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    Friday, 1 August 2014

    Private Defence Under Pakistan Penal Code

    Private defence under Pakistan Penal Code

    Introduction

    Subject to certain limitations the law gives a right to every person to defend his body or property, or the body or property of another person against unlawful aggression. He could shield his right by his own force or prevent it from being violated. It is a right inherent in a man. But the kind and amount of force is minutely regulated by law. This use of force to protect one’s property and person is called the right of private defence.

    Relevant Provisions

    Sections 96, 97, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, of P.P.C. 1860.

    Definition of Private Defence

    The term “Private Defence’ has not been defined in Black’s Law Dictionary but it does provide a more generic definition of the term self defence, which it also extends to defending ones property. Self Defence has been explained by the Black’s Law Dictionary as follows;

    “The use of force to protect ones self, ones family or ones property from a real or threatened attack. A Person is justified in using a reasonable amount of force in self defence, if he or she believes that the danger of body harm is imminent and that force is necessary to avoid such danger.”

    Circumstances Where In Assailant Can Be Subjected To Use of Force, Which Can Even Cause His Death

    Followings are two circumstances where in assailant can be subjected to use of force, which can even cause his death:

    (i) Right of Private defence of body

    Under Section 100 P.P.C:
    Section 100 describes the situations where the death of a person may be caused, however it also puts restrictions as are mentioned in Section 99.
    Under Section 100 following are the cases where the death of a person may be caused in private defence;

    (a) Apprehension of Death

    Right of private defence of body can extend to causing death of an assailant when as assault of assailant reasonably causes apprehension that death will otherwise be consequence of such assault.

    (b) Apprehension of Grievous Hurt 

    Right of private defence of body can extend to causing death of an assailant when an assault of assailant reasonably causes apprehension that grievous hurt will otherwise be consequence of such assault.

    (c) Intention of Committing of Rape

    Right of private defence of body can extend to causing death of an assailant when an assault of assailant is with intention to commit rape.

    (d) Intention of Gratifying Unnatural Lust

    Right of private defence of body an extend to causing death of an assailant when an assault of assailant is with the intention to gratify unnatural lust.

    (e) Intention of Kidnapping or Abducting

    Right of private defence of body can extend to causing death of an assailant when an assault of assailant is with intention of kidnapping or abducting.

    (f) Intention of Wrongfully Confining

    Right of private defence of body can extend to causing death of an assailant when as assault of assailant is with intention of wrongfully confining a person under such circumstances, which reasonably causes him to apprehend that he will be unable to have recourse to the public authorities for this release.

    Conditions Precedent to Cause Death in Self Defence

    Cause Law: AIR 1959 Punj 332
    In this case, the court gave four cardinal conditions must exist before the taking of life of a person is justified on the plea of self-defence.
    Firstly: The accused must be free from fault in bringing about he encounter;
    Secondly: There must be present and impending peril to life of great bodily harm, either real or so apparent as to create honest belief of an existing necessity;
    Thirdly: There must be no safe or reasonable mode of escape by retreat;
    Fourthly: There must have been a necessity for taking life. 

    (ii) Right of Private Defence of Property

    Section 103 Gives a person a right to cause voluntarily the death of a person who infringes, threatens to commit an offence or commits an offence which falls under the categories enumerated by the section following are the cause where the death of a person may be caused in defence of property;

    (a) Commission of Robbery

    Right of private defence of body can extend to causing death of an assailant when assailant commits or attempts to commit robbery.

    (b) Commission of House-breaking By Night

    Right of private defence of body can extend to causing death of an assailant when assailant commits or attempts to commit house-breaking by night.

    (c) Mischief By Fire

    Right of private defence of body can extend to causing death of an assailant when assailant commits mischief by fire on any building, tent or vessel, which building, tent or vessel is used as a human dwelling or as a place for custody of property.

    (d) Theft, Mischief Or House –trespass

    Right of private defence of body can extend to causing death of an assailant when assailant commits or attempts to commit theft, mischief or house-trespass under such circumstance, which reasonably cause apprehension that death or grievous hurt will be consequence, if such right of private defence is not exercised.

    Final Analysis

    To Conclude, it can be stated that it is necessary to exercise right of private defence that use of force should have become necessary against assailant and use of force should be reasonable. When a person uses such necessary and reasonable force through private defence, he/she is not answerable in law for his/her deeds.


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    Item Reviewed: Private Defence Under Pakistan Penal Code Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Usman Ali
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