‘A’ an officer of a Court of Justice, being ordered by that Court to arrest ‘B’ and after due inquiry, believing ‘C’ to be ‘B’ arrest C. Whether ‘A’ has committed any offence Decide.

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Answer:

The arrest of C believing him as B by ‘A’, an officer of a Court of Justice does not constitute any offence, as it is the defence of mistake of fact u/s 76 of the Indian Penal Code.

 

As per Sec. 76 – ‘Nothing is an offence 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’.

 

The essentials of mistake of fact are as follows –

 

  1. The act must be done by a person who is bound by law in doing that; or

 

  1. The act must be done by a person who believes himself to be bound by law in doing that;

 

iii. The belief must be by reason of a mistake of fact and not by reason of a mistake of law i.e., mistake must relate to fact and not to law;

 

  1. The person doing the act must believe in good faith i.e. belief must be a bonafide one in good faith.

 

Mistake of fact is a justifiable defence against criminal liability. Law excuses the crime committed out of Mistake of fact.

 

Thus, if a person, in good faith and believing himself to be justified in doing so, and due to mistake of fact commits a wrong, it is not on offence. Here, the offender should be bound by the law to do the act.

 

The illustration (b) to Sec. 76 is as below – If A arrests Z instead of Y, by mistake under the order of the Court in good faith, he is not liable for any offence.

 

Due to the above provision of law and illustration, A has not committed any offence.

Last Updated On January 30, 2018
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