As an extenuating feature, IPC sections 85 and 86 define intoxication. A joint reading of ss 85 and 86 reveals that the former lays down the law on intoxication or drunkenness as a defense against a criminal charge, while the latter addresses the criminal responsibility of a dictated person knowingly while committing an offense under the influence of a self-administered intoxicant.
Section 85 protects a man from criminal responsibility if he was unable to grasp the essence of the act at the time the crime was committed or if he did anything illegal or contrary to the law because of intoxication, provided that the intoxicant induced him against his knowledge or against his will.
It is required for a person seeking immunity from Section 85 to prove that he was:
· Incapable of understanding or knowing the nature of the act performed,
· Doing and doing what was either right or contrary to the statute, and
· Without his consent or against his will, to perform the thing that poisoned him.
In order to invoke Section 85, these are the essentials that need to be established.
In order to be eligible for the protection of intoxication pursuant to section 85, it must be established that the intoxicant is delivered against his consent or against his will, but also because of such intoxication the person concerned was unable to understand the nature and consequences of the act or that it was either correct or incorrect. The effect of the substance administered, unless a person is unable to understand the essence and effects of the act committed by him, does not entitle him to immunity under section 85. Similarly, the mere fact that an intoxicant was offered to him by another person without his consent or against his will does not qualify him for exclusion.
WITHOUT HIS ‘UNDERSTANDING’ OR ‘AGAINST HIS WILL’
Involuntary intoxication is denoted by the words 'without information' or 'against will'. The word 'under his awareness' implies that the individual concerned is unaware of the reality that what he eats is an intoxicant or is mixed with an intoxicant. He must be absolutely unaware, in other words, that something that has been administered or given to him would have some intoxicating effects. If there is an element of intimidation to consume the intoxicant against his will, the term against his will does not cover natural persuasion that acts as motivation.
A careful reading of section 85 and 86 shows that an act carried out under the influence of self-induced intoxication is a crime even though, due to intoxication, the doer is unable to understand the essence of the act or that what he does is either wrong or contrary to the law. Naturally, if voluntary drunkenness were allowed to be a security shield from criminal responsibility, it would lead to a kind of license to commit immunity offences. In addition, section 86 deals with the immunity of a self-intoxicated individual when committing an offense involving clear knowledge or motive as a deciding component on the part of an accused. It states that if an offence involving such knowledge or intent is committed by an intoxicated self-induced person, only knowledge (and not intent) of the offence will be presumed on his part. All crimes are covered by section 85, while s 86 covers offenses requiring precise motive or knowledge. Section 86 is an exception to section 85 in this manner. However, the degree of disability that both components require is the same. Like a deliberately intoxicated person seeking protection from section 85, a knowingly drunken person seeking protection from section 86 is expected to prove that the degree of his addiction made him unable to understand the essence of the act or that what he is doing is either incorrect or contrary to the law.
It is assumed that an individual entering a state of intoxication has the same knowledge as he would have had if he had not been intoxicated. For instance, if at the time of the alleged offense the accused was in a state of intoxication and the impairment is accidental, at the time of the action pursuant to section 86, IPC, he will be believed to have known at the time of the act that it is likely to cause death and he would be liable for the penalty.
VOLUNTARY INTOXICATION AND INTENT
Purpose and information are distinguished by section 86. It should be noted that 'intention or knowledge' is the first part of the section and the latter part is just about knowledge. As far as knowledge is concerned, the statute extends the same knowledge to the poisoned person as it would have if he had not been poisoned. It allows for the assumption, not the presumption of intent, of
knowledge alone. As far as the motive or intention is concerned, it must be collected from the corresponding general circumstances of the case, taking due account of the degree of poisoning.
INSANITY AND INTOXICATION
Intoxication might sound like madness, but the two are not the same. The defense set up in all cases of 'insanity' and 'voluntary intoxication' is the failure to know or understand the essence of the act.
In other terms, if it contributes to an 'unhealthy mind’, voluntary intoxication acts as an extenuating factor. The IPC makes no distinction between insanity caused by excessive daily drinking and insanity caused by other causes. It does not deny him protection from prosecution solely on the basis that his self-induced gross drunkenness resulted in insanity.