What Is Murder?

According to the oxford dictionary of English the word murder is defined as the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. No person has the right against another human life. Deliberately killing another person is a punishable offence. This section of the Indian penal code 1860 provides the punishment for murder. The section 302 of Indian penal code states that “ whoever commits murder shall be punished either with death or with imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine”. Out of which either of the punishments can be imposed on the murder convict with or without fine which the court may decide.

However the circumstances are analysed to give the accused the necessary punishment. Death sentence is always given to the rarest of the rare cases only. The present position with respect to the question of imposition of death sentence or imprisonment for life is that the normal sentence for murder convicts is imprisonment for life while special reasons need to be given when death sentence is being awarded. Rarest of the rare cases like pre-planned deliberate murder, barbaric, cruel and heinous murder, murder in the name of religion, caste and communal hatred, etc,. As stated section 354(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 makes it mandatory for the court to state reasons for the sentence awarded, and in case of sentence of death ‘special reasons’ for the same. The Supreme Court imposed death sentence in Bachan Singh v. State in which the appellant was held guilty of murder of three persons and sentenced to death by the lower court which was subsequently confirmed by the High Court. (Rarest of the rare case)

There are innumerable cases regarding murder in a country like India and the number is only increasing day by day. Let us discuss a few case laws.