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Student Assignment Feature 05 | authored by Zaina Asif


Ques1. write down the ingredients of unsoundness of mind. use only important case laws.

Explain its effect with the held of an illustration.

Ans. Section 84 is the summary of M'Naughten's rules.

Section 84- Nothing is an offence committed by someone who is unable to know the nature of the act or does what is wrong or contrary to law due to unsoundness of mind.


1. Unsoundness of mind

2. Incapable of knowing the nature of the act

3. Incapable of knowing if it is Wrong or contrary to law

Unsoundness of mind - The law makes a distinction between medical and legal insanity. Section 84 recognises legal insanity because when an insane person is committing a crime then at the time of doing it he was incapable of knowing the nature of the act and he was also incapable of knowing that whatever he's doing is wrong or against the law.

In (Surendra Mishra v. the State of Jharkhand) it was pointed out that “every person who is suffering from the mental disease is not ipso facto exempted from criminal liability.”

Unsoundness should exist at the time of doing an act- Another requirement under law is that this unsoundness of mind should exist at the time of the commission of the act. It is only if the person is suffering from insanity at the time of the act which matters and not before or after that. In (Shrikant Anandrao Bhosale v. the State of Maharashtra) the Supreme Court while determining an offense under Section 84 of IPC opined that “it is the totality of the circumstances seen in the light of the evidence on record” which would prove that the Appellant, in that case, was suffering from the said condition. It was added: “The unsoundness of mind before and after the incident is a relevant fact.”

Nature of the act - If accused did not know the nature of the act he was committing then he is not responsible for it. And, if the person did not know the nature of the act but knew that it is wrong as contrary to the law he is held responsible. In (Laxmi vs state) Court held that the accused ran away from the crime scene and tried to conceal the incriminatory evidence as a fact, the court concluded that he knew what he was doing was wrong. So, He was accordingly held liable.

Ques2. Explain the effect of section 85 and 86.

Ans. Section 85 - Nothing is an offence committed by someone who is unable to know the nature of the act or what is wrong or contrary to law due to intoxication against his knowledge and will.

Section 86- An act is not an offence unless it is done with particular knowledge or intent. If an act is done with voluntary intoxication then in such case knowledge will be imputed not the intend.


(a) Incapable of knowing the nature of the act

(b) That he was not in a state of mind to know that the act was either wrong or contrary to law

(c) That the thing which intoxicated him was administered to him without his knowledge or against his will

(d) And that voluntary drunkenness is not excuse for the commission of a crime.

(e) Burden of proof lies upon the accused.

In (Supreme Court of India

Basdev vs The State Of Pepsu on 17 April, 1956) and (Supreme Court of India

Bablu @ Mubarik Hussain à ... vs State Of Rajasthan à Respondent on 12 December, 2006) the Supreme Court held-

(1) The insanity whether produced by drunkenness or otherwise is a defence to the crime charged;

(2) Evidence of drunkenness which renders the accused incapable of forming the specific intent essential to constitute the crime should be taken into account with the other facts proved in order to determine whether or not he had this intent; and

(3) The evidence of drunkenness falling short of a proved incapacity in the accused to form the intent necessary to constitute the crime and merely establishing that his mind is affected by drink so that he more readily give to some violent passion, does not rebut the presumption that a man intends the natural consequences of his acts.

Ques3. Explain the difference between mistake of fact and mistake of law.

What does it mean to be justified by law law and what it mean to be bound by law. Explain with the use of illustration or case law.

Ans. MISTAKE OF FACT implies a mistake as to true identity or mistake in sensory perception of the circumstances, including their temporary distortion due to imagination or hallucination.

It is an erroneous mental condition or conviction induced by ignorance, misapprehension or misunderstanding of the truth and resulting in some act/ omission done or suffered erroneously by one or both of the parties to a transaction but without its erroneous character being intended or known at the time. MISTAKE OF LAW means mistake as to existence or otherwise of any law on particular subject as well as mistake as to what law is. Ignorance of law is not excused because if it is admitted as a ground of exception, the administration of justice will become impracticable.

According to Section 76 of the Act, an accused person in good faith believes himself to be bound by law to that act. Whereas, Section 79 of the Act lays down that an accused person in good faith believes himself justified by law to that act.

“Bound by law” means that although the true state of the facts show that the offence is committed yet the person under mistake of fact believes that he was bound by law to act in that particular way. For example - A servant kills his master mistaking him for a burglar who entered the house. Here, the servant was bound by law to protect his master's house.

There's a rule of respondeat superior in section 76 that superior is responsible for the act. In the case of (State of West Bengal v. Shew Mangal Singh) the Supreme Court held that if order by superior is lawful then its obedience is obviously lawful.

"Justified by law” means that a person committing the act was empowered by law. For example - Z caught A beating B with lathi. Z caught A in order to hand him over to the police. Later, Z found out that A was acting in self defence. Here, since Z acted in good faith that he was justified by law, he will be excused.

In (Emporer v. Jagmohan Thukral (AIR 1947 ALL 99) - Accused while travelling from Saharanpur to Dehradun piacked up a loaded gun and shot at the spot where he thought he saw eyes of an animal. The bullet unfortunately hit two army personnel , there was nothing to show that accused knew that there was a military camp. Court Held that he was protected by section 79.

Ques4. Elucidate important requirements for applicability of section 80.

Ans. Section 80 protects an act done by accident or misfortune and without any criminal intention or knowledge in the doing of a lawful act in a lawful manner by lawful means and with proper care and caution.


1) Act was done without criminal intention or knowledge - Mens rea being one of the most important elements, if any act was done with the very purpose of committing that act intentionally, then he is said to be liable or punishable under IPC.

2) act was done by lawful manner by lawful means - For constituting an offence, an unlawful act is done in a lawful manner or a lawful act done in an unlawful manner by legal means. For getting oneself acquitted from an offence, he must have done a lawful act in a lawful manner by lawful means.

3) act was done with proper care and caution- A person can claim protection for accident only if the act which was done by him was under proper care and caution. Since, if any act is done without taking proper care and caution then that means that he must have the required mens rea for committing that offence.

In (Bhupendrasinh A. Chaudasama v. State of Gujarat (1998 (2) SCC 603) it was held by Supreme Court that where the accused shot his own colleague at close range without knowing the identity of his target, the act smacked of utter dearth of any care and caution.

Ques 5. What is doli incapax? Explain.

Ans. An act done by a child who is under seven years of age is presumed to be doli incapax by law. The liability of an offence is absolute if the offender has intended the consequences of his act. Since, a child lacks both maturity and understanding for the commission of crime, therefore, he cannot be held liable for the offence committed.

DOLI INCAPAX - Incapable of forming requisite intent to commit a crime

For example - If a child who is under seven years of age commits theft and was fully aware of the consequences of his act. Even though, the child had requisite knowledge to commit the crime then also he won't be convicted because he's doli incapax and he'll be immediately discharged.

In (Marsh v. Loader) A child was caught stealing a piece of wood from the premises of the defendant but was discharged on the basis that he was under 7 years of age.

Ques6. Explain the scope and effect of section 83 with help of an illustration.

Ans. Section 83- A child above seven years of age and under twelve years cannot be convicted of any offence unless it is expressly found that he has attained sufficient maturity of understanding. The consequences of the act must show that he knew what he is doing and what will be the result of that.

Maxim- MALITIA SUPPLET AETATEM ( malice supplies want of age) if the age of the child is less yet he has sufficient malice then lack of age cannot be an excuse. This applies when child is above 7 years of age but under 12 years.

In (Ulla Mahapatra v. State) A boy of 11 years threatened to cut the deceased into pieces and then pursued his murder and . It was held by the court that he had the knowledge and his actions lead him to what he intended to do , it showed his sufficient maturity of intellect.

Test to determine that the child had requisite intention -

Illustration - if a child of 10 years of age committed a murder and was seen running away from the crime scene by his parents then this fact will be relevant but if this is the only fact that the child ran away then it won't be considered sufficient.

Running away is not sufficient by itself to rebut the presumption of doli incapax , a naughty child would run away from his parents or teacher even though he committed no criminal act. ( A v. DPP (1991) COD 442 (DC) )

Mischievous discretion is the knowledge of wrongful nature of the act committed. It is to be seen if the child has sufficient maturity of understanding or not . This evidence of mischievous discretion can be gathered from facts such as , "whether the child was a precocious one , was brought up well or from a good social background. (B v. R (1958) 44 Cr App rep 1)


Ques1. Write down and explain the complaint filing procedure in crpc.


Section 200- The magistrate concerned records the statements, reduce them to substance and records the statements on oath. The magistrate takes the case filed and transfer it to the concerned magistrate who has the jurisdiction of the case filed. The latter magistrate need not re-examine the case again. The magistrate need not conduct this examination when:

1.If the complaint is made by a public servant who is acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duties or a Court;

2. If the Magistrate makes over the case for enquiry or trial to another Magistrate under Section 192.

Section 201- A second class magistrate is not competent to take cognizance. If a complaint is filed with him then

he’ll transfer it to the first class magistrate.

He shall,

A. If the complaint made in writing, the return it. Also ask him to present the

compliant in proper court;

B. If the complaint not made in writing, direct the complainant to the proper court.

Section 202- 1.If the accused resides within the jurisdiction of the magistrate then if he thinks fit, may take

cognizance of the complaint but if the accused resides outside the jurisdiction of the magistrate then the magistrate shall postpone the issue of process against the accused and inquire into the case himself or hire a police officer to investigate into the case for deciding if

there’s sufficient grounds for proceedings.

In (S.W. Palanitkar v. State of Bihar , (2002) 1 SCC 241) SC said The words 'sufficient ground', used

under Section 203 have to be construed to mean the satisfaction that a prima facie case is made out

against the accused and not sufficient ground for the purpose of conviction.

Proviso: Directions for investigation shall not be made if :

A. It is exclusively triable by the court of sessions.

B. If the complaint is made by a private person and not made by the court, unless the

procedure of section 200 is followed.

2. while conducting an inquiry in sub-section(1) :

a) If the magistrate thinks fit, he can take evidence on oath

b) If there is a case that can only be tried in the court of sessions then it is mandatory to

examine all witnesses produced by the complainant on oath.

3.If the investigation under sub-section(1) is made by a person not being a police officer, then he

shall have all the powers of the officer in charge except the power to arrest without a warrant.

Section 203- (Section 203 is to be read with section 398 CrPC)

If, after considering the statements on oath of the complainant and of the witnesses and the inquiry

or investigation under section 202, the Magistrate is of opinion that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding, he shall dismiss the complaints, and in every such case he shall briefly record his reasons for so doing.

Reasons for dismissal of complaint :

a. No case of prima facie is formed

b. Magistrate examines the complainant and the witnesses and finds that the case is very


c. The investigation and inquiry if any , made under 202 doesn’t remove the hesitation

from the mind of the magistrate .

(Supreme Court of India, Poonam Chand Jain & Anr vs Fazru on 15 October, 2004)

(Pramatha Nath Talukdar v. Saroj Ranjan Sarkar (AIR 1962 SC 876)

Ques 2. What is a charge sheet ? Is the magistrate bound by the chargesheet or report of police sent under 173(2) of the crpc?

Ans. A charge sheet is a final report prepared by the investigation or law enforcement agencies for proving the accusation of a crime in a criminal court of law. The report is basically submitted by the police officer in order to prove that the accused is connected with any offence or has committed any offence punishable under the code.

No, the magistrate is not bound by the chargesheet or the police report sent under section 173(2).

When the police report is submitted to the magistrate then -

1. He can drop the action

2. He can issue the process to the accused in section 204 CrPC

3. He is not bound by conclusion of the police officer and he can refuse to take cognizance

4. He can order for further investigation.


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