SC: The ingredient of mens rea cannot be assumed to be ostensibly present

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 1st October 2020, in the matter of Gurcharan Singh v. The State of Punjab  pronounced that in order to prove mens rea, there has to be something on record to establish or show that the accused had a guilty mind. The ingredient of mens rea cannot be assumed to be ostensibly present but has to be visible and conspicuous.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

Whenever a person instigates or intentionally aids by any act or illegal omission, the doing of a thing, a person can be said to have abetted in doing that thing. (Para 14)

As in all crimes, mens rea has to be established. To prove the offence of abetment, as specified under Sec 107 of the IPC, the state of mind to commit a particular crime must be visible, to determine the culpability. In order to prove mens rea, there has to be something on record to establish or show that the accused had a guilty mind and in furtherance of that state of mind, abetted the suicide of the deceased. The ingredient of mens rea cannot be assumed to be ostensibly present but has to be visible and conspicuous. (Para 15)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_01-Oct-2020

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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