THE LAW OF UNSOUNDNESS OF MIND IN INDIA

INTRODUCTION

A crime is a voluntarily act which is an outcome of an intent to cause an evil consequence1. There are certain essentials of crime. The actor must possess the following conditions:

(1) free will;

(2) intelligence to distinguish between good and evil;

(3) knowledge of facts upon which the good and evil of an act may depend; and

(4) knowledge that the act is prohibited by law.

Mens Rea is an essential element in every crime. There may be no crime of any nature

without an evil mind. There must be a mind at fault to constitute a criminal act. The concurrence of

act and guilty mild constitutes a crime3. This theory has its basis in the latin maxim ‘actus non facit reum

nisi mens sit rea’ which means that the act does not makes one guilty unless he has a guilty intention.

Lord Diplock in the case of Swet vs. Parsley4 said, ‘An act does not make a person guilty of a crime unless his

mind be so guilty’.

But in the case of insane person, he may not understand the nature of the act. He does not

have the sufficient mens rea to commit a crime. Since a criminal intent is an indispensible element in

every crime, a person incapable of entertaining such intent may not incur guilt5. An insane person is

not punished because he does not have any guilty mind to commit the crime. At the same time The English law on

Insanity is based on the Mc’Naghten rules and the Indian Law that is codified in the Indian Penal

Code, 1860 (IPC), s. 84, based on the Mc’Naghten rules.

Difference between legal and medical insanity:

Unsoundness of mind or insanity, according to medical science, is a disease of the mind which impairs the mental faculty of man. In Law, insanity means a disease of the mind which impairs the cognitive faculty, namely, the reasoning capacity of a man to such an extent as to render him incapable of understanding the nature and consequences of his act. It excludes from its purview, the insanity caused due to emotional and volitional factors. It is only insanity oif a particular or appropriate kind which is regarded as insanity at law, that will excuse a man from criminal liability. The legal concept of insanity widely differs from that of medical concept.(42nd Law Commission Of India Report, pages 89-96).

Meaning: Insanity means and includes both mental derangement and imbecility. The basis therefore is that such a person is not of sound mind, but is non compos mentis. That is to say he does not know the nature of the act he is doing, as what is either wrong or contrary to law. Unsoundness of mind covers a wide range and is synonymous with insanity, lunacy, madness, mental derangement, mental disorder and mental aberration or alienation. Whether the want of capacity is temporary or permanent, natural or supervening, whether it arises from disease or exists from the time of birth, it is included in the term “Unsoundness of Mind”.

A number of tests have been laid down from time to time for determining insanity as a defense, such as “Wild beast test”, “Counting twenty pence test”, good and evil test etc. However the most notable of all is the
Right and Wrong test formulated in Mc Naughten’s case

Brief facts of Mac Naughten’s case(1843) 4 St Tr(NS) 847: In 1843, Mac Naughten killed Mr.Drummand, the private secretary of
Sir Robert Peel, the ten Prime Minister of England. Mac Naughten was under the insane delusion that Sir Robert Peel had injured him and again was going to injure him. So one day mistaking Drummand for Sir Peel, he shot and killed him. He was tried for murder before Chief Justice Tindol. Defense counsel pleaded that due to insanity the accused was not able to know that he was violating laws. Medical report produced in support of proof showed that the accused was laboring under a morbid delusion which carried him away beyond the power of self control.

Judgment: Mac Naughten was acquitted on the ground of insanity. This case created a sensation in the country of

England and debates were conducted including the House Of Lords. Fifteen Law Lords formulated some principles which later famous as “Mac Naughten Principles Of Insanity”.

Mac Naughten Principles:

Every man is presumed to be sane and to possess sufficient degree of reaso0n to be responsible for his crimes, until the contrary is proved to the satisfaction f the jury.

To establish a defense on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that at the time of committing the act the accused was laboring under such a defect of reason from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing wrong.

As to his knowledge of the wrongfulness of the act, the judges said, “If the accused was conscious that the act was one which he ought not to do and if that act was at the same time contrary to law of the land, he is punishable.”

Where a person, under an insane delusion as to the existing facts commits, an offence in consequence thereof criminality must depend on the nature of the delusion. If he labors under partial delusion only And not in other respects insane, he must be considered in the same situation as to responsibility as if the facts with respect to which the delusions exists were real.

A medical witness who has not seen the accused before trial should not be asked to give his opinion as to the state of accused’s mind.

These rules are still received in the courts of England and have binding authority on the defense of insanity

t

Criticism of the Mc’Naghten Rule

The British Royal Commission on capital punishment that made its report in 1953, and criticized the rule. Experienced lawyers and doctors also criticized the rule. Doctors with experience on mental disorder/diseases ‘have contended that the Mc’Naghten test is based on the entirely obsolete and misleading conception of nature of insanity, since insanity does not only affect the cognitive faculties but affects the whole personality of the person including both the will and the emotions. Many scholars criticized the Mc’Naghten test because it only looked at the cognitive and moral aspects of the

defendant’s actions17. An insane person may therefore often know the nature and quality of his act

and that law forbids it but yet commit it as a result of the mental disease18. The Royal Commission

came to the conclusion that the test of insanity laid down in Mac Naghten rules is defective and the

law must be changed.

Although the Mc’Naghten rules still hold the field in England despite the recommendations

of the law commission, a new defense to murder known as ‘diminished responsibility’ was

introduced by the Homicide Act, 1957. Provisions of the enactment states that:

(1) where a person kills or is in the party of killing another, he will not be convicted of

murder if he was suffering from such abnormality of mind as substantially impaired

his mental responsibility for his acts and omissions in doing or being a party to the

killing;

(2) a person who but for this provision would be liable, whether as principal or as

accessory, to be convicted of murder will be liable instead to be convicted of man

slaughter.

Durham Vs. United States:

Facts: Monte Durham was convicted of house breaking. The only defense put up at the trial was, he was of unsound mind at the time of offence.

ACCORDING TO Per Hazelon, Circuit Judge” we are now urged to reverse the conviction because existing tests of criminal responsibility are obsolete and be superseded.

Durham has a long history of imprisonment and hospitalization. In 1945 at the age oif seventeen, he was discharged from the Navy after a psychiatric examination had shown that he suffered from a profound personality disorder.

Following the present indictment, he wass adjudged of unsound mind in proceedings under Sec 4244 of Title 18 USC upon tyhe4 affidavits of two psychiatrists that he suffered from”pshychosis with psychopathic personality. He was coimmitte4d to Hospital for the fourth time and was given subschock insulin therapy. This commitment lasted sixteen months where after he was released to the custody of /district Jail on the certificate that he was mentally competent to stand trial.

It has been argued by counsel for Durham that the existing tests in the District of Columbia for determining criminal responsibility, i.e, the so called right-wrong test supplemented by irresistible impulse test are not satisfactory criteria for determining criminal responsibility.

The right wrong test approved in this jurisdiction in 1882, was the exclusive test of criminal responsibility in the district of Columbia until 1929, when we approved the irresistible impulse test, as a supplementary test in Smith Vs, United States.

In the ‘district of Columbia, the test of criminal responsibility is simply that the accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act was the product of of mental disease or mental defect.

We use mental disease in the sense of a condition, which is considered capable of whether improving or deteriorating.

]We use defect in the sense of a condition which is not considered capable of either improving or deteriorating and which may be either congenital or the result of injury or the residual effect of a physical or mental disease.

Whenever there is some evidence that the accused suffered from a diseased mental condition at the time of due to unlawful act was committed, the trial court must provide the jury with guides for determining whether the accused can be held criminally responsible

If the jury believes beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was not suffering from a diseased or defective mental condition or that the act was not a product of mental abnormality at the time of commission of unlawful act or at the time he committed the criminal act charged, you may find him guilty. If you find that the accused suffered from a mental disease or defect, he would still be responsible for hias unlawful act it there was no casual connection between such mental abnormality and the criminal act. If the case does not fall in any of the above circumstances then the accused shall not be pronounced guilty.

The legal and moral traditions of the western world require that those who, of their free will and with evil intent commit acts which violate the law, shall be criminally responsible for those acts. And where such acts stem from and are the product of a mental disease or defect as those terms are used moral blame shall not attach and hence there will be no criminal responsibility.

“Judgment reversed in view of lack of proper appreciation of evidence and sent back for retrial as per guidelines enunciated.

In Attorney General for the State of South Australia Vs. John Whelan Brown: irresistible impulse per se is no defense to a charge of crime-Appeal Allowed. Trial court, verdict of Conviction upheld-Privy Council-1960.

Facts: The respondent was charged of murder by shooting the station Manager through the head. The only evidence pleaded by the accused was insanity. The medicals evidence for the respondent was inter alia that he was a schizoid (mental disease) personally and that at the moment of shooting, he knew the nature and quality of the act, but did not know that what he was doing was wrong. The trial Judge directed the that uncontrollable impulse was no defense in law. The respondent was found guilty and sentenced to death, and his first appeal having been dismissed he appealed to the High Court of Australia, who quashed conviction and ordered new trial.

The Judgment and order of the High Court of Australia was reversed and the trial court verdict was upheld by the Privy Council.

As Lord Tucker in the above case there was on the evidence ground for surmising that the respondent might have suffered from such abnormality of mind as might, under the amendment of the law of England(Homicide Act 1957) section 2(1) be held to diminish his responsibility. Diminished responsibility is a partial defense to the charge of murder. It reduces the criminal responsibility for murder to manslaughter(R Vs. Byrne (1960) 2 QB 396(CCA, England)

Facts: The accused was charged with strangling a girl and mutilating her dead body. It was found that the accused was a sexual psychopath and that he could not control himself at the material time..The trial court convicted him for murder,. But the court of Appeal held: Inability to exercise will power top control physical acts due to abnormality of mind entitled the accused the benefit of diminished responsibility and there fore murder was commuted to manslaughter.

In Walton Vs. Queen(1978) All ER 542(PC): Facts: The appellant who was convicted of murder moved the Privy Council for substituting the charge to manslaughter under diminished responsibility in the light of medical evidence. The Privy council held that the jury were bound to consider not only the medical evidence, but the who9le of the evidence as to facts and circumstances of the case, including the nature of killing, the conduct of the accused, before, at the time of and after the killing and the history of mental abnormality And that they were entitled to conclude that on a balance of probabilities the plea of diminished responsibility has not been established. The appeal was dismissed.

In R Vs. Quick and R Vs. Paddison: Automatism-defense to a charge of crime of

Assault held not guilty- appeal allowed which ordinarily do not come within its meaning, but which nonetheless stand on

the same footing in regard to the exemptions from criminal liability

Gerald Robin, The Evolution of the Insanity Defense, 13 J. Contemp. Crim. Just. 224, 226 (1997).

18 Law Commission report, pp. 90.

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INDIAN LAW ON INSANITY

The Indian law relating to insanity has been codified in the IPC, s. 84 contained also

the general exceptions.

Indian Penal Code, s. 84: ‘Acts of a person of unsound mind— Nothing is

an offence which is done by a person who, at the time of doing it, by reason

of unsoundness of mind, is incapable of knowing the nature of the act, or

that he is doing what is either wrong or contrary to law’.

IPC, s. 84 and the Mc’Naghten rule:

IPC, s. 84 deals with the law of insanity on the subject. This provision is made from

the Mc’Naghten rules of England. In the draft penal code, Lord Macaulay suggested

two sections (66 and 67), one stating that ‘nothing is an offence which is done by a

person in a state of idiocy’ and the other stating that ‘nothing is an offence which a

person does in consequence of being mad or delirious at the time of doing it’ to deal

with insanity. The Law Commissioners in replacing these two provisions by IPC, s.

84 have adopted a brief and succinct form of the Mc’Naghten rules. It has been

drafted in the light of the replies to the second and third questions, which is generally

known as Mc’Naghten rules.

But, IPC, s. 84 uses a more comprehensible term ‘unsoundness of mind’

instead of insanity. Huda says the use of the word ‘unsoundness of mind’ instead of

insanity has the advantage of doing away with the necessity of defining insanity and

of artificially bringing within its scope different conditions and affliction of mind

Ingredients

This provision states that an unsoundness of mind is a defense to criminal charges. It

is accepted as a defense to a criminal charge on the theory that ‘one who is insane

has no mind and may not have the necessary mens rea to commit a crime’20. The act

of a mad person is unintentional and involuntary, no court may correct him by way

of punishment21. To invoke the benefit of IPC, s. 84, it must be proved that at the

time of commission of the offence, the accused was insane and the unsoundness of

mind was of such a degree and nature as to fulfill any one of the test laid down in the

provision. These are:

(1) firstly, the accused was incapable of knowing the nature of the act. It

covers two situations, namely, automatism and mistake of fact due to

unsoundness of mind as a defence22; and

(2) secondly, that the accused was precluded by reason of unsoundness

of mind from understanding that what he was doing was either

wrong or contrary to law. It covers those cases wherein a man by

reason of delusion is unable to appreciate the distinction between

right and wrong23.

19 Huda, S.S. Principles of Law of Crimes in British India, as quoted in K.D. Gaur,

‘Commentary on Indian Penal Code’, 1st ed. 2006, Universal, pp. 271.

20 Gour, Penal Law of India, 11th ed. Vol. 1, 2000, pp. 602: ‘A mad man has no will’;

Furoisis nulla voluntas east; as quoted in KD Gaur.

21 Ibid.

22 Pillai, K.N. Chandrasekharan, General Principles of Criminal Law, 1st Ed., reprint,

2005, Eastern Book Company, Lucknow.

23 Ibid.

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The accused is protected not only when, on the account of insanity, he was

incapable of knowing the nature of the act, but also when he did not know either the

act was wrong or it was contrary to the law. He is however, not protected if he knew

that what he was doing was wrong, even if he did not know that it was contrary to

the nature of the law or vice versa24.

The defence of insanity may be established if it is proved that at the time of

committing the act, the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reason,

from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature or quality of the act he was

doing, or if he did know it, that he did not know that he was doing what was

wrong25. The benefit of this provision may be taken only if at the time of committing

the crime, the offender by reason of unsoundness of mind was incapable of knowing

the real nature of his act or that the act was morally wrong or contrary to law26.

The Cuttuck High Court has laid down certain principles in the case of

Sundra Majhi27:

(1) every type of insanity is not legal insanity; the cognitive faculty must

be so destroyed as to render one incapable of knowing the nature of

his act or that what he is doing is wrong or contrary to law;

(2) the court will presume the absence of such insanity;

(3) the burden of proof of legal insanity is on the accused, though it is

not as heavy as on the prosecution;

(4) the court must consider whether the accused suffered from legal

insanity at the time when the offence was committed;

24 Geron Ali, (1940) 2 Cal 329 as quoted in Ratanlal And Dhirajlal.

25 Mc’Naughten case.

26 State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Ahmedullah 1961 INDLAW SC 97, AIR 1961 SC 998,

Dahyabhai C. Thakur vs. State of Gujarat 1964 INDLAW SC 409, AIR 1964 SC 1563.

27 1971 Cut LT 565.

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(5) in reaching such a conclusion the circumstances which preceded,

attended or followed the crime are relevant considerations; and

(6) the prosecution in discharging its burden in the face of the plea of

legal insanity has merely to prove the basic fact and rely upon the

normal presumption of that everyone knows the law and the natural

consequences of his act.

The law on the point has been well summarized by their Lordships of the

Calcutta High Court in Kader Nasayer Shah in the following words: ‘it is only

unsoundness of mind which materially impairs the cognitive faculties of the mind

that may form a ground of exemption from certain responsibility, the nature and

extent of unsoundness of mind required being such a nature would make the

offender incapable of knowing the nature of the act, or that he is doing what is (1)

wrong or (2) contrary to law’28.

Burden of proof

The principle that the court follows is that ‘every person is sane unless contrary is

proved’29. The onus of proving insanity is one the person who is pleading it as a

defence. In the case of State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Ahamadullah30, it was observed that

burden of proof is on the accused. The Supreme Court also upheld the principle in

the case of S.W. Mohammed vs. State of Maharastra31 and said that the accused have to

28 1896 ILR 23 Cal 604 (608) as quoted in Gour, Hari Singh, The Penal Law of India,

Vol. 1, 11th ed., 2002, Law Publishers (India) Pvt. Ltd., Allahabad.

29 Allen, Michael, Textbook on Criminal Law, 7th ed., 2003, Oxford University Press,

London.

30 1961 INDLAW SC, AIR 1961 SC 998

31 AIR 1972 SC 216

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prove that he is insane. However, this requirement of proof is not heavy as on the

prosecution to prove the offence and is based on balance of probabilities.

It has been criticised that the McNaughton rules of the 19th century England,

on which IPC, s. 84 is based are outdated since they do not provide protection under

IPC, s. 84 to behavior out of abnormality of mind, or partial delusion, irresistible

impulse or compulsive behavior of a psychopath. Court in India also stressed the

need for adopting a more progressive attitude in the application of law related to

insanity. The Indian Law of insanity must be amended and the concept of

diminished responsibility must be inserted.

PROVISIONS OF THE CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, 1973

The procedure for the trial of insane person is laid down in the Code of Criminal

Procedure, 1973, Chapter XXV.

Code of Criminal Procedure, 1972, ss. 328 and 329 deals with the procedure

to be followed in case the accused is a lunatic. It says that when a magistrate while

conducting an inquiry feels that the person is of unsound mind and consequently,

incapable of making his defence, he may ask a medical officer to examine the person

and postpone the trial of the case. Code of Criminal Procedure. 1973, s. 330 provides

that when an accused is found to be a lunatic, he will be released on bail provided

that sufficient security is given that he will not harm himself or any other person. If

sufficient security is not given or the court thinks that bail may not be granted, the

accused will be detained in safe custody. Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, s. 331

provides that when an inquiry is postponed under Code of Criminal Procedure,

32 Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, ss. 328 to 339.

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1973, ss. 328 and 329, the magistrate will resume the inquiry at any time after the

person concerned ceases to be of unsound mind. The inquiry will proceed against

the accused when the magistrate thinks that he is capable of making the defence as

per Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, s. 332. Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, s.

333 says that when the accused is at the time of the inquiry is of sound mind, but he

was of unsound mind at the time of committing the offence, the Magistrate will

proceed with the case. Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, s. 334 states that when any

person is acquitted on the ground that at the time of committing the offence, he was

by reason of unsoundness of mind incapable of knowing the nature of the act or that

it is contrary to law, the state will specify whether he committed the act or not. Code

of Criminal Procedure, 1973, s. 338 says that when the person detained under Code

of Criminal Procedure, 1973, ss. 330(2) or 335 and the inspector general certify that

in his judgment, he may be released without danger to himself or any other person,

the state government may order him to be released or to be detained in custody or to be sent to a public lunatic asylum.

The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 also makes favourable provisions for

the infants.

JUDICIAL INTERPRETATION

Ratanlal vs. State of MP33

The appellant on 22 January 1965, set fire to the grass lying in the khalyan of

Nemichand. On being asked why he did it, the accused said; ‘I burnt it; do whatever

you want’. The accused was arrested on 23 January 1965. He was referred to a mental

hospital. The psychiatrist of the hospital reported that the accused remained silent,

33 1970 INDLAW SC 2, AIR 1971 SC 778.

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was a case of maniac depressive psychosis, and needs treatment. The report declared

the accused to be a lunatic in terms of the Indian Lunatic Act, 1912. The issue before

the courts was whether insanity might be used as defence against a charge of

mischief by fire with intent to cause damage under the IPC, s. 435. The crucial point

in this case was whether unsound mind may be established at the time of

commission of the act. The Supreme Court held that the person was insane and

acquitted him.

Dayabhai Chhaganbhai Thakkar vs. State of Gujarat34

In this case, the accused was charged and convicted under the IPC, s. 302 for the

murder of his wife. The accused killed his wife with wife by inflicting her with 44

knife injuries on her body. The accused raised the plea of insanity at the trial court.

Trial court however rejected the contention on the ground that the statements made

to the police immediately after the incident did not showed any sign of insanity. This

conviction was confirmed by the high court. The accused made an appeal to the

Supreme Court. The Supreme Court also upheld the conviction of the accused and

laid down certain criteria according to which a accused in entitled to the defence

under the provision. It said that in determining whether the accused has established

his case under the perview of Indian Pena lcode, 1860, s. 84, ‘the court has to

consider the circumstances which preceded, attended and followed the crime. The

crucial point of time for determining the state of mind of the accused is the time

when the offence was committed. The relevant facts are motive for the crime, the previous

history as to mental condition of the accused, the state of his mind at the time of the offence, and the

events immediately after the incident that throw a light on the state of his mind’.

34 1964 INDLAW SC 409, AIR 1964 SC 1563.

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Ashiruddin vs. King35

In this case, Ashruddin had killed his son while acting under the delusion of a dream believing it to be right. The accused had dreamt that he was commanded by

someone to sacrifice his son of five years. The next morning the accused took his

son to mosque and killed him by thrusting a knife in his throat. The Calcutta High

Court observed that it was a case of insanity under IPC, s. 84 and discharged the

accused from criminal liability. The court said that in order to enable an accused to

obtain the benefit of the aforesaid provision, he must establish any one of the

following three elements

(1) the nature of the act was not known to the accused;

(2) the act was not known by him to be contrary of law; or

(3) the accused did not knew that the act was wrong.

The Bench held that the third element was established by the accused,

namely, that the accused did not knew that the act was wrong. This was obvious on

the ground that the accused was laboring under the belief that the dream was a

reality.

However, this view of the Calcutta High Court was criticized by Allahabad

High Court in the case of Laxmi vs. State AIR 1963 All 534as ‘it will be open to an accused in every case to plead that he had dreamt a dream enjoining him to do a criminal act, and believing that his dream was a command by a higher authority, he was impelled to do

a criminal act, and therefore, he would be protected by IPC, s. 84. It also said that it

was a case of medical insanity and not legal insanity.

35 AIR 1949 Cal 182.

36 AIR 1953 All 534.

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Hazara Singh vs. State37

In this case, Hazara Singh was under a delusion that his wife was unfaithful to him.

One day, being disturbed by those thoughts, he caused her death by pouring nitric

acid over her. Medical evidence showed that he knew what he was doing and had the

ordinary knowledge of right and wrong. He was convicted for murder.

POSITION IN OTHER COUNTRIES38

The Criminal Codes of many countries provide for a broader scope for the defence

of insanity. Tasmanian Criminal Code, s. 16 says that an accused may not be

punished if he may not understand the nature of the act or that it was against law.

They may also not be punished if they committed the act under an ‘irresistible

impulse’. Penal Code of France, art. 64 provides that ‘there is no crime or offence

when the accused was in state of madness at the time of the act or in the event of his

having been compelled by a force which he was not able to resist’. Swiss Penal Code,

s. 10 states that ‘any person suffering from a mental disease, idiocy or serious

impairment of his mental faculties, who at the time of committing the act is

incapable of appreciating the unlawful nature of his act or acting in accordance with

the appreciation may not be punished’. The American Law Institute suggested that ‘a

person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a

result of mental disease or defect he lacks the substantial capacity either to appreciate

the criminality of his conduct or to confirm his conduct to the requirements of law’.

MY CONCLUSION: In this country where both The Indian Constitution and

The Human Rights groups are more concerned about the rights of the

accused than the rights of victims of Crime, if we amend the law by

introducing irresistible impulse or abnormality of mind as in UK and other

western countries as defenses at the commission of the crime, criminal of all

hues would plug these loop holes in the law and get away with light or no

punishment at all thus leading to the danger of lesser conviction rates and

they can get away with heinous crimes like Rape, Murder And Acid attacks.

Witnesses can be either lured to support the defense testimony through

bribes or threatened with dire consequences and such witnesses turn hostile

through these tactics. So, it should be left to the Wisdom of our Judiciary to

pronounce Judgments on sound Judicial principles and precedents on a case

by case basis taking in to account the facts and circumstances of each case.

What section 84 IPC provides on the Law of unsoundness of mind is

sufficient and no further amendments are required and already the Indian

Courts based on the above Laws of other countries as well as Indian CourtS

s both High courts and Indian Supreme Court decide the cases based on medical and other substantial evidence be it on facts a or law and circumstances of the case if there is a direct link or close proximity between unsoundness of mind of the accused and the time of commission of the criminal act complained of, he should be held guilty and if there is no such proximity/link between his lunacy, idiocy or unsoundness of mind, with the crime committed he was held guilty. Majority of the times the Indian courts have been acting on sound judicial principles based on their wisdom and proper exercise of judicial discretion in deciding cases of criminal responsibility based on the defense of unsoundness of mind., I’d recommend it should be left to the wisdom of Indian courts to lay precedents and provide guidelines on the law of unsoundness of mind keeping all the above principles in mind and also keep the facts and circumstances of each case in fixing criminal responsibility on the defense of unsoundness of mind.

Ms.Nirmala P.Rao

Legal Expert And Political commentator

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