Skip to main content

Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

See other formats

CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY                                             393

mere want of a motive and the fact that the accused showed some sign, that he suffered
from a certain hallucination are not sufficient to attract the application of section 84,
I.P.C. He was convicted of murder under section 302, I.P.C., and was sentenced to
transportation for life.24

3. The Absence of Secrecy.—The murderer, if he happens to be insane,
does not try to conceal the "body of his victim, nor does he attempt to evade
law by destroying evidence of his crime or by running away from the scene
of the murder.

Cases.—1. On the 10th January 1918, a girl, aged twelve years, murdered a child,
three years old, in the District of Agra, by inflicting about twenty-six wounds on the
body with a gandasa, out of which one on the neck was fatal, the rest being more or
less simple. The motive as alleged by the police was theft of brass wristlets worn by
the child and worth four or six annas, but the girl did not make any attempt to conceal
the wristlets or to run away from the spot where the murder was committed. It was
argued in the Sessions Court that the girl probably had homicidal tendency, and at my
suggestion, the learned Sessions Judge ordered her to be kept under observation in the
lunatic asylum of Agra for a period of six months.

2.    In the case of King-Emperor v. Bhagwati Prashad, the accused, a Hindu male,
about 24 years old, was convicted by the Sessions Judge of Lucknow of two offences
under section 302, I.P.C., of causing the death of two old women by hitting them on their
heads with a piece of wood and causing fractures of the skull bones.   On an appeal being
preferred the Judicial Commissioner set aside the conviction on the ground of his un-
soundness of mind and directed him to be kept in safe custody in the lunatic asylum at
Bareilly.    It came out in evidence that after committing the murders on the night of
the  10th February 1922, he made no attempt to run away or  conceal himself.    The
medical evidence also proved that the accused was insane and had fixed delusions.   He
complained of the visit of a black man every night at 1 a.m., who stayed with him and
beat him.   He wore a garland of animal bones and had amulets of red cloth tied round
his arm.   He had a delusion of such an amulet being placed in his mouth rendering him

3.    In an appeal before the Lahore High Court where the accused had been sen-
tenced to transportation for life under section 302, LP.C., for having murdered a boy
named Thenchu by felling him on the ground and beating him on the head till he died,
the plea of insanity was raised on behalf of the appellant, as he was certified insane and
was admitted to the Punjab Mental Hospital from which he was discharged as cured
after a certain period.   He then stood his trial.25   In this case the appellant knew that
in killing the boy he was doing something wrong.   This is shown clearly by the fact that
after the murder he attempted to conceal its evidence by washing his hands in the sand,
and on the approach of witnesses he ran away.   It is further shown by the fact that he
concealed himself in his kotha in an attempt to prevent his arrest.    It was, therefore,
held that the Learned Sessions Judge of Hoshiarpur had come to the right conclusion
that legal insanity had not been established.   The appeal was dismissed.

4.    Multiple Murders.—A sane person usually murders only one person
with whom he is at enmity or against whom he has a grievance, and does not
shed more blood unnecessarily.    On the other hand, an insane person may
kill several persons, mostly his friends and relatives for whom he has great
regard and affection.   It is, however, possible for an insane person to have
only' one as his victim.

5.    Want of Preparedness or Pre~a,rrangement.—An insane person does
not make any pre-arranged plan to kill anybody, but a sane person, as a rule,
makes all the necessary preparations prior to committing a crime.

Overbeck-Wright, however, cites the following exceptional case in which
an insane person exhibited elaborate premeditation and contrivance in com-
mitting a murder26 : —

Bertha Peterson, aged 45, daughter of the Rector of Biddendeii, was indicted for
the murder of John Whibley. The deceased, a shoemaker, had been a teacher in the
Sunday-school of Biddenden, and there had been rumours, eighteen months before the
murder of his having behaved indecently towards a little girl of eleven. The prisoner

24.   30 Crim. Law Jour., Nov. 1929, p. 1024; vide Madras H, Court Cr. Appeal No. 225
of 1940, K. E. v. Sankappa Shetty; 42 Cr. Law Jour., 1941, p. 558.                               ^

25.    Cr. Appeal No. 785 of 1938, K. E. v. Gnungar Mai Ghania Lai; 40 Cr. Law
Dec. 1939, p. 907.

26.    Lunacy in India, p. 32.