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Private defence, also known as self-defence, refers to the right of individuals to protect themselves, their property, or others from immediate harm or unlawful attacks. It means that if someone is in danger or being attacked, they have the legal right to defend themselves using reasonable force to prevent further harm. For example, if someone tries to harm you physically or break into your house, you can take necessary actions to protect yourself or your property. However, it’s important to remember that the force used should be proportionate to the threat and not excessive. Private defence is a recognized right under the law, allowing individuals to safeguard themselves and others in situations where there is an imminent risk to their safety or property.
Sec. 96, 97, 99, 100, 101and 102 P.P.C
DEFINITIONS OF SELF DEFENCE:
Here are definitions of self-defense provided by famous jurists and dictionaries:
Black’s Law Dictionary:
“Self-defense is the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or one’s property from injury or damage when faced with an immediate threat or danger.”
William Blackstone (English Jurist, 18th century):
“Self-defense is justifiable where the injury attempted is a felony or a violent breach of the peace, or if there is reasonable apprehension of such injury, and there is no other probable means of avoiding it.”
Roscoe Pound (American Jurist, 20th century):
“Self-defense is the right to repel force by force when one reasonably believes that they or another person is in imminent danger of bodily harm or unlawful interference.”
Bouvier’s Law Dictionary:
“Self-defense is the right to protect one’s person, property, or rights against attempted injury by another.”
John Salmond (English Jurist, 20th century):
“Self-defense is the right to resist force by force in order to prevent an unlawful invasion حملہ of one’s person or property.”
American Heritage Dictionary:
“Self-defense is the act of defending oneself, one’s property, or another person against physical harm or threat using necessary force.”
Things Done In Private Defence U/S 96.
Nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of the right of private defence.
KINDS OF SELF-DEFENCE:
Following are types of self defence :
- Right Of Self Defence Of Body
- Right Of Self Defence Of Property
Right of Self Defence Of Body:
The right of self-defense of the body refers to the legal right individuals have to protect themselves from immediate فوری harm or danger to their physical well-being. It means that if someone is being physically attacked or threatened with violence, they have the right to use reasonable force to defend themselves.
Right of Self Defence Of Property:
It means the legal right of individuals to protect their property from unlawful intrusion دراندازی or damage using reasonable force. In simple terms, if someone tries to unlawfully enter or harm your property, you have the right to defend it within certain limits.
Right of Private Defence of The Body And of Property U/S 97:
According to Section 97 of PPC, Every person has a right, subject to the restrictions contained in section 99, to defend:
- A person has the right to defend their own body and the body of others against any crime that harms or poses a threat to the human body.
- You have the right to defend your own property or someone else’s property against certain offenses like theft, robbery, mischief فساد, or criminal trespass. This includes acts of actually committing those offenses or attempting to commit them. You can take action to protect the property, whether it is something you own or belongs to another person.
Right of Private Defence Against The Person of Unsound Mind:
If someone commits an act that would normally be considered a specific offense but is not classified as such due to their young age, lack of understanding, mental instability, intoxication, or a misconception on their part, then every person still has the right to defend themselves against that act. This means that individuals have the same right to protect themselves as they would if the act were actually considered the offense in question.
In simpler terms, if someone does something that would usually be a crime but is not held accountable because they are young, lack understanding, have mental health issues, are intoxicated, or have a misunderstanding, others still have the right to defend themselves as if it were actually a crime. It ensures that individuals can protect themselves in such situations, even if the person committing the act is not legally responsible for it.
- Z, under the influence of madness, attempts to kill A ; Z is guilty of no offence. But A has the same right of private defence which he would have if Z were sane.
(b) A enters by night a house which he is legally entitled to enter. Z, in good faith, taking A for a housebreaker, attacks A. Here Z, by attacking A under this misconception, commits no offence. But A has the same right of private defence against Z, which he would have if Z were not acting under that misconception.
Acts Against Which There is No Right of Private Defence U/S-99:
- You are not allowed to defend yourself privately against an act that does not reasonably make you fear serious injury or death. This applies if the act is carried out or attempted by a public servant who is acting in good faith under the authority of their position, even if their actions may not be completely lawful.
- You do not have the right to defend yourself privately against an act that does not reasonably make you fear serious injury or death. This applies if the act is done or attempted under the direction of a public servant who is acting in good faith under the appearance of their position, even if their direction may not be completely lawful.
- There is no right to private defense in situations where you have enough time to seek help or protection from the public authorities. In such cases, it is better to rely on the assistance provided by the authorities instead of taking matters into your own hands.
WHEN THE RIGHT OF PRIVATE DEFENCE OF THE BODY EXTENDS TO CAUSING DEATH U/S 100.
The right to defend oneself extends to causing the death or any other harm to the attacker. This right can be exercised if the offense that prompts the self-defense falls into any of the following categories:
- An assault that could reasonably result in death.
- An assault that could reasonably result in severe injury.
- An assault with the intention of committing rape.
- An assault with the intention of engaging in unnatural sexual acts.
- An assault with the intention of kidnapping or abducting.
- An assault with the intention of unlawfully confining a person, under circumstances that could reasonably make them believe they won’t be able to seek help from the authorities to be released.
In simpler terms, you have the right to defend yourself, including causing harm or even death to your attacker, if you reasonably believe that the attack falls into any of the mentioned categories. This allows you to protect yourself from situations that could lead to severe harm or danger.
Case Law (2004 YLR LAH 2320(b)
It was held that sec 100 being subject to sec 99, and cannot be read in isolation from 99 PPC
Commencement ابتدا And Continuance of The Right of Private Defence of Body S.102:
The right to defend oneself begins when there is a reasonable fear of harm to the body due to an attempt or threat to commit a crime, even if the crime hasn’t actually been committed yet. This right remains in effect as long as the fear of bodily harm continues.
In simpler terms, you have the right to protect yourself as soon as you reasonably believe that there is a threat to your physical safety, even if the actual crime hasn’t occurred. This right remains valid as long as you genuinely feel that your body is in danger.
Conditions For Exercising Right of Self Defence:
Following condition must be fulfilled in order to exercise the right of self defence.
(i)The accused must be free from fault in bringing about the encounter.
(ii)There must be present impending آنے والا ہے risk to life or great bodily harm either real or so apparent as to create honest belief of an existing necessity.
(iii)There must be not safe or reasonable mode of escapable by retreat.
(iv) There must have been a necessity for life taking.
Burdon of Proof:
In cases of self-defense, the burden of proof rests on the person claiming self-defense. They must provide evidence to convince the court that their actions were justified and that they reasonably believed they were in immediate فوری danger. The accused must demonstrate that their use of force was necessary and proportionate to protect themselves or others. The exact burden of proof and legal requirements may vary.
Case Law (2002 SCMR 1425)
It was held that when a specific plea of self defence is raised, the burden to prove the same laid upon the party claiming the same.
In summary, the right of private defense grants individuals the ability to protect themselves and others from harm or imminent danger. It should be exercised with caution, using reasonable and proportionate force. Understanding the specific circumstances and consulting legal professionals is essential to ensure a proper understanding of this right.