In Landmark Ruling, SC Says Defending Parents From Assaulters Is Self-Defence

On Friday, the Supreme Court gave a landmark ruling that can be dubbed as a tectonic one in the history of Indian legal system.

The apex court ruled that taking the law into one’s hand to defend one’s parents from assault is justified and non-punishable.

This means that if any person sees his/her parents or relatives being assaulted, he/she can take action against assaulters without fear of law. Such an action will be treated as self-defence.


The Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court of India.

The court ruling comes in the case of two brothers from Rajasthan who were sentenced to two-years jail by a trial court for hitting their neighbours.

When the matter went to the Rajasthan High Court, the trial court judgement was upheld. It was only when the case moved to the Supreme Court that a key point came into view.

A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh noted that the father of the accused had been hit so badly by the neighbours that he died.


The court noted that the brothers and their mother had themselves suffered injuries while defending their father from the assaulters.

“The appellants can legitimately claim right to use force once they saw their parents being assaulted and when actually it has been shown that due to such assault and injury, their father subsequently died,” the judges said.

The apex court set aside the conviction.

Acts of self-defence (private defence of body) are covered from Section 96 to 106 of the IPC.

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