K.M. Nanavati v. state of Maharastra
K.M. Nanavati v. state of Maharastra

K.M. Nanavati v. state of Maharastra


Citation: 1962 AIR 605

Judges: K. Subbarao


This case stood as one of the most important cases that have to be brought under the section of “grave and sudden provocation”. The facts of the case go in this way;

  1. Nanavathi was husband of a woman named selvy. He was a officer in the navy and had left his wife back home and went on for the official work.
  2. While in his absence, Selvy had developed illicit relation with another male Ahuja.
  3. Later on, when he came back from the official navy operation.
  4. Selvy, with the intention of not hiding any thing from her husband went to “nanavati” and confessed that she was having a illicit relation with the person named Ahuja.
  5. Back then, Nanavati had not showed any symptoms of provocation and anger that he felt on account of the betrayal he felt from his wife.
  6. He just kept calm and did not speak to selvy.
  7. The other day, he took his wife and children to cinema and had left the house and went back to port and has taken a riffle and had filled it with “six rounds” and he mentioned to the navy officer, saying about the riffle that it was for the purpose of some official work.
  8. He went to  Ahuja’s  and a conversation took place between them which heated up to the extent of Nanavati loosing his temper over Ahuja and shooting Ahuja to death.
  9. Nanavati had then shot 3 rounds and had severely wounded Ahuja.
  10. Ahuja died while treating him in hospital.


Was there any grave and sudden provocation?

Should  Nanavati be brought into the exception 1 of 300 of IPC?

Issues Answered:

The court had established that, Nanavati was not in grave and sudden provocation. When the Court asked him, what was the reason for him of doing such an act, He replied saying “Ahuja said that he wont marry his wife and would not look after his children. There was no grave provocation in him. He was thinking about his wife’s future. His mental condition was completely under control. He attacked Ahuja because he didn’t like him sleeping with His wife due to which he shot him and not under provocation.

He cannot be brought under the exception 1 of 300 of IPC. If there was no grave provocation at all, then how could he be brought under exceptions of Murder. Hence no protection under exception 1 of 300 of I.P.C.


Court announced the judgment saying, that when he had provocation in mind. Then he should be brought under the scope of 300 of IPC. The court sentenced him with the life imprisonment. The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed in favor of Nanavati. The Supreme Court had upheld the punishment given to him under 303 of IPC by the High Court.

Relatively used sections and Articles:

Section 300 of IPC and Section 302 of IPC

Referred cases:

State of Madras v. Vidyavathi Iyer

C.S.D Swami v. State

  1. Hussain v. State of Bombay




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here