The unsoundness of mind as a defence can be
understood with regard to section 84 & 98 of Indian Penal
Code SECTION 98 of INDIAN PENAL CODE , 1860 states the
right of private defence against the act done by a person
of unsound mind :

98. Right of private defense against the act of a person
of unsound mind When an act, which would otherwise be a certain offence,
is not that offence, by reason of the youth, the want of
maturity of understanding, the unsoundness of mind or
the intoxication of the person doing that act, or by reason
of any misconception on the part of that person, every
person has the same right of private defense against that
act which he would have if the act were that offence.
(a) Z, under the influence of madness, attempts to kill A;
Z is guilty of no offence. But A has the same right of
private defense which he would have if Z were sane.
(b) A enters by night a house which he is legally entitled
to enter Z, in good faith, taking A for a house-breaker,
attacks A. Here Z, by attacking A under this
misconception, commits no offence. But A has the same
right of private defense against Z, which he would have if
Z were not acting under that misconception.

one has the right to private defence against unlawful acts . If an act is otherwise an offence . the right of private defence arises against the author of the act. . if a lunatic attacks you or runs away with your purse . Wheather the aggressor would be liable for what he has done or not. even though he is not punishable by reason of his personal incapacity to commit a crime or because he acts without the necessary mens rea. his act would not constitute an offence. your right to defence to defend yourself or to take back your purse is not affected by the fact that the lunatic lacks capacity to fall criminal intent and therefore .The principle underlying section 98 is that the right of private defence does not depend upon the actual criminality of the aggressor but on the wrongful character of the act attempted. For instance .

by reason of unsoundness of mind.e. or that he is doing what is either wrong or contrary to law. 'nisi mens /sit rea". thephysical act alone does not make a person guilty. Explanation Law recognize the concept "actus non facit reum.—Nothing is an offence which is done by a person who.' The law presumes every individual at the age of discretion.SECTION 84 Also in section 84 of the INDIAN PENAL CODE . at the time of doing it. Act of a person of unsound mind. act of a person of unsound mind is defined Section 84 in The Indian Penal Code 84. Plea of mental illness or unsoundness of mind is usually brought forward by defence in order to save his client from capital punishment. to be sane and to possess a sufficient degree of reason to be .and "amens ne sine mente" i. is incapable of knowing the nature of the act.the mental' component in the form of evil intent(guilty mind) is equally important.

A mentally ill person is not punished for his crime. Burden of proving this unsoundness of mind lies entirely on defence. intelligence and knowledge of the act. If defence can prove that accused was of unsound mind at the time of committing the offence then his responsibility diminishes.responsible for his criminal acts. . any other place of safe custody or he may be acquitted. as he is devoid of free will. psychiatric hospital. If case cannot be proved then accused is outrightly acquitted. It does not mean that prosecution is free from all responsibilities. Case is to be proved by prosecution beyond reasonable doubt and then only plea of unsoundness of mind is entertained. Depending upon the condition and nature of offence. unless the contrary is proved to the satisfaction of the court. Concept behind this provision is that as such this person was not in complete control of mind at the time of offence so he should not be punished. the accused can be sent to prison.

perversions. anger. jealousy. So. Collditions like emotions. fear.ESSENTIALS A. hatred. revenge.unsoundness of mind is used to describe only those conditions that affect the cognitive capacity of an individual. Medical insanity means the person's consciousness of the bearing of his acts on those affected by it and by legal insanity is meant the person's consciousness in relation to himself. Here the law makes distinction between medical and legal insanity. every person who is mentally ill is not relieved from his responsibilities. Law recognizes only those conditions as insanity which impairs the cognitive faculties of the mind. and lack of self control may be termed as features of insanity in medical term.For want in this section. Unsoundness of mind . There can be no Iegal insanity . Medically a person is termed insane if he is suffering from any disease or disorder of mind. In the eyes of law these aspects are not considered.

in the confession given on the very next day. Similarly. it is only the presence of insanity at the time of the act which matters and not before or after that. as a result of unsoundness of mind are so affected as to render the offender incapable of knowing the nature of the act or knowing that what he' is doing is wrong or contrary to law. B. the accused left the place of murder immediately after committing murder and remembered clearly. In sompswar bor v. Nature of the act: If accused did not know the nature of the act he was committing then he is not responsible for it. C.unless cognitive faculties of the mind are. state of assam. It was held that the accused was not entitled to protection of section 84 of the Indian penal code as it could not be said that he did not know either the nature and quality of the act or that he did not know what he did was wrong. Unsoundness should exist at the time of the act: Another requirement under law is that this unsoundness of mind should exist at the time of commission of the act. The fact that he had some sort of abnormality and mental imbalance was immaterial When an accused suffering from fever paroxysms killed his children because their crying disturbed him he was convicted although medically he can be termed insane. if . what he did. If insanity exists at the time of trial it can only lead to postponement of trial but not to acquittal of the accused.

The crucial point of time at which it should be proved is the time when the crime is actually committed and burden of proving this is on the accused.he knew the nature of the act but did not know whether it was wrong or contrary to the law he is not liable. he must be presumed to have been conscious of its criminality. of the act. An accused need not prove his case beyond reasonable doubt. It is sufficient if is case is established from the circumstances which proceeded . attendant and followed the crime. PROOF OF INSANITY Where in a murder case . it is alleged that the accused was suffering from insanity. According to Stephan if a person cuts off the head of a sleeping man because .If the evidence shows that the accused was conscious of the nature. The defence of insanity cannot be .it would be great fun to see him looking for it when he woke up he is incapable of knowing the nature of the act and is therefore not liable. On the other hand if the person did not know the nature of the act but knew that it is wrong as contrary to law he is held responsible. the insanity or unsoundness of mind must be proved.

The mere absence of proof of motive would not by itself show that a person was insane although it could be a factor to be taken into consideration along with other circumstances while judging such a plea . It was pleaded that the accused was of unsound mind at the time of commission of crime. It was held that the fact of the case show that there could be no mens rea on the part of the accused who killed the three kids in the fits of lunacy. his running away to his village after the occurrence showed that he was conscious of the fact which was acting enough to defeat the plea of insanity. ram lal lacked motive in killing the 8 years old boy and the doctors report showed that he was a case of epilepsy with retarded mental faculty so as to put him in the category of severe subnormality. In shri ram v. In this case . state of Maharashtra. On the contrary . state of rajasthan . is an important case on the point. the accused ‘A’ killed his three infant grand-daughter with a handle of a grinding stone and he did not try to conceal the body of victims . There was no evidence at the time of the murder.accepted upon arguments derived merely from the character of the crime. nor he attempted to evade law by destroying the evidence of crime and he made no preprations for killing the three kids. Even if the accused was not able . CASES In ram lal v. The accused was acting in a state of hallucination or under influence of epilepitic insanity.

. or that he had committed certain unusual acts in the past or that he was liable to recurring fits of insanity at short intervals . state of M. the act was right or wrong. that the standard to be applied for deciding applicability of section 84 is wheather according to the ordinary standard . or that his behavior was queer cannot be sufficient to attract the application of section 84 of Indian Penal establish conclusively that he was insane at the time he committed the offence. the evidence prayed before the court by the accused or by the prosecution may raise a reasonable doubt in the mind of as regard one or more of the ingredients of the offence including mens rea of the accused and in that case the court may acquit the accused on the ground that the general burden resting on the prosecution to prove the guilt beyond all reasonable doubt had not been discharged. or that he was subject to getting epileptic fits but there was nothing abnormal in his behavior. It was held on facts of case that section 84 held no application . adopted by a reasonable man .P . The mere fact that an accused is consented odd irascible and his brain is not quite all right or that the physical and mental ailments and from which he suffered had rendered his intellect weak and had affected his emotions and will . It was held in hari singh god v.