A is in a house which is in the fire with Z, a child…drops the child from the housetop…but not intending to kill the child and in good faith for the child’s benefit. The child is killed by the fall. State with reasons what offence if any has been committed.

By | September 21, 2021
IPC Mains Questions Series Part

Question: ‘A’ is in a house which is in the fire, with `Z’, a child. People below hold out a blanket, ‘A’ drops the child from the housetop knowing it to be likely that the fall may kill the child, but not intending to kill the child and in good faith for the child’s benefit. The child is killed by the fall. State with reasons what offence if any has been committed.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [‘A’ is in a house which is in the fire with `Z’, a child. People below hold out a blanket, ‘A’ drops the child from the housetop knowing it to be likely that the fall may kill the child, but not intending to kill the child and in good faith for the child’s benefit. The child is killed by the fall. State with reasons what offence if any has been committed.]

Answer

Section 92, IPC defines Act done in good faith for benefit of a person without consent.

It says-

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.

Section 92(fourthly)(d) in code further provides-

  1. An act done, even if without the consent of a person is not an offence, provided the offender did not intend to cause death, and the act was done for the person’s benefit, in good health.
  2. The mere pecuniary benefit is not a ‘thing done for a person’s benefit’. 

Under the section, if, an accused wants to avail of the exemption from criminal liability, he has to establish that the act was done not only with no intention to cause death but for the ‘benefit’ of the person concerned.

The explanation to section 92 stipulates that ‘Mere pecuniary benefit is not benefited within the meaning of sections 88, 89 and 92.’

The words ‘mere pecuniary benefit’ denotes that while the act cannot be only for pecuniary benefit, it may be for pecuniary benefit along with some other benefit. However, if the harm caused resulted only in a pecuniary benefit, then it will not amount to ‘benefit’ as contemplated under ss 88, 89 and 92. For instance, if a beggar desired that his hand be amputated, to enable him to beg successfully, the harm caused would have conferred only a ‘mere pecuniary benefit’ on the sufferer.

Furthermore, there should be no intention to cause death, though the doer might have the knowledge that the act is likely to cause death. So, a distinction between ‘intention’ and ‘knowledge’ is made.

In the present case, A drops the child from the housetop with the intention of saving him, though he had the foreseeable consequences that the child might fall and die the situation was so imminent caused by the conflagration that A had to act in the situation.

Hence, he acted in good faith for the benefit of the child and will have the protection of section 992. A is not guilty of killing Z as his act was done in good faith and to save the child. The Principle states that an act done even without the consent of a person is not an offence if done in good faith and for the benefit of the other person. Here, A dropped Z out of the house in order to save it from the fire and not to kill him.


Important Mains Questions Series  for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. IPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. IPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. IPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. IPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. IPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions

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