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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

CRIMINAL RESFONSmXTTY                                             397

cution witnesses, which tended to show that the accused was of unsound mind at the
time. The civil surgeon who was the superintendent of the jail never expressed any
decided opinion that the accused was of sound mind at the time of committing the
offence or not of sound mind but merely stated that he found no signs of insanity from
the period that the accused was under his observation. Technically the superintendent's
report was not admissible in evidence because he was never called as a witness. Their
Lordships, however, considered that no great importance could be attached to the
superintendent's report in view of the positive evidence referred to above showing that
the accused must have been deranged in mind to the extent of being incapable of know-
ing the nature of the act that he was doing. In Their Lordships* opinion his act was
not an offence by reason of unsoundness of mind under section 84 of the Indian Penal

Their Lordships, therefore, found that the accused did stab Khalil with a knife and
caused his death but acquitted him upon the ground that at the time when he committed
the act he was, by reason of unsoundness of mind, incapable of knowing the nature of
the act. Under section 471 of the Criminal Procedure Code Their Lordships directed
that the accused be detained in safe custody in such place and manner as the sessions
judge might think fit and the sessions judge should report the action taken to the local

4.    In a murder appeal36 before the Oudh Chief Court, in which the appellant, Onkar
Datt Nigam, made murderous assaults by firing five shots into a second class compart-
ment in which were travelling an Anglo-Indian gentleman (Mr. Ralph)  and Miss Edna
Doran, who were quite strangers to him, at Unao Railway Station on May 9, 1933, it
was held that the accused was suffering from unsoundness of mind to such an extent
as to make him incapable of knowing the nature and character of his act, which he had
committed and which made him incapable of understanding that the act he was doing
was more or less wrong, or was an offence against the law of the country, that his
cognitive faculties had been affected by unsoundness of mind and that he was entitled
to an acquittal.   It was also held that as the accused was proved to be a criminal lunatic,
and as in the opinion of the medical expert on mental diseases, there was no likelihood
of his  ever  regaining  his  mental  capacity,  he  might be  directed,  under section 471,
Criminal Procedure Code, to be detained in safe custody in a mental hospital.

It was proved that the appellant committed the offence without any attempt at
concealment of the crime. There was no accomplice with him, and not only did he shoot
one person, but he tried to kill two and there was also no premeditation in the commis-
sion of the offence. The medical evidence as to the mental condition of the accused
given by the mental expert (Col. Overbeck-Wright) was that he was insane at the time
of the commission of the offence, and that he was suffering from hebephrenia.

5.    One Geron Ali, accused, was a disciple of the Pir and called him father and the
Pirain mother.   The Pir said to him:  "Take the heads of those who dissuade you and
come to your doors".   At this time the Pirain said to him that he would go to heaven,
if he offered a human head in sacrifice on that day which was an auspicious day being
the first day of Ramzan.    The accused cut off with a dao the heads of two persons
including that of his own infant daughter and offered the same to the Pir and said,
"Father, you asked me for one human head; I present you with two".   The evidence
showed that he believed that he was doing a meritorious act which qualified him for
heaven.   It was held that the accused was incapable of knowing that what he was doing
was either wrong or contrary to law by reason of unsoundness of mind at the time of
the occurrence and he was, therefore, entitled to the protection of section 84, I.P.C.   He
killed those persons without any effort at concealment and he did not try to escape after
doing this.^

6.    One Ashiruddin Ahmad was commanded in his dream by someone in paradise
to sacrifice his son, aged 5 years,   The next morning he took his son to a mosque, and
killed him by thrusting a knife in his throat.   He then went straight to his uncle but
finding a chaukidar nearby took the uncle to a tank at some distance and slowly told
him the story.    It was held in an appeal before the Calcutta High Court that of the
three elements necessary to be established under section 84, IJP.C., any one of which
must be established by an accused to obtain the benefit of the provisions.   The first,
the nature of the act, was clearly known to the accused; the accused also knew that
the act was contrary to law, but the accused certainly did not know that the act was
wrong.    The accused was clearly of unsound mind and acting under the delusion of
his dream, he made the sacrifice of his son believing it to be right.   He was therefore
entitled to the benefit of the section.3*

36.   36 Cr. Law JM p. 393; vide also Lahore H. C. Cr. App. No. 704 of 1936; 38 Crin.
Law Jour., 1937, p. 893.

37.    K. E. v. Geron Ali, Cal. Cr. Appeal No. 125 of 1940; 42 Cr. Law Jour., 1941, p. 379.

38.    50 Crim. Law J., 1949, p. 255; Cal. High Court Cr. Appeal No. 112 of. 1948.