Offence is Accompanied by Physical Element and Mental Element

What action amounts to crime? The competent authority declared any act as an offence and they also declared the act unconstitutional. For eg- If a person commits Adultery in England anytime, it was not an offence. But if the same has been done in India before September 27, 2018, was a crime and punishable under Section 497 of IPC. But the Court in Joseph shine v. Union of India(2018) the Court held that section 497 as unconstitutional. So, it's clear there are certain things which are not in our control but we can understand what amounts to an offence.


The legal Maxim - "actus non facit reum nisi men sit reason" means the consequences of an act of a person isn't guilty unless accompanied by the guilty mind. So, we can conclude this as an offence is accompanied by a physical element(actus reus) and mental element (men's rea).

Actus reus(physical element) means the consequences or result of a human act. The word act also includes illegal omission under Section 32 of IPC. The Act basically means omission or muscular movement which can be voluntarily and non voluntarily.


The first thing to be proved by the Prosecution is whether the act has been committed by the accused? If the answer is 'Yes' then Prosecution moves further to men's rea. Mens rea(mental element) is the main element to determine crime. The three terms - 'intention', 'knowledge', and 'motive' have been taken into consideration to determine the guilty mind of the person. In Nathu v. State of Madhya Pradesh (1966), the Court held that the nature of men's rea is dependent upon the object of the Act and its provision In Gangula Mohan Reddy v. State of Andhra Pradesh (2010), the Court held that men's rea and active act by accused is an essential element to constitute any offence.




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