Criminal liability means being liable for an act which is illegal or criminal in nature. A person is said to be ‘criminally liable’ when he or she is held legally responsible for breaking the law. If the liability is proven in court then the person will be punished.
However, an accused shall be presumed to be innocent until and unless his guilt is proved beyond all the reasonable doubts. The accused can take the help of GENERAL EXCEPTIONS to escape from his criminal liabilities.
Section 76 to 106 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 is found to deal with General Exceptions. The General Exceptions are certain defences available to the respondent or defendant or accused.
KINDS OF GENERAL EXCEPTIONS AVAILABLE
The various kinds of General Exceptions available to the defendant are-
Section 76 and 79- Mistake of fact
- Section 76- Act done by a person bound or under mistake of fact believing himself to be bound
- Section 79- Act done by a person justified or by mistake of fact believing himself to be justified
Section 77 and 79- Judicial acts
- Section 77- Act done by a person while acting judicially
- Section 78- Act done by a person in pursuant to the orders or judgements of the Court
Section 80- Accident
Accident is an unexpected event which causes injury. Nothing is an offence which is an accident.
Section 81, 92, 93 and 94- Absence of Criminal Intention
- Section 81- Act likely to cause harm done without criminal intention in good faith to prevent other harm
- Section 92- Act done in good faith for the benefit of a person without his consent
- Section 93- Communication made in good faith
- Section 94- Act to which a person is compelled by threats
Section 82, 83, 84 and 85- Incapacity to commit an offence
- Section 82- Act of a child under 7 years of age
- Section 83- Act of a child above 7 years of age but below 12 years of age, of immature understanding
- Section 84- Act of a person of unsound mind
- Section 85- Act of an intoxicated person when the intoxication is involuntary and against his will
Section 87, 88 and 89- Consent
- Section 87- Act not intended or known likely to cause death or grievous hurt done in good faith with consent
- Section 88- Act not intended to cause death done in good faith with consent for the benefit of a person
- Section 89- Act done in good faith for the benefit of a minor or a person of unsound mind with the consent of his/her parents or guardian
Section 95- Trifling act
Trifling act means an act which causes slight harm. Nothing is an offence which is a trifling act
Section 96 to 106- Private defence
Every person shall have the right to defend his or her body as well as property. Nothing is an offence which is an act done in private defence
- In the case of Gopalia Kallaiya (1923), a police officer arrested the complainant under a warrant believing in good faith that he was the person to be arrested. The complainant brought an action for wrongful confinement. It was held that the police was not guilty because he was protected by Section 76 of IPC, 1860.
- In State of Rajasthan v. Vidhya Devi, 2012, the accused was admitted to the hospital even before chalan was filed. He remained under treatment for 9 months. It was held that the accused was entitled to claim benefit of Section 84 of IPC, 1860, as circumstances clearly showed insanity of accused.
The General exceptions are often misused by criminals. Nevertheless, as the phrase says ‘Innocent until proven guilty’, therefore every person has the right to defend and prove their innocence as the law provides for equality and law is blind, that is ‘KANOON ANDHA HOTA HAI’ because the judgement is passed on the basis of the facts and evidences only.