Criminal Trail- Actus Rea And Mens Rea

In a case law The State Vs M. Idrees Ghauri decided in 2008 by the supreme court of Pakistan, the ingredients of criminal trail were discussed. The proper citation of this case law is (2008 SCMR 1118). The most important essential element of criminal case is mens rea (Guilty Mind).

Concept of criminal administration of justice is based on the assumption that criminal act is injurious not just to an individual but to society as a whole. Violation of criminal law which is built upon constitutional principles of substantial as well s procedural law, has consequences of punishment. Prosecution in the light of constitutional principles is under heavy duty to establish violation law to award punishment. Striding of law to bring action within its compass is in conflict with of fair treatment.

It is  primary duty of the court to ascertain whether alleged offense was outcome of an act which was in violation of some law which can be termed as actus rea of crime (guilty act) and if this essential element of crime is missing, the breach may not be subject to sanction of criminal law. Person who is blamed to have committed an offense if is not accountable in criminal law for his action, he cannot be subject to prosecution.

Mens rea (Guilty mind) is another essential component of crime without proof of which a person cannot be held guilty of an offense and similarly without proof of concurrence to commit crime offense is not complete. In addition to such basic components of crime harm caused in consequences to an act is also considered essential element of crime because act, if is harmless it may not constitute a crime.


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