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Important Case Laws of Indian Penal Code for Judiciary Exam 2023

Author : Tanya Kaushal

Updated On : April 25, 2023


Reader's Digest - Are you preparing for the Judiciary Exams & looking to brush up on your knowledge of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)? Then, you're in the right place! Join us as we dive into the most important cases of IPC that every aspiring civil judge must know.

Are you preparing for the Judiciary Exam 2023 and seeking to master the Indian Penal Code (IPC)? Then, you must acquaint yourself with some of the most important case laws that have shaped the interpretation and application of IPC provisions over the years.

To excel in the Judiciary Exams, knowing the important cases of IPC for Judiciary Exams is crucial. Curious to know which cases you should be focusing on? Don't worry; we've got you covered!

Let's explore some landmark judgments that have significantly impacted our understanding of IPC provisions and are essential for your preparation for the Judiciary Exams.

Why Study Important Cases of IPC for Judiciary Exams?

Studying important cases of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is crucial for anyone preparing for the Judiciary Exams for the following reasons:

  1. Understanding the practical application of the IPC: Studying important cases helps aspirants to understand the practical application of the IPC, which is essential for anyone seeking to become a judge.
  2. Enhancing knowledge of legal concepts: By studying important cases, aspirants can enhance their understanding of legal concepts such as mens rea, actus reus, and other fundamental principles of criminal law.
  3. Gaining insight into judicial reasoning: Studying important cases helps aspirants gain insight into judges' reasoning and how they interpret and apply the IPC in real-world scenarios.
  4. Improving analytical skills: Studying cases requires aspirants to analyze and interpret complex legal issues, improving their analytical skills.
  5. Improving exam scores: Many questions in the Judiciary Exams are based on important cases of the IPC, so studying these cases can significantly improve exam scores.
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List of Important Cases of IPC for Judiciary Exams 2023 

As you embark on your journey to ace the Judiciary Exams 2023, a thorough understanding of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is indispensable.

To achieve this, familiarizing yourself with the important cases of IPC for Judiciary Exams is crucial. These landmark cases have shaped the interpretation and application of IPC provisions and serve as a valuable resource for aspiring legal professionals.

Here are the case laws related to the Indian Penal Code to enhance your preparation for Judiciary.

#1 - Mistake of Fact Can Act as a Good Defence (R vs Tolson Case)

The R vs. Tolson case was a landmark English criminal law case in 1889. It established the "honest and reasonable belief" principle as a defence in certain criminal cases.

The facts of the case are as follows:

  1. The defendant, Sarah Tolson, was a married woman abandoned by her husband in 1881. After receiving no news about him for several years, she believed he was dead.

  2. In 1887, believing her husband was dead, Sarah Tolson remarried another man.

  3. However, in 1888, her first husband reappeared, and she was subsequently charged with bigamy.

  4. At her trial, Sarah Tolson argued that she had an honest and reasonable belief that her first husband was dead at the time of her second marriage.

  5. The court ultimately held that her honest and reasonable belief that her first husband was dead constituted a valid defence, and she was acquitted of the bigamy charge.

The R vs. Tolson case established the principle that an honest and reasonable belief in the existence of certain circumstances, which, if true, would make an action innocent, can be a valid defence in criminal law.

#2 - Mistake of Fact: Bad Defence (R v. Princes (1875) LR 2 CCR 154)

In R v. Princes (1875) LR 2 CCR 154, the accused was charged with unlawfully taking an unmarried girl who was 16 years old against her father's will. The case's key issue was the accused's belief regarding the girl's age.

The accused had a genuine and reasonable belief that the girl was older than 16 years. However, the court found that this belief did not excuse the defendant's actions.

The ruling stated that the abduction was wrongful and immoral, making the defendant's belief in the girl's age-irrelevant. Consequently, the defence was deemed invalid.

#3 - Keso Sahu v. Saligram Shah (1977) Cri LJ 1725

In the case of Keso Sahu v. Saligram Shah (1977) Cri LJ 1725, the accused, Keso Sahu, believed in good faith that the plaintiff, Saligram Shah, was involved in the illegal smuggling of rice. Based on this belief, Keso Sahu took the cart and cartman, which he suspected were being used in the smuggling operation, to the police station.

However, it turned out that Keso Sahu's suspicion was incorrect, and no smuggling occurred at Saligram Shah's house. Despite the mistake, the court held that Keso Sahu acted in good faith, believing that the law justified his actions.

In this case, the defence of mistake of fact was allowed since Keso Sahu genuinely believed that he was acting within the bounds of the law and in the best interest of stopping what he thought was criminal activity.

#4 Accident Case Law: Jogeshwar v. Emperor (24 Cri LJ 789)

In the case of Jogeshwar v. Emperor (24 Cri LJ 789), the accused was involved in an altercation with the victim. During the course of the conflict, the accused struck the first blow, intending to hit the victim.

However, he accidentally hit his wife, holding their 2-month-old child. The blow landed on the child's head, causing the child's death.

The court examined whether Section 80 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) could be applied. Section 80 protects against criminal liability in cases where an act is done by accident, without any criminal intent, and the person performing the act was exercising due caution and care.

In this case, the court held that even though the child was hit accidentally, the act itself was not lawful, nor was it done by lawful means or in a lawful manner. Therefore, Section 80 of the IPC could not be applied to provide the accused with a defence.

The accused was held accountable for the child's death, as the accident occurred while he was engaged in an unlawful act.

Read MoreImportant Judgements for Judiciary Exams

#5 Necessity Case Law (R v. Dudley and Stephens (1884) 14 QBD 273 DC)

The case you're referring to, R v. Dudley and Stephens (1884) 14 QBD 273 DC, involves four people - three adults and one minor - who were stranded at sea after a shipwreck.

They were left without food and water; their food supply had run out 7 days before the storm, and they had been without water for 5 days.

Faced with these dire circumstances, Dudley proposed that they should sacrifice the young boy, who was already weak, to survive. However, Brook, one of the adults, refused to follow this plan.

On the 20th day of being stranded, Dudley and Stephens went ahead and killed the boy without Brook's consent, as the boy was nearing death and had no family.

The three adults fed on the boy's body to stay alive and were rescued four days later. When brought to trial, they tried to use the defence of necessity, arguing that their actions were required for survival.

However, the court rejected this defence, and Dudley and Stephens were found guilty of murder.

#6 Insanity Case Law (Daniel Mc Naughten)

Daniel McNaughten's case is significant and historical in the realm of insanity case law. In 1843, McNaughton, a woodturner from Glasgow, tragically killed Edward Drummond, mistakenly believing he was Sir Robert Peel.

McNaughten was under the delusion that the Tories were persecuting him and had been harbouring this belief for quite some time.

When it came time for his trial, McNaughten's mental state was so unstable that he had to be coaxed and eventually tricked into entering a "not guilty" plea. Throughout the trial, seven witnesses testified to his complete insanity.

After hearing these testimonies, the judge decided to halt the trial. The jury then delivered a special verdict without summing up or retiring, ultimately leading to McNaughten's forced commitment to Bethlem Hospital.

Following this case, five key principles, now known as the McNaughton Rules, were established to guide future cases involving insanity.

Important Case Laws Related to Indian Penal Code

The following are some of the case laws you need to focus on for the Upcoming Judiciary Exams.

Section 76/79: Mistake of Fact

  • The state of Orissa vs Ram Bahadur Thapa
  • The state of Orissa vs. Bhagaban Barik

Section 80: Accident

  • Tunda vs Rex

Section 81: Act of Necessity

  • R vs Dudley

Don't Miss: Most Important Essay Topics for Judiciary Exams

Section 81: Insanity

  • R vs Daniel
  • Queen-Empress vs K. N. Shah
  • Lakshmi vs State
  • Azharuddin Ahmed vs The King

Section 86: Drunkness

  • Shrikant AnandRao Bhosle vs The State of Maharashtra
  • Badusev vs. State of Pepsu
  • Rex vs Maekin
  • Director of Public Prosecutions vs Beard

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Wow, we've covered some truly fascinating cases in the IPC that could potentially show up in your Judiciary Exams. By studying these cases, you'll be better equipped to handle questions related to criminal law and deepen your understanding of the Indian Penal Code. So why not give it a shot and see how it boosts your preparation for the exam?

Frequently Asked Questions

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