As we all that from Sec76-106 of the Indian Penal Code Deals are based on the presumptions that sometimes the person is not liable for the crimes/ charges which are made up against him so this general defence gives him a way to prove him not guilty of the offence. The main aim of general defences was to make general exceptions to every offence was to help the innocent to prove him innocent. So before dealing with the sections we should also know that, ‘According to section-6 of Indian Penal Code whenever the word offence is the word it should be noted that offence will always be linked with its general exceptions.’
The first concept in general defences we are dealing with is:
The concept of mistake is discussed in Section-76 and 79 of IPC. Section-76 talks about the Mistake of fact which mean that if without knowing the fact if someone commits any offence then he will not be charged with any crime. The famous legal maxim related to this Section is Ignorantia Facti Excusat which means the same as we said above where Section-79 deals with the concept Mistake of law and the maxim related to this is Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat which means that ignorance of the law is never excusable and if anybody who tries to use this defence will not get any defence under this and will be held criminally liable
The concept of judicial acts with their exceptions and general defences has been discussed in Section-77 and 78 of IPC. Section-77 talks about the act which was done by a Judge who was doing any act judicially within in its jurisdiction in good faith will always be provided with this defence if someone raises a complaint against him. But if he does something contrary to law then he will be held liable for the offence whereas sec-78 gives defence to all those people who just follow the orders given in the judgement.
According to Sec-80 of IPC if any lawful act is done by some person without any criminal intention/ knowledge in a lawful manner, lawful means and with proper caution then that person comes under the general defence and use this defence to decrease his criminal liability.
The famous legal maxims clearly explain this defence very clearly ‘Jus Necessitates’ and ‘Necessitas Non-Habet Legam’ which means that ‘necessity sees no law’ in case of emergency if the person has to choose between two particular situation and he chooses the less dangerous situations and in that due course if any harm/ offence is caused to another person than that person can use this Sec-81. The main ingredients of this defence are that firstly there should no criminal intention and the act should be lawful and after seeing and if the court agreed with the facts then that person criminal liability could be decreased.
Our Indian Constitution gives privileges to the children that they cannot commit any crime and so as IPC also gives them exemption in this case. According to Sec-82 any child under the age of 7 years if commits the crime then he will not be charged for any offence because the lawmakers believe that age the child cannot make any criminal intention, whereas Sec-83 talks about the children aged 7-12 although doesn’t provide them with the total exemption subject to maturity of mind.
Whenever any person of unsound mind commits any crime then that person will be exempted from that crime because in this case also a person of unsound mind is unable to form any criminal intentions. But one of the most important ingredients of Sec-84 is that when the crime was being committed at that particular time the person should of unsound mind.
According to Sec-85 and 86 drunkenness mean that once the person is drunk then at that time person becomes incapable of having mental element. But under this concept the drunkenness is divided into two types:
- Involuntary Intoxication- when someone gets intoxicated by the means of fraud/force/without the knowledge and then commits a crime than at that time he could sec-85 as his general defence.
- Voluntary Intoxication- Sec-86 talks about voluntary intoxication where the section tells us that once the person knows that he is drinking then after drinking if he commits a crime then after that he says that he was not aware of his action and its consequences then he will not be discharged from his liabilities. He will be responsible for the offence.
- Section-87 revolves around the legal maxim ‘Volentia Non-fit Injuria’ which means that once the person gives his consent for any act then he is responsible for its consequences also. There is no way that the person can escape from the consequences of any act. But the main ingredients of this act are that those acts should be legal and secondary the main aim of the act should not be death.
- According to Sec-88 any act which is done in the favour of the patient by doctors/surgeons in good faith with the consent of patient then if any mishappening takes place in the due course the doctors will not be responsible for that.
- According to Sec-89 any act which is done by any person for the benefit of the child and with the consent of that child-parent’s/guardian then that act is not coming under any offense.
- According to Sec-90 if any consent is given under fear of injury or misconception of fact related to any situation then that consent will not be considered as valid consent. Also, the consent of any person who is of unsound mind or a child is not considered as valid consent in any case.
- According to Sec-92 if any act is done by any person in the good faith of that person but without the consent of that person and is anything goes wrong then that person will not be liable for anything as he was only doing things for the benefit of that person.
- According to Sec-93 if any communication, is made in the good faith to the other person and after that communication any accident happens then that person will not liable for any offence.
- According to Sec-94 if any person does any act but has done that act under threat is not an offence but that act should not be against the state or the ultimate aim of that is not death then only that person can take a plea of this section.
- And finally according to Sec-95 if any little/slight harm is caused to the person by the other person while performing any act which is of ordinary nature and no person would complain about that then the act is no longer an offence.
This blog is written by Pragya Sharma, Amity University.
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