Section 299 IPC contains provisions of culpable homicide whereas murder is defined u/s 300 IPC. While fixing the liability for questions as to whether a person was having the knowledge of the consequences of the act or intention, is a question of fact. To determine the intention, it is important to look into the circumstances and the actions of the accused, the degree of the intention determines the gravity of offence in cases of culpable homicide. Three parameters determine the gravity offence:
- An intention to cause death
- Intention to cause injury which is ‘likely’ to cause death
- The knowledge that death is ‘likely’ to happen
Natural consequences are always expected by a person for his acts, this clearly shows that the person intended to cause death. The difference between (a) and (b) is of the degree of offence only. The Apex court has made it clear while deciding in Ashok Kumar Barik v. State of Orissa that when a person does any act which increases the likeliness that death is ‘likely’ to be the result of it, then it is culpable homicide, but if the death is the most probable result then it is termed as murder.
The burden of Proof while trying the cases of the criminal offence depends on the statute itself. The general presumption while trying the cases under IPC is that the accused has to be presumed innocent and it is the job of the prosecution to prove the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However in cases where the statute includes the element of mens rea, then the burden for proving the innocence is shifted to the accused, as the accused in such cases is presumed to be guilty.