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Section 302


                                           Section 302 IPC


Killing someone is one of the worst things that a person can do. To ensure that such an act is not spared and is met with serious consequences, there are stringent legal provisions in place. One such provision is Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which talks about the punishment for murder.

Punishment for murder

The offence of murder is defined in Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code 1860. The criminal, however, is subject to punishment under Section 302 of the Code. A person who commits a murder is subject to a death sentence or life imprisonment, as well as a fine, according to this section. This section applies to everyone, regardless of gender. It even applies to a public servant who kills someone for personal gain. No one is free from the crime of murder under the IPC. "Whoever commits murder," Section 302 clearly states. Murder is also a non-bailable and non-compoundable offence.

Essential ingredients of murder

Section 302 of the IPC doesn’t clarify when these three above-mentioned punishments shall be imposed. However, Section 300 of the IPC mentions three instances if fulfilled, shall be termed as murder. They are:

  • The act must be done with the intention to kill someone and cause death. An intentional omission is also included here. For example, A stabs B with a knife, with an intention to kill him. B dies, A has committed murder.

  • The act is done with the intention to cause bodily injury and such bodily injury is likely to result in death.

  • If the act is done having proper knowledge that it will cause death, such an act shall be termed as murder.

When is Section 302 IPC not applicable?

Punishment under Section 302 of the IPC shall not apply if any of the conditions mentioned above are not fulfilled. This means that if the accused has not intentionally killed someone then murder cannot be proved. Apart from this, Section 300 of the IPC mentions certain exceptions for the offence of murder, which are as follows:

  • If a person is suddenly provoked by a third party and loses his self-control, and as a result of which causes the death of another person or the person who provoked him, it won’t amount to murder.

  • When a person under the right of private defense causes the death of the person against whom he has exercised this right without any intention, Section 302 will not be applicable.

  • If a public servant, while discharging his duty and having lawful intention, causes the death of a person this Section will not be applicable.

All these three exceptions mentioned above shall come under Section 304 and will be termed as culpable homicide not amounting to murder.


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