HomeVishwanath v. State of U.P (AIR 1960 SC 67)

Facts

Gopal had come to take his wife, the sister of the appellant back with him but she was reluctant to go. Gopal then forcefully dragged her out of the house with him. On seeing this, the father of the appellant told him to beat Gopal to stop him from dragging his daughter. The appellant then took a knife out his pocket and stabbed Gopal and as a result, Gopal died.

Issue

Whether the act done in private defence was proportionate to the danger apprehended?

Rule

Section 97 IPC, Section 99 IPC, Section 100 IPC, Section 352 IPC.

Analysis

Since private defence is given only for an offence against the human body, the Court held that abduction in itself will not give a right of private defence as it is not by itself an offence as per section 352 IPC. It held that abduction will become an offence when the intent of abduction is to cause some harm. Thus, the court held that for private defence of the type coming under section 100 IPC to the extent of causing death, mere abduction is not enough, there has to be an assault. However, the court observed the wording of section 100(5) IPC and came to the conclusion that in order to exercise the right of private defence under Section 100 IPC, it is not necessary to show that abduction was with an intention to cause some harm. In this sense, mere abduction is enough, even if there is no intention to cause harm in future. The only requirement is that there has to be an assault when abducting, irrespective of the intention of abducting.

Conclusion

Since the wording of section 100(5) IPC does not include abduction with further intention of harm, it is enough that there was assault with intention to abduct. Due to this, it was held that the right of private defence of the body of the appellant even extended to causing death and thus, the appellant was acquitted.

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