A bench of justices Asok Kumar Ganguly and Deepak Verma in a judgement said that the accused can seek immunity from murder only if all these four above circumstances are established in defence of the crime.
"In order to bring a case under Exception (4) to Section 300 IPC, the evidence must show that the accused acted without any premeditation and in a heat of passion and without having taken undue advantage and he had not acted in a cruel or unusual manner," Justice Ganguly said.
"Every one of these circumstances is required to be proved to attract Exception (4) to Section 300 IPC and it is not sufficient to prove only some of them. A miscarriage of justice which may arise from acquittal of the guilty is no less than from a conviction of an innocent," he said.
The apex court passed the judgement while setting aside a Rajasthan High Court judgement which had altered the conviction of Mohd Islam for murder (302 IPC) to 304 (11) IPC on the ground that the crime committed by him fell under Exception 4 provided under Section 300 IPC.
The high court had reversed the life imprisonment imposed by the sessions court in Deeg to six years which had earlier held him guilty for murdering one Jenu on March 18, 1988 following an altercation over a financial dispute.
The Rajasthan government had appealed against the ruling in the apex court.