Act likely to cause harm, but done without criminal intent, and to prevent other harm is defined under section 81 of ipc. Provisions under IPC section 81 explained here:

What is Section 81 IPC:

Nothing is an offence merely by reason of its being done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause harm, if it be done without any criminal intention to cause harm, and in good faith for the purpose of preventing or avoiding other harm to person or property.

Explanations: It is a question of fact in such a case whether the harm to be prevented or avoided was of such a nature and so imminent as to justify or excuse the risk of doing the act with the knowledge that it was likely to cause harm.


  1. A, the captain of a steam vessel, suddenly and without any fault or negligence on his part, finds himself in such a position that, before he can stop his vessel, he must inevitably run down a boat B, with twenty or thirty passengers on board, unless he changes the course of his vessel, and that, by changing his course, he must incur risk of running down a boat C with only two passengers on board, which he may possibly clear. Here, if A alters his course without any intention to run down the boat C and in good faith for the purpose of avoiding the danger to the passengers in the boat B, he is not guilty of an offence, though he may run down the boat C by doing an which he knew was likely to cause that effect, if it be found as a matter of fact that the danger which he intended to avoid was such as to excuse him in incurring the risk of running down C.
  2. A, in a great fire, pulls down houses in order to prevent the conflagration from spreading. He does this with the intention in good faith of saving human life or property. Here, if it be found that the harm to be prevented was of such a nature and so imminent as to excuse A’s act, A is not guilty of the offence.

Section 81 IPC Explanation:

This section means if a person commits an act which is likely to cause harm to another but it has to be done in order to prevent further harm to life or property. For eg A a doctor treating on a pregnant lady giving birth to a baby who’ll likely not survive the operation, but if A tries to save a child mother will die and thier are chance still that child will possible not survive, but if he saves the mother child will definately die, so A saves the mother child dies, here A has comitted no offence since child was likely to die and mother had full chances of survival. A is not guilty.

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