Difference between culpable homicide and Murder

Criminal law, for all intents and purposes, is a complex one to be dealt with. Also it requires everything to be studied in detail so that an innocent is not punished. Therefore law students usually require law assignment help to fulfil the check boxes of crime and complete their work. 

Crime is said to be committed, when an act of serious nature is committed, such an act is liable to cause harm to the other person thus making the offender liable for punishment and the act is against the society and State at large. 

If you look superficially, both culpable homicide and murder look the same. Both refer to the act of killing someone. It becomes hard to differentiate between them even if we delve into depths. But still there are differences between these terms. Law students need to understand these differences if they need assignment help. 

Culpable refers to a state of mind that is blameworthy while homicide refers to the act of killing someone. Thus culpable homicide refers to the act of harming someone’s body wherein the act has been done with a criminal intent. 

Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code defines culpable homicide. Since the act is of criminal nature therefore mens rea or mental element is taken into consideration along with the physical element, while studying the commission of culpable homicide. The act committed under culpable homicide should be done with the intention of causing death or with the knowledge that the particular act would inflict such bodily injury on a person leading to his death.

For example,A knows that B needs the asthma pump to breathe else he would die still A hides the asthma pump and sees B suffer. As a result B dies. Thus A is guilty of culpable homicide. The act of culpable homicide cannot have any excuse that timely medical attention could have saved the life of the person. For example, A commits an accident severely injuring B, B bleeds a lot yet no one rushes into the hospital and he dies eventually.

A cannot take the defense that had B been hospitalized on time, B would have been saved. There are a few checkboxes that should be satisfied for culpable homicide to happen:

  • Act: It is important for such a grievous injury to be inflicted upon a person, leading to his death. Sometimes even not committing an act may lead to the death of a person thus satisfying the criteria. For example, if you deliberately do not give medicines to a severely ill person, the person would die. Thus the act has been committed.
  • Intention: An intention of a criminal mind is required to fulfill the criteria of culpable homicide but if you commit the act accidently then this check box is not satisfied. 
  • Knowledge: This is a bit different from intention in the fact that you may not have the intention of killing the person but you know that your act would do the same. 

These check boxes are essential to be ticked for the crime to be committed. Hence students must check for all these points and it would definitely provide them assignment help. 

Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code deals with the acts of culpable homicide that amount to murder. Remember, not all acts of culpable homicide are murder but all acts of murder are culpable homicide.

Murder is caused when the intention becomes way higher than that in culpable homicide such as stabbing somebody directly in the heart, slitting the neck or bombing a person. There are chances that the act committed in culpable homicide may not kill the person but the acts committed in murder are bound to kill the person.

These acts are such that do not require any special situation to kill the person but would kill him even in the ordinary circumstances. For example, shooting somebody at a point blank range would definitely kill the person. Therefore the differences between culpable homicide and murder are:

  1. In murder, the person who is committing the act has the knowledge that this act will cause the death of the person in the ordinary circumstances. Whereas in culpable homicide, the person committing it has intention of inflicting such a bodily injury that is likely to cause death. 
  2. In murder, the person knows that the commission of the act will definitely cause death while in culpable homicide the person knows that the act may cause death.

There are certain exceptions to the above stated points where culpable homicide does not amount to murder:

  1. When someone keeps on provoking you and the provocation is grave as well a sudden, the act committed is not murder. 
  2. When you are committing the act in private defense and such act should be proportional to the offence committed. For example, if A make an attempt to rape B and in that course B hits the vase directly on the head of A resulting in excessive bleeding and death of A, then B is not liable for murder. Incase the proportionality of the act committed in defense has increased, the person is at most liable for culpable homicide but not murder.
  3. Incase a public servant exceeds the mandate of his duties, his at most liable for culpable homicide but not for murder. For example, A is a police officer who has been ordered to Lathi Charge in place of riots. In the process A notices that B is running with the knife towards him and can eventually kill him, he immediately fires at B. thus causing B’s death. Here a is liable for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Therefore these points of differences should be clearly understood by students who require law assignment help. Remember that it’s just not the definition that you have to study, for the investigation of crimes, but also focus on each and every word that is written.

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