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Section 304 – Indian Penal Code (IPC)


Indian Penal Code (IPC)


Section 304. Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder


Whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder shall be punished with 1[imprisonment for life], or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death,


or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both, if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.



Para I


Punishment—Imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Ses­sion—Non-compoundable.


Para II


Punishment—Imprisonment for 10 years, or fine, or both—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.




Alteration of conviction


(i) Where the accused, who inflicted fatal injury on head of deceased which caused his death, without intention to kill him is liable to be convicted under section 304 Part II while other accused who inflicted sword injury liable to be convicted under section 324 IPC; Asu v. State of Rajasthan, 2000 Cr LJ 207 (Raj).


(ii) Where the accused was about 80 years at the time of occurrence and is totally bedridden, sentence reduced to period already under gone for the ends of justice; Dev Singh v. State of Punjab, 2000 Cr LJ 347 (Punj).




(i) Where there were contradictions in evidence of prosecution witnesses on major issues including location of place of occurrence, number of persons participating in commission of offence and non-examination of doctor to establish cause of death and also non-examination of i.o., conviction of accused cannot be sustained; Sahdeo Prasad Sao v. State of Bihar, 2000 Cr LJ 242 (Pat).


(ii) Whether the plea of drunkenness can be taken as defence for claiming acquittal or for lessening sentence depends upon ‘inten­tion’ and ‘knowledge’ of the accused; Mirza Ghani Baig v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1997) 2 Crimes 19 (AP).




(i) Before an accused is held guilty and punished under first part or second part of section 304 a death must have been caused by the assailant under any of the circumstances mentioned in the five exceptions to section 300; Harendra Nath Mandal v. State of Bihar, (1993) 1 Crimes 984 (SC).


(ii) The accused inflicted bodily injuries on the deceased which were of such nature that they were likely to cause death. There can be no doubt that the accused intended to cause and did cause the injuries, therefore liable to be punished under the first part of section 304 of Indian Penal Code; Shanmugam alias Kulandaivelu vs. State of Tamil Nadu, AIR 2003 SC 209.




1. Subs. by Act 26 of 1955, sec. 117 and Sch., for “transporta­tion for life” (w.e.f. 1-1-1956).



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