Indian Penal Code (IPC)
Section 96. Things done in private defence
Nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of the right of private defence.
The fraternity of the non-gazetted employees, who were on strike, sought to make fun of the complainant, who was a loyalists co-worker and was not participating in the strike. The fun was in the nature of having taken a photograph of the loyalist worker with a garland of shoes around his neck. The photograph was neither shown to the complainant nor published. In a prosecution under section 504 against the accused for having insulted the complainant, the submission was made on behalf of the accused that the triviality of the act with a view to befooling a member of the fraternity should operate as a bar to the wrong alleged. The plea was not sustained and it was held that the complainant had been subjected to indignity although the Court took a lenient view of the matter by merely admonishing the accused; Kishori Mohan v. State of Bihar, 1976 Cri LJ 654.
Private defence: object
(i) In judging whether accused has exceeded his right to private defence or not the court has to take into account the weapons used; Madan Mohan Pandey v. State of Uttar Pradesh, (1991) Cr LJ 467 (SC).
(ii) The defence version regarding accused acting in self defence was liable to be proved by accused; Rasikbhai Ram Singh Rana v. State of Gujarat, 1999 (1) Guj CR 176.
(iii) Where the right of private defence is pleaded, the defence must be a reasonable and probable version satisfying the cast that the harm caused by the accused was necessary for either warding off the attack or for forestalling the further reasonable apprehension from the side of the accused. The burden of establishing the plea of self-defence is on the accused and the burden stands discharged by showing preponderance of probabilities in favour of that plea on the basis of the material on record; Rizan v. State of Chattisgarh, AIR 2003 SC 976.
Right to private defence
(i) The accused is not required to prove the plea of private defence of person beyond reasonable manner of doubt. The onus on the accused is only to show that the defence version is probable one which is reflected from the salient features and the circumstances in the prosecution case itself; Sawai Ram v. State of Rajasthan, (1997) 2 Crimes 148 (Raj).
(ii) Divergent views expressed by court where prosecution failed to explain the injuries sustained by accused in same occurrence. Hence referred to larger Bench; Ram Sunder Yadav v. State of Bihar, 1999 Cr LJ 3671 (SC).