Reg Vs Govinda is the case law that deeply explains Section 299 & Section 300 IPC. Reg Vs Govinda is the famous case in which the High Court interpreted the definition of Section 299 & Section 300 IPC.
Reg Complainant Vs Govinda Accused (Case law of Section 299 & Section 300 IPC)
Subject- This case deals with Sections 299 and 300 of the Indian Penal Code and makes a clear difference between murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Facts of the Case-
The accused Govinda was a young man of eighteen years. He kicked his young wife of twelve or thirteen years of age and struck her several times with his fists on her back. These blows, however, did not cause her serious injury. She, however, fell to the ground and the accused, then, put one knee on her breast and struck her two or three times on the face.
One or two of these blows, the medical evidence showed to be violent and had an effect on the left eye of the wife, producing confusion and dislocation. The skull was not fractured, but the blow was caused by the extravagance of blood on the brain, and the girl died on the spot or very shortly afterward.
Court of Sessions- On the basis of the facts mentioned above Mr. R. F. Mactter, the learned Sessions Judge of Satara; tried the accused and found him guilty of murder and sentenced him to death and the case was sent to Bombay High Court for confirmation of sentence.
In this Court there arose, a difference of opinion between two judges as to what offence the prisoner had committed, and accordingly the case was referred to a third Judge Mr. Justice Melvin in order to decide the question of whether the offence committed by the prisoner was murder or culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Delivering the Judgment of the High Court he compared Section 299 and Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code and pointed out the differences between the two. The learned Justice ruled out the applicability of Clause (1) and (3) of Section 300 by stating that the facts and circumstances of the case did neither show intention to cause death nor the bodily injury intended to be inflicted was sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death.
Mr. Justice Melvill discussed the two-section clause by clause and attempted to bring out the differences between the two offences clearly in the following manner=
Section 299- A person commits culpable homicide if the act by which the death is caused is done-
(a) With the intention of causing death.
(b) With intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.
(c) With the knowledge that he is likely by such an act to cause death.
Section 300- Subject to certain exceptions culpable homicide is murder if the act by which the death is caused is done-
(1) With the intention of causing death.
(2) With the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of the person to whom the harm is caused.
(3) With the intention of causing bodily injury to aby person, the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death.
(4) With the knowledge that the act is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death, or such bodily injury s is likely to cause death and commits such act without any excuse for incurring the risk of causing death or such injury as aforesaid.
High Court- Applying the above principles of law to the facts of the case hid lordship was of the opinion that the offence committed by the accused was not murder but culpable homicide not amounting to murder i.e., one under Part I of Section 304 I.P.C. and not under Section 302 I.P.C. and his Lordship accordingly sentenced him to transportation for seven years.
Principles of Law Laid Down-
1. The offence is culpable homicide if the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is likely to cause death and it is murder if such injury is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death.
2. Where there is an intention to kill, the offence is always murder.
3. Where the offence is culpable homicide or murder, depends upon the degrees of risk to human life.
4. The offence is culpable homicide if the death is caused with the knowledge that the act is likely to cause death and it is murder if the death is caused with the knowledge that the act is so imminently dangerous that it must in all probability cause death.