WHAT IS CRIME
Crime is not defined anywhere in the subject. Jurists defined crime but it is not satisfactory. So, crime can be understood with its characteristics.
There are two elements which are essential requirements of Crime:-
1. Mens Rea—Guilty Intention
2. Actus Reus—Physical Act
MAXIM—actus non-facit reum nisi mens sitria—“Mere guilty intention is not punishable unless accompanied by physical act. In the same manner- Mere physical act is also punishable unless accompanied by Guilty Intention.”
Mere Guilty Intention is not punishable—Explain?
1. It is difficult to prove in the eyes of law;
2. It is not an offence at the first stage of crime;
3. Person may change the guilty intention time to time according to the circumstances and various facts;
4. Mere physical act is not punishable unless accompanied by guilty intention; AND
5. Mere physical act is made punishable when the act is not made for bonafide act.
Explain Mens Rea?
Mens Rea means Guilty Intention.
Mens Rea has been identified as the Essential Elements of Crime.
Vardha Rajan v. Supreme Court.
TYPES OF WRONGS:-
1. Intentional Wrongs;
2. Wrongs of Recklessness;
3. Wrongs of Negligence; AND
4. Wrongs of Knowledge.
DOCTRINE OF MENS REA IS APPLICABLE TO INDIAN PENAL CODE OR NOT?
1. Not applicable to the provisions of Indian Penal Code as it is self-sufficient so far as Mens Rea is considered.
All the definitions of various offences given under Indian Penal Code contain the necessary guilty-intention with which that offence has to be committed.
EXAMPLE:- Murder has to be committed intentionally or knowingly as per Section.300;
2. Theft has to be committed dishonestly as per Section.378.
3. Cheating has to be committed fraudulently and dis-honestly or intentionally as per Section 415 of Indian Penal Code.
In the same manner all the definitions of offences contain the necessary intentions with which they are to be committed.
ACTUS REUS – PHYSICAL ACT:-
Physical Act is the most important element of crime along with Guilty Intention (Mens Rea).
Physical Act is the external manifestation of Guilty-Intention.
1. Act may be an Act of commission or an Ac of omission. If results in harm, then it is punishable.
EXAMPLE:- Mother did not feed her baby-child. That child died due to starvation. This results to Act of Omission.
2. Act may be voluntary intentional or in-voluntary, unintentional, only voluntary intentional acts are punishable.
3. Act may be direct or in-direct, both acts are punishable.
EXAMPLE:- Dawood- Ibrahim for the blast of Bombay after demolish of Babri Mazid.
4. Act may be internal or external, only external acts are punishable.