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Exception to Section 300

Section 300 IPC sets out the circumstances when culpable homicide turns into ‘murder’. Apart from that Section 300 lays down five exception which mitigate the offence of murder in “culpable homicide not amounting to murder.” the exceptions are justified on the ground that in such cases the deceased is equally responsible for his death.

Five Exception, specified in the Section, may briefly be stated to arise out of:

(1). Grave and Sudden Provocation; (2). Right of private defence of person or property; (3). Exercise of legal powers; (4). Sudden fight i.e. absence of pre-meditation and heat of passion; and (5). Consent.

Exception 1 to 5 are illustrative of partial defenses. These defenses partly reduce the criminality, not absolving an accused completely. The general exception rebut the prima facie liability offender and he is completely exonerated from blame. But special exceptions mentioned in Section 300, IPC do not do completely exonerate him, but only mitigate the offence, committed by him reduce his liability.

Exception I: “Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, whilst deprived of the power of self-control by grave an sudden provocation, causes the death of the person who gave the provocation or causes the death of any other person by mistake or accident.

Exception II: “Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, in the exercise in good faith of the right of private defense 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 to defense without premeditation, and without any intention of doing more harm than is necessary for the purpose of such defense.

Exception III: “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 power 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.”

Exception IV: “Culpable homicide is not murder if I 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.

Explanation: It is immaterial in such cases which party offers the provocation or commits the first assault.”

Exception V: “Culpable homicide is not murder when the person whose death is caused, being above the age of 18 years, suffers death or takes the risk of death with his own consent.

Illustration: A by instigation, voluntarily causes, Z, youth, he was incapable of giving consent to his won death: A has therefore abetted murder.”

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