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Culpable murder isn’t homicide whether it is dedicated with out premeditation in a sudden combat

Culpable homicide is not murder if it is committed without premeditation in a sudden fight written by Prapti Kothari student of Institute of Law, Nirma university



Ramlal (hereinafter referred to as ‘PW-1’) was the father of Lekhram and Gopal (hereinafter referred to as ‘the deceased’). The accused Janku, Kewal, and Mangal Singh were the sons of the accused, Ghapoo Yadav. Deceased, the witnesses and the accused belonged to the same village and there was a land dispute between them.

The deceased, the witnesses, and the accused resided in the same village, and between them, there was a conflict regarding land. The assessment of the land was carried out by the revenue authority upon a proposal made by PW-1. Land belonging to the accused Mangal Singh was reported to be in the custody of PW-1 and a berry tree stood over the said land. While, originally, the tree was in possession of PW-1, he disjoined with its possession after assessment.

The family members of PW-1 had cut the aforementioned tree a day before the eventuality.
On the date of the incident, that is, 9/6/1986, the accused Janku asked the deceased why the tree had been cut. Lekhram answered that the tree was theirs and was planted by members of their family. The deceased asserted that the tree had not been removed by him. This resulted in heated arguments and confrontations between them. Besides, the accused individuals attacked the deceased, resulting in the rupturing of his leg.

PW-1 and Lekhram sped away from the scene of altercation and returned subsequently with the other inhabitants. The deceased, who was then fighting for breath, was taken to Maharajpur Police Station on a crib. They sent him for diagnosis. The doctor reported 7 wounds on his body upon due examination. Afterward, on 10/6/1986, the deceased died at 2.00 a.m after saying his final words. His dying statement was registered. The trial court observed, on account of the facts on hand, that the accused persons were culpable and subsequently charged and imprisoned them.


  1. Whether the appellant was liable for the murder of the complainant under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as I.P.C.)?
  2. Whether exception 4 to section 300 of the I.P.C. is applicable?


Exception 4 to section 300 was granted and made applicable. Nonetheless, the appellants were sentenced and a 10-year prison term and fine, under section 304 of the I.P.C., as imposed by the trial court earlier served the purpose of justice.


The case of Ghapoo Yadav v. the State of M.P. deals with the applicability of exception 4 to section 300 of I.P.C. It was acknowledged that not only must the defense be able to demonstrate that the crime was committed without premeditation in a sudden conflict in the heat of passion after a sudden dispute in order to trigger Exception 4 to Section 300, but more significantly, it must be demonstrated that the perpetrator ‘did not take undue advantage and did not behave in a cruel or unusual way’.

The sudden fight must accompany a sudden argument or quarrel. A ‘sudden fight’ means mutual aggression on both parts. In such a fight, the issue of who attacks and who defends is totally entirely irrelevant and relies on the strategies adopted by the respective rivals. There can be no possibility of a sudden fight in the context of the court’s direct finding that the aggressor was one of the parties.

If there is ample time for passion to dissipate allowing the accused time to premeditate and the fighting takes place afterward, the accused will disqualify the Exemption for gaining benefits as the killing amounts to murder with premeditation. It is a matter of fact and whether or not a quarrel is sudden must ultimately depend on the evidence proven in each case.

The perpetuation of the injuries and their existence indicates the intention of the accused-appellants, but it should not be considered that the cause of such injuries is either cruel or abnormal for not benefiting from Exception 4 to Section 300 I.P.C., meaning that the number of injuries sustained during the incident is not a determining factor, but what is relevant is that the incident must have been sudden and the perpetrator must have behaved in a fit of rage. The perpetrator must not, for example, have taken an unfair advantage or have behaved in a cruel way.


Therefore, after taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances, exception 4 to Section 300, of the I.P.C. was perspicuously pertinent. This indicates that the accused had inflicted injuries to the deceased in the heat of passion after a sudden argument preceded by a fight, but had not behaved in an unfair or unnatural way.

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