IPC Section 96 to 106 of the penal code deals with the law concerning the right of private defence of person and property. These sections authorise individuals to use necessary force against an assailant or wrongdoer to protect their own body and property, as well as the body and property of others when immediate assistance from law enforcement is not readily available.
In such cases, a person is not held legally accountable for their actions. Section 97 specifies that the right of private defence can be categorised into two types: the right of private defence of the body and the right of private defence of property.
The term “body” refers to one’s own physical being or the body of another person, while “property” encompasses both movable and immovable possessions belonging to oneself or someone else. Self-help is considered a fundamental principle in criminal law.
The right of private defence is essential for safeguarding one’s life, freedom, and property and is an inherent right for individuals. However, using force to protect one’s person or property is meticulously regulated by the law and must adhere to specific criteria. This right is commonly referred to as the right of private defence.
Meaning of Private Defence
Private defence refers to using illegal actions to protect oneself, another person, or property or to prevent criminal activity. Sections 96 to 106 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, contain provisions that establish the right of private defence available to every citizen of India.
According to the Indian Penal Code, “Nothing is an offence which is committed to exercising the right of private defence.” This means that any harm or injury caused to a person while defending against external force or damage is not considered an offence under the code.
The right of private defence can only be exercised when there is an imminent danger and state support or assistance is unavailable.
This legal concept has developed through the judgments and decisions of the Supreme Court of India. One crucial principle of private defence is the “adequacy” of the defensive action taken. This right has various limitations and exceptions, which will be outlined in the following discussion. Remedies are also available in cases of abuse of this right, following the principle of “ubi jus ibi remedium,” which means that where there is a right, there is a remedy.
The right of private defence has evolved in modern India, but its origin can be traced back to the proposal made by Macaulay in his draft code 150 years ago. The aim was to strengthen the spirit of self-reliance among the Indian population.
An ideal Indian citizen was expected to endure risks and dangers without hesitation and protect their body, property, or others. However, this did not mean causing unnecessary harm or injury, and every precaution was expected to be taken to avoid it, even if it meant causing the death of someone.
In simple terms, private defence refers to using actions that may generally be considered illegal to protect oneself, another person, or property or to prevent criminal activity. Under Article 51(a)(i), the Constitution of India imposes a fundamental duty on the State to protect public property and renounce violence.
Thus, the primary duty of the State is to protect its citizens and their property from harm. However, in situations where state assistance is not available, and there is an immediate and unavoidable danger, an individual is entitled to use force to protect themselves from harm or injury.
While “private defence” is not specifically defined in the criminal code, it has evolved over the years through court judgments. The primary purpose of granting this right to every citizen was to eliminate their hesitation in taking necessary (though potentially illegal) measures to protect themselves due to fear of prosecution.
What are the Elements of Private Defence in IPC?
The elements of private defence in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) can be summarized as follows:
Apprehension of harm: The right of private defence arises when there is a reasonable apprehension of harm or danger to oneself, another person, or property. The threat must be imminent and not merely speculative or imaginary.
Unlawful act: Private defence can only be invoked in response to an unlawful act. The person claiming the right must be facing an assault, robbery, housebreaking, mischief, or criminal trespass, among other enumerated offences, as defined in the IPC.
Proportionate force: The force used in private defence must be proportionate to the threat faced. It should not exceed what is reasonably necessary to repel the attack or prevent harm. Defender should strive to minimize harm while protecting themselves or others.
No alternative remedy: Private defence is recognized when there is no reasonable opportunity to seek protection from public authorities or when the situation does not allow for recourse to legal authorities in a timely manner.
Continuity of the threat: The right of private defence exists as long as the threat or danger persists. Once the threat has ceased, the right of private defence ends, and the use of force beyond that point may no longer be justified.
Absence of pre-emptive strikes: Private defence does not permit pre-emptive strikes or proactive aggression. It can only be exercised in response to an ongoing or imminent attack. The defender cannot initiate the confrontation and then claim the right of private defence.
No excessive force: The use of force in private defence should not exceed what is necessary to repel the attack. Causing more harm than reasonably required may lead to liability for the defender.
Nature of Right of Private Defence
Self-help is indeed considered the first principle, emphasising that individuals have a primary responsibility to help themselves. In a free country, citizens should have the right of private defence to protect themselves from immediate danger when state assistance is unavailable or impossible.
This right can be seen as an extension of the State’s duty to protect its citizens and their property. However, no matter how wealthy or resourceful a state may be, it is not feasible to deploy police officers to protect every citizen from external harm or injury.
To fulfil its fundamental duty, the State has therefore granted its citizens the authority to take the law into their own hands regarding self-defence. It is important to note that the right to private defence can only be exercised when there is no time to call the police or when immediate assistance from state authorities is unavailable.
If a person commits an unlawful act in self-defence, it is not considered a criminal offence and does not create a reciprocal right of private defence. The right of private defence does not depend on the actual criminality of the person being resisted. What matters is the illegal or seemingly illegal nature of the attempted act. If the arrest or action taken in self-defence is genuine and reasonable, it does not matter if the initial accusation or threat was false.
Scope of Private Defence in IPC
Section 97 of the Indian Penal Code establishes that every citizen has the right to defend their own body or the body of another person, as well as property (movable or immovable) against offences such as robbery, theft, larceny, felony, or attempts to commit such offences. However, this right is subject to certain limitations outlined in Section 99 of the IPC.
The self-help principle is the first one, signifying an individual’s duty to help themselves. It is followed by a social duty to protect others and their property, arising from human sympathy.
Section 98 of the IPC states that if an act, which would otherwise be an offence, is not considered as such due to the youth, lack of understanding, unsound mind, drunkenness, or misconception of the person performing the act, every person has the same right of private defence against that act as they would have if it were an actual crime.
Additionally, according to Section 106 of the IPC, if a defender reasonably apprehends a death-threatening attack and is situated in a way that exercising the right of private defence may cause risk or injury to an innocent person, their right of private defence extends to taking that risk.
The extent of the right of private defence in IPC and the limitations on its exercise can be summarised as follows:
- There is no right of private defence against an act that is not considered a criminal offence according to the Indian Penal Code unless specified under exceptional circumstances.
- The right of private defence arises when there is a reasonable fear of endangering one’s body from attempting or threatening to commit a criminal act. It can only be used against imminent, present, and actual danger.
- The right of private defence is defensive in nature and not meant for punishment or retaliation. It does not extend to causing more harm than necessary for defence, although reasonable allowances should be made for a bona fide defender.
- The right applies to killing the actual assailant if there is a reasonable and immediate danger of the specific crimes listed in the six clauses of Section 100 of the IPC.
- A person facing imminent danger to life or severe injury has no obligation to retreat if there are no safe or reasonable means of escape except by causing the assailant’s death.
- The right of private defence, being a defensive right, does not arise and cannot be exercised when it is reasonable to seek the protection of public authorities.
- These provisions outline the framework for the right of private defence in the Indian Penal Code, specifying its scope, limitations, and the conditions under which it can be exercised.
IPC Section 96. Things Done In Private Defence
Nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of the right of private defence.
The right of self-defence, as outlined in Section 96 of the Indian Penal Code, is not absolute and is qualified by Section 99. Section 99 states that the right of private defence does not extend to inflicting more harm than necessary for defence.
In a free fight, where both parties are engaged in a mutual conflict, neither party can claim the right of private defence, and each individual is responsible for their own actions. While the law does not expect a person whose life is in danger to precisely measure the extent and degree of force used in their defence, it also does not condone the use of force disproportionate to the injuries received or threatened and goes beyond what is required in the situation.
The burden of proving the right of private defence rests on the person invoking it. However, an accused may be acquitted based on the right of private defence even if they have not explicitly pleaded it.
Courts have the authority to consider and apply exceptions in such cases. It is important to note that failure to raise a defence explicitly does not permanently foreclose the right to rely on an exception. The burden on the accused to prove any fact can be discharged through the defence or prosecution evidence by establishing a preponderance of probability.
The right of private defence is an act of defence, not an offence. It cannot be used as a shield to justify aggression. Each case requires a careful assessment of the facts and circumstances to determine whether the accused acted within the scope of this right. Merely assuming a possibility of an attack without a reasonable basis does not entitle someone to exercise this right.
The distance between the aggressor and the target may also be a factor in determining whether a gesture amounts to an assault. Still, there is no precise yardstick as it depends on the specific situation, the weapon used, the background, and the degree of the threat to attack, among other factors.
The right of private defence in IPC can absolve a person from guilt, even if it results in the death of another person, under the following circumstances:
- If the deceased was the actual assailant.
- Suppose the offence committed by the deceased necessitated the exercise of the right of private defence of body and property. In that case, it falls within the categories enumerated in Sections 100 and 103 of the Penal Code.
These provisions acknowledge that the right of private defence can extend to causing the death of another person in specific situations where the conditions mentioned above are met.
In the Thangavel case, it is emphasised that the general proverb or adage that “necessity knows no law” does not hold in modern jurisprudence. While the right of self-preservation is inherent in every person, it cannot be pursued in a manner that goes against the rights of others. Society imposes limits on the struggle for existence, preventing individuals from unjustly aggressing against innocent persons.
Kamparsare vs Putappa
In the Kamparsare vs Putappa case, the court held that a passer-by who chased and beat a boy in the street, raising a cloud of dust, committed no offence. The court considered this act as an exercise of the right of private defence.
Section 97: Right of Private Defence of The Body and Property
Under Section 97 of the Indian Penal Code, every person has the right to defend their own body or the body of any other person against any offence affecting the human body. They also have the right to defend their property, whether movable or immovable, against theft, robbery, mischief, or criminal trespass.
The right of private defence is limited to the extent of absolute necessity and should not exceed what is necessary to defend against aggression. The person exercising this right must have a reasonable apprehension of danger from the aggressor.
The right of private defence can be invoked when an offence is committed or attempted against the person exercising this right or any other person. The right of private defence extends not only to one’s own body and property but also to the defence of the body and property of any other person.
Unlike English law, under Section 97 of the IPC, even a stranger can defend the person or property of another person, and there doesn’t need to be a pre-existing relationship between them.
However, the true owner’s right to dispossess a trespasser exists only if the trespasser has not yet accomplished their mission. If the trespasser has successfully gained possession and the true owner is aware of this, the law requires the true owner to seek legal remedies to dispossess the trespasser.
The burden of establishing the plea of right of private defence lies on the accused, but they can show that this right is established or can be sustained based on the prosecution evidence itself. The right of private defence is preventive and not punitive or retributive.
In the case of Chotelal vs State, it was held that if B assaulted A with a lathi while A was trying to demolish a structure on a disputed land, B had the right to defend his property because A was responsible for the crime of waste.
In the case of Parichhat vs the State of M.P., it was decided that the accused had exceeded their right of private defence when they gave a blow with a Ballam on the chest of the deceased, who had initially struck their father on the head with a lathi.
IPC Section 98: Right of Private Defence Against the Act of A Person of Unsound Mind, Etc
Section 98 of the Indian Penal Code states that when an act, which would otherwise be an offence, is not considered an offence due to factors such as youth, lack of maturity of understanding, unsoundness of mind, intoxication, or any misconception on the part of the person committing the act, every person has the same right of private defence against that act as they would have if the act were considered an offence.
The illustrations provided in the section further clarify this principle. In the first illustration, if Z, who is under the influence of madness, attempts to kill A, Z is not guilty of any offence due to his mental condition. However, A still has the same right of private defence against Z’s act as he would have if Z were sane.
In the second illustration, if A enters a house at night, which he is legally entitled to enter, but Z, in good faith, mistakenly believes that A is a housebreaker and attacks him, Z does not commit an offence due to his misconception. However, A still has the same right of private defence against Z’s attack as he would have if Z were not acting under that misconception.
Section 98 establishes that the physical or mental capacity of the person against whom the right of private defence is exercised is not a barrier to exercising that right. The right of private defence of the body exists against all attackers, regardless of their mental State or intention (mens rea).
This means that even if some legal exception or exemption protects an attacker, the danger and risk created by their acts still allow the right of private defence to be exercised. This ensures that the right of private defence is meaningful and can be exercised in situations where the danger posed by the attacker is real, irrespective of their legal status or exemption.
IPC Section 99: Act Against Which There is No Right of Private Defence
The right of private defence in IPC does not apply when there is no reasonable apprehension of death or grievous hurt caused by an act committed or attempted by a public servant acting in good faith under the pretext of their official duty, even if the act may not be strictly justifiable by law.
Similarly, there is no right of private defence when the act is committed or attempted under the direction of a public servant acting in good faith under the colour of their office, even if the direction may not be strictly justifiable by law. The right of private defence cannot be exercised when there is sufficient time to seek the protection of the public authorities.
It is important to note that the right of private defence should not result in causing more harm than necessary for defence.
Explanation 1: A person is not deprived of the right of private defence against an act performed or attempted by a public servant unless they know or have reason to believe that the person is a public servant.
Explanation 2: A person is not deprived of the right of private defence against an act performed or attempted under the direction of a public servant unless they know or have reason to believe that the person is acting under such direction. This exception also applies if the person states the authority under which they act or if they have written authority unless such authority is demanded and produced.
Section 99 of the Indian Penal Code establishes the conditions and limitations for exercising the right of private defence. It grants individuals a defensive right rather than an offensive one. It empowers individuals to protect themselves and others when there is a reasonable apprehension of danger to life and property. The section imposes restrictions on the exercise of this right.
The first two clauses State that the right of private defence cannot be invoked against a public servant or a person acting in good faith in the lawful discharge of their duty, provided the act is not illegal. Similarly, the third clause restricts the right of private defence if there is sufficient time to seek help from public authorities. Additionally, the right must be proportionate to the harm to be inflicted. In other words, there is no right of private defence:
- Against the acts of a public servant.
- Against the acts of those acting under the authority or direction of a public servant.
- When there is adequate time to seek assistance from public authorities.
- If the harm caused exceeds what is necessary for defence.
The protection afforded to public servants is not absolute and is subject to certain conditions. To avail the benefit of the aforementioned clauses:
- The act done or attempted by a public servant must be done in good faith.
- The act must be carried out under the authority of their office.
There must be reasonable grounds to believe that the acts were done by a public servant or under their authority in the lawful discharge of their duty, and the act itself is not illegal. Good faith plays a crucial role in determining the applicability of this section, which does not require infallibility but rather due care and caution as defined under Section 52 of the Indian Penal Code.
Case 1: Emperor vs Mammun
In this case, five accused individuals armed with clubs assaulted a man cutting rice in their field on a moonlit night. The victim suffered severe injuries, including six skull fractures, and died at the scene. The accused claimed the right of private defence of their property. However, it was held that there is no right of private defence when there is sufficient time to seek the protection of public authorities, as per Section 99.
Case 2: Public Prosecutor vs Suryanarayan
In this case, customs officers searched and discovered smuggled goods from Yemen in Indian territory. During the search, the smugglers attacked and injured the officers. The accused argued that the officers had no authority to search as no notification declared Yemen a foreign territory under Section 5 of the Indian Tariff Act. However, it was held that the officers had acted in good faith, and the accused had no right of private defence in this situation.
IPC Section100: When the Right of Private Defence of the Body Extends to Causing Death
The right of private defence of the body allows for the voluntary causing of death or harm to the assailant under certain circumstances. These circumstances include:
- An assault that reasonably causes the apprehension of death.
- An assault that reasonably causes the apprehension of grievous hurt.
- An assault to commit rape.
- An assault to gratifying unnatural lust.
- An assault with the intention of kidnapping or abducting.
- An assault to wrongfully confine a person, where the circumstances reasonably cause the person to believe they will be unable to seek help from public authorities for their release.
To invoke Section 100 of the Indian Penal Code, four conditions must be met:
- The person exercising the right of private defence must be free from fault in initiating the encounter.
- There must be an imminent threat to life or great bodily harm.
- There must be no safe or reasonable means of escape or retreat.
- There must be a necessity for taking the assailant’s life.
Furthermore, before taking someone’s life, four cardinal conditions must be present:
(a) The accused must be fault-free in initiating the encounter.
(b) There must be an imminent threat to life or great bodily harm, creating an honest belief in self-defence.
(c) no safe or reasonable means of escape or retreat must exist.
(d) There must be a necessity for taking the assailant’s life.
Case: Yogendra Moraji vs. State
In this case, the Supreme Court discussed the extent and limitations of the right of private defence of the body. One aspect emphasised by the court was that there must be no safe or reasonable means of escape or retreat for a person facing imminent peril or grave bodily harm except by using force to cause the assailant’s death.
This aspect has created confusion in the law as it indirectly suggests that one should consider the possibility of retreat before defending oneself with force. This retreat theory aligns with the English common law principle of self-defense, where courts always emphasise the option of retreating to prevent the commission of a crime against oneself.
Case: Nand Kishore Lal
In this case, the accused, who were Sikhs, had abducted a Muslim-married woman and converted her to Sikhism. After almost a year, the relatives of the woman’s husband demanded her return, but the accused refused. The woman herself expressed her unwillingness to rejoin her Muslim husband.
The husband’s relatives then attempted to take her away forcefully. The accused resisted, and during the altercation, one of them struck a blow to the head of the woman’s assailants, resulting in their death. It was held that the accused had the right to defend the woman against her assailants under Section 100; therefore, they had not committed an offence.
IPC Section101: When Such Right Extends to Causing Any Harm Other Than Death
If the offence does not fall into any categories listed in the preceding section, the right of private defence does not extend to causing the assailant’s death. However, it does permit causing harm to the assailant other than death within the boundaries specified in Section 99 of the Indian Penal Code.
In the case of Mohinder Pal Jolly v. State of Punjab, the court held that the factory owner, who had fatally shot a worker in response to brickbat throwing by the workers, could not claim the protection of the right of private defence. The court determined that there was no reasonable apprehension of death or grievous hurt in that situation, thereby negating the factory owner’s claim to the right of private defence.
IPC Section102: Commencement and Continuance of the Right of Private Defence of the Body
The right of private defence of the body under IPC is triggered when there is a reasonable apprehension of danger to the body due to an attempted or threatened offence, even if the offence has not been committed yet. This right remains in effect as long as the apprehension of danger persists. However, the apprehension of danger must be reasonable and not based on fanciful beliefs. It is important to note that the danger must be present and imminent, and the right of private defence does not arise if there is no actual attack.
In the Kala Singh case, the accused, who was physically weaker, was attacked by the deceased, a strong and dangerous individual with a history of killing someone in the past. The deceased threw the accused to the ground, pressed his neck, and bit him. Once the accused freed himself from the attacker, he used a light hatchet to strike the deceased’s head thrice. The deceased passed away three days later.
The court held that the deceased’s conduct was aggressive, creating a strong apprehension in the mind of the accused that he would be killed if he did not defend himself. However, it is essential to remember that the apprehension must be reasonable, and the level of violence inflicted must be proportionate and appropriate, considering the nature of the threat. Idle threats and unfounded fears of a timid mind do not justify exercising the right of private defence.
IPC Section 103: When the Right of Private Defence of Property Extends to Causing Death
The right of private defence of property allows for the voluntary causing of death or harm to the wrongdoer within the limitations specified in Section 99 if the offence that triggers the exercise of this right falls into certain categories. These categories include robbery, house-breaking by night, mischief by fire committed on a building, tent, or vessel used as a human dwelling or for property storage, and theft, mischief, or house-trespass under circumstances that reasonably cause apprehension of death or grievous hurt if the right of private defence is not exercised.
Section 103 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) specifically deals with the right of private defence of property, while Section 100 pertains to the right of private defence of the body. Section 103 justifies using force, including causing death, in cases of robbery, house-breaking by night, arson, and certain types of theft, mischief, or house trespass that reasonably raise the apprehension of serious harm. It is important to note that the right of private defence can only be claimed by the property’s true owner, and it cannot be exercised against a trespasser who has already established possession.
In the case of Mithu Pandey v. State, the accused protested against the illegal collection of fruit from trees on their possessed property. During an altercation, one of the accused suffered multiple injuries, and the accused used force that resulted in death. The Patna High Court held that the accused were entitled to the right of private defence, including causing death, as the fourth clause of Section 103 was applicable in this situation.
However, in the case of Jassa Singh v. State of Haryana, the Supreme Court clarified that the right of private defence of property does not extend to causing the death of a person who commits acts of trespass on open land. Only house trespass committed under circumstances that reasonably cause death or grievous hurt is considered an offence under Section 103.
Section104 IPC: When Such Right Extends to Causing Any Harm Other Than Death
According to Section 104 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), if the offence that occasions the exercise of the right of private defence is theft, mischief, or criminal trespass but not of any of the descriptions mentioned in the previous section (referring to Section 103), the right of private defence does not extend to causing death. However, it does extend, subject to the restrictions specified in Section 99, to causing harm other than death to the wrongdoer.
This section should not be interpreted as granting permission to the accused to exceed their right of private defence in any manner. If someone exceeds the right of private defence and causes the death of the trespasser, they would be guilty under Section 304, Part II of the IPC. Section 104 is a complementary provision to Section 103, just as Section 101 is complementary to Section 100.
In the case of V.C. Cheriyan v. State, three deceased individuals and others had illegally constructed a road through a private property belonging to a church. A criminal case was pending against them. The accused, associated with the church, erected barricades to block the road.
When the three deceased persons attempted to remove these barricades, they were stabbed to death by the accused. The Kerala High Court acknowledged that the church members had the right of private defence, but they did not have the right to cause the death of unarmed individuals whose conduct did not fall within the scope of Section 103 of the IPC.
Section 105: Commencement and Continuance of the Right of Private Defence of Property
The provisions regarding the right of private defence of property as stated in the Indian Penal Code.
The right of private defence of property is triggered when there is a reasonable apprehension of danger to the property. The duration of this right varies depending on the nature of the offence being committed.
In the case of theft, the right of private defence continues until the offender has retreated with the property, until assistance from public authorities is obtained, or until the property has been recovered.
In the case of robbery, the right of private defence continues as long as the offender is causing or attempting to cause death, hurt, or wrongful restraint to any person or as long as there is a fear of immediate death, hurt, or personal restraint.
In the case of criminal trespass or mischief, the right of private defence continues as long as the offender is engaged in the commission of the trespass or mischief.
In the case of house-breaking by night, the right of private defence continues as long as the house trespass, which began with the act of house-breaking, continues.
It is important to note that the right of private defence of property can only be exercised when there is no time to seek assistance from public authorities. Additionally, once a trespasser has successfully taken possession of the disputed land, the true owner loses the right of private defence to protect the property. A trespasser has no right of private defence to protect property that is not in their lawful possession.
Section 106: Right of Private Defence against Deadly Assault When There is Risk of Harm to an Innocent Person
The provision stated in the illustration you mentioned clarifies that in a situation where a mob is attacking a person and faces a reasonable apprehension of death, they have the right of private defence, even if exercising that right may pose a risk of harm to innocent persons. In such a case, the defender is allowed to risk causing harm to those innocent persons to protect themselves.
This provision removes any doubt or hesitation that the defender may have regarding exercising their right of private defence when there is a possibility of harming innocent individuals. It ensures that the defender can take necessary actions to protect themselves even if there is a potential risk to others not involved in the attack.
Limitations to Right to Private Defence under IPC
The right to private defence is subject to certain limitations to prevent misuse and ensure responsible use. These limitations include:
Proportional force: The force used must be reasonable and proportionate to the threat faced. Excessive force is not justified.
Time-bound: The right to private defence applies only while the danger persists. Once the threat has passed, the right to self-defence no longer exists.
Reasonable belief: Defenders must have a reasonable belief that using force is necessary to protect themselves or others from harm. Mere suspicion or conjecture is not sufficient.
Use of deadly force: Deadly force can only be used when there is a threat of death or serious bodily harm. Otherwise, the use of lethal force is not justified.
Avoiding unnecessary harm: The defender must not act cruelly or unusually that causes harm or injury beyond what is necessary to repel the attack.
No pre-emptive strikes: The right to private defence cannot be used to justify pre-emptive strikes, revenge, or retaliation. It is limited to immediate protection against an ongoing threat.
Exceptions to the Right of Private Defence
The right to private defence cannot be invoked to justify the use of force when the person claiming self-defence is the one who initiated or provoked the attack. In such cases, the right to private defence does not apply.
Furthermore, suppose a person exceeds the reasonable limits of self-defence and causes more harm or damage than necessary to repel the attack. In that case, they may be held accountable for excessive force.
It is also important to note that if a person exercising their right to self-defence causes harm or injury to a third party who was not involved in the initial assault, they may be held responsible for the harm caused to that third party.
Similarly, if lethal force is employed in a situation where it was unnecessary to repel the assault, the person may be held liable for using excessive and unjustified force.
These considerations ensure that the right to private defence is not misused to excuse acts of aggression or to cause unnecessary harm to others.
The concept of private defence in the Indian Penal Code is crucial in ensuring the protection and safety of individuals and their property. It grants individuals the right to defend themselves and others from imminent harm or danger. However, it is important to remember that this right is not absolute and is subject to certain limitations.
The IPC provides clear guidelines on when and how the right of private defence can be exercised. It emphasises the principles of proportionality, reasonableness, and the absence of alternative remedies. The force used must be necessary and proportionate to the threat faced, and it should cease once the danger has subsided.
While private defence empowers individuals to protect themselves and their property, it is essential to exercise this right responsibly and within the boundaries set by the law. Any excessive or unnecessary use of force can lead to legal consequences.
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