Self-defense is a countermeasure that involves defending the health and well-being of oneself from harm. The use of the right of self-defense as a legal justification for the use of force in times of danger is available in many jurisdictions. Rape, molestation, and eve-teasing are common forms of crime against women in India. These kinds of crimes usually happen in unknown surroundings and abandoned areas. Thus it is important for people to be vigilant and alert of their surroundings.
Self-defense techniques prepare you to fight rather than freeze. Here are some basic preventive measures you must undertake in order to save yourself from disguised goons:
- You should note down the number of the cab when traveling alone. You can also call up someone and dictate the cab number out loud to alert and invoke fear in the mind of the cab driver. You can also share your live location with your family/friends
- Shouting and calling out for help is always helpful. But carry a whistle with you. So in case, you get trapped in a lonely area and you feel your voice won’t reach till far, you can always blow a whistle and attract attention.
- Carry any sharp object or pepper spray.
- If you feel you are being followed or catch someone staring at you, call them out loudly in public and attract everyone’s attention.
Let me explain it to you in the most generalized form.
The Indian penal code provides for exceptions/defenses to a person charged with murder or any other offense relating to bodily harm. These exceptions inter alia are involuntary intoxication, insanity, self-defense, sudden provocation, etc.
Now, your question relates to what can be categorized under self-defense.
The penal law in India provides to every individual governed by the laws in India a right to self-defense i.e. A right to defend one’s self against any attack by another. However, what is of prime importance is that the force used in self-defense must be proportional to the intensity of the attack.
Eg. A attacks B with a knife with an intention to kill him. B, while defending himself kills A to save himself. B has exercised the right to self-defense.
Eg. A pushes B and slaps him several times. B hits back and injures A. B exercised the right to self-defense.
Eg. A pushes B and slaps him several times. B, while defending himself kills A. Although B exercised the right to self-defense, he inflicted an injury disproportional to the intensity of attack inflicted by A. B will be charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder. It is of prime importance to bear in mind that certain factors like the intention of the attacker, intention of the defender, the intensity of the attack, etc all have to be considered before the court grants acquittal to a person claiming such defense. These defenses can be taken at the time of trial and to a large extent depend on the facts and circumstances of each case.
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