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This is based on the Drishyam Bollywood movie


Suppose a boy made an MMS video of a girl taking a bath, and then asked of her sexual favours, with a threat to circulate the video otherwise. Next, the girl didn't budge so he called her mother in front of her, threatening with all above.

Suppose the girl, in a fit of rage, hit that boy, not with the intention of murder, and the boy died.


Given proof of the above, including the intentions of the participants, what punishment should be given to the girl as per the natural law, if she is pronounced guilty?

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    What crime has she been pronounced guilty of?
    – bdb484
    Jan 22 at 0:25

3 Answers 3

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Natural law does not prescribe particular punishments, that only comes from statutory law. Under Indian law, this would seem to be a violation of IPC 304a, "causing death by negligence". There is no intent to cause great injury, indeed it is a complete mystery why the boy died. The penalty is up to two years imprisonment and a fine. There are more details in IPC 300, focusing on intent to kill under extreme provocation, but the required intent is lacking here. The courts may be lenient, having considered surrounding circumstances, and sentence her to less than the maximum punishment.

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Suppose a boy made an MMS video of a girl taking bath and then asked her of sexual favours with a threat to circulate the video otherwise

This is Voyeruism IPC 254c, and Sexual Harrasment IPC 354A.

Next the girl didn't budge so he called her mother in front of her threatening with all the above.

This is also sexual harassment.

Suppose the girl, in a fit of rage hit that boy, not with the intention of murder, and the boy died.

No guilt here, if the fit of rage happened while he was threatening - that's self-defense and without punishment. In fact, you can't even charge assault, because Assault under IPC 352 explicitly says it does not apply to grave provocation. So the more specialized IPC 358 applies:

Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person on grave and sudden provocation given by that person, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both.ExplanationsThe last section is subject to the same explanation as section 352.

I don't see that IPC 304a could apply in its negligent part, as no duty of care exists. I don't quite see how a provoked act might qualify as a rash act, but it might. It's clearly not murder under IPC 300, as there's no intent. Also, IPC 299 does not apply either: that too requires Intent.

So the worst available is at maximum 2 years + Fine, but it's much more likely that we are dealing with assault after grave and sudden provocation, so about one month or 200 rupees.

Oh, and now comes the kicker: You said girl. That implies below 18. As a result, the Indian Juvenile Justice Act 2015 applies. So the two possible sentences... Both are classed as:

Chapter 1, 2. (45) “petty offences” includes the offences for which the maximum punishment under the Indian Penal Code or any other law for the time being in force is imprisonment up to three years;

As a result, the trial will be in front of a Board described in section 14 and has to be done as a speedy summary proceeding.

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    Here in Colorado, self-defense is only available as a justification if it is done to defend against the use, or imminent use, of unlawful physical force by the other person. Does Indian law not have a similar restriction? It's not clear in the hypothetical if the boy was threatening imminent unlawful physical force. Jan 22 at 5:20
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    -1 Like Nate Eldredge I find it hard to believe that this is actually self defense under the law of India. and I would like a source citation showing that it is, if in fact it is. In US and UK law, there must be physical attack, or a plausible threat of physical attack, to justify the use of physical force in self defense. Jan 22 at 15:49
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It pivots on the question: "Was the hitting a crime?"

Generally, a death that happens from the commission of a crime is itself a crime - manslaughter or murder.

That is an inherent risk to doing criminal things.

See also the Eggshell Skull rule, in which your mis-deed has greater consequences than any reasonable person would have expected, but you're still responsible for the results.

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