All posts by Nakshatra Shandilya

The Collegium System and Its Impact on Indian Politics: A Comprehensive Analysis


The Collegium system, an intricate part of India’s judiciary, has been a focal point in discussions on the intersection of law and politics. This article seeks to provide a comprehensive examination of the Collegium system, delving into its historical evolution, controversies, and the nuanced impact it has on day-to-day politics in India.

Historical Context and Evolution of the Collegium System

The roots of the Collegium system can be traced back to the “Judges’ Cases” in the 1980s, culminating in the landmark Second Judges’ Case in 1993. This system, conceptualized to safeguard judicial independence, underwent subsequent refinements through various judicial pronouncements. The absence of legislative enactment, coupled with the opaque nature of its functioning, has made the Collegium system a unique and contentious feature of India’s judicial landscape.

The Collegium’s Composition and Decision-Making Process

Comprising the Chief Justice of India and the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, the Collegium is tasked with pivotal responsibilities, including judicial appointments, transfers, and elevations. The decision-making process is marked by its informality and lack of transparency, where decisions are often made internally, away from public scrutiny.

Controversies Surrounding the Collegium System

The Collegium system has not been immune to controversies, and criticism has been directed at various aspects of its functioning. The lack of transparency in the decision-making process has been a persistent concern, with calls for a more open and accountable system. Additionally, the absence of clear criteria for selection and appointment has led to allegations of arbitrariness, further fueling the debate surrounding the system.

Political Influence and Judicial Appointments

The intersection of the Collegium system with politics in India is a dynamic and evolving aspect that merits nuanced exploration. While the system was conceived to insulate the judiciary from political interference, instances have emerged where political considerations are believed to have influenced appointments. The lack of clear guidelines and the opacity of the process have given rise to suspicions of favoritism and partisanship in judicial appointments.

Impact on Legislative-Executive-Judiciary Relations

The Collegium system’s influence on the delicate balance of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches is a critical dimension of its political impact. The absence of legislative approval in the appointment process has at times led to friction between the executive and the judiciary. Instances of public disagreements and delays in appointments have underscored the need for a more transparent and accountable system that ensures a harmonious relationship between these branches of government.

Day-to-Day Politics and Collegium Dynamics

The Collegium’s decisions reverberate beyond the hallowed halls of the judiciary, impacting the political landscape on a day-to-day basis. The appointment of judges shapes the judicial philosophy and direction, influencing the legal interpretation of legislation and executive actions. Politicians keenly observe these appointments as they can significantly impact the legal environment in which policies are implemented or challenged.

Moreover, the Collegium’s decisions often intersect with politically sensitive issues. Landmark judgments on constitutional matters, civil liberties, and high-profile cases can have direct implications for political parties and their agendas. The judiciary’s role in interpreting laws and adjudicating disputes places it at the center of critical political debates, and the Collegium system plays a pivotal role in determining who occupies these influential positions.

Proposed Reforms and Alternatives

In response to the critiques, various proposals for reforming the Collegium system have been discussed. The National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) was one such attempt to introduce a more inclusive and accountable approach. However, the Supreme Court’s striking down of the NJAC in the Fourth Judges’ Case in 2015 underscored the complexity of finding a solution that balances judicial independence with external oversight.


The Collegium system’s impact on Indian politics is multifaceted, influencing not only the relationship between the judiciary and the executive but also shaping the political landscape in more subtle and nuanced ways. Its evolution, controversies, and day-to-day ramifications underscore the need for a system that preserves judicial independence while addressing concerns of transparency and accountability. As the debate on the Collegium system continues, a nuanced understanding of its intricate dynamics is imperative for any meaningful reforms that align with the principles of democracy, rule of law, and the separation of powers.


  • Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association v. Union of India, (1993) 4 SCC 441.
  • In re Special Reference 1 of 1998, (1998) 7 SCC 739.
  • In re Presidential Reference, (2015) 4 SCC 1.
  • Bhatia, Gautam. (2008). “Supreme Court and Judicial Independence: A Critical Analysis.” Oxford University Press.
  • Shourie, Arun. (2007). “Courting the People: Public Interest Litigation in Post-Emergency India.” ASA Publications.

Unveiling Gandhi’s Philosophical Tapestry: From Truth and Nonviolence to Sarvodaya


This reflection paper on Stephen Murphy’s article “Brief Outline of Gandhi’s Philosophy” delves into Gandhian philosophy and how his social and religious ideas were developed by him. Here we look at the four- fold tradition of the Gandhian philosophy and its implications on the Indian legal jurisprudence and the world, from a legal lens. We shall also delve into the pillars of the philosophy and exploring on its complexities yet simplistic nature it is at its core. 


Gandhi, Philosophy, Non Violence, Education, Empowerment


In his article “Brief Outline of Gandhi’s Philosophy”, author Stephen Murphy talks about the meaning of Gandhian philosophy and the ripples that it has sent into not just in India, but over the world. Gandhian philosophy needs no introduction, it has been the lacuna of many discussions about its effects over the world. It found its profounder in world leaders for its efficacy. Formulated around a few pertinent traditions including ahimsa that means non violence, civil disobedience, promotion of equity and equality, emphasis on sustainable living, inter-religious communal harmony, conflict resolution though negotiation and reconciliation, and most importantly, empowerment of those at the intersections through education – Gandhian philosophy has now taken the shape of a global symbol of peace, non violence and social justice. Its ripple can be felt through the modern world, the fact that his birthday on the October 2nd is observed as the International Day of Non- Violence by the United Nations and ought to be implemented over the world, speaks about how widely his philosophical ideas have moved the world.


In its essence, the Gandhian philosophy is the set of social and religious ideas that were adopted by Gandhi which he later applied in his efforts towards India’s freedom struggle from the British colonies. This philosophy looks at the entire world as a single entity, the development of which depends on the unification of a number of factors. Gandhi’s philosophy was not only political, but also spanned on the topics of spirituality, politics, economy, society and even on an individual level. On an individual level it calls for self discipline, simplicity in thought and lifestyle, a to be watchful towards one’s responsibilities towards one’s family, society, nation, and the world at large. Gandhi thought that developing oneself was a constant process.

He felt that the economy and political scenario of the nation should be decentralised lest we take the risk of an absolute concentration of power into a few hands. His idea of democracy was direct and participative of the citizens, calling for transparency of the government activities and the accountability of the state towards its people. He furthered the idea of trusteeship, advocating or wealth by the rich to be placed in trusts for the development of the society- giving to charity the remainder of what was left after their necessary expenditures. This way, the Gandhian philosophy was all encompassing in nature, catering to the needs of the poor and voicing the interests of the vulnerable. This philosophy not only emphasises on equality, but also on an equity-based approach, wherein those in need of help are provided so to the extent that they need it to bring them at par with the rest of the developed society. The minimisation of competition in the economic sphere. 

The two pillars of the Gandhi philosophy are truth and non- violence, or satya and ahimsa respectively. This philosophy believes that that truth brings us closer to God, and so does the moral code of non violence. It places love to be at the centre of the existence of mankind. It wasn’t just a silent refusal of violence; it was also an active way to solve problems. Satyagraha was the core of this approach. Violence was not be resorted to as the first recourse of response. It is a concept and method of nonviolent opposition. It meant using reason and morality, along with willing self-suffering, to change people’s minds.

The fact that Gandhi’s works don’t always make sense shows that his ideas are not just a method. In order to understand Gandhi’s way of thought, it’s most important to know that people’s ideas of what’s true change over time. This is a developmental process. Gandhi’s theory isn’t just about how to be a good person; it also covers politics, economy, and changing society. The word “Sarvodaya” sums up his vision for the welfare of society. It emphasises that the welfare of everyone, including the poor and the marginalised, should be the main goal of any fair society.

However instead of being preachy, this philosophy is rooted in realism. It is centred around the realisation that the philosophy is inconsistent and that is acceptable to it. As times change and we move towards a more global idea of citizenship, this philosophy is more relevant than ever before. The philosophy asserts that while violence may seem like a better answer at times, People are getting better at being good over time. Conflict is seen as unavoidable, and not always a bad thing. However, violence is not seen as necessary even when there is conflict. Simply put, people do have the ability to solve problems without violence. Even though one might find it to be hard, it is not impossible. People think that getting out of a violent society will take at least a few decades, if not longer. However, this is not an impossible goal. Gandhi’s idea of pacifism was a powerful and innovative force. It wasn’t just a silent refusal of violence; it was also an active way to solve problems. Satyagraha was the core of this approach. It is a concept and method of nonviolent opposition. It meant using reason and morality, along with willing self-suffering, to change people’s minds. It is integral to remember that the sustenance of humankind has been based on non- violence, lacking which it would have been wiped out millions of years ago. 

It is also interesting to note that while the pillars of the philosophy are resting on fundamentally religious beliefs, it emphasises that it is not essentially Hindu in nature. It’s both complex and timeless. It is based on the culture and faith of ancient India, but it also has Western effects. Even though it was made in the early 20th century, many people think its ideas were ahead of their time because they deal with problems like social justice and protecting the environment that are still important today. The philosophy holds extreme modern relevance as it stresses that its traditions are the undercurrent themes to almost all major religions of the world- making it truly global in nature.

This philosophy is also environmentally sound, advocating for reverence towards natural resources and to consider the planet earth as the mother that feeds us and takes care of us. Instead of violating her, and depleting her of her energy, Gandhi talked about environmentally conscious steps to be taken in favour of a holistic development of all- like production on the basis of need rather than green, whilst also paying attention to the eradication of poverty. 

Another tradition of this philosophy is the presence of self reliance on an individualistic, village, region, and national level. 

However, this philosophy is not one of its kind, it has a lot of commonalities with a number of western philosophies. People have said that the Gandhian social order is “communism without violence.”, and even liberal ideas from the West. But Gandhi doesn’t agree with many parts of liberalism, and he doesn’t agree with the modern, highly competitive, environmentally damaging, and selfish capitalism of the West at all.

Instead of being vague and arbitrary, this philosophy also provides a plethora of methods on attaining the philosophy’s ideals. Satyagraha campaigns can use many different tactics, but the main ones are not cooperating and fasting. The action is taken with the belief that the opponent is basically good and that he or she will be able to see how unfair the action is and stop it, or at least find a middle ground. In this way, Satyagraha is very creative. It doesn’t make enemies, hate, or anger that lasts. Instead, it leads to mutual respect. After a good campaign, there isn’t even a hint of bragging or a desire to make the other side look bad. The person who was once an enemy is now a friend. There are only winners, no losers. Even though it takes guts, self-discipline, and humility on the part of the ‘Satyagrahi’, a true Satyagraha campaign puts a lot of moral pressure on the opponent and can lead to amazing changes. However, it is necessary that the objects carry a moral code in its objectives and methods. No immoral gains may be achieved through these methods, nor would any insincere efforts succeed. 


The philosophy thus is both timeless and modern, complex and extremely simple in nature. It is not only philosophical, or political, but all encompassing, including traditions into environment conservation and even religion. While being fundamentally religious, it is extremely secular in nature. However, its secularity does not base itself on the lack of religion in its philosophy, but the presence of almost all major religions in a revering manner in a unifying theory. Gandhi cared more about the spirit than the way things looked. If the spirit is in line with truth and nonviolence, the body will also be truthful and peaceful. Even though it is against the West, many people think its ideas are very modern and even ahead of their time. Maybe the best way to describe the concept is as a mix of the old and the new. Gandhi’s ideas have many different parts, which can make it easy to think that they are very complicated but they really are not if one understands the value of love and responsibility one owes to the elements around them. However, despite all of this deep analysis into what he propounded, Gandhi said that many of his ideas were just common sense.


 Murphy “Brief Outline of Gandhi’s Philosophy”

 Anandan S, “How Nehru Influenced the Making of Gandhi” (Hindustan Times, August 26, 2014) <>


India’s Complex Relationship with Human Rights: Diversity, Discrimination, and Democracy

India has historically proven itself to be a diverse and pluralistic country, however, there has been a convoluted relationship between India and Human Rights. The Indian constitution was adopted in India in 1950 and carries the legal moral of protecting the equal rights and opportunities for its citizens. Religious fundamentalism has often proven to be a threat to the secularity and to the human rights of Indians.
Article 15 of the Indian Constitution “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them…no citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition”. Articles 25-28 guarantee religious freedom and the right to manage religious institutions in India. Further, it is integral to note here that the Constitution of India guarantees the equal treatment of all religions, while maintaining a clear segregation between the government and the religion- meaning that there would not be any favourable treatment of any one religion over the others. Apart from the legislative, the judiciary plays an integral role in the maintaining of human rights and the retaining of freedom of religion in India. The independence of religion practise is protected to a large extent by India’s judicial system. The highest court in India has handed down precedent-setting decisions that guarantee the rights of religious minorities and individuals to freely practise their faith without interference. However, like the western countries, there is not a lack of religion in policy making- but here all the religions are expected to be included- with equal weightage. Further, Indian citizens are provided with a fundamental right to have freedom to profess, practice, and propagate any religion as per each’s own will. India is a party to a number of international conventions and treaties, including those that promote and safeguard human rights and religious liberty. It has made steps to match its domestic legislation with these international norms, which is something it has been working towards.
International NGOs and government reports often acknowledge and even highlight the diversity of India’s religious and community based society and acknowledge that while its existing legislative framework is broad enough to safeguard those who are vulnerable at the intersections, it also exhibits the willingness to show accountability and correct its mistakes in favour of safeguarding human rights and promoting secularism. In this manner they recognise the nature of India’s pluralistic society and its history of religious diversity.
However, given the diversity and large size of this country- there have been instances of religious tensions. The multitude of religious communities have sometimes been the lacuna of religion based conflicts. Some political parties and leaders too have been accused of employing these religious gaps between communities to fill their electoral banks. The politicisation of religion and communalism has been a significant concern in this country especially since its independence. However, occasionally special forces, such as the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), have been criticised for their potential to infringe on human rights, particularly religious freedom. This criticism is based on the fact that they have the ability to carry out actions that might violate human rights. For instance, there have been complaints that the AFSPA has led to limitations on religious practises in areas where it is applied. This is the case in places where the AFSPA is enforced. People may be prevented from attending religious meetings, going to places of worship, or taking part in religious festivals as a result of curfews and other restrictions on mobility that are enforced by security personnel. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AFSPA) has been used in order to provide a legal basis for the search and seizure of various properties, including religious buildings like mosques, churches, and temples. It is possible that this constitutes an intrusion into the independence and freedom enjoyed by these religious organisations. These worries have even made it to the international stage, where councils such as the United Nations have criticised the practises in question.Since it was first implemented in 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (abbreviated as “UPR”) has grown to become the primary forum for international examination of the human rights track record of each UN member state. This international peer review mechanism is based on a periodic self-assessment by each country of its human rights record, achievements, and challenges. It is supplemented by reports from United Nations human rights experts, entities, treaty bodies, national human rights institutions, and civil society organisations. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process is a consultative, cooperative, dialogue-oriented platform that places an emphasis on the participation of broad-based stakeholders in the production and follow up to national reports. The first Universal Periodic Review from 2008 was conducted by the United Nations Human Rights Council in order to assess the situation of human rights in each member country of the United Nations. Since India is a member of the United Nations and is a key propounder of human rights on the international arena, it participated in the process as well ad was provided with many recommendations regarding the concerns raised by the UPR relating to discrimination, minority rights and access to justice, along with violence against women.
India responded to this report by responding to it with a peripheral view of how it planned to combat these issues and instead of denying its responsibility, it highlighted its commitment to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
The 2nd Universal Periodic Review was released in 2012 wherein India was provided with another set of recommendations, and concerns- this time they related to the rights of religious and ethnic minorities and freedom of expression. Recommendations included measures to address issues of police brutality, extrajudicial killings, and the need for police reforms and accountability mechanisms. Countries urged India to strengthen its legal and judicial systems to ensure timely access to justice and reduce case backlogs. Swashpawan Singh, the permanent representative of India to the UN at Geneva commented on the manpower of the country to be over one billion people and being the abode of almost all the religions and beliefs in the world.
However, India has also raised its voice against “Pakistan’s continued misuse” of the Council to bring up internal matters between the nation and India. It claimed on an international platform that Pakistan was marred by its political ambition to expand its territorial boundaries into India by force and was continuously doing so though repeated armed aggressions. It highlighted the lack of concern that Pakistan possessed for human rights and condemned its behaviour on an international platform. Following India’s third review in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism of the Human Rights Council on May 4, 2017, the Indian government acknowledged and agreed to implement nine recommendations pertaining to discrimination based on caste.
In the third UPR, different nations gave diverse recommendations to India about how it could manage its human rights challenges in favour of girls, women, and those at intersections. The most notable of them was by Ireland who gave India the advice to step up its efforts to guarantee equality and non-discrimination in line with the country’s international obligations. To do so, Ireland suggested that India develop public human rights awareness programmes and take concrete steps to advance the rights of women and girls, members of religious minorities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex persons, as well as to combat caste-based discrimination.  It advised India to consider taking the steps to decriminalised homosexuality in Indian and create a broad and inclusive framework to address the violence against women in its legislative framework. These suggestions were noted and acknowledged by India. Peru advised India to maintain its efforts to end the suffering caused by discrimination, exclusion, dehumanisation, stigmatisation, and violence against scheduled castes- which was accepted by India. Pakistan told India to make clear policies and take other steps to protect freedom of religion and belief and stop the alarming rise of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance, such as mob violence, committed, incited, and supported by right-wing parties and extremist groups against minorities, especially Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and Dalits.
Amnesty International’s report from 2015 highlighted the issue of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir and how there was an urgent need to pay attention to the obstacles to justice of human rights violations existing in both law and practice in Jammu and Kashmir because of its impunity problem. It mentioned how since the 1970s, Indian military personnel have been stationed in Jammu and Kashmir, where they are ostensibly entrusted with the protection of civilians, the maintenance of national security, and the suppression of violence perpetrated by armed groups but under the guise of security operations, members of the security force have perpetrated a number of serious abuses of human rights, many of which have been allowed to go unpunished. The report claimed that if these crimes were not addressed, it would be a violation of the victims’ and survivors’ rights to justice and redress, which are protected by the Constitution of India as well as international human rights law- and would defeat the purpose of their existence in the first place. The report contended that from 1990 to 2011 there were around 43, 00 deaths of citizens in the state, and of these- more than 21000 were termed to be militants while the others were civilians. Despite assurances that there would be “zero tolerance” for abuses of human rights committed by the army in 2013, more than 96% of complaints lodged against the army in Jammu and Kashmir were deemed to be “false” or “motivated by ulterior motives.” Investigations and military prosecutions relating to these accusations were not conducted in an open manner. Furthermore, the acts of paramilitary troops remained mostly concealed. Legal regulations such as the AFSPA continued to restrict access to legal remedies for those who had been the victims of violations of their human rights.
The report asserted that it been simpler to report abuses of human rights as a result of a number of reforms, including the rise in the number of police stations and the introduction of a state human rights commission. In spite of this, it clarified that a new study conducted by Amnesty International discovered that the government utilised legal protections to shield security officers from prosecution, therefore undermining the sluggish march towards justice. This research demonstrated the role that the government played in promoting impunity for security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. It also emphasised the use of sanction provisions under AFSPA, the lack of transparency in the denial of punishment, and abuses of constitutional rights.
The research also disclosed that the laws that regulate military and internal security forces gave such forces extensive authority over criminal offences, including abuses of human rights. As a consequence of this, the trials were conducted using a military court system that did not adhere to the fair trial criteria established by international organisations. The situation in Jammu and Kashmir was made much worse by the fact that security personnel in the region did not cooperate with civilian inquiries or courts and frequently resorted to intimidating and threatening anyone who filed complaints.
According to the State Department’s 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, India is a federal parliamentary democracy with primary responsibility for maintaining law and order held by states and union territories, while the central government provides policy oversight. However, India has been widely recognised by U.S. government agencies, the United Nations, and some non-governmental organisations as a site of numerous human rights abuses, including significant violations, with some attributed to agents of both state and federal governments. These abuses have reportedly increased during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and the rise of his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, especially since their re-election in 2019.
Furthermore, various analyses have raised concerns about democratic backsliding in India. The Varieties of Democracies project in Sweden has classified India as an “electoral autocracy” since 2019, and in 2023, it labeled India as “one of the worst autocratizers in the last 10 years.” Since 2021, the U.S.-based non profit Freedom House has reclassified India as “Partly Free,” stating that Modi and his party are pushing India toward authoritarianism. The report stated that this happening “due to the Indian government’s promotion of Hindu nationalism, and engagement and facilitation of systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.” It raised questions about the press freedom and the freedom of expression of the citizens- claiming that there were grave injustices to human rights being carried out in the name of religious fundamentalism by Hindu fanatics, and that instead of the nation condemning such behaviour, it was condoning them against electoral politics.
As an example, it cited the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and how until recently, Jammu and Kashmir was India’s only Muslim-majority state, but today India no longer has any Muslim-majority states. In 2019, the Indian government revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and Section 35A of its Annex, which had granted the state nominally autonomous status. This move resulted in the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two “Union Territories,” each with reduced administrative powers. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concerns that these changes could undermine the rights of minorities. The 2022 Human Rights Report (HRR) highlighted that journalists working in Jammu and Kashmir continued to face obstacles in terms of reporting due to communication and movement restrictions. It also mentions reports of human rights monitors facing constraints and harassment by state agents in the region. Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2023 criticises both the Public Safety Act and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, which it claims allow for mass detentions without charges and provide impunity to security forces, even in cases of serious human rights abuses. It cited Amnesty International (AI) to note that Jammu and Kashmir had the highest proportion of deaths involving the police in India between April 2020 and March 2022. These developments indicate ongoing concerns about human rights and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.In response, the New Delhi government issued a rebuttal. It denied many facts that were stated in this report and claimed to be misleading and incorrect from the start- claiming that the conclusion that was led to from these facts were not correct too.

“India: ‘Denied’: Failures in Accountability for Human Rights Violations by Security Force Personnel in Jammu and Kashmir – Amnesty International” (Amnesty International, June 1, 2021) <>
“Second Right of Reply by India​ ​in Response to the Statement by Pakistan under the Agenda Item 2​ during the ​33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council” (Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India) <>
“Universal Periodic Review – India” (OHCHR) <>
“Universal Periodic Review” (OHCHR) <>
Randeep Singh Nandal, “State data refutes claim of 1 lakh killed in Kashmir” Times of India, 20 June 2011, (accessed 9 April 2015). *Note: Data collected by the South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP) states that 49 civilians were killed between July 2011 and March 2014, bringing the total number of civilians killed to 16,917 for one estimate. However, the SATP does not state whether the civilians killed were killed by armed groups or security forces.
US State Department Report,central%20government%20provides%20policy%20oversight.

Causation under The Indian Penal Code

Causation is an interpretation for the word consequence, it is based upon the fact that a person is liable for the consequences of his actions, the nature of this doctrine is rather vast and tends to overlap with the principles of bothactus reus and mens rea. Although causation is seen as the consequences of the actus reus, while convicting one for a criminal offence, under the Indian Criminal Code is rather remains ambiguous. When looking at the Common English Law and the American Criminal Law there is a separate distinction between stating the doctrine of causation under specific sections, however this has not been integrated by the framers of the Indian Penal Code in the Indian Law, it is rather seen that its elements have been internalised within various sections.

By looking at different provisions there seem to be different approaches to separate causation from that of guilty mind and wrongful act, when dealt with cases of negligence there is a general understanding for the theory of causation that is followed. For instance in the case of  R v Le Brun (1991), the accused was convicted even though he lacked mens rea, his actions confined the due course of causation, confirming the primary offence led to a resultant death.

The doctrine of causation or rather its elements are mentioned in various sections of the IPC however a strict statute defining its interpretation is absent, due to the absence of the doctrine in a codified manner, different approaches are taken up by the court to render judgement for conviction. It is the courts role in India to further expand upon the understanding of the doctrine under criminal law, conviction judgements are passed upon the basis of facts given in each case differently. Under Section 304, with reference to the case of Sushil Ansal v State Through CBI (2014),  held that the gross negligence was on part of the cinema owners and not the employee, since the employee himself did not have the presence of guilty mind. It was seen that for an employment of chain of causation, in the case of Emperor v Omkar Pratap (1902), both causa sine qua non and causa causans, should be present.

However, when dealt with the cases under Section 302 of the IPC the courts apply strict rules of causation to pass conviction, giving benefit to the person accused. In the case of Subhash v State (2012) the accused threw acid on the victim which later led to her death, even though there was a long duration between the commencement of the actant the consequent death of the victim, that the court still held the accuse to be liable, as it was an unbroken direct chain of causation that linked the primary act to the resultant death. However the understanding of causation when interpreted severely, was violative of the principles under reasonability, the accused was not held liable for the bones that were inflicted by the father that bored water on the victim in good faith.

On the contrary, in the case of M. B. Suresh v State of Karnataka (2014), the court held that the chain of causation broke and was not continuous, since the cause of death was due to shock and the reason behind it could remain unknown, and cannot be directly linked with the primary act done by the accused of firing indiscriminately. The accused was not convicted for murder as the chain of causation had been broken rather was convicted for an attempt to murder that is specified under Section 307.


The statute for causation when looked upon through the IPC remains ambiguous, it can be seen that it is not separated from the elements of mens rea and actus reus, with this approach, causation is demarcated upon the circumstance with the existing evidence presented to the court for the purpose of conviction. Each provision has its own approach towards interpreting and applying the doctrine of causation, there must exist or uniform codified law under the Indian Criminal Code, rendering regulations the linkage of causation with mens rea and actus reus. While deciding upon a conviction should be based upon the fact that the act must itself be a cause and also causa sine qua non for the subsequent consequences. It can be seen as a necessity to incorporate the regulations of the implications and distinguishing of causation since if left unmodified would interrupt with the other pre-existing regulations.