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Report No. 29

50. Mens rea modified.-It should also be noted, that the enactments relating to some of the offences under consideration modify the requirements of mens rea, thus standing in contrast with the Indian Penal Code.

51. Analysis of kinds of mens rea.-For the present purpose, it is not necessary to analyse in detail the various special Acts in order to show how the mens rea, i.e. "some blameworthy conditions of mind1" has been modified. But some broad points may be indicated.

While dealing with mens rea, it would be convenient to group2 the various crimes into four classes--

(i) Crimes in which the mens rea3 is found in an intention to commit an illegal act. (General intention).

(ii) Crimes in which a particular intention4 is required (e.g. in English Law, burglary is house-breaking by night with intent to commit a felony).5.

(iii) Crimes in which negligence6 will suffice (e.g. management of vehicles in public streets);

(iv) Crimes in which the requirement of mens rea is reduced to a minimum (i.e. abducting a girl under 16 from her parents, though the girl is believed to be above 16)7.

Cf. Cave J. in Chisholm v. Doulton, (1989) 22 QBD 736 (741).

2. The grouping is based on that given in Stephen Commentaries on the Laws of England, (1950), Vol. 4, pp. 10-12.

3. Stephen's criticism of the expression "mens rea" will be found in "his judgment in R. v. Tolson, (1889) 23 QBD 168 (185, 187).

4. "Knowledge" can also be added. Cf. R. v. Hudson, (1965) 2 WLR 604 (609) (12th March, 1965).

4. Cf. Dobbs, (1770) 2 East PC 583, discussed in Perkins Criminal Law, (1957), p. 672.

6. For the present purpose, it is assumed that negligence is a type of mens rea. For a contrary view, see Glanville Williams, Criminal Law-The General Part, (1961), pp. 102 and 262. For a comprehensive discussion, see P.J. Fitzerald, " Crime, Sin and Negligence, (1963) 79 LQR 351 (361).

7. R. v. Prince, 1875 LR 2 CCR 154.

Proposal to include certain Social and Economic Offences in the Indian Penal Code Back

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