Chapter XVI

Section 302 of IPC (The Indian Penal Code)

Punishment for murder —

Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

 

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE

 

Punishment—Death, or imprisonment for life, and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.

 

COMMENTS

 

(i) When ocular evidence in murder case is unreliable benefit of doubt to be given to all accused; Chandu Bhai Shana Bhai Parmar v. State of Gujarat, AIR 1982 SC 1022 : (1981) SCC (Cr) 682.

 

(ii) The facts taken cumulatively form a chain so complete that there is no escape from the conclusion that within all human probability the murder was committed by the appellant and none else; Daya Ram v. The State (Delhi Administration, (1988) Cr LJ 865: AIR 1988 SC 615.

 

(iii) Provisions of death sentence being an alternative punishment for murder is not unreasonable; Bachhan Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1980 SC 898: (1980) 2 SCC 864: (1980) Cr LJ 636 : (1980) Cr LR (SC) 388: 1980 (2) SCJ 475.

 

(iv) In case where facts and circumstances from which conclusion of guilt was sought to be drawn by prosecution was not established beyond reasonable doubt the conviction under section 302 read with section 34 and under section 392 had to be quashed; Hardyal and Prem v. State of Rajasthan, (1991) Cr LJ 345 (SC).

 

(v) Accused committed murder in professional manner with planned motivation, accused deserved no sympathy even when the accused had no personal motive; Kuljeet Singh v. Union of India, AIR 1981 SC 1572: (1981) Cr LJ 1045: (1981) Cr LR (SC) 328.

 

(vi) In dowry deaths motive for murder exists and what is required of Courts is to examine as to who translated it into action as motive viz., whether individual or family; Ashok Kumar v. State of Rajasthan, (1991) 1 Crimes 116 (SC).

 

(vii) Crime of murder committed against public servant doing official duties must be discouraged and dealt with firm hand; Gayasi v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1981 SC 1160: (1981) ALJ 441: (1981) Cr LJ 883: (1981) SCC (Cr) 590: (1981) Cr App. R (SC) 385: (1981) 2 SCC 713.

 

(viii) Fatal injury caused by the accused in broad day light, evidence of the eye witness and medical evidence being corroborative, conviction under section 302, held, sustainable; Wazir Singh v. State of Haryana, AIR 1992 SC 1429.

 

(ix) It is well settled that if the evidence of the eye-witnesses are held to be reliable and inspire confidence then the accused cannot be acquitted solely on the ground that some superficial injuries found on the person of the accused concerned, had not been explained by the prosecution; A.M. Kunnikoya v. State of Kerala, 1993 (1) Crimes 1192 (SC).

 

(x) Conviction can be based on testimony of a single eye witness provided his testimony is found reliable and inspires confidence; Anil Phukan v. State of Assam, 1993 (1) Crimes 1180 (SC).

 

(xi) When the appellant dealt a severe knife blow on the stomach of deceased without provocation and when deceased was unarmed and had already been injured by co-accused the appellant cannot be held that he had no intention to cause a murderous assault by mere fact that only one blow was inflicted; Nashik v. State of Maharashtra, 1993(1) Crimes 1197 (SC).

 

(xii) In cases depending on circumstantial evidence it is true that the chain of events proved by the prosecution must show that within all human probability the offence has been committed by the accused, but the court is expected to consider the total cumulative effect of all the proved facts along with the motive suggested by the prosecution which induced the accused to follow a particular path; Sarbir Singh v. State of Punjab, 1993(1) Crimes 616 (SC).

 

(xiii) Non-explanation of the injuries on the person of the accused by the prosecution may not affect the prosecution case if the injuries sustained by the accused are minor or superficial or where the evidence produced by the prosecution is clear and cogent and is of independent and dis-interested persons and is consistent with credit worthiness; Sawai Ram v. State of Rajasthan, (1997) 2 crimes 148 (Raj).

 

(xiv) Two offences under section 302 and section 306 of the Indian Penal Code are of distinct and different categories; Sangarabonia Sreenu v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1997) 4 Supreme 214.

 

(xv) The basic constituent of an offence under section 302, is homicidal death; Sangarabonia Sreenu v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1997) 4 Supreme 214.

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