HMG Vs Balram Lawoti

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Date:- 2045 BS

Court:-Supreme Court of Nepal

Category:- Criminal law


The Supreme Court of Nepal has for the first time recognized the notion of diminished responsibility or mental incapacity in the case of HMG V. Balram Lawoti as a ground of mitigation for reducing a charge of murder to mitigated homicide.(Absence of mens rea, mental incapacity, no evidence for pre-plan,  defense provided to insane)


The defendant and the victim were brothers. They were separated but living in the same house sharing half portion by each of them. The accused was mentally disorder because of beating received sometime back.

On the day of the incident the deceased person came back to house after collecting fire woods from forest and going back to keep them in store room. The accused believing that the deceased was coming to attack him with Khukuri which the deceased had and gave a single blow on the head of the victim with iron rod resulting in serious injury from which he died next day.


The Supreme Court as the final jurisdiction of reference cases confirming the decisions of the lower courts held that in the case where there was no evidence of pre-planned killing, accused was suffering from mental disorder and death of the victim was caused due to the mental disordered condition of the accused in such a situation the punishment fixed by No. 3(3) of the Chapter  on “Homicide” would be grave injustice to the accused. So, it is reduced to 10 years imprisonment as per N0. 188 of the Chapter on “ Court Management.” [NKP (2045), p. 764, DN 3540]


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