The Indian Penal Code (IPC) has given the right of private defence of body and property to every individual. IPC Section 96 to 106 states the law relating to the right of private defence of person and property.

It is the primary duty of the State to protect the life and property of a citizen but the fact is that the State cannot watch each and every activity of citizens. There may be a situation in which the State cannot help a person immediately when life or property is in danger. So, our law has given the right of private defence.

*** The law of private defence is based on two different principles – ***

1) Everyone has the right to private defence of his own body and property and another body and property.

2) The right of private defence is not applicable to those cases where the accused himself is an aggressive party.

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IPC Sec 96

Nothing is an offence that is done in exercise of the right of private defence.

IPC Sec 97

Right of private defence of body and property

Every person has rights subject to the restriction contained in section 99 to defend –

(1) His own body and body of another person against any offence effectively the human body.

(2) The property, whether movable or immovable of himself or any other person against any act which is an offence falling under the definition of theft, robbery, mischief, criminal trespass or which is an attempt to commit theft, robbery, mischief or criminal trespass.

IPC Sec 98

Right of private defence against the act of a person of unsound mind etc

When an act which would otherwise be a certain offence is not that offence by reason the youth they want of maturity of understanding the Unsoundness mind or the intoxication the person doing that act or by reason of misconception on the part of a person. Every person has the same right of private defence against the act which be would have in the act were the offence.

Act against which there is no right of private defence

IPC Sec 99

According to section 99 of the Indian penal code, there is no right to private defence

(1) Against the act of a public servant acting in good faith.

(2) Against the act of the person who acts under the authority or direction of a public servant.

(3) where there is sufficient time for a resource to public authority.

(4) The quantum of harm that may be caused shall no case be in excesses.

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IPC Sec 100

When the right of private defence of the body extends to causing death

To invoke section 100 of the Indian penal code following four conditions must exist.

(1) The person exercising the right of private defence must be free from fault in bringing about the encounter.

(2) There must be present impeding harm, rape, unnatural lust, kidnapping or abduction, wrongful confinement etc.

(3) There must be no state or reasonable mode of escape by retreated etc.

(4) There must have been a necessity for taking the life.

IPC Sec 101

When such right extends to causing any harm other than death.

If the offence is not of any of the description Enumerated in the last preceding section, the right of the private body does not extend to the voluntarily causing death to the assailants but does extend under restriction mention in section 99 to the voluntarily causing to the assailants of any harm other than death.

IPC Sec 102

Commencement and continuance of the right of private defence

The right of private defence of the body commence as soon as the reasonable apprehension of danger to the body arise from an attempt or threat to commit the offence through the offence that may not have been committed. It continues as long as the apprehension of danger to the body continues.

IPC Sec 103

When the right of private defence of property extends to causing death

The right of private defence of property extends to causing death under the restrictions mention in section 99 In the following cases

(1) robbery

(2) house-breaking by night

(3) mischief by fire in building, tent, vessel.

(4) theft, mischief, house-trespass.

IPC Sec 104

When such right to causing harm other than death

If the offence are not any of the as define under section 103 then the right of private defence, subject to restriction mention in section 99 extends to cause any other harm, not to the death.

IPC Sec 105

Commencement and continuance of the right of private defence of property

The right of private defence of property commence as soon as a reasonable apprehension of danger to the property.

In case of theft right of private defence continue till the offender has retreated with property, or till he obtains public authority.

In case of robbery right of private defence of property continue till the apprehension of death or hurt or wrongful restrain continue.

In case of mischief or #trespass as long as the offender continues in the commission of criminal trespass or mischief.

IPC Sec 106

Right of private defence against deadly assault when there is risk of harm to an innocent person

When there is a situation in which reasonable apprehension of death is caused by a deadly assault and the defender cannot exercise of the right of private defence without causing harm to the innocent person then the defendant’s right of private defence extends to the running of that risk.

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