Ignorantia Facti Excusat and Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat

Ignorantia facti excusat is a Latin maxim which literary means ignorance of a fact or a mistake of a fact is an excuse. This maxim can be applied to civil as well as criminal jurisprudence. According to this maxim, a person will be excluded from civil or criminal liability if he/ she was ignorant of relevancy of the fact and circumstances or else did a wrongful act which they didn’t intended to an unlawful consequences.

Chiranji Vs. State
In this case, the appellant Chiranji who is a widower, and had abscess in his leg killed his 12 years old son by mistakenly thinking it was a tiger. He and his son went to hillock to gather ‘siadi’ leaves and over there he fell on a stone and sustained injuries due to which he became insane and when his son came near to him he killed him by mistakenly thinking of it as a tiger. He was incapable of knowing the nature of his act. The appellate court held that he was not guilty as he had no intension of committing wrong because he believed in good faith at the time of attack that the object of the assault was not a human being but a magic tiger.

Section 79 in The Indian Penal Code
Act done by a person justified, or by mistake of fact believ­ing himself justified, by law.—Nothing is an offence which is done by any person who is justified by law, 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 justified by law, in doing it.

There are different types of law in India like family law, contract law, law of tort, labour law, tax law, administrative law, procedural law, criminal law procedure, civil law procedure etc. And we are made to follow these laws. If anyone ignores the law shall be held liable.
Ignorantia juris non excusat maxim is originated from ancient Roman law which literary means ignorance of a law or a lack of knowledge of these laws is not an excuse. It implies that the court presumes that every party is aware of the law. Hence cannot claim ignorance of the law as a defence to escape liability. The notion of legal literacy is based on the principle that every individual must be aware of their rights and obligations.
Mistakes of law are of two type. Mistake of Indian law and mistake of foreign law. Mistake of Indian law and foreign law are treated differently. If the mistake of Indian law is done then the liability of the person cannot be avoided as ignorance of law is not an excuse. As of foreign law it is treated differently.

Section 76 in The Indian Penal Code
Act done by a person bound, or by mistake of fact believing himself bound, by law.—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.

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.

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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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