Question: When does an act which is an offence cause to be so if done to prevent or avoid other harm to a person or property? [U.P.C.J. 2003] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [When does an act which is an offence cause to be so if done to prevent or avoid other… Read More »

Question: When does an act which is an offence cause to be so if done to prevent or avoid other harm to a person or property? [U.P.C.J. 2003] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [When does an act which is an offence cause to be so if done to prevent or avoid other harm to person or property?] Answer Section 81 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 acknowledges and embraces the necessity principle as a shield against criminal liability. Legal necessity involves the judgment...

Question: When does an act which is an offence cause to be so if done to prevent or avoid other harm to a person or property? [U.P.C.J. 2003]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [When does an act which is an offence cause to be so if done to prevent or avoid other harm to person or property?]

Answer

Section 81 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 acknowledges and embraces the necessity principle as a shield against criminal liability. Legal necessity involves the judgment that in particular circumstances the evil of obeying the letter of the law is socially greater than the evil of breaking it.

In other words, in order to achieve a greater good, the rule must be violated. It is relevant to note that while section 81 does not specifically refer to’ greater evil’ or’ lesser evil,’ it deals with the’ lesser evil’ situation in practice

Preventing or Avoiding Other Harm is the essential ingredient of Doctrine of Necessity under section 81 which provides that immunity from criminal liability under section 81 shall be available where an offence is committed without any criminal intention to cause harm and in good faith and where such offence has been committed in order to prevent or prevent further harm to persons or property.

In Gopal Naidu v Emperor [AIR 1921 Mad 523] a drunken man with a revolver in his hand was disarmed and subjected to restraint by police officers, although the offence of public disturbance under s 290 was an unrecognizable offence without a warrant. Although police officers were prima facie guilty of the wrongful confinement offence, under this section they were held to be able to plead justification. The Madras High Court held that “the person or property to be protected may be the person or property of the accused himself or of others”.

It must be noted that the law does not recognize necessity as a defence to homicide. It is a very difficult question whether the doctrine of necessity can be applied as a justification for killing another human being. The usual view is that a murder charge is not a defence against necessity. It may seem like an example of the necessity to kill a person in self-defence.

The accused was a member of a boat’s crew following a shipwreck in the case of the United States v. Holmes [26 Fed Cas 360 (1842]. Fearing the vessel would sink, he threw 16 male passengers overboard under the mate’s instructions. Although not convicted of murder, the defendant was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced with hard labour to six months imprisonment.


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
Updated On 2021-07-18T11:56:25+05:30
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