Principle: Ignorance of Fact is Excused but Ignorance of Law is No Excuse - Legal Reasoning

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MCQ

The question consists of two statements, one labelled as PRINCIPLE and other as FACT. You are to examine the principle and apply it to the given facts carefully and select the best option.

Principle: Ignorance of Fact is excused but ignorance of law is no excuse

Facts: X was a passenger from Zurich to Manila in a Swiss Plane. When the plane landed at the Airport of Bombay on 28 Nov. 1962 it was found on searching that X carried 34 kg of Gold Bars on his person and that he had not declared it in the ‘Manifest for Transit’. On 26th Nov. 1962, the Government of India had issued a notification modifying its earlier exemption, making it mandatory now that the gold must be declared in the “Manifest” of the aircraft

Options

  • X cannot be prosecuted because he had actually no knowledge about the new notification issued two days ago

  • X cannot be prosecuted because ignorance of fact is excusable

  • X can be prosecuted because ignorance of law is not excusable

  • X’s liability would depend on the discretion of the court

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Solution

X can be prosecuted because ignorance of law is not excusable

Explanation:

The above-noted problem is based on the case M.H.  George v State of Maharashtra which proves that ignorance of the law is not excusable. 

Concept: Criminal Law
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