Murder: ‘Is killing in bomb blast a murder or culpable homicide?’ | India News

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DEHRADUN: A piquant problem came up before the Uttarakhand HC while hearing a plea filed by unsuccessful applicants who appeared in the Uttarakhand judicial service civil judge prelims, reports Pankul Sharma. The row pertains to an exam question: “‘A’ placed a bomb in a medical store and gave the people three minutes to get out before the bomb exploded. ‘B’, a patient with arthritis, failed to escape and was killed. ‘A’ would be liable to be booked under …? To this, most applicants selected the option ‘a’ (under section 302 of IPC – murder) but according to the commission, the right answer was ‘d’ (section 304A of IPC – culpable homicide not amounting to murder).”
Law officer paper dispute lands in HC
A piquant problem came up before the division bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rakesh Thapliyal of the Uttarakhand high court while hearing a petition filed by unsuccessful applicants who appeared in the Uttarakhand judicial service civil judge preliminary exam.
The exam was conducted by the Uttarakhand Public Service Commission (UKPSC) and the results were declared in May this year. The matter was heard in the HC on September 13 and the details were made available this week.
The controversy mainly pertained to one of the questions that appeared in the exam. The question was – “‘A’ placed a bomb in a medical store and gave the people three minutes to get out before the bomb exploded. ‘B’, a patient with arthritis, failed to escape and was killed. ‘A’ would be liable to be booked under …? To this, most applicants selected the option ‘a’ (under section 302 of IPC – murder) but according to the commission, the right answer was ‘d’ (section 304A of IPC – culpable homicide not amounting to murder).”
The commission argued that “in the absence of intent, the issue is not related to section 302 of IPC, but it is a problem related to death due to negligence.”
Reacting to the matter, the HC said, “It is enough for us to say that the subject expert has relied upon the 2021 Supreme Court judgment in the case of Mohd Rafiq. This court refrains from giving any view in respect of opinion given by the subject expert.” In the Mohd Rafiq case, a police officer in MP was run over by a speeding truck when he tried to board the vehicle and Rafiq, the driver, pushed him down.
Meanwhile, the petition stirred a debate in legal circles on whether a terrorist act can be seen as ‘causing death due to negligence’ rather than ‘murder’. Senior HC advocate, Avtar Singh Rawat, when asked about his opinion, said that “it is clearly not a case of negligence since the act itself shows the intention and ‘A’ knew the consequences of the act.” “Without any doubt, this case falls under the ambit of section 302 – murder – of IPC,” he said.
The petitioners also expressed their objection to three other questions that were there in the exam. The court observed that “in two of the questions, the petitioner had chosen the correct option while the subject expert was stuck on the wrong option.”
After reviewing facts given by both sides, the court said, “We are of the view that the exercise undertaken by the expert suffers from non-application of mind to relevant considerations…”
The court directed the commission to reconsider the two questions.
Regarding the third question, the HC observed that it was “framed completely senseless”. “It pains us to see that the question has been framed with an utterly casual approach,” the court said and ordered to “delete it from consideration by the respondents.”
The court said that the entire exercise should be completed within four weeks and a fresh merit list be prepared on the basis of which the selection process should continue.



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