Insanity Defence: An Escape Route for Criminals

This blog is written by Snigdha Sharma,


Lovely Professional University


The Indian legal system governs and takes care of the world’s largest democracy. When the legal system has to deal with a wide variety of races, castes, classes and various other social distinctions, it becomes very difficult to make such a law which accommodates the needs of everybody. That is the reason many of our laws become vulnerable and the guilty take advantage of it, to let themselves go scot-free. One such contention can be seen under the Indian penal code which is known as insanity as a defence. Insanity as a defence can be described as that a person cannot be held guilty or accountable if he is not of sound mind. It is a necessary legal principle which ensures that a person who is of unsound mind and cannot comprehend the consequences of his or he actions should not be punished. However, for some people, this has become a get-out-of-jail-free card, as those people who are not of unsound mind commit their crimes and hide behind the veil of insanity as a defence. It is common knowledge amongst most of the populace how unsoundness of mind is used to get out of the clutches of law. This research paper seeks to question whether the various measures taken to avoid the misuse of this section are sufficient in themselves. This research paper also seeks to prove and find many other alternative measures or tests which might prove much more efficient than the present scenario. We can also draw comparisons with other countries and take insight into their understanding of insanity as a defence.


Insanity defence, legal and medical insanity, M’Naghten principle, legal tests

Research Methodology

To answer the objectives of the research I’ve used historical method, scientific method, empirical method and evaluative method. The critical analysis of the defence of insanity has also been incorporated. For the completion of my research mainly I’ve used primary sources in which books, IPC, literature, and cases.

laws have been used. In secondary sources, I’ve focused on journals, articles and research papers and besides this, I’ve explored this topic on SCC online, Manupatra, Lexis Nexus, Jstor and AIR online. To arrive at a meaningful discussion, only relevant articles were selected for the review.

Read this full Blog here: Insanity Defence


I am a law graduate. I have done my BSc in Maths, after that I move to the law side and completed my LLB from the Shoolini University, Solan, Himachal Pradesh. Now I m doing law practice in the court. This is my first blog and I love to share my knowledge with the people. Keep visiting.

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