Difference between Sec 76 and Sec 79 of IPC

Home Forums Mistake of fact under IPC Difference between Sec 76 and Sec 79 of IPC

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    • #955
      Isha Aggarwal

      Sec. 76 lays down that nothing is an offence which is done by a person, who is, or who by reason of a mistake of fact and not by reason of mistake of law, in good faith, believes himself to be bound by law to do so.

      It is derived from legal maxim;
      ‘Ignorantia facit excusat, ignorantia juris non excusat’
      (The ignorance of fact excuses, ignorance of law does not excuse).

      Illustration;

      (a) A, a soldier, fires on a mob by the order of his superior officer, in conformity with the commands of the law. A has committed no offence.

      79. Act done by a person justified, or by mistake of fact believing himself, justified, by law– Nothing is an offence which is done by any person who is justified by law, or who by reason of a mistake of fact and not by reason of a mistake of law in good faith, believes himself to be justified by law, in doing it.

      Illustration;

      A sees Z commit what appears to A to be a murder. A, in the exercise of good faith, seizes Z, in order to bring Z before the proper authorities. A has committed no offence, though it may turn out that Z was acting in self-defence.

    • #2031
      Intern
      Participant

      Section 76 states that nothing is an offense, which is done by a person who is, or who by reason of mistake of fact and not by reason of mistake of law, in good faith, believes himself bound by law to do so. This means that a person if does any offence, by mistake of fact, and he think he was bound by law to do so, his act will not amount to an offence. For Example a police officer encounters X who was hiding in a room but while doing so he also kills Y who was sitting in the same room thinking him to be a gang member whereas he was just sitting there. Police officer can’t be held accountable of murder.
      Section 79 of IPC states that nothing is an offence which is done by any person who is justified by law, or who by reason of a mistake of fact and not by reason of a mistake of law in good faith, believes himself to be justified by law, in doing it. This means that if a person, thinking that his action is justified by law, by mistake of fact does an act, then his act will not amount to offence. For example- A hits B thinking that he was trying to kill D whereas they were just practicing a part of the drama they were participating in. Here A will not be held guilty of Battery.
      Thus, in section 76 and 79 the only difference is that in Section 76 the person is bound by law and in 79 the person thinks his action to be justified by law.

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