Indian Legal System “Insanity Defense” is a tool in criminal law to save suspects from criminal accountability. It is based on the assumption that at the time of the crime, the person is suffering from mental illness and therefore, unable to understand what he / she did. It should be noted here that this is a legal concept, and therefore only suffering from mental disorders are not enough to prove insanity. The burden of proof to prove insanity is on guesswork and he/she is to supply the court with evidence similar to a “preponderance of evidence” as in civil cases. This article focuses on the concept of insanity in the law and how it has become a loophole in the modern justice system.
What is Insanity Defense?
Insanity criminal defense where the defense refers to admit the action but insists there is a lack of understanding by mental illness. This is why it is more of an excuse than a justification of what he/she has done.
In India, Section 84 of the Indian Penal Code describes the insanity defense. Under the provisions of Article 84, the law protects a sensible person and gives him / her defense of criminal responsibility, which is also known as the Law of Insanity. This law is based on the assumption that every madman committed a crime in a fit of madness, he/she does not have a guilty mind to understand what he/she did, and that the action was prohibited by law. For this reason, the law of Insanity has proven to be important in understanding the mental position of a madman and in appropriate circumstances gives them exemption from prosecution.
Origin of Insanity Defense
it originated in England where, in 1843, killing M’Naughten secretary of the Prime Minister (in an attempt to kill Prime Minister) believes there is a conspiracy against him involving the government. The high court found him insane and he was hospitalized.
Insanity defense by the Indian Law
Allowance of Insanity Defense granted under Section 84 of the IPC under “Invite people insane” which states that nothing is an offense if carried out by a person who, at the time of commission, for unsoundness of mind, unable to understand the nature and consequences of the actions he / she and do not realize that the same is prohibited by law.
Analyze section, it is clear that such provisions are heavily influenced by Test McNaughton of this, and because it is based on the proposition 5-point it was divided into two main categories, the first is the main criteria cover case in which the person was suffering from mental illness during the crime and the two became minor criteria including cases:
1. That person was incapable of knowing the nature of the action,
2. That person was incapable of knowing that his / her actions were wrong,
3. That the person does not know that what he / she is doing is against the law.
Under both of these criteria, the madness is madness law and therefore once proven the defendant could be released.
It should also be noted here that Article 84 IPC, based on the basic principles,
(A) Actus nonfacit reum sit nisi mens rea, which means that nothing is wrong unless done with the intention of guilt and
(B) Furiosi nulla est voluntas which means that people with mental illness do not have free will and therefore he / she can do no wrong. In this way section 84 discharges people with mental illness from his obligations in the absence of mens rea or intent.
The positive aspect of Insanity Defense Law
1. This is a solution in cases where the defendant is, in fact, people with some mental problems and therefore come to his / her help, although in the current legal case with these issues in the minority.
2. The prevent defense capital punishment because the madman who had been though admitted his / her crime was not able to understand the gravity of what has been done and therefore the death penalty can not be justified.
3. In a country like India where being accused of several crimes are considered lesser human beings, this defense provides assistance to mentally challenged people. If thawed by this defendant can officially discharged and released.
4. For the mental challenge, this defense is more like a “giver of life” because of his / her country is similar to a child who does not know about what he / she is doing and know the consequences. Therefore, imposing burdensome costs on someone like that would be against morality.
The negative aspect of Insanity Defense Law
1. Considering now the misuse of this defense, the Law of Insanity has been abolished in the country. Countries such as Germany, Argentina, Thailand and many districts in the UK has abolished the defense. Examples would be wrong to draw an analogy here but given the abuse of this defense in the case of variegated where, Crimes brute got an insanity acquittal simply lowered the legal notion that is built on.
2. As discussed in the article, Insanity and availing prove this defense the accused and it is a very big challenge to prove the same. Although medical madness can be easily proved, legally it is a complicated task because the party must provide tangible evidence to prove insanity. It is very difficult to meet important of Section 84 IPC to show legal insanity. It is for this reason that in many cases the legitimate from the madness of the defendant is charged and convicted.
3. The insanity defense can be misused to escape from liberation or punishment. It is very difficult to check whether a person is sound of mind or insane at the time the crime was committed. In this way the case depends on the prudence of the judge and the other one in statutory damages of essential purpose or manner.
Until now, we can agree that the Insanity Defense has become a loophole for criminals as the most popular defense to escape from the crime. It is not possible to prove the mental status of each person at the time the crime was committed. Redundancy Indian Judicial system is also to be blamed here because it just adds fuel to the fire that makes this defense loses his cool, and all that matters is the word-game. These cases are more complicated than other cases because here a defendant agrees to the commission of crimes but avoid these consequences and a raise eyebrows of every right-minded person.
The fundamental reason for it can be safely concluded that the Insanity Defense Law has lost its original spirit and now it has become a tool for criminals to avoid legal consequences. Current medications are available to cope with this Lacunas is the legal establishment and the test easier. The first step toward reform could be a mechanism to distinguish between criminal violence and criminal Insane, where the former are the real culprits. Reform here may only be made possible when the state will make strict laws to regulate these matters and it is time now for a major reform in this provision.
Author: VAMSI KRISHNA GANGINENI,
IFIM LAW SCHOOL