SECTION 304 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder



Description of IPC Section 304

According to section 304 of Indian penal code, Whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death;

 

or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both, if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.

Offence : Culpable homicide not amounting to murder, If act by which the death is caused is done with intention of causing death, etc.


Punishment : Imprisonment for Life or 10 Years + Fine


Cognizance : Cognizable


Bail : Non-Bailable


Triable : Court of Session



Offence : If act is done with knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, etc.


Punishment : 10 Years or Fine or Both


Cognizance : Cognizable


Bail : Non-Bailable


Triable : Court of Session





Section 304- Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder

Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code states that whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death. The accused will be liable for imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both, if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death but without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.
 

Punishment under Section 304 of IPC

Section 304 of the Code provides punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Under it, there are two kinds of punishment applying to two separate degrees of culpable homicide depending upon: (i) intention to cause death or bodily injury likely to cause death and (ii) knowledge that the act is likely to cause death. For conviction of the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304, the following two circumstances must be proved, viz., the act by which the death is caused is done: (a) with the intention of causing death; and (b) of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death. Under Section 304, the punishment is imprisonment for life or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and fine.
 

How is punishment determined under Section 304 of IPC?

If the act is done with the knowledge that is likely to cause death but without any intention to cause death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, the punishment is imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both under Sec. 304 of the Code. The offence under Section 304 of IPC is cognizable (arrest can be made without obtaining a court order), non-bailable and triable by Court of Session. In Shanmugam v. State of Tamil Nadu, the accused stabbed the deceased, over a petty quarrel, with a spear in the abdomen and chest. The victim died after a week of septicemia. The court imputed to the accused the intention of causing severe injury. He was punished under Section 304.

In V. Sreedharan v. State of Kerala, where the accused, as a result of provocation caused in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel, chased the deceased to some distance and then gave the single fatal blow, it was held that the whole incident was a continuous sequence. Hence the conviction of the accused was shifted from Section 300 to Section 304.

The bare reading of the section makes it crystal clear that the first and the second clause of the section refer to intention apart from the knowledge and the third clause refers to knowledge alone and not the intention. Both the expression "intent" and "knowledge" postulate the existence of a positive mental attitude which is of different degrees. The mental element in culpable homicide i.e. mental attitude towards the consequences of conduct is one of intention and knowledge. If that is caused in any of the aforesaid three circumstances, the offence of culpable homicide is said to have been committed. Section 300 IPC, however, deals with murder although there is no clear definition of murder provided in Section 300 IPC. It has been repeatedly held by Courts that culpable homicide is the genus and murder is species and that all murders are culpable homicide but not vice versa. Section 300 IPC further provides for the exceptions which will constitute culpable homicide not amounting to murder and punishable under Section 304. When and if there are intent and knowledge then the same would be a case of Section 304 and if it is only a case of knowledge and not the intention to cause murder and bodily injury, then the same would be a case of Section 304.
 

How can a lawyer help?

A case such as the one mentioned under Section 304 of IPC is a complex issue to deal with in a country like India where there is a huge pile of criminal cases pending in the court of law. Criminal procedure in India involves various steps that would require you to deal with the police at numerous stages and would also involve going to court. This is why it is essential to have a criminal lawyer to help you through the procedure and to guide you with the best possible ways to resolve the criminal issue. An experienced lawyer who is an expert in handling criminal cases can help you draft an effective complaint that can hold your case in the court on solid grounds and can also represent you in the court to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

FAQ's on IPC Section 304


What offence is defined under IPC 304?

IPC 304 Offence: Culpable homicide not amounting to murder, If act by which the death is caused is done with intention of causing death, etc..


What is the punishment for IPC 304 Case?

The punishment for IPC 304 is Imprisonment for Life or 10 Years + Fine.


Is IPC 304 cognizable offence or non-cognizable offence?

IPC 304 is a Cognizable.


How to file/defend your case for IPC 304 offence?

Use LawRato for filing/defending your case under IPC 304 with the help of best criminal lawyers near you.


Is IPC 304 bailable or non-bailable offence?

IPC 304 is a Non-Bailable offence.


In what court can IPC 304 be tried?

IPC 304 is tried in the court of Court of Session.



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