General Principles and Defenses of Criminal Law and Right to Information

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The emerging techniques of law are widely used by Indian citizens to prevent corruption and false assistance. The Government of India enacted Right to information (RTI), Act, 2005 to provide information to the citizens. Rehabilitation helps offenders reenter the society. (a) General Deterrence Aims – Everyone must see consequences of crime (b) Specific Deterrence Aims – Criminal must see consequences of crime and lastly, Public Education Aims – let society know

What our shared values are.

General Principles of Criminal Law

  • Crime means an act which is both forbidden by law and revolting to the moral sentiments of the society.

  • Criminal law = ‘Actus Reus’ + ‘Men’s Rea’

  • Actus Reus is a Latin term that means guilty act. The habit of the person known to the person who acts wrong.

  • Men’s rea is Latin term that means guilty mind, which is considered as a Cardinal Doctrine of the Criminal Law. Thus, while making decision it has to be made clear that whether the ‘actus reus’ was intentional or it was an unintentional. Thus, state of mind has to be determined only then the puzzle will be broken.

Defenses of Criminal Law

  • Insanity or mental disorder: the offender is declared to be suffering from mental disorder and is not able to take any sensible decision as the accused cannot make a difference between right and wrong.

  • Automatism: It means there must have been a total destruction of voluntary control.

  • Intoxication: It is a state where a person in toxicated with some drug or chemical etc and that intoxicated person lose its control on mental capabilities.

  • Mistake of fact: Mistake of fact is genuine and is accepted by law. This is yet another common defense by accused in criminal law, by saying I made a mistake”

  • Necessity/less harm: It means that when a criminal act is justified by highlighting that it was done to prevent much more harm that could have been done and faced or for some necessity.

  • Lawful capacity of office: This defense is primarily used by the public servants to justify their act as sanctioned under their authority.

  • Self-defense: It is an act where a person takes a course of action as for protection of one’s own self.

The list of defenses described in Chapter IV of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) can be categorized as follows:

  • Judicial Acts

  • Mistake of fact

  • Accident

  • Absence of criminal intent

  • Consent

  • Trifling acts

  • Private defense

1. Act of a person bound by law to do a certain thing

2. Act of a Judge acting judicially

3. Act done pursuant to an order or a judgment of a Court

4. Act of a person justified, or believing himself justified, by law

5. Act caused by accident

6. Act likely to cause harm done without criminal intent to prevent other harm

7. Act of a child under 7 years

8. Act of a child above 7 and under 12 years, but of immature understanding

9. Act of a person of unsound mind

10. Act of an intoxicated person and partially exempted

11. Act not known to be likely to cause death or grievous hurt done by consent of the sufferer

12. Act not intended to cause death done by consent of sufferer

13. Act done in good faith for the benefit of a child or an insane person by or by the consent of guardian

14. Act done in good faith for the benefit of a person without consent

15. Communication made in good faith to a person for his benefit

16. Act done under threat of death

17. Act causing slight harm

18. Act done in private defense

Right to Information

Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information. It is an initiative taken by Department of Personnel and Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. The aim of RTI is bringing correct and important Information to the Citizens.

This Act is comprised of six Chapters and total of thirty-one Sections and two Schedules.

  • The first chapter explains preliminary aspects of the act like, definitions, titles.

  • The second chapter explains right to information and obligations of public authorities.

  • The third chapter explains about the central information sections and constitution of central commission.

  • The first fourth explains state information, the operations at the state level.

  • The fifth chapter explains the various powers and functions of CIC at the central level and also at the state level as well as penalties and appeals.

  • The sixth chapter is about miscellaneous aspects of the act. This is longest chapter of the act that is contains 11 sections. Government to prepare programmes, power to make rules by appropriate government, other organizations, monitoring and reporting.

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