3. Section 299
Whoever causes death by doing an act with the
intention of causing death, or with the intention of
causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause
death, or with the knowledge that he is likely by
such act to cause death, commits the offence of
DEFINITION OF CULPABLE HOMICIDE
4. The words intention and knowledge in s299
clearly show the existence of positive
thinking in which the offender realize his
act is likely to cause death.
The actus reus for culpable homicide is
that causing death of a human.
If death occurs under any one of the three
instances stated above, then it is culpable
Therefore, the intention or knowledge of an
offender is important mental element or
mens rea for offence of culpable homicide.
Motive is immaterial and not required to be
5. the bodily injury intended to be
inflicted is sufficient to cause
the act done with the
intention of causing injury as
offender knows it will cause
the death to another person.
the act which the death
is done with the
intention of causing
Murder is defined in Section 300 of the Penal Code as:
the person committing the
act knows that it is
imminently dangerous which
will cause death.
DEFINITION OF MURDER
6. Ahmad shoots Ali with the
intention of killing him. Ali
dies in consequence, Ahmad
ILLUSTRATIONS OF SECTION 300
Amir fires a loaded cannon into
a crowd of people and kills one
of them. Amir is guilty of
murder, although he may not have
had a plan beforehand to kill
any particular individual.
8. An act also includes an omission
• Omission will amount to culpable homicide if death of a
person occurs as a result of omission of the person in
• Therefore, there will be culpable homicide if death is
Unlawful omission with the intention that such
omission causes death; or
Unlawful omission with the intention that such
omission is likely to cause bodily injury to cause
Unlawful omission with knowledge that such
omission is likely to cause death
Example: A lifeguard duty is to take care of the people
who are around the pool but if he neglects to save the
person who is drowning in the pool then it is called an
illegal omission and he is liable for punishment, and it
is an offence under section 299 of Penal Code.
Whoever Causes Death
• Section 46 of the Penal Code
• The word “death” denotes the
death of a human being, unless
the contrary appears from the
• It is not necessary that a person whose
death has been caused must be the very
person whom the accused intended.
• The offence of culpable homicide was
committed as soon as any person
intended to kill any person.
• Mens Rea is the primary part to perform
an action. Actus Rea is secondary.
9. • The existence of an intention at the time an act is performed, which is proved by the
action of the accused and the surrounding circumstances of the case.
• The intention or knowledge must be proved as a matter of fact
• The law presumes that a person has the intention to cause the death which in normal
course of events the act will cause the death
Tan Buck Tee V PP  1 MLJ 176
There was a body with five appalling wounds penetrating to the heart and liver, which
must have been caused by violent blows with a heavy sharp instrument like an axe,
Then in the absence of anything else whoever inflicted those blows must have intended to
kill the person. In the absence of any evidence as to insanity, provocation or self-
defence, the only question for the jury to consider was whether they were satisfied
beyond reasonable doubt that it was the accused who inflicted the injuries.
In such circumstances it would be quite adequate for the Judge merely to tell the jury
that murder is the deliberate killing by one human being of another, that is killing
with the intention to kill.
With The Intention of Causing Death
10. • The death must be a direct result of the act and must be clearly connected to
that act even if the act does not cause instant death and it must not be too
• The connection between an act and the death is remote when:
The occurrence of some other acts
The conection is cut off as a result of some other cause
The time period between the death and the act is too far
Mer Dhana Sida v State AIR  SC 386
The accused used a stick and delivered some blows against the head of the
deceased. The accused harboured the intention and knew that such blows were
likely to crack the deceased's skull.
It was held that the accused knew well of his action that was likely to cause
death to the deceased. Hence, the accused was found guilty of culpable homicide.
With The Intention Of Causing Such Bodily
Injury As Is Likely To Cause Death
11. • The element of knowledge in connotes personal knowledge of the person who commits the act.
• In determining the knowledge of an accused, there a few conditions need to be considered:
• What manner was an act being delivered
• Under normal circumstances would such act cause death
• Under special surrounding circumstances would such act pose grave danger to a victim
State v Mirza Hidayatulah AIR  SC 1525
The accused hit the victim which caused death. In the autopsy report, it was reported that
there were only two severe injuries inflicted on the not so important body part of the
victim, and the rest of the injuries inflicted were minor.
The court held that when the accused hit the victim, he knew that his blows were likely to
cause death and therefore the accused had committed an offence that is punishable under
para (b) of section 304 of the Penal Code
Therefore, in the absence of such intention or knowledge, an act done was only to cause
With The Knowledge That He Is Likely By
Such Act To Cause Death
13. “if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of
• Illustration (a) of s300
• Provides that culpable homicide is murder, if
an act that causes death is done with an
intention to cause death.
• Intention is subjective element depends on
matter of fact and can be fathomed from the
behavior and action of the offender.
• In deciding the question of intention of an
accused the court can consider the type of
weapon used, the number of blows is
delivered, in which part of the body a victim
GHAZALI BIN MAT GHANI V PP
 2 MLJ 675
The accused shot the deceased at
a close range with a rifle. The
cause of death was a fatal shot
in the heart.
The nature use of a rifle
(weapon) showed that the accused
had the intention to kill the
14. (b) “with the intention of causing such bodily injury as
the offender knows to be likely to cause the death”
• Illustration (b) of s300
• The term ‘knows’ indicates that the accused was certain that the injuries he intentionally
inflicted on the victim would most likely resulted to death.
• Example: An accused intentionally caused grievous hurt at the vital and sensitive body
part of the victim by using dangerous weapon like axe. He know that vital part will
instantly cause death thus it clears that offender intended to kill.
• The certainty derived from the accused’s knowledge of the victim’s situation or health
• For example, A kicked B a few times after having hurt him badly with some violent blows. B
then fell and unconscious. A has the knowledge the kicks were likely to cause B’s death as
he already weak and fragile but still doing so thus A is guilty for murder.
15. (c) “with the intention of causing bodily injury to a
person is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to
• Illustration (c) of s300
• Sufficient means high degree of likelihood of
causing death as a result of that act.
• For example, stab at heart in which if a
person intentionally stab there it is ordinary
in nature it will cause death.
• To know whether sufficient or not depends on
type of weapon used or which part of the body
is injured or both.
• The stab wound caused by the
accused was very severe, it
penetrated 8cm deep, cut through
the ribs, penetrated the left
lung and caused a cut to the
anterior of the heart.
• The court held that the injury
was caused with intention, and
such injury caused was
sufficient in the ordinary
course of nature to cause death.
PP V VISUVANATHAN
 1 MLJ 159
16. (d) “if a person committing the act knows that it is so
imminently dangerous that it must in all probability cause
death, or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death
Illustration (d) of s300
The offenders knowledge must be one at the highest degree
and commits such act without any excuse for incurring the
risk of causing death or bodily injury.
There is no intention needed but have knowledge that his
act is dangerous and highly probable to cause death of any
This clause is intended to apply only when there is no
intention to cause death or bodily injury.
18. (a) with imprisonment for a term which may extend
to*thirty 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
(b) with imprisonment 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.
SECTION 304 OF THE PENAL CODE
Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting
to murder and lowest form of culpable homicide
Whoever commits culpable homicide not
amounting to murder shall be punished
19. • PP V. Bernadito L Alenjandri Jr 
• The accused was charged under ss. 302 and 324 of the Penal Code for the offences of
murdering one Renato S Harder (`the deceased’).
• The accused reprimanded his wife upon seeing one Aling touching his wife. Subsequently,
Aling approached the accused and hit his head. The accused managed to escape and ran
back home and headed back to the house with a parang.
• When he reached the entrance of the house, he was hit at the back of his head by someone
and as a result he stumbled. In the course of falling down towards the direction of the
deceased who was standing in front of him, the parang which he held in his right hand
struck the deceased and fatally injured him. The accused averred that it was not his
intention to stab the deceased.
• The question before the court was whether the accused had raised a reasonable doubt on
the charges preferred against him.
• The court held that based on the facts and the circumstances of the present case, the
accused had committed an offence under s. 304(a) of the Code. From the facts that the
accused went back to his house and took a parang, it could be easily inferred that he
had an intention to cause bodily injury which was sufficient in its ordinary course of
nature to cause death and he did in fact cause a death.
Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder
20. PUNISHMENT FOR MURDER
“whoever commits murder shall be
punished with death”
Sainal Abidin bin Mading v PP
The prosecution has to prove:
The victim is dead
The victim is dead as a result of
injuries sustained by him
The injuries of victim were caused
or the result of the accused
That in inflicting injury upon the
victim, the accused has acted
according to the ingredients of
The burden to proof beyond
reasonable doubt rested upon the
If at the final stage, there
exist any reasonable doubt vide
the evidence that is tendered
either by prosecution or the
defence, the accused is to be
released and acquitted from the
The principle is the prosecution
must prove the guilt of an
22. GRAVE AND SUDDEN
THE PROVOCATION IS
NOT SOUGHT OR
PROVOKED BY THE
IS NO GIVEN IN
EXERCISE OF THE
IS NOT GIVEN BY
ANYTHING DONE BY
OBEDIENCE OF LAW
GRAVE AND SUDDEN
ENOUGH TO PREVENT
23. THE ELEMENTS OF DEFENCE
THE RELATION BETWEEN PROVOCATION AND
The accused has caused death whilst he was
deprived of the power of self-control by grave
and sudden provocation
It is not a defence if the accused can still
If the provocation is self-induced, it falls
under proviso (a) of Exception 1
24. THE ELEMENTS OF DEFENCE
GRAVE AND SUDDEN PROVOCATION
The element of grave and sudden must be prove
The mental state and condition of the accused at the time
of provocation must be taken into consideration
It is not necessary that a person will lose self-control
as a result of anger or other emotion
It must be proved that an act is done under the influence
of a feeling that controlled his action.
The concept of reasonable man was used in determining this
Must proof not only provocation but also two elements:
1. Provocation must be unexpected
2. The time period between the provocation and the homicide
must be proximate in time
Whether the accused act spontaneously on the provocation
and was deprived of his self-control or the accused had
some interval time to cool down and think over his action
25. THE ELEMENTS OF DEFENCE
WHILST DEPRIVED OF THE POWER
The test used: whether a provocation is one that
is sufficient to deprive a reasonable man of his
The deprivation of self-control must be continuing
in order to enable a person to use this defence.
Ghansyam v State  SCC (Cri) 217
The husband returned home in drunken state.
The wife is upset and refused to serve the husband
dinner and kicked him. She then left home, when she
already a distance away from home, the husband ran up
and hit her. There is an elapse of reasonable time
and distance, hence the accused not entitled to the
protection of Exception 1
The act must be done under impulse of provocation.
Whether there was time to cool down and for reason
26. THE ELEMENTS OF DEFENCE
Only applicable when the offender
caused the death of the person who
If a person runs amok and kills
all passerby, will not fall under
Section 76: Act done by a person
bound, or by mistake of fact
believing himself bound, by law
Section 80: Accident in doing of
a lawful act
27. Proviso 1
Provocation is not sought as an
excuse for killing or doing harm
An act is done in obedience to the
law, or by a public servant in the
lawful exercise of the powers of such
Right of private defence
EXCEPTIONS TO EXCEPTION 1
28. WITHOUT PREMEDITATION
AND WITHOUT ANY
INTENTION OF DOING
MORE HARM THAN IS
THE OFFENDER EXERCISE
PRIVATE RIGHT IN GOOD
THE OFFENDER EXCEEDED
THE RIGHT AND CAUSE
DEATH OF THE PERSON
EXCEEDED THE RIGHT OF PRIVATE
1. AS A COMPLETE DEFENCE
2. AS A PARTIAL DEFENCE
1. THE ACCUSED MUST BE FREE
FROM WRONG FOR CAUSING
2. EXIST A SITUATION THAT IS
3. NO REASONABLE AND SAFE
MEANS TO ESCAPE FROM
4. NECESSARY TO KILL
29. Only applicable if the right of
private defence is exercised to
defend the body and property
REASONS FAILED TO FULFILL EXCEPTION:
Victim initiated the fight, the
accused inflicted more harm than it
is necessary or he has failed to
have recourse to the protection of
the public authorities
The accused have gone far away from
the time frame of reacting in
ELEMENTS OF DEFENCE
ACCUSED EXERCISE HIS RIGHT OF PRIVATE DEFENCE
30. Will be applied:
The accused acted in good faith and without
any intention of doing more harm than
An accused inflicted more harm than necessary
but he does not intend to cause more harm.
Gransham Dass v State of Delhi
The appellant stabbed the deceased to death
when the deceased visit his shop at night to
put pressure in the appellant. The appellant
was convicted to murder. When the deceased
come he was unarmed and there could have been
no apprehension that death or grievous hurt
could be done to the accused.
An accused cannot use this exception when he
himself is the aggressor
ELEMENTS OF DEFENCE
ACCUSED ACTED IN GOOD FAITH
31. BELIEVES TO BE LAWFULL & NECESSARY
An accused must prove that he believes his act
is lawful and necessary.
An act that performed must be done in good faith.
Public servant’s act must be moderate and
Where an act done by the public servant is
unlawful, then he cannot use this exception.
EXCEEDED POWER GIVEN BY LAW
Element of Defence:
INSTRUCTION FROM SUPERIOR OFFICER
An act is performed due to the instruction of a
superior officer to discharge his duty lawfully.
32. SUDDEN FIGHT
In the case of Hainie bin Hamid v PP , court held that, three elements must be
satisfied in order to invoke this exception:
- Difficult element to prove is the element of fight
- Chan Kwee Fong v PP, relied on the saying of “it takes two to make a fight” and in the
case of Atma Singh, it was held that in determining a fight, there must be an exchange of
blows between accused and the deceased.
- Evidence of premeditation can be furnished by former grudges or previous threats and
expressions of ill-feeling by acts of preparation to kill.
- For example, repeated shots or other acts of violence are sufficient evidence of
- If the deceased does not have any weapon, then it is likely that the accused will not be
permitted to use this defence if he uses a weapon or dangerous object.
Culpable homicide is not a
murder when the deceased
being above the age of 18
years, suffers death or
takes the risk of death with
his own consent.
Ahmad by instigation, voluntarily
causes Zarif, a person under
eighteen years of age to commit
suicide. Here, Zarif was incapable
of giving consent to his own death.
Ahmad has therefore abetted murder.
34. CULPABLE HOMICIDE MURDER
There is some intention but not strong
enough as it is evident in
There is a strong intention to cause
death as generally there shall be a plan
An intention to cause bodily injury that
is likely to cause death
An intention to cause bodily injury
where the offender knows such injury is
sufficient to cause death in ordinary
The accused has no intention to kill but
he knows such action can cause death but
it is not imminently dangerous.
The accused has no intention to kill
people but instead he knows such action
is imminently dangerous to cause death
(a) May extend to thirty years or fine
(b) May extend to ten years or fine or
Shall be punished with death
35. There is a very thin line between the Murder and Culpable Homicide. The courts have
from time to time taken efforts to differentiate both the offenses and intention is the
important factor to determine the actual offense and consequences of both the offenses are the
same. The "intention" and "knowledge" of the perpetrator when committing the crime serve as
the borders between the two. The Entire case of the Prosecution side can be destroyed by the
defense by just proving no intention as the entire case of Prosecution is dependent on the
Intention of the Accused. In the end, it all comes down to a person's Mens Rea (guilty
intention). If a person intentionally kills another person, that is considered murder; but, if
a person never intended to kill someone, they are only guilty of culpable homicide. The
offence of culpable homicide and murder are analogous to each other and it is very difficult
to understand the distinction between the two. As law can't stay static as it needs to get
developed with changing time to cater to the needs of society, the disarray regarding these
two ideas should be tended to now, and there is a need for a clear difference between them
36. If the offence is further determined to be under culpable homicide, there comes
the responsibility to determine whether it amounts to murder or not and whether there was
any presence of knowledge and intention or both. While theoretically, it is easy to
distinguish. However, in real-life scenarios it is not as easy to determine and distinguish
them. To ensure justice, the keywords of the relevant sections should be focused on
Also in criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution, and the
standard required of them is that they prove the case against the defendant “beyond
reasonable doubt”. For a doubt to stand in the way of conviction of guilt it must be a real
doubt and a reasonable doubt. If the data leaves the mind of the trial judge in doubt, the
decision must be against the party having the burden of persuasion. If the mind of the
adjudication tribunal is evenly balanced as to whether or not the accused is guilty, it is
its duty to acquit the accused.
The fine line of difference between murder and culpable homicide is often
confusing while determining the quantum of punishment in case of an offence committed. To
ensure fair trial and justice, the difference must be properly comprehended. If the true
scope, meaning and applicability cannot be comprehended by the Court minutely in case of an
offence, it may fail to ensure justice.