SECTION 100 IPC - Indian Penal Code - When the right of private defence of the body extends to causing death CLAA2013


Description

The right of private defence of the body extends, under the restrictions mentioned in the last preceding section, to the voluntary causing of death or of any other harm to the assailant, if the offence which occasions the exercise of the right be of any of the descriptions hereinafter enumerated, namely:

  1. Such an assault as may reasonably cause the apprehension that death will otherwise be the consequence of such assault;

  2. Such an assault as may reasonably cause the apprehension that grievous hurt will otherwise be the consequence of such assault;

  3. An assault with the intention of committing rape;

  4. An assault with the intention of gratifying unnatural lust;

  5. An assault with the intention of kidnapping or abducting;

  6. An assault with the intention of wrongfully confining a person, under circumstances which may reasonably cause him to apprehend that he will be unable to have recourse to the public authorities for his release.

  7. An act of throwing or administering acid or an attempt to throw or administer acid which may reasonably cause the apprehension that grievous hurt will otherwise be the consequence of such act.1

 

1 Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013



Section 100 IPC- When the right of private defence of the body extends to causing death

The law does not want us to behave like cowards. When a situation occurs where there is a threat of danger to the body or life of any person or persons, one should act bravely and should try to protect himself as well as others. However, the first and foremost rule of criminal law is that one should help himself before helping others. To help oneself against the life-threatening acts, the Constitution of India and the Indian Penal Code provides provisions for self-defence in the form of a right of private defence.
 

What is private defence?

The term private defence has not been defined under IPC, but in general terms, private defence means when any person uses force against any other person to protect his life, liberty, and property. Under section 100, defence can only be taken against a person who is involved in an act which endangers the life or property of a person against whom force is being used. While exercising private defence, a person is permitted to use self-protective force which may be illegal if used otherwise.
 

Essential conditions of section 100 IPC

To invoke section 100 of the Indian Penal Code, the following conditions should be fulfilled-

  • There must be an imminent threat of life to a person or grievous hurt to the body.

  • There must be no reasonable way to escape.

  • There must be no time to approach the appropriate authorities for protection.

  • Causing the death of the person attacking should have been a necessity.
     

Protection against body and property

As per section 97 (Right to private defence of the body and of property) of the Indian Penal Code every person has a right to protect his own body or the body of another person against whom an offence is being committed which harms the body of such person or may even result in death of such person. Similarly, along with right to protect body, every person is entitled to a right to protect his property or the property of any other person whether movable or immovable, against whom the offence of theft, robbery, mischief or criminal trespass or an attempt to commit theft, robbery, mischief or criminal trespass is being committed.
 

Acts against which there is no right to private defence

Under section 99 (Acts against which there is no right to private defence) of the code, the right of private defence does not stand against every individual. The right excludes certain persons, such as an unarmed and unoffending person. The right is only available to stop individuals who are committing an offence. Furthermore, the right can be exercised only by the person when no aid is available.

Section 99 of IPC, clearly states that the right of private defence cannot be exercised unless and until the act amounts to cause fear of death or grievous hurt, if such act is done or is attempted to be done, by a public servant or by the direction of a public servant acting in good faith under his office, even though the act or direction is not justifiable by law. Further, the right of private defence cannot be exercised when there is enough time to approach the public authority for protection.

However, there is an exception to section 99 which states that a person is not deprived of the right of private defence against an act done, or attempted to be done, by a public servant, unless he has knowledge that the person doing such act is a public servant. In the same way, a person is not deprived of the right of private defence against an act done, or attempted to be done, by the direction of a public servant, unless he has knowledge that the person doing the act is acting by such direction, or unless such person states his authority, or in case he has authority in writing, unless he produces such authority.
 

Private defence extends to causing death

Section 100 of IPC, states that the right of private defence of the body extends, under the restrictions mentioned in section 99 of the code, to voluntarily causing death of a person or any other harm to the offender, if the offence against which the right has been exercised falls under any of the descriptions mentioned below-

  1. An offence may be such that it causes the fear that death will be the outcome of such assault.

  2. An offence may be such that it causes the fear that grievous hurt will be the outcome of such assault.

  3. Offence with intention of committing rape.

  4. Offence with the intention of satisfying unnatural lust.

  5. Offence with the intention of kidnapping or abduction.

  6. Offence with the intention to wrongfully confine any person, under such circumstances which may reasonably cause him to fear that he will be unable to approach public authorities for his release.

  7. An act of throwing or administering acid or an attempt to throw acid which may reasonably cause the fear that grievous hurt will be the outcome of such act.
     

Private defence can be exercised against the person of unsound mind

Right of private defence under IPC is available against all the person who commits the offence to imperil one’s life and property. When a person who is of unsound mind, intoxicated person, a child, or a person who by the reason of misconception, commits an act which is an offence against life or property, then the aggrieved person will be entitled to the right of private defence same as he would exercise it if the person committing such offence would be of sound mind.

For example, Z, under the influence of madness, attempts to kill A. Z is guilty of no offence. But A has the same right of private defence which he would have if Z were sane.


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