IGNORANTIA FACTI EXCUSAT, IGNORANTIA JURIS NON EXCUSAT

Ignorantia facti excusat , ignorantia juris non excusat is a Latin maxim where it means Ignorance of the fact excuses; ignorance of the law excuses not. The maxim is often cited as Ignorantia legis [or juris] neminem excusat.
The above maxim has been further explained by a simple example, where in first, money paid with full knowledge of the facts, but through ignorance of the law, is not recoverable if there be nothing against conscience in retaining it (ignorant juris not excusat) and, secondly, money paid in ignorance of the facts is recoverable, provided there have been no laches in the party paying it.(ignorantian facti excusat).
Therefore, this maxim applies in criminal cases, particularly to MISTAKE under Criminal law that is, sec -76 and sec- 79 of IPC,1860.
Mistake under IPC is covered under the following Sections of the Indian Penal Code:
Section 76.Act done by a person bound ,or by mistake of fact believing himself bound, by law. —Nothing is an offense which is done by a person who is, or who by reason of a mistake of fact and not by reason of a mistake of law in good faith believes himself to be, bound by law to do it.
Section 79. Act done by a person justified, or by mistake of fact believing himself justified, by law.—Nothing is an offense which is done by any person who is justified by law, or who by reason of a mistake of fact and not by reason of a mistake of law in good faith, believes himself to be justified by law, in doing it.
According to Russel, mistake would be a mistake if;
• If the act is justified on the basis of the state things believed to exist, if true
• That the mistake must be reasonable
• The mistake must relate to fact and not to law
The principle ”ignorance of law is no excuse”, which implies that it is not open to a wrongdoer to plead ignorance of law as a shield to avoid criminal responsibility, is based on the ground that everybody is presumed, rather duty bound, to know the law. Ignorance of those things, which one is bound to know, therefore, does not excuse him .Therefore, a mistake of law, reasonable or unreasonable, even in good faith, does not operate as an exonerating factor. However, it may operate as a mitigating factor. However, the legal fiction that ignorantia juris non excusat is justified in the public interest. If ignorance of law is admitted as an exonerating factor, it can be argued, every accused will take the plea of mistake of law as a defence and it will be difficult for prosecution to refute it and to show affirmatively that the accused knew the law in question.
It is also significant to note that some of the penal statutes have relieved themselves from rigorous application of the maxim ignorantia juri non excusat by making some inroads in its operation for example, the American Model Penal Code 1962; the Draft German Penal code 1962 etc. allow in the indicated circumstances that mistake of law as a good defence.
Mistake of law, as perceived in India, takes into its ambit both mistake as to the existence of any law on a relevant subject, as well as mistake as to what the law is (King Emperor v Tustipada). Mistake of law, even in good faith, is not defence (Mohammad Ali v Sri Ram Swarup) .It will nevertheless, may operate as a mitigating factor. However, if a statute provides that certain knowledge-involving element of law on the part of the accused is an essential ingredients of the offence, mistake of law, in good faith, may be good defence to a charge of criminal offence. Where the law prescribes a particular mode of its publication and that mode is not followed, ignorance of law will be a good defence. But if there is no such special mode of publication prescribed, the publication in the Government Gazette will be deemed to be enough publication to exclude the plea of ignorance of the law.
Ignorance of fact is an excuse as it precludes the accused from forming the required mens rea. It negatives the existence of mens rea. Mistake must be of material facts, i.e. facts essential to constitute the offence allegedly committed by the accused. He must be absolutely ignorant of the real circumstances of the case which makes his act an offence (King Emperor v.Ttustipada).
Where a fact is unknown to the accused, his conduct must not be taken to be the intention with regard to it., for instance, A fires bullet into a bush where, unknown to him, B is hiding and the bullet kills B. It is true that A fired intention into the bush, but he is not liable as he did not fire intentionally at B, there is actus rea but no mens rea. So also, N, a nurse in a hospital, gives P, a patient, a liquid thinking it to be a medicine, in fact; it is poison. N is not guilty of murder, for she did not intend to give poison. However, where the act of the accused is in itself wrong, although not criminal, the ignorance on his part of the circumstances which makes the act criminal is no defence.
Under section 79, IPC, though an act is not justified by law, yet if it is done under the bona fide belief and in good faith that it is justified by law, then it will not be an offence (Deep sahu v Saligram).So when an accused,under a bona fide mistake of fact ,mistook a human being in the jungle as a wild animal at night and killed the person, then the accused was not held liable (State of Orissa v Khora Ghasi).
Ignorantia facti doth excusat, however, is subject to two reservations. First, mistake of fact cannot be successfully pleaded when responsible inquiry would have elicited the true facts. Secondly, it cannot be accepted as a plea, when an actus is made reus without reference to mens rea of the doer.

Ms. Shalini Singh
2nd year, (BBA, LLB.4th semester) 18LW2A1044

BIO-TERRORISM

INTRODUCTION

Bio-terrorism is defined as a planned or destructive use of biological agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi or toxins produced from that embodies the properties of life. This phony use of pathogenic strains of micro-organisms spread lethal diseases on a large scale with the aim to destroy or ruin the population of an area. The threats bio weapons pose to public health is the foundation that law provides for effective public health activities. Bio-terrorism can cause immense panic and fear in the population and create civil disruption in the shortest possible time. Public order would be jeopardized.

ANTIQUITY OF BIOWARFARE

During 14th century BC Hittites send rams infected with tularemia to their enemies which is marked as the first bio warfare in the history of mankind, however smallpox was considered the most effective biological weapon in the colonial times. By the 20th century, the use of biological warfare became more sophisticated. It was the main ammunition for World War I (1914 – 11) and II (1939 – 45)

LAW AND BIOTERRORISM

The most important legal aspects that govern bio-terrorism are BWC [Biological weapons convention] and CWC [Chemicals weapons convention]. The code on the prohibition of the development, production and stockpiling of bacteriological and toxic weapons and on their destruction, commonly known as the biological weapons convention. The BWC undertook “never in any circumstances to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain microbial or other biological agents or toxins whatever their origin or method of production”. The CWC comprises of a preamble, 24 articles and 3 annexes. The convention aims to eliminate an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. A unique feature of the Convention is its incorporation of the ‘challenge inspection’, whereby any State Party in doubt about another State Party’s compliance can request a surprise inspection. The BWC came into force on 1972 followed by CWC on 1993, however the first ever regulation on bio warfare was put down by The Geneva Protocol 1925

THE GENEVA PROTOCOL 1925

The Geneva protocol was formulated based on biological or chemical warfare instances of which have been reported since antiquity. It prohibits “the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous, or other gases and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices” and also “extends this prohibition to the use of bacteriological methods of warfare”. This law is now chronic in the international level and are therefore binding even on states that are not parties to it.

CONCLUSION

Civilian populations are vulnerable to deliberate releases of biological and chemical agents. Full and complete implementation of the 1972 and 1993 Conventions is therefore an objective that needs continual affirmation and national support.

ASTEL JOSEPH, 4th SEMESTER, BBALLB

RAPE – “A NEVER ENDING STRESS”

“We are living in a country where government changes currency overnight but no rules make against rapist”.

“Nirbhaya Convicts executed. After 7 years of wait, Justice delivered to India’s daughter”. “Asha Devi, the mother of the 23- year old Nirbhaya, finally succeeded in getting justice for her daughter after fighting a long legal battle of more than seven years”.


These are the recent words popping up in the social media when the convicts of Nirbhaya rape were hanged and executed. Sexual abuse, maltreatment and harassment over women are increasing threats in the violation of female freedom to live and to express. The legal definition of rape has changed substantially since the late 20th century. Even though there are cases where same gender involve in the crime of rape, often it is male found committing violence against female. Moreover it is found that such abuses and harassment is also take place through social media and a lot many supporting points to be added in the list describing rape.

These are common Knowledge, everyone understands. The new and painful are to be added here…When I hear that devastating word of four letters; ‘RAPE’, the immediate image that forms before me is about dis-forming a life style of a person; tearing down the dreams of that particular victim, to burn down the wings of a flying bird reaching success, to kill the smiles of those Parents of the victim. And that, all in a minute to stop every hard work and every happiness.

What does the law say?

A ‘rape’ charge under the Section 375 Indian Penal Code has two parts:

 Non-consensual penetration of any orifice (vagina, anus, mouth, urethra) in a woman by a man, OR,

 Non-consensual touching of any orifice with the mouth. This is not restricted to having sex. Forcing a woman to do this to herself, or with someone else, is also rape.

The court will decide that these acts are rape if:

 It happens without her consent, or

 She agrees, but only because she, or someone she knows is in danger, or

 She agrees, but because she thinks the accused person is her husband, or

 She agrees, but she is drugged, or drunk, or mentally ill, or

 She is under 18 – then it does not matter if she agreed or not, or

 She is in no position to indicate whether she agreed or not – for example, if she is unconscious.Consent has been clearly defined as a clear, voluntary communication that the woman agrees to the specific sex act, leaving no room for debate. It also makes it clear that absence of physical injuries is immaterial for deciding consent.

Punishment for Crime of rape and murder

During a rape if the accused injuries the women so badly that she dies or goes into a vegetative state, he can be given the death sentence or jailed for life.

For Gang rape

REPEAT OFFENDERS.

The law section 376E IPC allows the death sentence to be imposed where a person is convicted for a second time for:

1. Rape or

2. Rape causing death or resulting in permanent vegetative state or

 3. Gang rape.

Knowing that this is never going to end and hardly some actions can come to ease the lives of many victims, we still move on hoping for better days to come. There is not a few who go through, only because their’s are revealed and brought into limelight. There are many unknown and unspoken, may be someone from our family was a victim or someone from our kin was a culprit we will never know. These are feelings which are indeed difficult to give a relief, these are taken into debates and hot talks but there is no conclusion to it. Everyone prays, yearns for its end.

At last justice is delivered…….may her soul rest in peace…”

– By ADISHA P ALEXANDER, 4TH SEMESTER, BBA LLB

The champions of YMCA- Kristu Jayanti College of Law

Within 3 years of its existence Kristu Jayanti College of Law made it big by bagging the first place at YMCA inter collegiate model parliament competition. On September 20, 2019, A team of 35 participants from Kristu Jayanti College of Law were selected to take part in the 35th annual YMCA inter collegiate model parliament competition.

The competition began in the morning on September 20, with various law colleges, as well as degree colleges actively participating in the YMCA competition.

YMCA Model Parliament Competition aims at breaking the stereotypical idea of Indian Parliament and encourages the young participants to showcase a better functioning and peaceful model parliament.

The 35 participants were dressed like politicians. Their speaking and act came to life with the commencement of the competition as they delivered their talks with utmost perfection.

It was a moment of pride when Riya Dwivedi of III yr BBA LLB bagged the title of the best prime minister. That was not all, Jopsy Elsa George was declared as the best opposition leader, and the best marshals for the day were Sahil Kumar Gupta, of III Yr BBA LLB, Hannah of IIyr BA LLB, Sanjay and Ananth of Iyr BBA LLB respectively.

This was a surreal experience as we defeated all the other teams to bag the number one spot in the 35th YMCA model parliament competition.

We are extremely thankful to all the faculty members who helped us to make this dream a reality.

Special thanks to Rev. Fr. Dr. Augustine George, and Father Emmanuel P.J for their unending support throughout.

Kudos to KJCL for being the best…

David M Thomas

I Year BA, LLB