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Mens rea

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Mens rea is the mental intention, ill intention, or fudge the defendant's state at the time of offense, sometimes called the guilty mind. In the IPC, 1860, Mens rea is expressed as "ACTUS NON FACIT REUM NISI MENS SIT REA" as a fundamental principle for penal liability. Intent and Act, both must concur to constitute a crime. An act itself is no crime, unless it is coupled with an evil / criminal intent.

Mens Rea in Statutory Crimes

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law

  • United States v. Greenbaum, C.C.A.N.J., 138 F.2d 437, 438: Guilty knowledge and wilfulness
  • Subramanian Swamy vs A. Raja, SLP (Crl.) No. 1688 of 2012 and I.A. No. 34 of 2012 In Civil Appeal No. 10660 of 2010
  • Kunal Majumdar Vs State of Rajasthan, Criminal Appeal No. 407 of 2008, Supreme Court Judgement delivered on September 12, 2012: Mens rea is an important point to consider by the High Court when a case was sent for its reference for the confirmation of a death sentence under CrPC.
  • State of Maharashtra v Mayor Hans George, AIR 1965 SC 722: Mens rea by necessary implication can be excluded from a statute only where it is absolutely clear that the implementation of the object of a statute would otherwise be defeated and its exclusion enables those put under strict liability by their act or omission to assist the promotion of the law.
  • Kartar Singh v State of Punjab, 1994 (3) SCC 569: The element of mens rea must be read into a statutory penal provision unless a statute either expressly or by necessary implication rules it out.

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