Section 120A

The article is written by Tejaswini Kaushal, a student at Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow. This article deals in detail with Section 308 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, and analyses its nature, scope, and ingredients in light of statutory provisions and judicial precedents.

It has been published by Rachit Garg.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Section 308 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 deals with the offence of ‘attempt to commit culpable homicide’. According to Section 308 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge and under such circumstances that, if he causes death by the act, he would be guilty of culpable homicide, not amounting to him committing murder. Further, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with a fine, or with both. 

A person is said to have committed an offence under this Section if he does something with the intent or knowledge that, if it results in death, he would be guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder as specified in Exceptions 1 to 5 to Section 300, IPC. In order to use this provision, the intent to conduct culpable homicide that does not amount to murder must be proven. This article discusses the concept, scope, ingredients, and nature of the offence under Section 308 of the IPC. 

Concept of Attempt to Culpable Homicide 

Concept of culpable homicide

Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code defines culpable homicide. It declares that whoever causes death by executing an act with the goal of causing death or producing any physical damage that is likely to cause death, or with the knowledge that such an act is likely to cause death, commits the crime of Culpable Homicide.

‘Attempt’ under the Indian Penal Code

The punishment for an ‘attempt’ to commit an offence is outlined in Section 511 of the Indian Penal Code. If an act is punishable under the Indian Penal Code, attempting to commit that crime is equally punishable under Section 511 of the Indian Penal Code. An attempt to commit a crime happens when a person has the intention to execute a criminal act and makes an effort or performs an act/conduct in support of that crime, by organising the means and techniques required for the commission, but fails to do so. An effort to commit a crime is what this is known as.

As previously stated, the Indian Penal Code considers merely attempting to commit a crime to be a crime in itself. Every failed effort generates a danger in the eyes of the public, which is the harm produced, and therefore, the offender’s moral blame is equated to the offender’s guilt if he or she had succeeded in committing the crime.

Sections 307 (Attempt to murder), 308 (Attempt to culpable homicide), and others deal specifically with efforts to conduct crimes. Section 511 of the IPC stipulates that if an offender attempts but fails to commit a crime punishable by life imprisonment or regular imprisonment, he or she should receive half the sentence for the crime attempted but not committed. This is due to the fact that the harm is not as severe as it would be if the planned crime had been performed.

Attempt to culpable homicide

Section 308 states that anyone who commits any act with the intent or knowledge of causing death as a result of that act would be guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder if that act resulted in death, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding three years, or with a fine, or both. If harm is inflicted as a result of such an attempt, he or she will be punished with imprisonment of any sort for a time up to 7 years, or a fine, or both.

The attempt to commit culpable homicide is covered by Section 308 of the Indian Penal Code (not amounting to murder). A person is liable to be punished if the person has committed any act in pursuance of implementing their criminal intentions, be it any act that fell short of a crime commission of a crime. For the accused to be punished under this section, the court must be satisfied that he or she attempted to commit culpable homicide (rather than murder), i.e., if the accused had been successful in carrying out his or her desired conduct or completing the act, he or she would have committed culpable homicide rather than murder. With the use of clear proof, the court must be assured of such an act.

Essentials for an attempt to culpable homicide

The following are the requirements for proving an offence under Section 308 of the Indian Penal Code (Attempt to Culpable Homicide):

Nature of conduct 

The nature of the conduct being undertaken should be such that if it is not prevented or intercepted, it will result in the victim’s death.

Intention or knowledge of committing the crime

The intention to murder must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution can utilise circumstances such as an attack by deadly weapons on the victim’s essential bodily parts to show this, but the purpose to kill cannot be judged just by the severity of the harm caused to the victim. If culpable homicide does not amount to murder, the person attempting to conduct it does so with the goal or knowledge that if the act he commits results in death, he will be found guilty.

Execution of the offence

The purpose and knowledge that resulted in the accused’s attempt at culpable homicide must also be proven for conviction under the clause.

Results in Death

The offender’s actions would result in death in its natural course.

Scope of Section 308 IPC

The offence of attempt to culpable homicide is covered by Section 308 of the Criminal Code. This Section applies when an individual acts with the intention or knowledge that if death is caused as a result of his or her actions, he or she will be guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. An individual, on the other hand, is charged with an “attempt” to commit a crime when he or she takes measures to conduct a crime but fails due to deficiencies or errors.

Nature of offence under Section 308 IPC

Section 308 stipulates two types of penalties, depending on whether or not harm is accomplished during the attempt. If no harm is inflicted, the criminal faces a maximum sentence of 3 years in jail. If harm is caused, the offender faces a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.

Punishment for Section 308 IPC

The offence under Section 308 is:

Cognizable

There are two types of offences: cognizable and non-cognizable. A cognizable offence is required by law for the police to register and investigate. Cognizable offences are generally of a serious nature and the ones for which a police officer may arrest without a warrant.

Non-bailable

This implies that if a magistrate receives a complaint under Section 308, he or she has the authority to deny bail and detain a person in court or police custody. Non-bailable offences are serious crimes for which bail is a privilege and not a norm. When a person is arrested and brought into jail under Section 308, he or she does not have the right to seek bail.

Non-compoundable

The complainant cannot withdraw a non-compoundable case at any time. These cases cannot be settled mutually by the parties, with the complainant dropping the charges against the accused, even if done willingly.

Triable by session court

The Court of Session does not have direct jurisdiction over these matters. Instead, if the cases are only triable by the session court, the Magistrate refers them to the court of session under Section 209 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. It should be noted that the Sessions Court only examines cases involving offences that carry a sentence of more than seven years in prison, life in prison, or death as a penalty.

Stages of crime under Section 308 IPC

Stages of crime as per the Indian Penal Code

In India, there are four stages of crime. Any conduct that is deemed a crime must include these elements. The four stages are as follows:

Stage 1: The individual’s intention or motivation

The mental stage is the initial stage. It is committing a crime with the purpose of doing so. It may be described as a person’s willingness to commit/perform an action. The mere intent to commit a crime, on the other hand, is not a criminal. Physical action plays a crucial role in the motivation to conduct the crime. A physical act should reveal the guilty thinking or bad purpose.

Stage 2: Getting ready to commit a crime

The stage of preparation refers to the plans made by a person to carry out a crime. However, no infraction has yet been committed at this time. Even while mere preparation for any purpose is not a crime, some conduct under the Indian Penal Code might be tried at this point. Planning to wage a war against the state, for example, and preparing to commit dacoity are both criminals at this level.

Stage 3: Making an attempt at committing a crime

An attempt to commit a crime refers to when the necessary preparations are made. That effort, which is a direct action to commit a crime, is called an attempt to commit a crime. Attempts to commit crimes are criminal under many sections of the Indian Penal Code.

Stage 4: Completion of the crime, or the Act’s outcome

The planned crime must be executed for it to be considered a full offence. After the crime has been committed, the person will be found guilty of doing it.

‘Intention’ under Section 308 IPC

It is more vital to show the accused’s intention to murder the victim than the act of killing in order to convict them under this provision. To be convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 308, a person must attempt to kill the victim with the knowledge that he may be convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (under sudden rage or provocation).

The type of weapon used, how it was used, the crime’s motivation, the intensity of the blow, and the portion of the body where the harm was inflicted are all factors considered to evaluate the accused’s intent under this provision. Thus, if the accused had a hazardous weapon but only inflicted minor injuries on the victim, the accused would not be convicted under Section 308 of the Indian Penal Code. Similarly, if the accused stabs the victim in the stomach around the navel with a large knife blade, the accused may face charges of attempted culpable murder.

The degree of the harm, however, is not always utilised to determine the purpose, as a very significant injury does not necessarily have to be committed in an attempt to commit culpable murder. Even if the harm is minor, it may be sufficient to convict the accused under Section 308 of the Indian Penal Code if it was done with the purpose to murder someone. An offence of attemptedculpable murder cannot be created under the Indian Penal Code unless the accused has the purpose or knowledge of hurting the victim (with the intention to conduct culpable homicide).

Even if the victim does not die, the offence is complete under Section 308 of the Criminal Code. Even if no harm is done to the victim, it is nonetheless a felony under this law. However, the provision suggests that the accused’s behaviour must be capable of causing culpable homicide, not murder. An accused prosecuted under this clause cannot be acquitted only on the basis that the damage inflicted on the victim was minor.

Intention vs. Knowledge

Knowledge, as opposed to intention, more accurately refers to a mental realisation in which the mind is either a passive prey to or recipient of specific thoughts and perceptions that arise in it. It would be a simple awareness of some facts, in which the human intellect may still be dormant or inert.

On the other hand, intention denotes a state of consciousness in which the mental faculties are awakened and called to action for the purpose of being deliberately directed towards a specific and predetermined aim that the human mind imagines and views before itself.

Execution of act, i.e., attempt under Section 308 IPC

A person’s mere desire to commit a crime is insufficient to convict them of a crime, but a visible physical (and voluntary) activity is required. To be considered a crime, an effort to conduct the crime must be made in furtherance of the intended offence. For Section 308 to apply, the conduct must be capable of causing the death of another person in its regular course.

Steps to be undertaken in case one gets charged under Section 308 IPC

An attempt to commit culpable murder is a serious offence that must be dealt with carefully, whether for the offender or the victim. If convicted of attempted culpable homicide, a person might face serious consequences. On the other hand, the prosecutor faces a comparable challenge in proving his or her accusations. This is why it is critical for both the victim and the defendant to:

  1. Prepare adequately for the case. 
  2. A timeline of events should also be prepared and written down on a piece of paper to make it simpler to brief the lawyer on the issue. This will also assist the attorney in developing a plan for effectively conducting the trials and persuading the court to rule in your favour.
  3. Furthermore, in an attempt to convict someone of culpable murder, it is critical to have a thorough grasp of the law. One must get down with his or her lawyer and learn both the procedure and the law that governs the case, as well as perform some research to understand the hazards involved, as well as how to mitigate them.
  4. A person’s rights must also be understood if he or she is arrested under Section 308 for attempting to commit culpable murder. The following are the rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution and even the Code of Criminal Procedure:
  1. The right to be informed of the reasons for an arrest- This right is protected under Section 50(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973 and Article 22(1) of the Indian Constitution.
  2. Right to inform relatives/friends– Under Section 50A of the CrPC, a police officer who makes an arrest must immediately inform any of the arrested person’s friends, relatives, or other persons who may be disclosed or nominated by the arrested person about the arrest and the location where the arrested person is being held.
  3. Right to be informed of one’s rights- It is also the police officer’s responsibility to advise the arrested person of his or her rights.
  4. Right to remain silent- The right to remain silent is also a crucial one. In the CrPC, under Section 313(3), this has been assured, and even the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 expounds the same.
  5. Right to contact a lawyer- This right begins the minute the person is arrested. It is mandatory for the arrested person to contact his or her lawyer as soon as possible. This privilege is also protected under Article 22 (1) of the Indian Constitution, Section 41D of the Criminal Procedure Code, and Section 303 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
  6. Attorney-client privilege- It is critical to be aware of the Attorney-client privilege if you have been charged with attempting to commit culpable murder and are drafting your version of events with your lawyer. This implies that confidential remarks made to a lawyer/advocate are protected. This sensitive information that the client discusses with the attorney is not shared with the attorneys. Hence, the best way to construct a strong legal case is to be honest and receptive to your attorney’s queries.
  7. Right to be advised of one’s right to bail under Section 50(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code- When a person is arrested without a warrant for a crime other than a non-cognizable crime, he or she has the right to be freed on bond.
  8. Right against manhandling, handcuffing, and torture- It is against the law to manhandle, handcuff, or torture someone when they are being arrested. Prem Shankar Shukla vs Delhi Administration (1980) can act as an illustration of this rule.
  9. Right to obtain a medical examination- There is also the right to be examined by a medical professional.
  10. Right to appear before a magistrate without unreasonable delay- According to Section 56 of the Cr.P.C. and Article 22(2) of the Indian Constitution, it is unlawful to detain a person for more than 24 hours without a Magistrate’s order. Section 76 of the Cr.P.C. also protects the right to not be held for longer than twenty-four hours.
  11. Right to legal aid and a fair trial- A person who has been arrested has the right to legal representation and a fair trial. In order to ensure justice, Article 39A specifies that the government shall make every attempt to offer free legal assistance to those in need.
  12. Right of a female arrested person to be searched by a female police officer- Only a female police officer can search another female in the case of a female offender. The search should be conducted in a professional manner. A female criminal cannot be searched by a male police officer. He can, however, conduct a search of the residence of a woman.
  13. Right to receive a receipt of confiscated belongings- If the police keep your personal belongings, you have the right to a receipt so that you can retrieve them when you are released on bond.

Procedure for a criminal trial under Section 308 IPC 

With the filing of an FIR or a police report, the trial or criminal court procedure begins. The following is a full description of the trial procedure:

FIR (Initial Information Report) / Police Complaint: 

A Police Complaint or a First Information Report is the first step. Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure applies in this case. An FIR sets the wheels in motion for the entire case.

Officer’s Investigation and Report: 

Following the filing of the FIR, the Investigation Officer conducts an investigation. The officer completes and prepares the investigation after examining the facts and circumstances, collecting evidence, questioning witnesses, and doing other required measures.

Chargesheet in front of the Magistrate: 

After that, the police present the charge sheet before the magistrate. The charge-sheet lists all of the criminal charges levelled against the defendant.

Arguments in Court and Charge Framing: 

The Magistrate hears the parties’ arguments on the charges that have been set on the scheduled hearing day and then frames the charges.

Plea of Guilty: 

The plea of guilty is discussed in Section 241 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. After the accusations are laid out, the accused is given the chance to plead guilty, and it is the judge’s job to ensure that the plea of guilt was made willingly. The judge may convict the accused at his or her discretion.

Prosecution Evidence: 

Post the framing of the charges and the accused’s plea of ‘not guilty’, the prosecution presents its evidence. The evidence is first presented by the prosecution, who has the first (general) burden of proof. It is possible to produce both oral and documentary proof. Any individual can be summoned as a witness, and the magistrate might require him to present any document.

Accused/Counsel Cross-Examination of Witnesses: 

Witnesses for the prosecution are cross-examined by the accused or his or her attorney when they appear in court.

Accused’s defence evidence, if any: 

At this point, if the accused has any proof, it is presented to the courts. He/she is given this chance to strengthen his/her case. The accused, on the other hand, does not need to produce evidence since the prosecution, i.e., the claimed victim bears the burden of proof.

Prosecution Cross-Examination of Witnesses: 

If the defence produces witnesses, the prosecution will cross-examine them.

Evidence’s Conclusion: 

The evidence is finished by the court/judge after both parties have submitted their evidence to the court.

Arguments in Person / Final Arguments: 

The final stage, as the case approaches a decision, is the stage of concluding arguments. Both sides take turns making final oral arguments in front of the court (first the prosecution, then the defence).

The court renders its final judgement based on the facts and circumstances of the case, as well as the arguments made and evidence presented. The court presents its reasoning for the accused’s acquittal or conviction and then issues its final ruling. If the accused is found guilty, he or she is convicted, and if the accused is found not guilty, the accused is acquitted in the final judgement. If the accused is found guilty and convicted, a hearing will be held to determine the magnitude or extent of the sentence or time spent in prison. If the situation permits, an appeal to higher courts can be made. An appeal can be brought from the Sessions Court to the High Court, and from the High Court to the Supreme Court.

Procedure to obtain Bail in a Section 308 IPC case

For obvious reasons, obtaining bail in a case as serious as an attempt to commit culpable murder is difficult. Because of the seriousness of the crime, it has been designated as a non-bailable offence. In such instances, an accused would need extremely good reasons to be granted bail. If the accused has grounds to suspect that they will be arrested, they must petition for anticipatory bail before they are detained. The court will evaluate several factors, including the accused’s background, his social position, the reason for the crime, the police charge sheet, and so on. If all of the elements are in favour of the accused, bail will be granted.

Appeal for Section 308 IPC 

An appeal is a procedure in which a lower court/subordinate court’s verdict or order is contested in front of a higher court. Either party to the dispute before the lower court can file an appeal. The appellant is the person who is submitting or continuing an appeal, while the Appellate Court is the court where the appeal is being heard. A party to a lawsuit does not have any inherent right to appeal a court’s verdict or order to a higher or superior court. An appeal can only be made if it is expressly permitted by law, and it must be filed in an authorised way in the designated courts. An appeal should be submitted in a timely manner as well.

If there are strong reasons, an appeal can be filed in a higher court. The sessions court can hear an appeal from the district/magistrate court. An appeal can be brought from the sessions court to the High Court and from the High Court to the Supreme Court. 

Any individual who has been convicted in a trial before a Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge, or in a trial before any other court, and has received a sentence of imprisonment for more than 7 years against him or another person in the same trial, may appeal to the High Court.

Difference between Section 308 IPC and Section 299 IPC

A person who conducts culpable murder does so with the goal of causing death or with the knowledge that such an act is likely to cause death, according to Section 299 of the IPC. The difference between Secton308 and Section 299 can therefore be noted as the following:

Stage of crime 

Section 308 differs from Section 299 as it is simply an attempt to commit culpable homicide, and here the action has not succeeded. The offence was terminated at the stage of ‘attempt’ and did not proceed to ‘commission’. 

Seriousness of the offence

Section 308 is less serious than the offence under Section 299. The notion of actus reus is significant, and it is much more hazardous in the case of Section 299 than in Section 308. The offender of a crime under Section 299 of the Indian Penal Code is responsible for death or physical injury that is likely to result in death. For the purposes of this Section, death refers to the death of a human being and excludes the death of an unborn child. However, the person whose death was caused does not have to be the same person whose death was planned.  

Penal provisions 

The punishment under Section 308 is more lenient than under Section 299, which provides a much stricter penalty. Section 304 specifies the penalty for a culpable homicide that does not amount to murder (Section 299), which is either ten years in jail or a fine, or both. If there was an intent, it might result in life imprisonment.

Difference between Section 308 IPC and Section 300 IPC

Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code defines murder. Sections 300 and 308 are distinct in the following manner: 

Stage of offence

Section 308 only covers the offence till the stage of the attempt, while Section 300 consists of the offence till the stage of commission. The former involves only the performance of the final act to commit the crime of culpable homicide but with failed efforts, while the latter involves completion of the crime. 

Goal 

Under Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code, the act should be done with the goal of causing death to a specific person and succeeding in the same. Under Section 308, the goal is not to cause harm to the person who was/became the target of the action. Section 308 operates in areas where the attempt to culpable homicide amounting to murder was directed at some other party,  in cases of negligence, and others. In the case of an attempt to commit culpable homicide, the person whose death was caused does not have to be the same person whose death was planned.  

Seriousness of offence 

Section 308 is less serious than Section 300 since no actual crime takes place i.e. the act does not result in death. 

Penal provisions

The offence of murder is punishable with death, or imprisonment for life,  as well as a fine, which is much more serious than that for an attempt to commit culpable homicide.

Landmark cases on Section 308 IPC

Om Prakash v. State of Punjab (1962)

In this case, the primary issue involved an attempt to murder under Section 307 IPC but is also relevant to Section 308. It is relevant since the Court ruled that mere intent is insufficient to convict someone. To condemn someone, the task must be completed or attempted. Section 307 of the IPC states that an offence must be committed with intent, knowledge, and attempt. Section 511 specifies that trying to commit an offence punishable by life imprisonment or other penalty is punishable by life imprisonment or other punishment. Section 307 of the IPC, 1860, must be read in conjunction with Section 511 of the IPC, 1860.

Facts of the case

Bimla married the appellant, but their relationship worsened over time as she was mistreated and her health deteriorated due to mistreatment and malnutrition. Hence, she moved out of her husband’s home. Her husband’s maternal uncle persuaded him to return home on the promise that she would not be mistreated again. She was maltreated again after returning to her husband’s home, and she was kept in a room, but she managed to flee and reach a civic hospital in Ludhiana. Before dying, she made a statement in front of the magistrate known as a “dying declaration.” A case was filed against the appellant on that basis. The victim’s account was true, and her condition was entirely due to the mistreatment, according to the high court.

Judgement of the Court 

To use Section 308 of the IPC, the intention to conduct culpable homicide not amounting to murder must be proven, which means that it must be established that if the act had been done, it would have resulted in culpable homicide rather than murder. This is supported by the facts and circumstances of that specific case.

Overall, the Court held that intention or knowledge, as well as an act, are the two main components of Section 307 of the Criminal Code. Any or all specific acts, as well as a succession of acts, are included in the act. Thus, the appellant has committed a sequence of activities that may be regarded as an attempt, as well as having awareness of the crime he was doing. Hence, the appellant was found responsible under Section 307 IPC.

Ali Zaman v. State (1963)

This case established the fact that for an attempt of culpable homicide to take place, the offence of culpable homicide must not be committed in its entirety. 

Facts of the case

The accused used a handgun, but no one was killed as a consequence. The question here was whether the act would have constituted murder if any of the people injured by the revolver rounds had died. 

Judgement of the Court

The accused’s conviction was changed to Section 308 IPC, and his sentence was lowered to two years of harsh imprisonment after all the facts were considered. The Hon’ble Court determined that if one of the people shot died as a result of the shooting, the crime would have been culpable homicide rather than murder. The accused was found guilty of attempting to commit culpable murder. However, the act would have been culpable homicide under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code if the shot had killed any of the people. 

Ajay Singh v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) (2002)

This case is relevant for portraying the presence of intention in the offence committed under Section 308 IPC.

Facts of the case

A bus conductor was found guilty under Section 308 of the IPC because he shoved the victim off of the moving vehicle. The accused filed an appeal against an Additional Sessions Judge’s verdict and a further order, which convicted him under Section 308 IPC and sentenced him to four years in jail. That led to the present case, which questions whether the ruling of the lower courts was accurate or not.

Judgement of the Court 

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi dismissed the appellant’s arguments as being without merit. The appellant had been correctly convicted and punished under Section 308 of the IPC, based on the testimony of the Prosecution Witness (PW). The seriousness of the injuries and the location of the fall indicated that it was not an accident, but rather a deliberate act. Thus, the accused’s appeal was dismissed. On that day, the appellant was ordered to surrender to the trial court in order to carry out the term of imprisonment imposed by that court.

State v. Vimal Singh (2017)

In this case, the Delhi District Court clarified the components that needed to be proven for an accused to be held guilty under Section 308. This case is useful as a precedent for the specification of ingredients for future cases under this Section.

Facts of the case

The basic factual matrix is that on the morning of December 2010, Nitin Nirwan (complainant) was walking from the red light to the bus station. Suddenly, a white sedan arrived, and one person with a sound body and mind exited the vehicle and approached him. He questioned Nitin why he pelted stones at his car while holding a baseball bat in his hand. The complainant stated that he did nothing wrong, but the accused did not hear him and struck him in the legs with the bat, and when he attempted to defend himself, the accused struck him in the left hand. The accused struck him in the head once more, and blood began to ooze from his head wound. He took down the licence plate number of the vehicle, and the accused fled the scene. He had dialed his relative’s number as well as the police and was then brought to the hospital. The defendant was charged under Section 308 of the Indian Penal Code.

Judgement of the Court

The Delhi District Court (Sessions Court, Delhi) stated on August 28, 2017, that the following basic components must be proven to prove an offence under Section 308 of the IPC:

  1. The accused did something wrong,
  2. The conduct was carried out with the intent or knowledge of committing culpable homicide that did not amount to murder.
  3. The conduct was done in such a way that if the accused had caused the victim’s death, he would have been charged with culpable homicide.

The prosecution was unable to show or establish its version of events by establishing circumstantial evidence precisely pointing to the accused’s guilt and ruling out any presumption of innocence, making it impossible to keep the facts together and produce an even combination. As a consequence, the accused was granted the benefit of the doubt and was acquitted of the allegations brought under Section 308 of the IPC.

Bishan Singh & Anr v. The State (2007)

This case acts as an illustration of convicts under Section 308 IPC being later convicted of less serious offences, and subsequently, their punishment getting reduced.

Facts of the case

The two surviving accused, Bishan Singh and Govind Ballabh, who were tried and convicted for the commission of an offence under Sections 147 and 308/149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), are before us; the other four accused, Arjun Singh, Shivraj, Govind Singh, and Bhairav Dutt, have all died. The complainant was Harish Bhatt. The accused men reportedly beat him with lathis on September 30, 1984, about 06.30 p.m., while he was walking towards his village, and grabbed Rs.400/- from his pocket. Ghanshyam Dutt Bhatt, his brother, interfered. The accused were said to be hostile towards the wounded and had attacked him with the aim of killing him. There were severe injuries suffered by Harish Bhatt. 

Judgement of the Court

The Court held that the accused could not be claimed to have committed any offence under Section 308 IPC. The bench said that the same would be covered under Sections 323 and 325 of the IPC instead. The Court evaluated the elements that influenced it’s decision to be merciful. The Court was of the opinion that it would not be right for them to re-incarcerate the accused. The judges believed that, while their substantive sentence may be reduced to the time served, they should each pay a fine of Rs. 15,000/-, failing which they should be sentenced to one year of simple imprisonment.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a person is said to have committed an offence under Section 308 IPC if he does something with the intent or knowledge that, if it results in death, he would be guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder as specified in Exceptions 1 to 5 to Section 300, IPC. In order to use this provision, the intent to conduct culpable homicide that does not amount to murder must be proven.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What offence is defined under Section 308 IPC?

Section 308 of the IPC defines the offence of ‘Attempt to commit culpable homicide’.

What is the punishment for Section 308 of the IPC?

The punishment for Section 308 of the IPC is 3 years or a fine or both. If hurt is caused as well, then the punishment is seven years of imprisonment or a fine or both. 

What is the nature of the offence under Section 308 of the IPC?

The offence under Section 308 of the IPC is of a criminal nature. This is a non-bailable, cognizable, non-compoundable offence that can be tried in a court of sessions.

References


Students of Lawsikho courses regularly produce writing assignments and work on practical exercises as a part of their coursework and develop themselves in real-life practical skills.

LawSikho has created a telegram group for exchanging legal knowledge, referrals, and various opportunities. You can click on this link and join:

https://t.me/lawyerscommunity

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more amazing legal content.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here