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Injuria Non Excusat Injuriam

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

BY-Sneha Sudhakar (Central University of South Bihar)


Injuria Non Excusat Injuriam is a Latin phrase used as a legal maxim in India with the following meaning: A wrong does not excuse a wrong”. This means that there is no defense available in Indian Law for a wrong done as compensation for another. Nobody is entitled to take the law into his/her own hands, and consequently, nobody is entitled to perform a wrong as a by-product of a wrong caused on him/her. In the event that an individual submits a wrong, an inappropriate which she/he endured won't pardon or excuse him/her from the outcomes of his/her wrong.

The cause of committing an offence in support of another can be driven by different negative emotions such as taking revenge, to hide any sensitive identity or documents and many psycho-criminal intentions. In this article, I will use the terms revenge and Injuria Non Excusat Injurium, interchangeably.

Why it is not justified by law?

The difference between justice and revenge is of a thin line. In some instances, revenge is legitimately understood as a type of justice and justice as a kind of revenge. Nevertheless, it has some defined differences. The reason why it has been illegalized by the Law of the land and the major differences of it with justice are as follows:

Revenge is driven by personal motives; Justice is a socio-legal phenomenon which is impartial and impersonal

The propelling motive behind the revenge is to achieve personal justice or to get private satisfaction. The aggrieved party has only one thing in their mind – to vanish their perpetrator. They have nothing to do with the way they are choosing, the force they are applying, and the ill-consequences of it. By any means, they just want to feel justified. But in the actual sense law and justice is not about to let anybody to feel justified, only. Instead, it should be supported by morality or culturally vital principles which are the essence of every justice system.

Revenge is dominatingly passionate; Justice fundamentally rational

The act of revenge is driven by the negative emotions which at its worst express an overwhelming desire for bloodshed. The motive lies here to suffer who makes him/her to suffer. But the incentive of justice is to rectify the wrong so that it is accepted by maximum members of society.

Revenge creates cycle; Justice causes full-stop

It is one of the important reasons for not accepting “a wrong for another wrong” as it creates a cycle of offences. It is like a tic-tac-toe game who has no end. It is a game with minimal sight to compromise. It is a game where on winning, one side gets satisfaction and another side is driven to get his satisfaction thereby creating it a cycle to ad infinitum. On the other hand, justice focuses on closure. It intends to deter the crime by blocking the chain of offences.

Revenge is about counter; Justice is tied in with reestablishing harmony

The rationale of revenge has, for the most part, to do with hatred or rage. It's a dissent or recompense, and its principal goal is to hurt. All by itself, it's not essentially about justice but rather about casualties' asserting their inalienable (yet non-lawful) option to fight back against some wrong done to them. Despite what might be expected, Justice is concerned about impartially reestablishing harmony by realizing balance—or better, value. It focuses on extent as it likens to reasonableness. Not driven by feeling, remedial equity—dispensed by an official courtroom—looks to be as target and impartial as could be expected under the circumstances. It's not, as is such an extensive amount vengeance, about doing the opposite side "one better" however about evenhandedly—or appropriately—rebuffing bad behavior.

Revenge, a demonstration of malevolence; Justice, of vindication

“Two wrongs do not yield right and obviously never can”. In order to degrade someone, we end up with degrading ourselves. Even if we get a kind of justice, still there remains an argumentation of just or unjust way, proportionate or disproportionate, and ends up with another offence.

The retribution depends on the underlying conditions, motivations, and executions of the situation. It might be just or unjust and disproportionate to the original wrong but law and order is grounded with assumptions, conventions, and doctrines whose incentive is to achieve honor, fairness, virtue, and cultural or community standards. In a few words, we can summarize Revenge as a “miscarriage of Justice”.

There is no direct provision available in Indian Law which validates the term “Injuria Non Excusat Injurium” but is recognized in almost every law.

Contemporary examples:

Hyderabad rape-murder case; accused encountered by Telangana Police

It is a rape-murder case of a women veterinary doctor who has been brutally raped and burnt by four persons – Arif, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen Kumar, and Chintakunta Chenna Keshavulu in Telangana. To hear the matter and to punish the accused, The Telangana government was to set up fast- track court for speedy trials but on 6th December 2019, Hyderabad Police encountered all the four-accused persons in the way to the crime scene for the reconstruction of events – as a part of the investigation – and later mentioned that they were trying to escape and got fired in retaliation. It was praised for the speedy justice but also raised concerns over extra Judicial executions. In this case, also, another wrong had been done right behind the previous wrong.

Vikas Dubey encounter case:

Vikas Dubey, a notorious gangster whose life of crime is of more than 30 years. A total of 62 cases was reported in his life span which includes five cases of murder and eight cases of attempt to murder. He was arrested in Ujjain on July 9, 2020, for killing eight cops and later encountered by Uttar Pradesh Police on the next day, i.e. July 10, when he tried to escape after the accident of police van in which he was traveling (quoted by a policeman). The matter of concern lies in the fact that either it is a fake or valid encounter.

Landmark Case: In Re Ramlila Maidan Incident

This case focuses on the restrictions imposed by the state on our fundamental rights, the responsibility of citizens to follow fundamental duties, and the misuse of the power by Police authorities.

Facts of the case

It is the case of the “Anti-corruption movement” which was held at Ramlila Maidan on February 27, 2011, led by Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare, Ram Jethmalani, and other luminaries.

In April 2011, an application was submitted by the president of Bharat Swabhiman Trust, Delhi to MCD to take the Ramlila Maidan on rent for holding Yoga training camp but later no such training was held. All the protestors were repeatedly protested for corruption and went on the hunger strike to bring back the black money. This protest was supported by a crowd counting more than fifty thousand persons. On June 4, 2011, a large team of police rushed and notified to withdraw the camp and Baba Ramdev to be detained. This time all the protesters were peacefully sleeping. Later, they protested against the police forces in due course Baba Ramdev disappeared among the supporters and got arrested at Ranjit Singh flyover dressed in salwar – kameez.


The time when Police forces entered in the Ramlila Maidan, all the followers were sleeping and thus there is no imminent threat to security and hence using Section 144 Cr.P.C., in this case, is unreasonable and also the trust and its representatives failed to discharge the moral and legal duty which resulted in contributory negligence. Here a wrong is supported by another and hence the right example “Injuria Non Excusat Injurium”.

Suggestions: How the Psychology of Revenge could be reduced?

The motive to take revenge comes because of the ill-picture of our justice system. In place of long-process, people are likely to get influenced toward it and at an instance confused with justice. It is time to consider the contemporary condition of our justice system to maintain the Rule of law.


· LegalCrystal, (2008). injuria non excusat injuriam. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 07.2020]

· Seltzer, L. (2014). Don’t Confuse Revenge With Justice: Five Key Differences. [online]. Available at: [Accessed 26 07. 2020].

· Kasturi, M. (2015). In Re Ramlila Maidan Incident: Case Analysis. [Blog]. Available at: [Accessed 26 07. 2020].

· The Economics Time (2019). All 4 accused in Hyderabad rape-murder case killed in encounter: Telangana Police. Newspaper, [online]. Available at: [Accessed 26 07. 2020].

· Indian Express (2020). Vikas Dubey’s life of crime spanning 30 years: 62 cases, including 5 of murder. Newspaper, [online]. Available at: [Accessed 26 07. 2020].

[DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only. We have tried to include as much information as possible but there are chances that some important information may have been missed .It is NOT to be substituted for legal advice or taken as legal advice. The publishers of the this article shall not be liable for any act or omission based on this note].

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