Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
LCI Learning

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More

Difference between Motive and Intention




Definition Motive is defined as a state of thought that causes or accelerates Intention. Motive is not fundamental to the offense in and of itself, but it gives rise to or accelerates one of the essentials of crime, namely Intention. Intention is defined as the willful performance of an illegal act. There can be no crime unless there is an evil mind or a criminal intent. Even in strict liability cases, some mental factors are required.
Key Element In perpetrating an unlawful crime. In determining criminal responsibility.
Purpose The motive is hidden or implied purpose. Intention is the expressly defined purpose of the crime.
Burden Of Proof Since motive is not the fundamental factor in determining guilt, it does not need to be shown. When a person's Intention is the element for imposing criminal culpability, it must be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt.
Relevance Motive is solely relevant in determining the accused's guilt. If the intention is criminal, whether done with or without motive, the law makes it punishable.
Described as Motive is described as a driving force. Intention is described as an objective.
Connotation Motive can be of a negative as well as positive connotation. Intention is always of a negative connotation.
Court Concern Not related. Related.

Motive Case Laws

  • In Kundula Bala vs. the State Of A.P. [1993 Cr LJ 1635 SC], the son-in-law requested a property plot from the deceased prior to his marriage. The duplicity of the mother-in-law was also there before this demand. The wedding occurred, but the deceased denied transferring property in the accused's name and wished to give it to the daughter. That enraged the accused, and a crime was committed as a result. As a result, it was determined that the accused had a solid motive to conduct the act.
  • In Chunni Lal v. State of Uttar Pradesh (AIR 2010 SC 2467), the accused, who expected to inherit his childless uncle's property, was frustrated when the uncle married and had a child. The uncle was killed, and the accused was having difficulties getting the property transferred in his name. These facts were determined to be important because they established the accused's motive to murder the dead.

Intention Case Laws

  • In Sanjeev v. State of Haryana (2013), the Court concluded that in the event of murder, the aspect that matters most is the Intention behind the crime, not the motive. In circumstances of Murder or Culpable Homicide, only intent or knowledge can be inferred.
  • In Ramachander v. State of Rajasthan [1970 Cr.L.J. 653], it was clearly stated that the common Intention cannot be shown without any persuasive evidence. It was observed that, in the absence of evidence of premeditation or a prearranged plan, the mere presence of the two accused at the scene or the firing of the two accused, as a result of which one person died and two others received minor injuries, could not be held sufficient to assume common Intention.


The background of the committed crime is the Intention, but the motive is the purpose behind the intent. Though the Intention is specified in the Indian Penal Code 1860, it is not defined. These terms must be determined using specific guidelines. The two words, Motive and Intention are sometimes confused since they both refer to a state or condition of mind deduced from the facts of the situation. In this case, the latter is an expedited or triggered variant of the former.

"Loved reading this piece by Sharmishta?
Join LAWyersClubIndia's network for daily News Updates, Judgment Summaries, Articles, Forum Threads, Online Law Courses, and MUCH MORE!!"

Tags :

Category Others, Other Articles by - Sharmishta 


Post a Suggestion for LCI Team
Post a Legal Query