The Concept Of Good Faith In Criminal Law: A Study-Jus Dicere

Meaning of Good Faith

“Nothing is said to be performed or believed in good faith which is done or believed without due care and interest.”

This definition of ‘good faith’ given here is simply a negative one. It does not define “good faith”. Within the General Clauses Act (X of 1897) “good faith” has a positive definition and is described as follows: “A factor will be deemed to be executed in ‘good faith’ where it is in fact performed honestly, whether it is done negligently or not”. The element of honesty that’s introduced by using the definition under The General Clauses Act, is not always delivered by means of the definition of the Code. The simple notion by means of itself is not always enough. It needs to be shown that the belief had a rational foundation and became not only a blind simple belief. This is wherein the element of due care and attention plays a critical position. But it must be remembered that good faith does not require logical infallibility. The proper point to be decided isn’t always the reality of the allegation but whether the accused turned into knowledgeable and had desirable motive after due care and interest to trust the allegations.

The definition in I.P.C. is extraordinary and it calls for due care and interest. Section 52 makes no reference to the moral factors of honesty and right motive which can be concerned inside the popular importance of good faith and which might be predominant in the tremendous definition enacted within the other Acts of the Legislature. Therefore, while an honest blunderer acts in good faith in the meaning of The General Clauses Act, an honest blunderer can by no means act in good faith for being negligent. In a case, Kabiraj, operated a person for internal piles with the aid of cutting them out with an ordinary knife, in the outcome of which affected person died from hemorrhage. Plea of good faith was denied to Kabiraj and he was held guilty of an offense punishable underneath Section 304-A of the Code.

The Conflict

The two definitions are in apparent contradiction with each other however the struggle is going only to the volume that whilst an element may be done absolutely but if it’s miles achieved negligently, it would not be deemed to have been done in good faith under the Penal Code. The definition in the General Clauses Act lays pressure on one component simplest, however, the Penal Code places emphasis on aspects, particularly, the honesty of intention together with due care and attention as in any other case the time period will lose its actual which means.

Good faith implies no longer simplest an upright mental mindset and a clear conscience, but the doing of an act, showing that everyday prudence has been exercised in keeping with the standards of a reasonable man or woman. The law does not assume the identical degree of care and interest from all individuals. It varies with the position they occupy. Consequently, where a constable questioned a person endeavoring to satisfy himself whether or not his suspicions had been well-based or not, was not glad by way of the answers he received, even though such answers could have glad a greater wise man, or one in a better position, it was held that the law does no longer precise the same care and attention from individuals regardless of the position they occupy.

The question of desirable faith is always a query of reality to be decided in accordance with the proved information and situations of each case the standard of “due care and interest” is not the same old of the hypothetically “reasonable man.” it is the standard of a person whose “good faith” is on trial.

Due Care and Attention

The “due care required should rely upon the character of the act, its significance and significance, and the benefit a person has for the workout of due care and attention”. Good faith requires due care and interest, i.e., care and attention expected from an affordable guy. In the case of a guide of a defamatory count number, the actual supply of statistics on which the accused has acted need to be taken into consideration. in which the publication is based upon flimsy materials and there may be no evidence, that the accused made any inquiries earlier than the guide, the publication can’t be said to be made in excellent faith.

“Good faith” in law differs from “good faith” of the layman which means that with the aid of simplest honesty of goal. In the Penal Code, the time period has no connection with the moral factors of honesty and right reason. If a man takes upon himself a workplace or responsibility requiring ability or care he has to display no longer merely a very good aim but such care and ability as the obligation fairly demands its due discharge.

The word “due care and attention” implies proper attempt to reach the truth and not the geared up the reputation of an unwell-natured belief. The question of good faith is a query of reality and must be accrued from the encompassing circumstances. Mere real belief with none reasonable grounds for believing is not simultaneous with good faith, but excellent faith does not require logical infallibility but due care and warning which should in each case be considered almost about the general situations and the potential and the intelligence of the character whose behavior is in question.

Elements of Good Faith

Good faith is not feasible if any action is performed without due care and interest. This can be tested by the following elements: –

(i) The nature of the act carried out by the accused.

(ii) Magnitude and significance of the act performed with the aid of the accused.

(iii) Due care and interest accomplished by means of the accused.

Plea of Good Faith as Defense

  1. Act done by a person who, by reason of mistake of fact, in good faith, believes himself to be bound by law to do it (S. 76);
  2. Act of a judge when acting judicially in the exercise of any power which, in good faith, he believes to be given to him by law (S. 77);
  3. Act done pursuant to the judgment or order of a court, if done whilst such judgment or order remains in force, notwithstanding the court may have had no jurisdiction to pass such judgment or order, provided the person doing the act in good faith believes that the court had such jurisdiction (S. 78);
  4. Act done by a person who, by reason of a mistake of fact, in good faith, believes himself to be justified by law in doing it (S. 79);
  5. Act done in good faith for the benefit of a person even without that person’s consent (S. 92);
  6. Communication made in good faith even though harm may ensue to the person to whom it is made for the benefit of that person (S. 93);
  7. Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender being a public servant or aiding a public servant or acting for the advancement of public justice exceeds the power given to him by law and causes death by doing an act which he, in good faith, believes to be lawful and necessary for the due discharge of his duty (S. 300, Exception 3);
  8. Obstruction of a private way over land or water which a person, in good faith, believes himself to have a lawful right to obstruct is not an offence of wrongful restraint (Exception to S. 339) and
  9. Expression in good faith of any opinion respecting the conduct or character of a public servant, in the discharge of his public duties, respecting the conduct or character of any person touching any public question, respecting the merits of any case decided by a court or of conduct of witnesses and respecting the merits of any performance of an author, censure passed in good faith by person having lawful authority over another, accusation preferred in good faith to an authorized person, imputation made in good faith by a person for protection of his or other’s interests and caution conveyed in good faith for the good of the person to whom conveyed or for public good (S. 499).


Responsible aim or understanding being a foremost detail in against the law, “good faith” is a great protection for which the only test is the observance of “due care and attention”. Good faith is relative to a sure quantity and needs to be determined through the occasions below which an imputation is made. The fact that the imputation is not set up to be actual does not suggest an absence of good faith. The insistence is upon the exercise of due care and interest. Recklessness and negligence are dominated out. The standard of care and interest of route varies from case to case.

By Rishabh

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