Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 100: Right of Private Defence – Causing Death

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Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 100: Right of Private Defence – Causing Death

1. State the code

Section 100 of the Indian Penal Code deals with the right of private defence against an assault that causes death.

2. Explain it

This section states that a person is not guilty of murder or culpable homicide if they cause death while defending themselves or another person from an assault that causes reasonable apprehension of death or grievous hurt. This right of private defence is limited to the extent of the imminent threat. In other words, a person can only use force proportionate to the threat posed.

The section further clarifies that if the person causing death knew that they could have safely retreated from the assault but instead chose to use force, they are not eligible for the protection of this section. Therefore, retreat is an essential element of the right of private defence.

3. Illustrate it

Imagine a situation where someone is being attacked with a knife. In this case, the person under attack would have a right to defend themselves, even if it means using lethal force to stop the attacker. However, if the person under attack could have safely retreated from the situation but instead chose to fight, they might not be protected by Section 100.

4. Common Questions and Answers

Q: What is the difference between murder and culpable homicide?

A: Murder is the unlawful killing of another person with malice aforethought. Culpable homicide, on the other hand, encompasses all unlawful killings, including those that are not intentional.

Also Read  IPC 157: Harbouring Persons Hired for Unlawful Assembly in India

Q: Can a person be charged with murder even if they acted in self-defense?

A: Yes, if the force used was excessive or not proportionate to the threat, the person could be charged with murder or culpable homicide.

Q: What are the key elements of the right of private defense?

A: The key elements are:

    • An imminent threat of death or grievous hurt.
    • The use of force proportionate to the threat.
    • The absence of a safe retreat option.
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