Article by Muskan singh at lexcliq


Justifiable homicide : 

Justifiable homicide is defined as killing a person without any evil or criminal intention, there can be no blame for such crimes. Homicide can be considered as “Blameless Or No fault offence” and can be justified only if it is executed to prevent any serious crime such murder, rape, manslaughter or armed robberies, it is called a “Non-criminal homicide” committed in self defence or under due course of legal duty. In Criminal law this concept of justifiable homicide is used as a defense to section 299 of IPC “Culpable homicide” as well.

For example : self-defense – when a person commit crime to protect oneself or to protect another person or property of their own or someone else’s property against any person. Another example of justifiable homicide would be encounters by a law enforcement officer like police officers in the course of fulfilling their duties.

Justifiable homicide is not something to be confused or compared with any crime of passion or claim of diminished capacity that refers to defenses aiming to reduce the penalty or degree of crime.


Sections of IPC for justifiable homicides :

Section 76 of The Indian Penal Code says, “Any act which is done by a person bound, or by mistake of fact believing himself bound, by law.”

“Nothing is an offense which is done by a person who is, 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, bound by law to do it.”


Section 77 of The Indian Penal Code talks about “Act of Judge when acting judicially.”

“Nothing is an offence which is done by a Judge when acting judicially in the exercise of any power which is, or which in good faith he believes to be, given to him by law.”


Section 78 of The Indian Penal Code says, “Any act that is done pursuant to the judgment or order of Court.”

“Nothing which is done in pursuance of, or which is warranted by the judgment or order of, a Court of Justice; if done whilst such judgment or order remains in force, is an offence, notwithstand­ing the Court may have had no jurisdiction to pass such judgment or order, provided the person doing the act in good faith be­lieves that the Court had such jurisdiction.”


Section 79 of The Indian Penal Code says, “Any 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.”


Section 80 of The Indian Penal Code talks about “Accident in doing a lawful act.”

“Nothing is an offence which is 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.”


Section 81 of The Indian Penal Code says, “Any act which is likely to cause harm, but done without criminal intent, and to prevent other harm.”

“Nothing is an offence merely by reason of its being done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause harm, if it be done without any criminal intention to cause harm, and in good faith for the purpose of preventing or avoiding other harm to person or property”.


Section 299 of The Indian Penal Code : Culpable homicide ( Not amounting to murder )

“Whoever causes death by doing an act with the intention of causing death, or with the intention of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or with the knowledge that he is likely by such act to cause death, commits the offence of culpable homicide.”

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