A intending to murder B fires a gun at B. State if any offence has been committed in this case. [HRJS. 2000, R.J.S. 1985, 194]

By | July 21, 2021
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Question: A intending to murder B fires a gun at B. State if any offence has been committed in this case. [HRJS. 2000, R.J.S. 1985]

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Answer

Section 307 which defined and makes Attempt to murder punishable is divided into two parts:

First part: Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge, and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and

Second Part: If the hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to imprisonment for life or to such punishment as is hereinbefore mentioned.

The facts of the present case are borrowed from illustration (c) to section 307 which overall makes the provision for an attempt to murder clear.

Here when A, intending to murder B, buys a gun and loads it. A has not yet committed the offence. When A fires the gun at B, he has committed the offence defined in this section, and, if by such firing he wounds B, he is liable to the punishment provided by the latter part of the first paragraph of this section.

Therefore, in order to constitute an offence under this section, two elements are essential:

  • First, the intention or knowledge to commit murder.
  • Secondly, the actual act of trying to commit the murder.

Thus, it must have both the necessary mens rea and actus reus. To sustain a conviction under this section, it is necessary to establish that had the accused succeeded in his attempt and the victim met with his death, then the offence committed would have been one punishable under section 302, IPC.

In the case of Kuldip Singh v. State [(1988) 3 Crimes 628(1) Del (SN)] the accused tried to hit the victim with a naked sword but somehow the victim got saved and the blow only caused simple injury, but the court convicted the accused under Section 307 IPC because of the dangerous weapon used, which gave away the intention of the accused, which was to murder the victim.

So, basically, if the intention or necessary knowledge to cause death as envisaged by Section 300 IPC which defines murder is there, then it is immaterial to whether or not any hurt was caused to the victim by the accused.

Therefore, when A fires the gun at B, he has committed the offence of attempt to murder defined in Section 307, and, if by such firing he wounds B, he is liable to the punishment under this section provided the death of B has not occurred. In case B died then A will be convicted under Section 302 for the murder of B.


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