Punishment for Qatl-i-Amd



Qatl-i-Amd has been defined in S. 300 Pakistan Penal Code. It provides that whoever, with the intention of causing death or with the intention of causing bodily injury to a person, by doing an act which in the ordinary course of nature is likely to cause death or with the knowledge that his act is so imminently dangerous that it must in all probability cause death, causes the death of such a person, is said to commit qatl-i-amd.


To constitute of offence of Qatl-i-Amd it is not necessary that injury should be caused with intention to cause death. If somebody inflicts injury with the intention to cause bodily injury which in ordinary course of nature is likely to cause death or with the knowledge that his act has so imminently dangerous that it must result in death, it would be Qatl-i-Amd. Injuries caused on the vital part of the body such as, head, neck and pericardial region may result in causing death. Intention or knowledge to be gathered from the object with which injuries caused.

Punishment of Qatl-i-Amd:

A perusal of S. 302 P.P.C indicates that it provides three punishments under clauses (a), (b) and (c) thereof for a person who commits Qatl-i-Amd subject to the provisions of the chapter which contains the above section. Under cl. (a) the punishment provided is death as Qisas. However, this clause (a) is not applicable if clause (b) and (c) thereof are attracted. It may also be observed that cl. (b) envisages the sentence of death or imprisonment for life as Tazir having regards to the facts and circumstances of the case if proof in either of the form provided for in S. 302 P.P.C is not brought on record. Pre-requisites for Qisas punishment are that proof as provided in the section 304 i.e., either accused making confession before Trial Court or as production of evidence in terms of Art. 17 of Qanun-e-Shahadat Order.

Clause (a): Death as Qisas:

Qatl-i-Amd is punishable with death as Qisas if proof in either of the forms specified in S. 304 PPC is available. In absence of such proof Qatl-i-Amd can be visited with punishment of death or imprisonment for life as Tazir u/s. 302 (b) PPC having regards to the facts and circumstances of the case. If a case is covered u/s 302 (a) PPC and death has been awarded as Qisas, the court cannot substitute the death sentence with that of imprisonment for life. In such a case, the wali of the deceased involved can either waive Qisas u/s 309 or he can compound u/s 310.

Tazkiya at Shahood:

In case of Qatl-i-Amd liable to death by Qisas, the requirement is that the witness must stand the test of Tazkiya al shahood. Tazkiya-al-Shahood of the witness having not been done in the case, accused cannot be convicted for sentence of death as Qisas.

Clause (b) Death as Tazir:

U/s 302 (b) Qatl-i-Amd is punishable with death or imprisonment for life as Tazir having regards to the facts and circumstances of the case. It has been observed by the Supreme Court that though u/s. 302 (b) punishment for Qatl-i-Amd as Tazir is provided as death or Imprisonment for Life but from this it does not follow that the court has absolute discretion to award either of the two sentences. It is now well settled that normal sentence for Qatl-i-Amd as Tazir is death. The court, however, has the discretion to award the lesser sentence of imprisonment for life in case there are mitigating circumstances. The court after reaching the conclusion that the accused is guilty of Qatl-i-Amd can award lesser punishment of life imprisonment provided the court record reasons for awarding lesser punishment i.e., mitigating circumstances on account of which a case is made out for not awarding the normal sentence of death. Thus though in S. 302 (b) PPC provision has been made for awarding death sentence or life imprisonment as Tazir, but the normal sentence for committing such offence is death and in case the other punishment i.e., life imprisonment is awarded, the court is required to reward reasons for such lesser punishment.

Clause (C): Imprisonment for life:

Cl. (c) of S. 302 is applicable where case u/s 302 PPC would neither fall in cl. (a) nor (b) meaning thereby that the accused was not found to be liable for Qisas or Diyat but with imprisonment of either description for a term extending 25 years. In other words where the murder was not committed intentionally but due to some extraneous circumstances for example where the accused commits murder exceeding his right of self defence.

Sub. Section C. of S. 302 deals with cases of entire different category e.g of minors, insane persons, descendants or ascendants who by virtue of s. 306 are immune from punishment u/s 302 (a) PPC.

Cases covered by S. 302 (c)

  1. Cases neither falling in clause (a) or clause (b) of S. 302 PPC, i.e., Mitigating circumstances;
  2. Cases involving family honour;
  3. Cases involving self defence, where excess has been committed in the exercise of self defence;
  4. Cases involving grave and sudden provocation.
  5. Qatl on account of Ghairat:

302 (a) r/w. 306, 307 and 308:

Provisions of S. 306, 307, and 308 would only be attracted in the case of Qatl Amd liable to Qisas u/s 302 (a) Pakistan Penal Code.

Grave and sudden provocation

Notwithstanding the omission to incorporate exception 1 to the amended S. 300, grave and sudden provocation remains the relevant factor for deciding the question of sentience u/cl (b) of the amended S. 302 but it has no relevance u/cl (a).

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