Sections 96 to 106 of the Indian Penal Code state the law concerning the right of private defense of person and property. The provisions contained in these sections give authority to an individual to use necessary force against an assailant or wrong-doer for the aim of protecting one’s own body and property as also another’s body and property when immediate aid from the state machinery isn’t readily available; and in so doing he is not answerable in law for his deeds. Self-help is that the primary rule of legal code . The right of personal defense is totally necessary for the protection of one’s life, liberty and property. It is a right inherent during a man. But the sort and amount of force is minutely regulated by law. The use of force to protect one’s property and person is known as the right of private defence.150 years ago, during colonialism, an enthusiastic Macaulay proposed a right of private defense in his draft code with the ambitious project of encouraging a ‘manly spirit’ among the ‘natives’. The ideal Indian would stand his ground within the face of danger and not hesitate to defend his own body or property or that of another. He would respond with defensive force to prevent certain crimes, even to the extent of causing death. As a general idea, the right of personal defense permits individuals to use defensive force which rather be illegal, to debar attacks threatening certain important interests. Like the defense necessarily , the right of private defense authorizes individuals to require the law into their own hands.


The protection of life and property is axiomatic in every civilized society and since it’s impossible for the State to try to to so on every occasion as enforcement officers can’t be omnipresent, the individual is given the proper of personal defense. The right of private defense legally accords to the individuals the proper to require reasonably necessary measures to guard themselves under special circumstances. However, the local courts have overlooked this discretion conferred upon them and instead opted for a far too restrictive (and even unreasonable) interpretation of the provisions to the extent where private defense is hardly adequate as a defense, defeating the intention of the supply .

The inconsistency between the judicial interpretation and therefore the intention of the Code framers is exemplified within the interpretation of “reasonable apprehension” under Sections 100 and 102.

The expression ‘private defense’ that has been utilized within the Indian legal code , 1860, has not been defined therein. Thus, it has been the prerogative of the judiciary to evolve a workable framework for the exercise of the right . Thus in India, the proper of personal defense is that the right to defend the person or property of himself or of the opposite person against an act of another, which if the private defense isn’t pleaded would have amounted to a criminal offense . This right therefore creates an exception to criminal liability. Some of the aspects of the proper of personal defense under the IPC are that no right of self-defense can exist against an unarmed and unoffending individual, the right is available against the aggressor only and it’s only the one that is in imminent danger of person or property and only no state help is out there.


In general, private defense is an excuse for any crime against the person or property. It also applies to the defense of a stranger, and will be used not only against culpable but against innocent aggressors. The defense is allowed only it’s immediately necessary-against threatened violence. A person who acts under a mistaken belief within the need for defense is protected, except that the error must be reasonable. In principle, it should be enough that the force used was actually necessary for defense, albeit the actor didn’t know this; but the law isn’t clear. There is no duty to retreat, as such, but even a defender must wherever possible make plain his desire to withdraw from the combat. The right of private defense isn’t lost by reason of the defender’s having refused to suits unlawful commands.

The force utilized in defense must be not only necessary for the aim of avoiding the attack but also reasonable, i.e. proportionate to the harm threatened; the rule is best stated within the negative form that the force must not be such a cheap man would have regarded it as being out of all proportion to the danger.

The occupier of premises may use necessary and reasonable force to defend them against a trespasser, or one reasonably thought to be a trespasser; and it seems that even a licensee (such as a lodger) can eject trespassing strangers. It is a statutory offense to line spring guns or mantraps, except during a homestead between sunset and sunrise. It has not been decided whether the exception operates to confer an exemption from the standard law of offences against the person. Such defenses as spikes and dogs are lawful if reasonable. Guard dogs must, by statute, be kept under full control, except privately houses or on agricultural land. Thus, we will see the proper of private defense is extremely helpful in giving citizens a weapon which during a case that it’s not misused is subject to certain restrictions, helps them protect their and others’ lives and property.


Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at adv.aishwaryasandeep@gmail.com

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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