Act in respect to Statutory Authority Any damage arising out of an act that the law prescribes or the statute authorises will never become actionable even though in absence of such statutory authority it is an offence in tort.
Some other defenses
Mistake (which is of two types):
- Mistake of Law.
Mistake of law is no defense and ignorance of law, no excuse.
- Mistake of Fact.
Mistake of facts is a defense in crime but inn torts, nistake of facts is not a defense every time.
This would make you clear that when is mistake of fact a defense.
Mistake can be pleaded as a defense in the following cases:
- Malicious prosecution of an innocent
Where motive or intention is essential, mistake is a defense. (e.g. in case of malicious prosecution). Malice takes away the defense of mistake. If there is a malice on the part of police officials in prosecuting an innocent person, then it is a tort for which mistake is no defense.
- Mistaken Arrest of an innocent person
Mistaken arrest of an innocent person can be pleaded as a defense. However, a reasonable and well-founded suspicion, even if proven false at a later stage, is not a tort, provided, of course, that it is free from any vengeance and negligence.
- Right to private defense:- This right entitles a person to go to any extent to protect one’s life, property, or any third person. Provided, of course, that such a force used in private defense must be reasonable force to repel the attack and it should always be in defensive and not offensive.
Also, the danger must be imminent. If there is malice and one is not naturally reacting to the attack on oneself but such a reaction is pre-planned then such a force is deemed to be unreasonable and the defense is not available.
The following case should make the application of the defense clearer. Please note that you are under no compulsion to memorise these facts. These are only for your convenience.
In this case , a dog belonging to Tewari, began chasing the Chauhan’s servant Raju and bit him. Then Tewari turned around and raised his gun. The dog on seeing an imminent threat to his life, ran away, however, he shot the running dog.
Here the private defense is not available as the act of shooting the dog was an offence and not a defense ( as Tewari shot a dog that was already leaving the site and there was no imminent threat to him in that situation).
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