09 Jan 2024

Daily practice questions for CLAT - (09 Jan 2024)

The term ‘Murder’ traces its origin form the Germanic word ‘morth’ which means secret killing. Murder means when one person is killed by another person or a group of persons who have a pre-determined intention to end life of the former. An offence will not amount to ‘Murder’ unless it includes an offence which falls under the definition of culpable homicide as per the definition of ‘Murder’ under IPC. All murders are culpable homicide but all homicides are not murders. Section 299 and Section 300 of Indian Penal Code deal with murder. The word homicide is supposedly derived from Latin where ‘homo’ means man and ‘cida’ means killing. Thus, homicide means the killing of a man by a man. Homicide can be lawful or unlawful. Culpable homicide is punishable by law and is further divided into two categories that are culpable homicide amounting to murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The ingredients to commit a murder are causing death with an intention of causing death followed by doing an act where there should be an intention to cause such bodily injury that is likely to cause death and the act must be done with the knowledge that the act is likely to cause the death of another. If the offender is deprived of the power of self-control due to sudden and grave provocation or when the act is committed in order to defend oneself from further harm is an exception. All murders are culpable homicide but the vice-versa is not true. Ever since the IPC was enacted, this distinction as to which case will fall under which category is a perennial question with which courts are often confronted. On a plain reading of the relevant provisions of the Code, it appears that the given cases can be conveniently classified into two categories but when it comes to actual application, the courts are often confronted with this dilemma. This confusion often emerges when it is difficult to interpret from the evidence whether the intention was to cause merely bodily injury which would not make out an offence of murder or there was a clear intention to kill the victim making out a clear case of an offence of murder. The most confusing aspect is intention as in both the provisions the intention is to cause death. Hence, you have to consider the degree of intention of offenders. If the person is killed in cold-blood or with planning then it is murder because the intention to kill is in high degree and not out of sudden rage or provocation. On other hand, if the victim is killed without pre-planning, in sudden fight or in sudden anger because of somebody’s provocation or instigation, then such a death is called culpable homicide. Hence, whether the act done is culpable homicide or murder is a question of fact. The courts have time and again taken efforts to differentiate between the two offences the end result of the two being same, intention behind the offence being the important factor of consideration.

Question1:- Harsh was a risk analyst at a top tier firm in Delhi. On the Wednesday morning of 28th December, 2021 Harsh collapsed at work while he was at the edge of a staircase. Before collapsing, Harsh pushed his co-worker Narayan who was walking beside him down the stairs which led to her death. The doctor who examined Harsh certified that Harsh had an epileptic attack at the time when the offence was committed. Is Harsh guilty of murder?
  • A. Yes, Harsh is guilty of culpable homicide amounting to murder.
  • B. No, Harsh is not guilty of murder because at the time when the offence was committed, he was incapable of forming the mental intent required for committing such a crime.
  • C. No, Harsh is not guilty of murder because he is a person of unsound mind.
  • D. Yes, Harsh is guilty because he hated Narayan and had plans to murder her and he intentionally pushed her down the stairs to kill her.
Answer is B is correct. At the time of committing the act, Harsh lacked the capability to understand the nature and consequences of his act. So, he is not guilty.
Question2:- Shiv was an employee at a factory that manufactured automobiles. He met Ravi at his workplace and the two of them soon became friends. On 5th January, 2022, Ravi was nominated for a promotion. Shiv was jealous of this and devised a plan to put a chemical in Ravi’s coffee that would adversely react with the medication that Ravi took for his heart ailment. On 10th January, 2022 Shiv mixes the chemical into Ravi’s coffee with an intention to cause a non-fatal heart attack. On drinking the coffee, Ravi instantly dies. Is Shiv guilty of Murder?
  • A. No, Shiv is guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
  • B. Yes, Shiv is guilty of murder because he has the intention to cause injury to Ravi and his actions accelerated the death of R.
  • C. No, Shiv is not guilty because he did not intend to kill Ravi.
  • D. Both A and C.
Answer is B is correct. A person who causes bodily injury to another, who has a disease and thereby accelerates the death of that other, shall be deemed to have caused his death. Hence, Shiv is guilty of murder.
Question3:- P is a witness in a criminal proceeding against a politician. On the basis of the statement made by P, the politician is convicted of his crime and is sent to jail for 30 years. Angered by this, the politician’s son Q goes up to P and calls him a liar by saying that he did not believe a word of P’s deposition and that P has perjured himself. P is moved by sudden passion by these words and kills Q. Is P guilty of murder?
  • A. Yes, P is guilty of murder because the provocation was not grave.
  • B. No, P is not guilty of murder because he did not have the intention to kill him.
  • C. No, P is guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
  • D. No, P is guilty of culpable homicide amounting to murder.
Answer is A is correct. Sudden and grave provocation is an exception to murder. However, the provocation in this case was not grave. Hence, P is guilty of murder.
Question4:- S, R and G are three friends that decide to go hunting for rabbit in the forest. Despite their supposed friendship, S hates G. While they were hunting in the forest, S knew that G was behind a giant bush five hundred metres away from him and R however R is unaware about this. S, intending to cause or knowing that it is likely to cause G’s death, induces R to fire at the bush by claiming that there is a rabbit behind it. R fires and kills G. Which offence are R and S guilty of?
  • A. R and S are liable for culpable homicide.
  • B. Only R is liable for murder.
  • C. Only S is liable for culpable homicide.
  • D. Either B or C
Answer is C is correct. S has committed the offence of culpable homicide because he has knowledge of the fact that G was behind the bush. R is not guilty of culpable homicide or murder because he did not know that G was behind the bush and was manipulated by S into firing his gun falsely claiming the presence of a rabbit.