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Section 84 IPC – mental illness defence Schizophrenia – Appeal allowed – Madras Hi

Criminal Appeal (MD)No.313 of 2017 – Kumar @ Selvakumar (Sole Accused) vs. State by The Inspector of Police, Shencottai Police Station, Tirunelveli District – dt:24.10.2019 – Justice S.VAIDYANATHAN & Justice N.ANAND VENKATESH, JJ[PRE-DELIVERY JUDGMENT MADE IN Crl.A(MD)No.313 of 2017].

Section 84 IPC explained in this case. This is the case of section 302 and the Trial Court has held the sole accused as guilty of offence and sentenced him for Life and to pay a sum of rs.500/- despite the sole accused took the defence and successfully proved “SCHIZOPHRENIA which is one of the type of mental illness. Hon’ble Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) while deciding this appeal took much pain on explaining section 84 IPC and the presumption follows thereof.

Hon’ble Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) after relying many judgments on this line and applied the same in this appeal confirm the mental illness of the accused caused due to “SCHIZOPHRENIA and further acquitting him from section 302 IPC.

Not only with that, Hon’ble Madras High Court after acquitting the sole accused from the charges levelled against him directed the wife/family members of the appellant to monitor and take of him and not to allow him to cause any injury to third parties. Also, the Hon’ble Madras Division Bench has directed that proper medication shall be given to the appellant for his mental illness and in case of any difficulty, the same be immediately brought to the knowledge of the police authorities, who shall take the appellant for treatment to the Government Hospital which includes admission, if any, required as per the advice of the Medical Officers.

Further the Madras High Court has given some guidelines and observations on mental illness and caretakers in which some are as follows:

Above all, the caretakers shall be aware of their own safety and trust their instincts when caring for someone with a severe mental illness. If they ever feel threatened or unsafe, it is important that they shall remove themselves (and any children) from danger straight away. They can always call emergency services from somewhere else if they need to get help immediately.
Lastly, but not least, the caretakers/attendors of such patients must create a second line to ensure that even in their short absence, the next person in the line is able to afford the same care and attention to the patients, so that, the patients do not feel that they are ignored and isolated.
Considering the nature of psychological illness being suffered by the appellant, we direct the wife/family members of the appellant to monitor and take care of him and not to allow him to cause any injury to third parties. Further, we direct that proper medication shall be given to the appellant for his mental illness and in case of any difficulty, the same shall be immediately brought to the knowledge of the police authorities, who shall take the appellant for treatment to the Government Hospital, Tirunelveli, including admission, if any, required as per the advice of the Medical Officers. This will ensure that no untoward incident takes place on the act of the appellant as he has been suffering from schizophrenia.

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