IPC Act of a child(Sec. 82 & 83)-Offences done by children

IPC Act of a child (Sec. 82 & 83) Offences done by children Notes-Indian Penal Code

Indian Penal Code IPC (Sec. 82 & 83)Notes

IPC (Sec. 82 & 83)

Prepared by Asisst. Professor Rekha Khandelwal

To read about Notes on Indian Penal Code Plz. click the link

IPC Chapter – IV General Exceptions

Absence of Criminal intent IPC (Sec. 82 & 83)

Chapter IV of Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides following acts which are exempted under the code from criminal liability

Section  82. – Act of a child under seven years of age.

Whenever any act is done by a child under seven years of agethen the act shall not be an offence. A child under seven years of age is considered to be doli incapax ( Child is incapable of offence)in India therefore cannot be held guilty of any offence.

The act is exempted under the code from criminal liability where the accused is not charged of the crime committed. As the act shows absence of mens rea i.e. guilty mind. While Actus rea and mens rea are two essential elements to impose criminal liability on accused.

So this section exempts a child below 7 years of age from criminal liability.

According to Principle of criminal liability in IPC which is basis on latin maxim “Actus non faciet reum nisi mens sit rea”

IPC Act of a child (Sec. 82 & 83) Offences done by children Notes-Indian Penal Code

Cases –

Lukhini Agradanini,(1)(1874) 22 WR (Cr) 27,28

 Under the age of of seven years no infant can be guilty of a crime. Because under that age an Infant is Doli incapax by presumption of law and cannot be endowed with any discretion. If the accused were a child under seven years of age, the proof of that fact would be ipso facto an answer to the prosecution.

Hiralal,(2)

It is, therefore, desirable to bring some evidence regarding the age of the accused on the record.

Makhulshah v. State,(3)

The accused purchased for one anna, from a child aged six years two pieces of cloth valued at 15 annas.   which the child had taken from the house of a third person. It was held that, assuming that a charge of an offence of dishonest reception of property (Section 411) could not be sustained, owing to the incapacity of the child to commit an offence, the accused was guilty of criminal misappropriation. If he knew that the property belonged to the child’s guardians and dishonestly appropriated it to his own use.

Section 83.- Act of a child above seven years of age and under twelve of immature understanding. 

Whenever any act is done by a child above seven years of ageand under twelvewho has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge of the nature and consequences of his conduct on that occasion  then the act shall not be an offence.

The act is exempted under the code from criminal liability where the accused is not charged of the crime committed. As the act shows  absence of mens rea i.e. guilty mind. While Actus reus and mens rea are two essential elements to impose criminal liability on accused.

According to Principle of criminal liability in IPC which is basis on latin maxim “Actus non faciet reum nisi mens sit rea”

Cases –

Hiralal (4)

Where the accused is a child above 7 years of age and under 12. The incapacity to commit an offence only arises when the child has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge of the nature and consequences of his conduct, and Such  non-attainment would have apparently to be specially pleaded and proved like the incapacity of a person, who at the time of doing an act charged as an offence was alleged to have been of unsound mind under this section. it has got to be shown that the accused is not only under 12 but has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding.  If no evidence or circumstances is brought to the notice of the court, it will be presumed that the child accused intended to do what he really did.

Thus, where a child of 12 used a sharp sword in killing a person along with his two brothers and no evidence either of age or immaturity of understanding was led on his behalf. It was held that he committed an offence at least under section 326 IPC 1860.

Ulla Mahapatra(5)

Where the accused a boy of over 11 years but below 12 years of age, picked up his knife and advanced towards the deceased with a threatening gesture. He was saying that he would cut him to bits  and  did actually cut him. It was held that his action could lead to only one inference. He did what he intended to do. And he knew all the time that a blow inflicted with a knife would affectuate his intention. he was sent to a reformatory school for 5 years

Santosh Roy v State of  WB,(6)

Section 83 provides that nothing is an offence which is done by a child above seven years of age and under 12, who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge of the nature and consequences of his conduct  on that occasion. The IPC, 1860 provides no protection from culpable liability on ground of tender age to one who is aged 12 years or more. In a child’s life the period between 7 and 12 years of age is rather the twilight  period of transition to a minimal  workable level of understanding of things in the firmament of a worldly affairs. And that is why  both the IPC, 1860 and the Oaths Act have made special provisions for children below 12 years in respect of matters dependent on a minimal power of understanding.

(1) (1874) 22 WR (Cr) 27,28

(2) AIR 1977 SC 2236

(3) (1886) 1 Weir 470

(4)AIR 1977 SC 2236

(5) (1950) Cut 293 

(6) 1992 CrLJ 2493

IPC (Sec. 82 & 83)

IPC Act of a child (Sec. 82 & 83) Offences done by children Notes-Indian Penal Code

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IPC Act of a child (Sec. 82 & 83) Offences done by children Notes-Indian Penal Code

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