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Difference between “Knowledge” and “Intention” under Indian Criminal Laws

It would refer to a bare state of conscious awareness of certain facts in which human mind might itself remain supine or inactive. On the other hand, intention connotes a conscious state in which mental faculties are roused into activity and summoned into action for the deliberate purpose of being directed towards a particular and specified end which the human mind conceives and perceives before itself.

Mental faculties which might be dispersed in the case of knowledge are in the case of intention concentrated, and converged on a particular point and projected in a set direction. The difference between the shades of the meaning of the two words is fine but clear, and the use of the one in place of the other by the Legislature cannot be without purpose.

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In a case the evidence disclosed that the injuries inflicted on the person of the deceased was a single one. The eye-witness did not speak about the weapon but she only said that the accused hit the victim with a weapon and ran away.

Though the injury was a serious one in that it had cut the auxiliary artery and veins but it was not on the vital part of the chest and had not reached the lungs. The incident itself took place, presumably, as a result of a quarrel over the subject as to when the accused could take his wife back home.

It was held by the Supreme Court that the case did not satisfy the requirements of Section 300 since it could not be said that the death was intended. The case also could not come under the first and the second parts of Section 299 for the same reason. The matter fell under the third part of Section 299 since the accused had the knowledge that his act was likely to cause death of the victim.

Victim running away from the scene of occurrence towards field. A and B chasing him. Victim jumping in a well in order to save himself. Victim’s head hit a hard substance with the result that he lost consciousness and thereafter died of asphyxia.

Death of victim not caused by any act of A and B with intention or knowledge specified in Section 299. A and B were not liable to be convicted for offence of murder.

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