The following Exceptions to Section 300 provide for cases where culpable homicide is not murder:
Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, whilst deprived of the power of self-control by grave and sudden
Indian Penal Code provocation causes the death of person who gave the provocation or causes the death of any other person by mistake or accident.
The above exception is subject to the following provision:
That the provocation is not sought or voluntarily provoked by the offender as an excuse for killing or doing harm to Envy person.
That the provocation is not given by anything done in obedience to the law, or by a public servant in the lawful exercise of the powers of such public servant.
That the provocation is not given by anything done in the lawful exercise of the right of private defence.
Whether the provocation was grave and sudden enough to prevent the offence from amounting to murder is a question of fact.
The above exception provide:-; that the act must be done whilst the person doing it is deprived of self-control by grave and sudden provocation; that is, it must be done under the immediate impulse of provocation.
The provocation must be grave and sudden and of such a nature as to deprive the accused of the power of self-control. Mere verbal provocation, however, even if it be by threats or gestures or by the use of abusive and insulting language, cannot induce a reasonable man to commit an act of violence or be regarded as a great provocation within the meaning of Exception 1 to Section 300.
The test of grave and sudden provocation is whether provocation given was in the circumstances of the case likely to cause a normal reasonable man to lose control of himself to the extent of inflicting the injury or injuries that he did inflict.
(a) It has been held that a confession of adultery by a wife to her husband, who in consequence kills her, is such a grave and sudden provocation as will entitle the court to hold it to be manslaughter instead of murder, but a similar confession of illicit intercourse by a woman who was not the accuser’s wife but only engaged to be married to him cannot, if he kills her in consequence, justify such a view. (b) A, under the influence of passion excited by a provocation given by Z. intentionally kills Y, Z’s child.
This is murder, inasmuch as the provocation was not given by the child, and the death of the child was not caused by accident or misfortune in doing an act caused by the provocation, (c) Y gives grave and sudden provocation to A.
A, on this provocation, fires a pistol at Y neither intending nor knowing himself to be likely to kill Z, who is near him, but out of sight A kills Z. Here A has not committed murder, but merely culpable homicide, (d) A is lawfully arrested by Z, a bailiff. A is excited to sudden and violent passion by the arrest, and kills Z.
This is murder; inasmuch as the provocation was given by a thing done by a public servant in the exercise of his powers, (e) A appears as a witness before Z, a Magistrate. Z, says that he does not believe a word of A’s deposition, and that A has perjured himself. A is moved to sudden passion by these words, and kills Z.
This is murder. (J) A attempts to pull Z’s nose. Z, in the exercise of the right of private defence, lays hold of A to prevent him from doing so. A is moved to sudden and violent passion in consequence, and kills Z.
This is murder, inasmuch as the provocation was given by a thing done in the exercise of the right of private defence. (g) Z strikes B. B is by this provocation excited to violent rage. A, a bystander intending to take advantage of B’s rage, and to cause him to kill Z, puts a knife into B’s hand for that purpose. B kills Z with the knife. Here B may have committed only culpable homicide, but A is guilty of murder.
Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, in the exercise in good faith of the right of private defence of person or property, exceeds the power given to him by law and causes the death of the person against whom he is exercising such right of defence without premeditation, and without any intention of doing more harm than is necessary for the purpose of such defence.
Z attempts to horsewhip A, not in such a manner as to cause grievous hurt to A. A draws out a pistol. Z persists in the assault. A, believing in good faith that he can be no other means prevent himself, from being horsewhipped, shoots Z dead, A has not committed murder, but only culpable homicide.
This exception only applies when the right of private defence is exceeded without any intention of doing more harm than is necessary.
Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender being a public servant or aiding a public servant acting for the advancement of public justice, exceeds the powers given to him by law, and causes death by doing an act which he, in good faith, believes to be lawful and necessary for the due (discharge of his duty as such public servant and without ill-will towards the person whose death is caused.
Culpable homicide is not murder if it is committed without premeditation in a sudden fight in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel and without the offender’s having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner.
It is immaterial in such cases which party offers the provocation or commits the first assault
The most important element here is that there should be a fight an offer of violence on both sides. The exception would not be applicable where, in the course of a wordy quarrel, the accused hit the deceased on the head with a lathi and killed him.
To invoke Exception 4 too S. 300,I.P.C. four requirements must be satisfied, namely, (i) it was a sudden fight; (ii) there was no premeditation; (iii) the act was done in a heat of passion; and (iv) the assailant had not taken any undue advantage or acted in a cruel manner.
The cause of the quarrel is not even nor is it relevant that offered the provocation or started the assault.
The number of wounds caused during the occurrence is not a decisive factor but what is important is that the occurrence must have been sudden and unpremeditated and the offender must not have taken any undue advantage or acted in a cruel manner.
Where, on a sudden quarrel, a person in the heat of the moment picks up a weapon which is handy and causes injuries, one of which proves fatal, he would be entitled to the benefit to this exception provided he has not acted cruelly. (Surinder Kumar v. Union of India, Chandigarh, AIR 1989 S.C. 1094).
Culpable homicide is not murder when the person whose death is caused, being above the age of eighteen years, suffers death or takes the risk of death with his own consent.
A, by instigation, voluntarily causes Z, a person under eighteen years of age, to commit suicide. Here on account of Z’s youth, he was incapable of giving consent to his own death. A has, therefore, abetted murder.