Unsoundness of mind in relation to which aspect – nature or the wrongfulness?

Forums Indian Penal Code, 1860 Unsoundness of mind in relation to which aspect – nature or the wrongfulness?

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  • #3400

    While reading Section 84 of the Indian Penal Code which talks about unsoundness of mind, there are mentions of incapability of knowing the nature of the act.
    Ques: Does that mean that unsound person is one who is acquainted with the nature, but not the wrongfulness of the act, and hence, is not guilty by the law?

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    • #3401

      While researching about this, I came across the case of Ashiruddin Ahmed v. The King, under which the accused kills his son claiming that it was a command from Paradise. Ion this case, he was clearly aware of the nature of the act. However, the court of law held him to be not guilty. Since the accused went and narrated the entire incident to another person, he thought what he did was right. This implies that since he was of unsound mind, he was “acting under the delusion of his dream, believing the sacrifice to be right.” Hence even though he was aware of the nature but not wrongfulness, he is not liable

    • #3692

      insanity always being regarded as a defense and act of not guilty Essentials of section 84 of IPC need to be followed
      1. The act should be done by an individual of unsound mind
      2. Such individual should be ineffectual of judging and knowing
      3. The exact nature of the act done by him, or the act committed by him is inconsistent with the law of the land
      4. The impotency must exist at the time of doing the act constituting an offense.
      The above essentials need to be proved in order to be held not guilty and have protection by law over the case trials and procedure. In the case, Bapu Alias Gujraj Singh vs the state of Rajasthan, it was found out that some of the witnesses have stated the accused have suffered from unsoundness of mind and the accused was incapable to understand at the time of the offense. Hence the case concludes with giving protection to the accused under section 84 of IPC.

    • #3733

      It is well established principle of criminal law that to constitute an offence, mens rea is taken to be an essential element of crime. A person who is not of sound mind is something related to his nature and someone who is not aware of his acts and the consequences of his acts he cannot be held guilty as there is no mens represent in the commission of offence. To commit a crime intention and act together constitute a crime and for a person of unsound mind since the element of intention is absent, he/she is not held guilty by laws. Every normal person is expected to have some sense and thus is very much aware of his or her actions and the consequences of the same, but similar is not true in the case of a person of unsound mind as he is not aware of his actions.
      It was held in the case of State of Rajasthan Vs. Shera Ram, a person of unsound mind or a person suffering from a mental disorder cannot be said to possess the understanding of right and wrong, that are the basic norms of human behaviour.

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