Attempt to Murder

Understanding Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code: Attempt to Murder

Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with a grave and heinous offense – “attempt to murder.” This legal provision addresses situations where an individual endeavors to take another person’s life, even if they do not succeed in causing death. In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of Section 307, exploring its legal definitions, penalties, and its significance in the Indian criminal justice system.

Defining Attempt to Murder:

Section 307 of the IPC states, “Whoever does any act with such intention or knowledge and under such circumstances that, if he by that act caused death, he would be guilty of murder, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if hurt is caused to any person by such act, the offender shall be liable either to life imprisonment or rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Breaking Down the Elements:

1. Intention or Knowledge: To establish an offense under Section 307, the prosecution must prove that the accused acted with the intention to kill or had knowledge that their actions could result in the victim’s death.

2. Circumstances: The circumstances surrounding the act are crucial. It must be demonstrated that if the accused’s actions had caused death, they would have been guilty of murder.

3. Hurt Caused: If the accused’s actions result in any harm to the victim, they may face more severe penalties, including life imprisonment.

Penalties under Section 307:

The penalties for an offense under Section 307 are substantial:

1. Imprisonment: The accused can face imprisonment for a term that may extend up to ten years.

2. Fine: In addition to imprisonment, the offender may also be liable to pay a fine.

3. Hurt Caused: If the accused causes harm to the victim, they could face life imprisonment or rigorous imprisonment for up to ten years, along with a fine.

Significance in the Indian Criminal Justice System:

Section 307 plays a pivotal role in the Indian criminal justice system for several reasons:

1. Deterrence: The provision acts as a deterrent against individuals contemplating acts of violence against others. Knowing the severe penalties associated with attempted murder can discourage potential offenders.

2. Protection of Victims: Section 307 acknowledges the seriousness of an attempt to take someone’s life. It ensures that even if a murder attempt fails, the offender faces significant consequences for their actions, offering protection to the victim.

3. Legal Recourse: Victims of attempted murder can seek legal recourse under this section, allowing them to pursue justice and hold the perpetrators accountable.


Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code serves as a crucial legal provision to combat acts of violence that endanger lives. It sends a strong message that society values the sanctity of human life and is determined to punish those who attempt to take it unlawfully. Understanding the gravity of this offense and its legal consequences is essential for both citizens and legal professionals in upholding justice and ensuring the safety of individuals in society.