Lunatic Accused is a person who is mentally deranged due to some mental strain or other personal experience. He suffers from intermittent intervals of sanity and insanity. He can enter into a contract only during the period when he is of sound mind. An idiot is a person who is permanently of unsound mind.
Lunatic Accused procedure is one of the most important section under CrPC, so that U/S 328 procedure can be defined as under:-
(1) When a Magistrate holding an inquiry has reason to believe that the person against whom the inquiry is being held is of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defense, the Magistrate shall inquire into the fact of such unsoundness of mind, and shall cause such person to be examined by the civil surgeon of the district or such other medical officer as the State Government may direct, and thereupon shall examine such surgeon or other officer as a witness, and shall reduce the examination to writing.
(2) Pending such examination and inquiry, the Magistrate may deal with such person is accordance with the provisions of section 330.
(3) If such Magistrate is of opinion that the person referred to in sub-section (1) is of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defense, he shall record a finding to that effect and shall postpone further proceedings in the case.
Unsoundness Of Mind:
Under CrPc the term unsoundness of mind has not been defined in the code. But it has been equated by the courts to mean insanity. This section only deals with incapacity of mind which is a result of ‘unsoundness of mind’ or ‘insanity’. It is not every type of insanity which is recognized medically that is given the protection of this section.
Medical insanity is different from legal insanity. The insanity should be of such a nature that it destroys the cognitive faculty of the mind, to such an extent that he is incapable of knowing the nature of his act or what he is doing is wrong or contrary to law.This section will apply even in cases of fits of insanity and lucid intervals. But it must be proved in such cases that at the time of commission of the offence, the accused was surfing from a fit of insanity which rendered him incapable of knowing the nature of his act.
Difference Between Medical and Legal Insanity
The major concept of insanity differs from medical to legal, and it is not that every form of insanity or madness which is recognised by law is a sufficient evidence to excuse.
A man may be suffering from some form of insanity in the sense in which the term is used by medical men but may not be suffering from unsoundness of mind as described in Section 84. If the facts showed that the accused knew that he had done something wrong, it did not matter how, though he might be insane from the medical point of view, he could not be exonerated under Sec. 84.