Legal Provisions of Section 316 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Causing death of quick unborn child by act amounting to culpable homicide:
This section punishes causing death of a quick unborn child by an act amounting to culpable homicide. It says that whoever does any act under such circumstances that causing death by such act would amount to culpable homicide, and he causes the death of a quick unborn child by such act, shall be punished with simple or rigorous imprisonment for a term extending up to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
The act must be done under such circumstances as would make the doer guilty of culpable homicide if he caused death by such act, and by such act he must have caused death of a quick unborn child. This section may be read in conjunction with the third explanation under section 299 according to which the causing of the death of a child in the mother’s womb is not homicide. But it may amount to culpable homicide to cause the death of a living child, if any part of that child has been brought forth, though the child may not have breathed or been completely born.
It has been held by the Allahabad High Court that unless the offender does an act against the mother of a quick unborn child with such intention or knowledge and under such circumstances as would bring it within the purview of section 299, this section is not attracted merely because this has resulted in the death of a quick unborn child. Where the accused husband struck his wife who was twenty weeks’ pregnant as a result of which both his wife and child were killed, it was held that the accused was guilty under this section in addition to his guilt under section 302 of the Code.
The offence under section 316 is cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable, and is triable by court of session.