A fight with the mother-in-law can’t make someone less guilty of murder: SC

NEW DELHI: A fight with the mother-in-law is not a good enough reason to treat a murder as a case of “sudden and grave provocation,” the Supreme Court said, upholding the life sentence of a woman who killed her 5-year-old child after a fight with her mother-in-law.

Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Bela M Trivedi said in a ruling on Wednesday, “Even if it is assumed that the appellant had a fight with her mother-in-law on the morning of the incident because she wanted to go to her father’s place, it cannot be said that such a fight would make it a case of grave and sudden provocation.”

According to the bench, the accused woman’s fight with her mother-in-law is not a good enough reason for her to get out of the murder case against her. Exception 1 to Section 300 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code says that an offence can be forgiven if it was done in response to a sudden and grave provocation.

When someone kills someone else on purpose, the doctrine of sudden and grave provocation is used to reduce the crime from murder to culpable homicide that does not amount to murder. Exception 1 to Section 300 says that culpable homicide is not murder if the person who did it lost control of himself or herself because of a serious and sudden provocation and killed the person who provoked them or killed someone else by mistake or accident. Even though the minimum sentence for murder is life in prison, someone can be locked up for less time.

The top court was deciding on an appeal from a woman who had been given a life sentence for strangling her child in a village in Tamil Nadu in June 2007 after a fight with her mother-in-law. The prosecution said that the relationship between the two women was tense, but the woman was forced to live with her mother-in-law because she couldn’t raise the child in her own home. The prosecution used a lot of evidence that pointed to her guilt to prove that she had done something wrong.

The trial court and the Madras high court both found the woman guilty because the prosecution was able to show a chain of events that could only lead to one conclusion: that she killed her own child.

In her appeal to the Supreme Court, the woman’s lawyer pointed out some contradictions in the statements of a few witnesses and emphasised that the case did not fit the murder charge because the two women had a fight. Even if the accusations against her are taken into account, the lawyer said, it can’t be more than culpable homicide that doesn’t amount to murder.

But the bench didn’t agree with the appeal, so the conviction and punishment stayed the same. It said that the case was “somewhat difficult” because a woman killed her child because she didn’t want to stay in the matrimonial home. However, the facts and circumstances of the case made it clear that she was guilty.

Related Posts


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button