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Factual Situation: Jack Has a Bad Day at Work and is Felled at by All His Superiors. - Legal Reasoning

MCQ

Given below is a statement of legal principle followed by a factual situation. Apply the principle to the facts given below and select the most appropriate answer.

Principle: Nothing is an offense, 'which is done by a person, who at the time of doing it, by the reason of unsoundness of mind is incapable of knowing the nature of the act, or that what he is doing is either wrong or contrary to law.

Factual Situation: Jack has a bad day at work and is felled at by all his superiors. On the way back from the office, he gets stuck in a traffic jam, which adds to his stress. As Jack nears his home, a person tries to run across the road. Owing to the stress, Jack runs into the person, grievously injuring him. He is prosecuted and he takes the defense that at the time of doing the act he was really stressed and was incapable of knowing what he was doing was wrong. Decision

Options

  • Jack would not be liable, as he knows not what he did at the time of the incident

  • Jack would be liable as he is not of unsound mind and inescapable of knowing the consequences of his act

  • Jack would be liable as he took the stress he felt at the office out on the pedestrian

  • Jack would not be liable as the pedestrian should have waited until Jack had passed

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Solution

Jack would be liable as he is not of unsound mind and inescapable of knowing the consequences of his act

Explanation:

"Jack would be liable as he is not of unsound mind and inescapable of knowing the consequences of his act" is correct. The principle that is to be applied in the given situation specifically states that nothing is an offense if and only if the person doing it is doing so due to the reason of UNSOUNDNESS of mind and is INCAPABLE knowing the legality of consequences.  In the present scenario, Jack cannot be argued to be of unsound mind or incapable of decision making, as he was just stressed thus his defense will not be upheld. 
"Jack would not be liable, as he knows not what he did at the time of the incident" is incorrect due to the above reason. 
 
"Jack would be liable as he took the stress he felt at the office out on the pedestrian" is also incorrect as jack had not in any way planned or schemed to take revenge for stress undergone by him through the day however Jack is liable because he had grievously hurt the other person which he could have avoided if he acted judiciously. 
"Jack would not be liable as the pedestrian should have waited until Jack had passed" cannot be correct being highly impractical.

Concept: Criminal Law
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