Attempt to Murder

Attempt to Murder-

Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 talks about the attempt to murder. This section mainly talks about the intention, knowledge, and preparation that is done by the offender before committing any crime. This section states that “Whoever does the act with guilty intention or knowledge, and therefore the person knows that the act is probably going to cause death or has a knowledge that by the act or injury the result is going to be dead, only then he would be held guilty of murder.” This section is similar to section 324 of IPC which talks about voluntarily causing hurt using dangerous weapons.

The main ingredients of Section 307 are-

  • The nature of the Act done- The offense committed should be of such a nature that if not prevented, it would lead to the death of the victim.
  • The intention of Committing an Offense- The intention or can say mens rea to kill is need to be proved clearly without any doubt and for this purpose, the prosecution can make use of the circumstances such as attack by dangerous weapons on sensitive parts of the body however the intention to kill cannot be gauged simply by the seriousness of the injury caused.
  • Knowledge- The intention and the knowledge of the result of the act being done is the main thing that is needed to be proved for conviction under section 307.
  • The performing or executing of an offense towards it.
  • The activities within the ordinary course of nature will cause death.

Punishment of Section 307-

Punishment of attempt to murder is Imprisonment which may extend to 10 Years or can be liable to pay fine or both. Also, if it ends up injuring someone, in that case, the accused will be imprisoned for terms which vary from 10 years to life imprisonment and may impose a fine as well. And if the accused hurt someone again with the intent of murder and he is already convicted with life imprisonment, then in that case he will be convicted with the death penalty.

Case Laws-

In the case of Jai Narain vs State of Bihar[1], many of the accused were taken under consideration, the court ruled that the very fact that four or five people attacked an individual with dangerous weapons showed their intention to cause the death of that person, hence they’ll be liable under 307.

The intention and knowledge of the act being done are one of all the most important factors that’s used to decide conviction under section 307 but it’s not the sole factor. The circumstances under which the act was done also weigh heavily when the conviction is given under this section. The words “under the circumstances” don’t have anything to try and do with the very fact or question that whether the act of the accused was enough to cause the death of the victim or not, rather it deals with the character of his offense which the accused would have committed if his act had caused the death of the victim.

In the case of Kuldip Singh vs State [2], the accused tried to hit the victim with a sword but somehow the victim got saved and therefore the blow only caused simple injury, but the court convicted the accused under section 307 IPC due to the harmful 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’s immaterial if or not any hurt was caused to the victim by the accused [3]”.

So the interpretation is that an act which is sufficient within the ordinary course of nature to cause the death of the person but the intention of the accused is lacking, the act would not constitute an offense under this section. In Prakash Shandra Yadav vs State of Bihar [4], the accused ordered an individual to hurl bombs to kill an informant and the person hurled two bombs towards the informant but fortunately, the bombs didn’t explode and therefore the court refused to entertain the conviction of the accused under section 307 IPC citing the dearth of serious injuries on the body of the victim, the Supreme Court asked for a reconsideration of the case because of the very fact that the logic used by the high court was faulty.


[1]1972 CrLJ 469(SC)(1971) SC 1764.

[2](1988) 3 Crimes 628(1) Del (SN).

[3]Ratanlal and Dheerajlal, The India Penal Code (32nd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2010) 1753-83.

[4]2008 CrLJ 438 SC.

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