Difference Between Culpable Homicide And Murder

Difference Between Culpable Homicide And Murder

Homicide is a legal term for any killing of a human being by another human being. Homicide itself is not necessarily a crime—for instance, a justifiable killing of a suspect by the police or a killing in self-defense. This is a broad term that includes both legal and illegal killings. For example, a soldier may kill another soldier in battle, but that is not a crime. There are various situations in which the killing of another person does not constitute a crime.

The word homicide is supposedly derived from Latin where "homo" means man and "cida" means killing.

Culpable homicide is punishable by law and is further divided into two categories:

  • Culpable homicide amounting to murder
  • Culpable homicide not amounting to


The Legal Definition of Murder Is:

  • Intentional killing
  • Unlawful, as in not legally justified
  • Committed with malice aforethought, also known as the intention to kill someone without legal justification or excuse
  • Intentional infliction of bodily harm that causes victim’s death
  • Behavior that shows extremely reckless disregard for life and results in the victim’s death

All murders are culpable homicide but all homicides are not murders. Section 299 and Section 300 of Indian Penal Code deal with murder.


  • Causing death: There should be an intention of causing death
  • Doing an act: There should be an intention to cause such bodily injury that is likely to cause death or
  • The act must be done with the knowledge that the act is likely to cause the death of another.

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