India

Rajasthan HC acquits murder accused woman on grounds of insanity due to PMS

The woman had pushed three children, two boys and a girl, into a well in August 1981.

Jaipur: The Rajasthan HC acquitted a woman accused of murdering a child because she was suffering from ‘insanity triggered from Premenstrual Stress Syndrome’ or PMS for the uninitiated. The accused, Chandra, had pushed three kids into a well. Although two kids were saved because of swift action, one of them unfortunately drowned.

The trial court had earlier ordered the woman to undergo life imprisonment. However, it was pleaded before the trial court that the woman was suffering from a ‘mental disease’ known as Premenstrual Stress Syndrome. The court took note of this fact after three doctors deposed in the case.

One of the doctors said that ‘some women do not remain normal’ in the days preceding their cycle. The court said that though the laws in India were not developed enough on PMS being set as the defense of insanity, however, the accused had a right to defend herself and her actions because the offence she committed was an involuntary act on her par.

What is PMS…

  • Trial court had earlier ordered the woman to undergo life imprisonment. However, it was pleaded that the woman was suffering from a ‘mental disease’ known as PMS.
  • According to an article published in the Duke Law Journal, Premenstrual Stress Syndrome is a disorder afflicting many women.
  • The symptoms of the disease increase in intensity prior to the onset of menses. The syndrome can range in severity from mild to incapacitating, in a physical and psychological sense.
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