Breaking News

Rex vs White : Case Summary

Rex vs White

Case Name : Rex vs White

Author : M. Sameer


 (1910) 4 Cr App R 257


     Mr.Justice Bray J


In Indian penal code 1860, punishes person who attempts an act under any circumstances with an intention or having the knowledge of killing a another person, if his act caused death, he shall be punished with guilty of murder, if the person does an act with intention to kill but the act contains a series of acts to achieve the end result in this case its not necessary what the end result will be or incompleteness of series of act. It is more than enough that attempt or preparation with the intention to kill or threats to another person life he shall be guilty of attempt to murder.


The accused who bought cyanide to kill his mother by putting a few drops in her glass, the accused intended to kill her in slowly by series of same action but on the next day his mother died but medical evidence shows that deceased died not because of cyanide there was no trace of cyanide in her body.


Whether mere preparation to kill is it sufficient to make the accused liable?

Because the act didn’t resulted as accused intended, does it make him acquit?

 Intended act or series of act and resulted consequences which is totally contradictory and before completing his act of intention if person was deceased does it make him liable?

 How “but for” test applied here?


Mr.Justice Bary J, held that the accused in his statements said clearly that his intention is to kill her slowly by doing the act of putting drops of cyanide in her drinks, so he bought a cyanide to fulfill his intention, does mere preparation is sufficient to make him liable, infact mere preparation can’t make a person liable without an act followed by it, in this case accused bought cyanide it shows his preparation and he does an act which intends to kill her or cause injury to her in instance or slowly but the fact here is his preparation accompanied by an act is more then enough to make accused liable, but the intended act didn’t resulted as accused intending it too be, in this case whether the act failed or his act didn’t resulted as he intended to be,it’s more then sufficient to punish him for the offence of attempting an act which is to kill deceased, court also used the test of “but for” in order to make accused guilty of murder it need to be shown that “but for” his action deceased would have died this makes him not liable of muder. So the court held that accused was guilty of attempt to murder.