The law authorizes a man who is under a reasonable apprehension that his life is in danger or his body in risk of grievous hurt to inflict death upon his assailant either when the assault is attempted or directly threatened, but it must be proportionate to or commensurate with the quality and character of the act it is intended to meet and what is done in excess is not protected.
The right of private defence of the body extends to the causing of death or any other harm to the assailant under the following circumstances:
- An assault causing reasonable apprehension of death.
- An assault causing reasonable apprehension of grievous hurt.
- An assault with the intention of committing rape.
- An assault with intention of kidnapping or abducting.
- An assault with the intention of gratifying unnatural lust.
- An assault with the intention of wrongfully confining a person under circumstances which may cause him to apprehend that he will be unable to have recourse to the public authorities for his release.
Any harm short of death can be inflicted in exercising the right of private defence in any case, which do not fall under the above circumstances
The right of private defence commences as soon as a reasonable apprehension of danger to the body arises from an attempt or threat to commit the offence, though the offence may not have been committed; and it continues as long as such apprehension of danger to the body continues
The Court will decide the punishment after considering whether there was a reasonable apprehension of death or not.