Ans: A

8. A, by shooting at a fowl with intent to kill and steal it, kills B who is behind a bush; A not knowing that he was there. Will A be held liable in this case?
A. Yes
B. No
Ans: B

9. A workman throws snow from a roof giving proper warning. A passerby is killed. The workman is—
(A) Guilty of murder
(B) Guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder
(C) Guilty of causing death by negligence
(D) Not guilty since death was accidental
Ans: D

10. ‘A’ is cutting the wood with an axe at a place where children are playing. The axe flies off and kills a nearby child. ‘A’ is liable for—
(A) No offence
(B) Murder
(C) Culpable homicide
(D) Causing death by negligence
Ans: D


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