Mens rea

Mens rea

Meaning of Mens rea:

Simply, mens rea means ‘guilty mind’. Mens rea is the mental condition to do any harm. It is such a mental position which is not supported by the law of the state. If any act is done with mens rea, it is presumed that the done with guilty mind, and it leads to him guilty. Every crime and wrong requires the proof of mens rea before a person can be convicted. In other words, the prosecution must prove not only that the accused committed theoffence but that he did it knowing that it was prohibited. Mens rea is one of the fundamentals to determine liability upon an action. Mens rea means the mental condition of the wrongdoer. The concept of mens rea based on a Latin maxim actus non facit reum nisi ments sit rea which means ‘no one should be liable without a wrongful or guilty mind’.

Morality and Mens rea:

Morality is the mental condition beyond the question of legality, but Mens rea is the mental condition in respect of question of legality. The term ‘moral’ is used in positive sense which a reasonable man have to do for the benefit of human being in the question of just and unjust. But mens rea is the aim to do the harm against the morality and the law of state. 

Elements of Mens rea:

Any act is caused by mens rea only in presence of any of the following four elements –

  1. Intention
  2. Motive
  3. Malice
  4. Negligence

i. Intention:

Intention is the main aim of the wrong. An intention gives the idea of yielding a particular result from doing the act. In this case the wrongdoer is committed the wrong with such a aim which is supported by any previsions preparation.

ii. Motive:

Motive is the present aim of the wrong.  If the wrongdoer committed the wrong with such a will which is not supported by any previsions preparation, the act is caused by Motive.

iii. Malice:

Malice is the rude mental behavior in respect of another. Malice is such a rude or impolite mental relationship between the persons which create any wrongful act.

iv. Negligence:

To impose liability to someone it is essential to determine the act or omission may be caused by negligence or not. If it is caused by negligence he will be liable. And if it is not caused by negligence he will not be liable because it treated only as accident.

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