In the case of Anil Kumar vs. State of Kerala, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a husband for the murder of his wife. The deceased had poured kerosene on herself after a quarrel with her husband. He lit a matchstick and threw it at her, intending to kill her.
The husband tried to challenge his conviction under Section 302 and 498A of the Indian Penal Code, relying on Exception 4, which applies in cases of sudden fights or quarrels. However, the court noted that Exception 4 only applies when the offender doesn’t take undue advantage of the situation.
In this case, the appellant took undue advantage of the situation by lighting the matchstick and throwing it at his wife, who was drenched in kerosene. Therefore, the court ruled that the exception couldn’t be applied, and the appellant was guilty of culpable homicide amounting to murder.
The court also ruled out the possibility of this being a sudden quarrel since they had a history of quarreling, and there was sufficient intervening time between the quarrel and the burning incident.
Ultimately, the court dismissed the appeal and upheld the husband’s conviction for murder.