Penal Provisions in protection of Medical professionals in India 

Penal Provisions in protection of Medical professionals in India

Under Indian Penal Code

Sections- 87 to 93

CHAPTER IV

General Exceptions of Criminal Liability

87. Act not intended and not known to be likely to cause death or grievous hurt, done by consent. – Nothing which is not intended to cause death, or grievous hurt, and which is not known by the doer to be likely to cause death or grievous hurt, is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause, or be intended by the doer to cause, to any person, above eighteen years of age, who has given consent, whether express or implied, to suffer that harm; or by reason of any harm which it may be known by the doer to be likely to cause to any such person who has consented to take the risk of that harm.

Illustration

A and Z agree to fence with each other for amusement. This agreement implies the consent of each to suffer any harm which in the course of such fencing, may be caused without foul play; and if A, while playing fairly, hurts Z, A commits no offence.

88. Act not intended to cause death, done by consent in good faith for person’s benefit. – Nothing which is not intended to cause death, is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause, or be intended by the doer to cause, or be known by the doer to be likely to cause, to any person for whose benefit it is done in good faith, and who has given a consent, whether express or implied, to suffer that harm, or to take the risk of that harm.

Illustration

A, a surgeon, knowing that a particular operation is likely to cause the death of Z, who suffers under a painful complaint, but not intending to cause Z’s death, and intending, in good faith, Z’s benefit, performs that operation on Z, with Z’s consent. A has committed no offence.

89. Act done in good faith for benefit of child or insane person, by or by consent of guardian. – Nothing which is done in good faith for the benefit of a person under twelve years of age, or of unsound mind, by or by consent, either express or implied, of the guardian or other person having lawful charge of that person, is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause, or be intended by the doer to cause or be known by the doer to be likely to cause to that person :

Provided –
First – That this exception shall not extend to the intentional causing of death, or to the attempting to cause death;
Secondly. – That this exception shall not extend to the doing of anything which the person doing it knows to be likely to cause death, for any purpose other than the preventing of death or grievous hurt, or the curing of any grievous disease or infirmity;
Thirdly. – That this exception shall not extend to the voluntary causing of grievous hurt, or to the attempting to cause grievous hurt, unless it be for the purpose of preventing death or grievous hurt, or the curing of any grievous disease or infirmity;
Fourthly. – That this exception shall not extend to the abetment of any offence, to the committing of which offence it would not extend.

Illustration

A, in good faith, for his child’s benefit without his child’s consent, has his child cut for the stone by a surgeon, knowing it to be likely that the operation will cause the child’s death, but not intending to cause the child’s death. A is within the exception, inasmuch as his object was the cure of the child.

90. Consent known to be given under fear or misconception. – A consent is not such a consent as is intended by any section of this Code, if the consent is given by a person under fear of injury, or under a misconception of fact, and if the person doing the act knows, or has reason to believe, that the consent was given in consequence of such fear or misconception; or
Consent of insane person. – if the consent is given by a person who, from unsoundness of mind, or intoxication, is unable to understand the nature and consequence of that to which he gives his consent; or

Consent of child. – unless the contrary appears from the context, if the consent is given by a person who is under twelve years of age.

91. Exclusion of acts which are offences independently of harm caused. – The exceptions in sections 87, 88 and 89 do not extend to acts which are offences independently of any harm which they may cause, or be intended to cause, or be known to be likely to cause, to the person giving the consent, or on whose behalf the consent is given.

Illustration

Causing miscarriage (unless caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman) is an offence independently of any harm which it may cause or be intended to cause to the woman. Therefore, it is not an offence “by reason of such harm”; and the consent of the woman or of her guardian to the causing of such miscarriage does not justify the act.

92. Act done in good faith for benefit of a person without consent. – Nothing is an offence by reason of any harm which it may cause to a person for whose benefit it is done in good faith, even without that person’s consent, if the circumstances are such that it is impossible for that person to signify consent, or if that person is incapable of giving consent, and has no guardian or other person in lawful charge of him from whom it is possible to obtain consent in time for the thing to be done with benefit:

Provided –

First – That this exception shall not extend to the intentional causing of death, or the attempting to cause death;
Secondly. – That this exception shall not extend to the doing of anything which the person doing it knows to be likely to cause death, for any purpose other than the preventing of death or grievous hurt, or the curing of any grievous disease or infirmity;
Thirdly. – That this exception shall not extend to the voluntary causing of hurt, or to the attempting to cause hurt, for any purpose other than the preventing of death or hurt;
Fourthly. – That this exception shall not extend to the abetment of any offence, to the committing of which offence it would not extend.

ILLUSTRATIONS

(a) Z is thrown from his horse, and is insensible. A, a surgeon, finds that Z requires to be trepanned. A, not intending Z’s death, but in good faith, for Z’s benefit, performs the trepan before Z recovers his power of judging for himself. A has committed no offence.

(b) Z is carried off by a tiger. A fires at the tiger knowing it to be likely that the shot may kill Z, but not intending to kill Z, and in good faith intending Z’s benefit. A’s ball gives A a mortal wound. A has committed on offence.

(c) A, a surgeon, sees a child suffer an accident which is likely to prove fatal unless an operation be immediately performed. There is not time to apply to the child’s guardian. A performs the operation in spite of the entreaties of the child, intending, in good faith, the child’s benefit. A has committed no offence.

(d) A is in a house which is on fire, with Z, a child. People below hold out a blanket. A drops the child from the housetop, knowing it to be likely that the fall may kill the child, but not intending to kill the child, and intending, in good faith, the child’s benefit. Here even if the child is killed by the fall, A has committed no offence.

Explanation. – Mere pecuniary benefit is not benefit within the meaning of Sections 88, 89 and 92.

93. Communication made in good faith. – No communication made in good faith is an offence by reason of any harm to the person to whom it is made, if it is made for the benefit of that person.

Illustration

A, a surgeon, in good faith, communicates to a patient his opinion that he cannot live. The patient dies in consequence of the shock. A has committed no offence, though he knew it to be likely that the communication might cause the patient’s death.


General Criminal Liability under Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code

118 Sections 118, 119 and 120 all contemplate the concealment of a design for commission of an offence by persons other than the accused. Under Section 107, such concealment constitutes an abatement. Cr P C creates an obligation for the public (including doctors) in respect of several offences of serious nature (Section 39 and 40) to give information to the police.

174 Nonattendance in obedience to an order from the public servant (a doctor receiving summons from the court or from some other authority is duty bound to appear for such court or authority). Refusal or intentional omission to attend is punishable.

175 Omission to produce documents or electronic record to the court or public servant.

176 Intentional omission to give notice or information to public servant. It covers situations like information about commission of an offence, its prevention, or apprehension of an offender, etc.

177 Section 160 of CrPC reserves the right of police to require attendance of witnesses, and Section 161 deals with examination of a witness by the police through interrogation.

178 Refusing oath or affirmation when duly required by the public servant to make it.

179 Refusing to answer public servant authorised to question.

180 Refusing to sign the statement.

181 False statement on oath or affirmation to public servant or person authorised to administer an oath or affirmation.

191 Deals with false evidence and is based upon recognition of decline of moral values and erosion of sanctity of oath.

192 Fabricating false evidence. The wording of this Section is so general as to cover any species of crime that consists in the
endeavour to injure another by supplying false data.

193 Punishment for giving or fabricating false evidence in judicial proceeding or in any other case.

197 Issuing or signing a certificate knowing or believing that the certificate is false has been put on the same footing as the
offence of giving false evidence.

198 Using or attempting to use a certificate knowing or believing it to be false in some material point.

201 Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen the offender.

202 Intentional omission to give information of an offence to the magistrate or the police by person knowing or having reason
to believe that the offence has been committed.

203 Giving false information respecting an offence committed.

204 Destruction of document or electronic record to prevent its production as evidence.

304A Covers cases wherein a person causes death of another by such acts as are rash or negligent but there is no intention to
cause death and no knowledge that the act will cause death ( manslaughter by negligence act).

336– 338 Rash or negligent acts that endanger human life, or the personal safety of others, are punishable under Section 336 even though no harm follows and are additionally punishable under 337 and 338 if they cause hurt or grievous hurt, respectively.

The word ‘rashly’ means something indifferent and don’t care attitude.


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