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Right of Private Defense

Things done in private defence

Nothing is an offence, which is done in the exercise of the right of private defence. In order to find out whether the right of private defence existed or not the entire incident should be examined with care and in its proper setting. The injuries received by the accused, the imminent threat to his safety, the injuries caused by the accused and the circumstances whether the accused had time to have recourse to public authorities are all relevant factors to be considered on a plea of private defence. There are also some limitations on the right of private defence of person or property, they are:

  • that if there is sufficient time for recourse to public authorities, the right is not available,
  • that more harm than that is necessary should not be caused,
  • that there must be a reasonable apprehension of death or grievous hurt or hurt to the person or damage to the property concerned.


The court would first find out whether the right of private defence existed or not and consider the case in its proper setting, then only would it decide the punishment.

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