Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Notes on provisions regarding accused person of unsound mind

S 328 of CRPC(amended by amendment Act 2008 with effect from 31-12-2009)
Procedure in case of  accused being lunatic:-
1) When a Magistrate holding an inquiry has reason to believe that the person against whom the inquiry is being held is of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence , the Magistrate shall inquire into the fact of such unsoundness of mind and shall cause such person to be examined by Civil Surgeon or other medical officer of district and thereupon shall examine such surgeon or other officer as a witness and shall reduce the examination to writing.
(1-A) If civil surgeon finds accused to be of unsound mind,he shall refer such person to a psychiatrist for care and treatment and psychiatrist shall inform Magistrate whether accused is suffering from unsoundness of mind or mental retardation:

Provided that if accused is aggrieved by information given by psychiatrist to the magistrate,he may prefer an appeal before medical board.
2) Pending such examination and inquiry,magistrate may deal with such person in accordance with provisions of S 330 of CRPC.
3)If such magistrate is informed that the person referred to in sub s (1-A) is a person of unsound mind,magistrate shall further determine whether  unsoundness of mind renders the accused incapable of entering defence and if the accused is found so incapable,magistrate shall record a finding to that effect,and shall examine the record of evidence produced by prosecution and after hearing advocate of accused but without questioning the accused,if he finds that no prima facie case is made out against the accused,he shall instead of postponing the enquiry,discharge the accused and deal with him in the manner provided U/S 330 of CRPC;
Provided that if magistrate finds that a prima facie case is made out against the accused in respect of whom a finding of unsoundness of mind is arrived at,he shall postpone the proceeding for such period,as in the opinion of psychiatrist is required for treatment of accused,and order the accused to be dealt with as provided U/S 330.
4) If such magistrate is informed that the person referred to in subsection(1-A) is a person with mental retardation,magistrate shall further determine whether mental retardation renders accused incapable of entering defence,and if accused is found so incapable,magistrate shall order closure of inquiry and deal with accused in the manner provided U/S 330.
S 329.Procedure in case of person of unsound mind tried before court is similar as mentioned above.
S 330 Release of person of unsound mind pending investigation or trial.
1) Whenever a person if found U/S 328 or S 329 to be incapable of entering defence by reason of unsoundness of  mind or mental retardation,the magistrate or court may release accused on bail:
Provided that the accused  is taking treatment as out patient and his relative is taking his care.
2) If bail can not be granted or if undertaking is not given,accused shall be kept in place where he can be given regular  medical treatment and court shall report this fact to state government.
Accused can be sent to mental hospital as per mental health Act 1987.
S 331. Resumption of inquiry or trial:-
1) Inquiry or trial shall be resumed if accused has ceased to be person of unsound mind.

S 332.Procedure on accused appearing before court or magistrate:-
If accused is still incapable,inquiry will be again postponed.
S 333.When accused appears to have been of sound mind:- magistrate shall commit case to session court if prima facie case is against accused.
S 334. Judgment of acquittal on ground of unsoundness of mind:- Whenever any person is acquitted upon the ground that at the time at which he is alleged to have committed an offence, he was,by reason of unsoundness of mind incapable of knowing the nature of act alleged as constituting the offence,or that it was wrong or contrary to law,the finding shall state specifically whether he committed the act or not.
S 335. Person acquitted on such ground to be detained in safe custody
Whenever finding states that accused person has committed the offence alleged,but he is acquitted by reason of unsoundness of mind,accused shall be detained in safe custody or handed over to relatives on furnishing security or sent to  mental hospital.
S 84 of IPC:- Act of person of unsound mind
Nothing is an offence which is done by a person who at the time of doing it,by reason of unsoundness of mind is incapable of knowing the nature of the act,or that he is doing what is either wrong or contrary to law.

Read important judgments on accused person of unsound mind : Click here

Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 has come in force on May 29, 2018-Its notification


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