Section 300-Indian Penal Code-Murder

“Was’t Hamlet wronged Laertes? Never Hamlet. If Hamlet from himself
be ta’en away, And when he’s not himself does wrong Laertes, Then
Hamlet does it not; Hamlet denies it. Who does it, then? His madness. if’t
be so, Hamlet is of the faction that is wronged; His madness is poor
Hamlet’s enemy.”
-William Shakespeare
(Source : Hamlet, W.S. (Play) Act-5 Scene-2 Line-245)

While acknowledging the hurt that he has caused to Laertes for causing the
death of his father, whom he murdered by way of a mistaken identity,
Hamlet pleads temporary madness. While pleading so, he disassociates
himself from the act as if it was done by a third person and he was made to
suffer the consequence. He thus pleads to treat him as a victim rather than an
offender. Though the act of Hamlet does constitute a culpable homicide
coming within the definition of Section 300 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
an act of unsound mind would not attract the same. Through these lines,
Shakespeare brings out the agony of a man having to justify his act of madness.

Prakash Nayi @ Sen …Appellant
State of Goa …Respondent
decided by the Supreme Court of India on 12.01.23


Sanjiv Narang Adv. is an Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India. His qualifications include an LLB from University of Delhi and a Masters degree in Personnel Management from Panjab University,Chandigarh.In his more than 3 decades of experience, he has practiced law at the District, High Court and Supreme Court levels.He also has more than a decade of experience in the field of Management. He is the author of two books namely Laws for Women in India and Innovation, Why What and How.