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Mens Rea or the psychological component of wrongdoing is a vital piece of criminal regulation in India as well as different nations. Most regulations in India contain the component of blameworthy psyche to make a demonstration by an individual criminally at risk for discipline. Mens Rea was first presented in the seventeenth century alongside the Latin proverb 'actus reus non facit reum, nisi mens sit rea' which signifies 'there can be no wrongdoing without a liable brain'.[1]

In Indian Penal Code (IPC), the meaning of word 'Mens Rea' can be followed in two ways:

'Mens Rea' can be followed in two ways - purposefully, falsely, intentionally, willfully and so on accentuating the presence of Doctrine of Mens Rea. Every one of the meanings of wrongdoing are painstakingly characterized with center around showing the underhanded aim for doing the demonstration. In Chapter IV-'General Exceptions', which depends on that no activity would lie except for without liable brain.


Mens rea can be broken down into three components: general aim, explicit plan, carelessness/criminal carelessness or criminal negligence. There are also violations for which there is no human element and where no human component is required - these are called severe responsibility violations.[2]


For the better comprehension of the Concept of Mens Rea it is important to comprehend the significance of specific words that are frequently utilized as equivalents for Mens Rea.

Intention: It is the perspective of the individual doing the wrongdoing. It tends to be demonstrated when the litigant can predict basically that the results of the activity of the individual will kill, make egregious injury or some other restricted damage them.

Motive: A thought process in criminal regulation is the reason that moves individuals to actuate into a specific activity . Rationale is anything but an essential component of wrongdoing yet it is for the most part investigated while examination of a crook case. Intention is the explanation of any demonstration, henceforth, regardless of whether rationale was great yet the demonstration was off-base then criminal responsibility might emerge.3

Knowledge: the word information or intentionally is utilized in specific spots in IPC to mean Mens Rea. It very well may be seen from different sides, right off the bat an individual had information and act in an illegitimate way and also they knew about

the awful outcomes and decided not to act consequently bringing about an improper demonstration. Both can be perceived as a piece of Mens Rea and are culpable.

Negligence: It can't be utilized as an equivalent for Mens Rea yet while searching for blameworthy aim in any lawbreaker case this angle is additionally covered. Carelessness is the absence of consideration or due care that a sensible or reasonable individual might have while playing out any assignment. For a careless demonstration to transform into criminal carelessness its certificate will be sufficiently high to cause criminal risk.

Voluntarily: This word is utilized in the code to show that the individual doing a demonstration had the information on how they are treating had full control of their activities. Intentionally can be utilized to show aim too. It is utilized simply because it has more broadened significance than 'purposefully.'


•Mens Rea is built from an individual's manner of thinking, their rationale and aim.

•Rationale and goal are two separate thoughts. Rationale is the purpose for the demonstration though expectation is an individual's perspective and readiness to overstep the law.

•Presence of both Motive and Intention works with the arraignment of a wrongdoing yet rationale is certifiably not a vital component for conviction.

•Goal, while, then again is a higher priority than rationale. It is an emotional reality which is expected by the criminal regulation by the indictment.

•Model: An individual takes someone else's bicycle with them in sincerely however it was taken without assent. This act will be considered as robbery.


The word offense is for the most part deciphered as a crook wrong. There are sure offenses that are not made by criminal regulations however by various rules like tax collection, public safety and so forth are Statutory Offences. The demonstrations those are innately off-base like homicide, assault or deplorably harming somebody and so on are offences however behaves like driving on some unacceptable roadside which isn't intrinsically off base but on the other hand is an offence. The court has held that it is vital that the insurance of the freedom of the subject that a court ought to constantly remember that, except if a rule, precludes Mens Rea as a constituent piece of wrongdoing the court ought not view a man to be unquestionably blameworthy of an offense against criminal regulation. Severe obligation emerges on issues concerning food[3], drugs[4], taxes[5] and so forth.


"mens rea" doesn't show up in the IPC but its embodiment is reflected in practically the entirety of its arrangements. A wrongdoing perpetrated by an individual affected by liquor or drugs, or by a youngster younger than seven, for instance, doesn't comprise an offense since

the psychological component, or mens rea, is deficient. It was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in State of Maharashtra v Mayer Hans George(1964)[6] and Nathulal v State of Madhya Pradesh(1965). [7]The section on General Exceptions recognizes the customary regulation tenet of mens rea, albeit by implication.


The shortfall of mens rea has customarily been related with a couple of wrongdoings, like legally defined sexual assault and polygamy. Various guidelines directing financial or

different activities typically known as open government assistance offenses with low fines needn't bother with mensrea.

Strict liability

Various offenses are considered under severe obligation, regardless of whether they are submitted without the presence of a blameworthy brain. Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea has a few exemptions.

• Criminal libel

• Public nuisance (Hicklin Test)

• Contempt of court

• Abduction/Kidnapping

• Bigamy

• Waging war

• Sexual harassment

• Rape

• Selling of obscene books

The Supreme Court recognized taking and permitting a minor on account of S.Varadrajan v. Province of Madras (1964).[10] As indicated by the Court, simply playing a part in helping the young lady's satisfaction of her goal doesn't comprise taking. That part misses the mark regarding prompting the minor to escape her approved gatekeeper's care and, accordingly, isn't equivalent to taking.

The two terms are not exchangeable. There are qualifications between the two. For this situation, the charged didn't eliminate her from the care of her lawful watchman. For a situation, for example, this, the blamed individual should lay out some sort for motivation or dynamic investment in the making of the minor's expectation to take off from the watchman's home. She eagerly went with him, and the law didn't put any commitment on him to restore her to her dad's home or even to tell her not to. There was no taking for this situation. S. Varadrajan was viewed as not blameworthy.


Wrongdoing and discipline are characteristically tied. As per the criminal regulation framework, mens rea is a significant part. The Supreme Court has expressed various times that it isn't committed to take on an English court's choice, but instead is allowed to foster a regulation suitable for Indian conditions. By the assumption, each individual is dared to plan the normal results of his demonstration. Besides, considering applicable decisions, and the regulative structure, it is preposterous to expect to say that mensrea is not a fundamental component in legal offenses.

[1]M.C.Setalvad, The Common Law of India, p. 139. [2] Laurie Levenson, Good Faith Defenses: Reshaping Strict Liability Crimes, 78 Cornell L. Rev. 401, (1993). 3 Garner, Bryan A. (2005). Blacks Law Dictionary, Abridged Eight Edition. Thomson / West. p. 855. [3]Krishan Gopal Sharma v. Govt, of NCT of Delhi (1996) 2 Crimes 218 (SC). [4] Rajasthan Pharmaceutical v. State of Karnataka, AIR 1981 SC 809. [5]Additional Commissioner of Income-tax, Gujarat v. M/Section I.M. Patel and Co, AIR 1992 SC. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

This article is written by Pradumn Singh of Bharati Vidyapeeth New Law College Pune.

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