CrPC Section 334: Acquittal Due to Unsoundness of Mind – Code of Criminal Procedure


CrPC Section 334: Acquittal Due to Unsoundness of Mind

1. Code:

Section 334 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the acquittal of a person who is found to be of unsound mind at the time of the commission of the offense.

2. Explanation:

This section states that if, during the trial of an offense, the Court finds that the accused was, at the time of committing the act, of unsound mind, and incapable of knowing the nature of the act, or that it was wrong, the Court shall acquit the accused.

In simpler terms, if a person is proven to be mentally ill at the time of committing a crime, and they were unable to understand the wrongfulness of their actions, they cannot be held criminally responsible. This is based on the legal principle that a person cannot be held liable for an offense if they lack the mental capacity to understand their actions.

3. Illustration:

Imagine a person suffering from a severe mental illness who, in a delusional state, believes they are being attacked and, in self-defense, inflicts harm on another individual. In this case, if the court finds that the person was indeed of unsound mind and unable to understand the nature of their actions, they would be acquitted under Section 334.

4. Common Questions and Answers:

Q: What is the burden of proof for establishing unsoundness of mind?

A: The burden of proof lies on the accused to establish that they were of unsound mind at the time of the offense.

Also Read  CrPC Section 186: High Court Jurisdiction to Decide Inquiry/Trial Location

Q: How is unsoundness of mind determined?

A: The court may consider medical evidence from psychiatrists, psychologists, or other medical experts to determine the accused’s mental state at the time of the offense.

Q: Does acquittal under Section 334 mean the accused is free to go?

A: While the accused is acquitted of the criminal charge, the court may order their detention in a mental institution or under other suitable care for the protection of society.


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