General Exceptions (Section 76 – 95)

Section 76: Act done by a person bound, or by mistake of fact believing himself bound, by law.

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 a mistake of law in good faith believes himself to be, bound by law to do it.


Section 77: 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: Act 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: 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: 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: Act 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.

Explanation.It is a question of fact in such a case whether the harm to be prevented or avoided was of such a nature and so imminent as to justify or excuse the risk of doing the act with the knowledge that it was likely to cause harm.


Section 82: Act of a child under seven years of age.

Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age.


Section 83: Act of a child above seven and under twelve of immature understanding.

Nothing is an offence which is done by a child above seven years of age and under twelve, who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge of the nature and consequences of his conduct on that occasion.


Section 84: Act 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.


Section 85: Act of a person incapable of judgment by reason of intoxication caused against his will.

Nothing is an offence which is done by a person who, at the time of doing it, is, by reason of intoxication, incapable of knowing the nature of the act, or that he  is  doing what  is  either wrong,  or  contrary to  law: provided that the thing which intoxicated him was administered to him without his knowledge or against his will.


Section 86: Offence requiring a particular intent or knowledge committed by one who is intoxicated.

In cases where an act done is not an offence unless done with a particular knowledge or intent, a person who does the act in a state of intoxication shall be liable to be dealt with as if he had the same knowledge as he would have had if he had not been intoxicated, unless the thing which intoxicated him was administered to him without his knowledge or against his will.


Section 87: Act not intended and not known to be likely to cause death or grievous hurt, done by consent.

Nothing which is not intended to cause death, or grievous hurt, and which is not known by the doer to be likely to cause death or grievous hurt, is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause, or be intended by the doer to cause, to any person, above eighteen years of age, who has given consent, whether express or implied, to suffer that harm; or by reason of any harm which it may be known by the doer to be likely to cause to any such person who has consented to take the risk of that harm.


Section 88: Act not intended to cause death, done by consent in good faith for person’s benefit.

Nothing, which is not intended to cause death, is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause, or be intended by the doer to cause, or be known by the doer to be likely to cause, to any person for whose benefit it is done in good faith, and who has given a consent, whether express or implied, to suffer that harm, or to take the risk of that harm.


Section 89: Act done in good faith for benefit of child or insane person, by or by consent of guardian.

Nothing which is done in good faith for the benefit of a person under twelve years of age, or of unsound mind, by or by consent, either express or implied, of the guardian or other person having lawful charge of that person, is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause, or be intended by the doer to cause or be known by the doer to be likely to cause to that person: Provided

Provisos:

First.That this exception shall not extend to the intentional causing of death, or to the attempting to cause death;

Secondly.That this exception shall not extend to the doing of anything which the person doing it knows to be likely to cause death, for any purpose other than the preventing of death or grievous hurt, or the curing of any grievous disease or infirmity;

Thirdly.That this exception shall not extend to the voluntary causing of grievous hurt, or to the attempting to cause grievous hurt, unless it be for the purpose of preventing death or grievous hurt, or the curing of any grievous disease or infirmity;

Fourthly.That this exception shall not extend to the abetment of any offence, to the committing of which offence it would not extend.


Section 90: Consent known to be given under fear or misconception.

A consent is not such a consent as is intended by any section of this Code, if the consent is given by a person under fear of injury, or under a misconception of fact, and if the person doing the act knows, or has reason to believe, that the consent was given in consequence of such fear or misconception; or

Consent of insane person.if the consent is given by a person who, from unsoundness of mind, or intoxication, is unable to understand the nature and consequence of that to which he gives his consent; or

Consent of child.unless the contrary appears from the context, if the consent is given by a person who is under twelve years of age.


Section 91: Exclusion of acts which are offences independently of harm cause.

The exceptions in sections 87, 88 and 89 do not extend to acts which are offences independently of any harm which they may cause, or be intended to cause, or be known to be likely to cause, to the person giving the consent, or on whose behalf the consent is given.


Section 92: Act done in good faith for benefit of a person without consent.

Nothing is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause to a person for whose benefit it is done in good faith, even without that person’s consent, if the circumstances are such that it is impossible for that person to signify consent, or if that person is incapable of giving consent, and has no guardian or other person in lawful charge of him from whom it is possible to obtain consent in time for the thing to be done with benefit: Provided

Provisos: 

First.That this exception shall not extend to the intentional causing of death, or the attempting to cause death;

Secondly.That this exception shall not extend to the doing of anything which the person doing it knows to be likely to cause death, for any purpose other than the preventing of death or grievous hurt, or the curing of any grievous disease or infirmity;

Thirdly.That this exception shall not extend to the voluntary causing of hurt, or to the attempting to cause hurt, for any purpose other than the preventing of death or hurt;

Fourthly.That this exception shall not extend to the abetment of any offence, to the committing of which offence it would not extend.

Explanation.Mere pecuniary benefit is not benefit within the meaning of sections 88, 89 and 92.


Section 93: Communication made in good faith.

No communication made in good faith is an offence by reason of any harm to the person to whom it is made, if it is made for the benefit of that person.


Section 94: Act to which a person is compelled by threats.

Except murder, and offences against the State punishable with death, nothing is an offence which is done by a person who is compelled to do it by threats, which, at the time of doing it, reasonably cause the apprehension that instant death to that person will otherwise be the consequence: Provided the person doing the act did not of his own accord, or from a reasonable apprehension of harm to himself short of instant death, place himself in the situation by which he became subject to such constraint.

Explanation 1.A person who, of his own accord, or by reason of a threat of being beaten, joins a gang of dacoits, knowing their character, is not entitled to the benefit of this exception, on the ground of his having been compelled by his associates to do anything that is an offence by law.

Explanation 2.A person seized by a gang of dacoits, and forced, by threat of instant death, to do a thing which is an offence by law; for example, a smith compelled to take his tools and to force the door of a house for the dacoits to enter and plunder it, is entitled to the benefit of this exception.


Section 95: Act causing slight harm.

Nothing is an offence by reason that it causes, or that it is intended to cause, or that it is known to be likely to cause, any harm, if that harm is so slight that no person of ordinary sense and temper would complain of such harm.


IMPORTANT CASE LAWS

1. Ingredients of Section 80

Atmendra v. State of Karnataka, (1998) 4 SCC 256: “……Section 80 says that if anything is done by accident or misfortune it would not be an offence. To claim the benefit of this provision it has to be shown: (1) that the act in question was without any criminal intention or knowledge; (2) that the act was being done in a lawful manner by lawful means; and (3) that act was being done with proper care and caution………”


2. Act done with knowledge that likely to cause harm, but absence of criminal intent

Common Cause v. Union of India, (2018) 5 SCC 1: “Section 81 protects acts which are done without a criminal intent to cause harm, in good faith, to prevent or avoid other harm to person or property. The law protects the action though it was done with the knowledge that it was likely to cause harm if a threefold requirement is fulfilled. It comprehends an absence of criminal intent to cause harm, the presence of good faith and the purpose of preventing other harm………..Knowledge of the likelihood of harm is not culpable when a criminal intent to cause harm is absent and there exists an element of good faith to prevent or avoid other harm.”


3. Defence of Drunkness

Paul v. State of Kerala, (2020) 3 SCC 115: “Section 86 IPC enunciates presumption that despite intoxication which is not covered by the last limb of the provision, the accused person cannot ward off the consequences of his act. A dimension however about intoxication may be noted. Section 86 begins by referring to an act which is not an offence unless done with a particular knowledge or intent. Thereafter, the law-giver refers to a person committing the act in a state of intoxication. It finally attributes to him knowledge as he would have if he were not under the state of intoxication except undoubtedly, in cases where the intoxicant was administered to him either against his will or without his knowledge. What about an act which becomes an offence if it is done with a specific intention by a person who is under the state of intoxication? Section 86 does not attribute intention as such to an intoxicated man committing an act which amounts to an offence when the act is done by a person harbouring a particular intention……..”


 

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