“Whoever causes death by doing an act with the intention of causing death, or with the knowledge that he is likely by such act to cause death, commits the offence of culpable homicide.” –Sec. 299, I.P.C.
The crime of manslaughter is termed as Culpable Homicide. It is a term in the law of Scotland and England that covers a number of criminal homicides equivalent to manslaughter in legal criminal jurisdictions.
Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code deals with Culpable Homicide and it is stated as follows – “Whoever causes death by doing an act with the intention of causing death, or with the knowledge that he is likely by such act to cause death, commits the offence of culpable homicide.”
IAS NEXT (PCS-J Coaching in Lucknow)
The Penal Code has first defined Culpable Homicide simpliciter (Section 299, I.P.C) termed as manslaughter under English law which is genus, and then murder (Section 300, I.P.C) which is species of homicide.
Explanation 1 – A person who causes bodily injury to another who is laboring under a disorder, disease or bodily infirmity, and thereby accelerates the death of that other, shall be deemed to have caused his death.
Explanation 2 – Where death is caused by bodily injury, the person who causes such bodily injury shall be deemed to have caused the death, although by resorting to proper remedies and skillful treatment the death might have been prevented.
Explanation 3 – The causing of the death of a child in the mother’s womb is not homicide. But it may amount to culpable Homicide to caused the death of a living child, if any part of that child has been brought forth, thought the child may not have breath or completely born.
Homicide is the killing of a human being by a human being. It is either a) lawful, or b) unlawful.
(a) Law Homicide: It is also known as Simple Homicide, includes several cases falling under the
General Exceptions. The death is caused in one of the following ways :-
- Where death is caused by accident or misfortune, and without any criminal intention or knowledge in the doing of a lawful act, in a lawful manner, by lawful means, and with proper care and caution (S. 80)
- Where the death is caused justifiably, that is to say,
- By a person, who is bound, or by mistake of fact in good faith believes himself bound, by law (S. 76)
- By a Judge when acting judicially when acting judicially in the exercise of any power which is, or which in good faith he believes to be, given to him by law. (S. 77)
- By a person acting in pursuance of the judgement or order of a Court of Justice. (S. 78)
- By a person who is justified or who by reason of a mistake of fact, in good faith, believes himself to be justified by law. (S. 79)
- By a person acting without criminal intention to cause harm and in good faith, for the purpose of preventing or avoiding other harm to person or property (S. 81)
- Where death is caused in the exercise of the right of private defence of person or property (Ss. 100, 103)
- Where death is caused by a child, or person of unsound mind, or an intoxicated person as will come under Ss. 82, 83, 84 and 85.
- Where death is caused unintentionally by an act done in good faith for benefit of the person killed, when
- He or, if a minor or lunatic, his guardian, has expressly or impliedly consented to such an act (Ss. 87, 88,); or
- Where it is impossible for the person killed to signify his consent or where he is incapable of giving consent, and has no guardian from whom it is possible to obtain consent, in time for the time for the thing to be done with benefit. (S. 92)
Section 304: 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 to 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.
This Section provides punishments for Culpable Homicide not amounting to murder. Under it there are two kinds of punishments applying to two different circumstances:
- If the act by which death is caused is done with the intention of causing death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, the punishment is imprisonment for life, or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and fine.
- If the act is done with knowledge that it 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.
The field of Culpable Homicide is very vast and is of practical utility. It includes all felonious homicide not amounting to murder. It is basically a killing which the killer neither intended nor foresaw as likely to happen; it is an accidental, blameworthy felonious killing. There have been many cases in which this field of law has been used and correctly applied as well. The Sections 299, 301, 304, 304A deal with the different aspects covered under this subject in an elaborate manner all the provisions are not exhaustive and there is a need to pit into application many of the suggestion of the Law Commission for better administration of Justice since it would help in the evolvement of this subject with time.
IAS NEXT (PCS-J Coaching in lucknow)