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Report No. 35

Topic Number 35

Conclusion as to categories of murders

704. Conclusion as to categories of murders.-

The real difficulty is that there are not, in fact, two classes of murder, but a variety of offences which "shade off from the most atrocious to the most excusable1." Many factors have to be taken into consideration, and not infrequently, a careful balancing of conflicting considerations has to be undertaken. No amount of "verbal dexterity" in the definition of the offence or of degrees of the offence can surmount these difficulties. However atrocious or dangerous may be the generality of murders comprised in a selected category, murders will occur from time to time which fall within the category, but are so different in character and circumstances from the generality of murders belonging to the category that they cannot properly be classed as murder of the aggravated category2.

1. Cf. R.C. Report, p. 174, para. 498, citing the view of the Home Office.

2. Compare the criticisms in the R.C. Report, p. 176, para. 504 of the categories given in the Criminal Justice Bill, 1948.

705. Hence, the best course would be not to interfere with the discretion of the Courts and with the scheme of murder and culpable homicide as defined in the Indian Penal Code and as interpreted by Courts. The scheme is both logical and clear, and has been in operation for over a century without causing any serious difficulty.

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