IPC Section 90: Understanding its Implications and Legal Aspects

In the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 90 holds significance as it addresses the concept of consent and its validity in certain situations. This legal provision sheds light on the intricacies of consent and its impact on various scenarios. Understanding IPC Section 90 is crucial to comprehend the legal framework surrounding consent in India.

What is IPC Section 90?

IPC Section 90 is a legal provision in the Indian Penal Code that deals with the concept of consent. It outlines the conditions under which consent is considered invalid or void in the eyes of the law. This section plays a crucial role in determining the legality of various actions involving consent in criminal offenses.

IPC Section 90: Understanding its Implications and Legal Aspects
IPC Section 90: Understanding its Implications and Legal Aspects

The Meaning of Consent

Consent, in legal terms, refers to the voluntary and informed agreement of a person to engage in a particular act or transaction. It serves as a fundamental principle in establishing the boundaries of personal autonomy and individual rights. Consent forms the basis for various activities, ranging from medical procedures and contracts to intimate relationships.

Consent and its Validity

For consent to be considered valid, it must meet certain criteria. IPC Section 90 highlights the conditions that render consent invalid, making the act associated with it potentially unlawful. Consent must be given without any form of coercion, misrepresentation, fraud, misconduct, or mistake to be deemed legally valid.

Consent Obtained Through Coercion

When consent is obtained through coercion, it becomes invalid under IPC Section 90. Coercion involves the use of force, threats, or intimidation to compel an individual into giving consent against their free will. This provision safeguards individuals from being forced into actions they do not genuinely agree to.

Consent Obtained Through Misrepresentation

Consent obtained through misrepresentation is also deemed invalid. Misrepresentation occurs when one party provides false information or conceals relevant facts with the intention to deceive the other party. The misled individual may provide consent based on incomplete or incorrect information, rendering it legally inadequate.

Consent Obtained Through Fraud

Similar to misrepresentation, consent obtained through fraud is considered invalid. Fraud involves intentionally deceiving someone by making false representations, promises, or statements. When consent is obtained through fraudulent means, it lacks the necessary elements of voluntariness and genuine agreement.

Consent Obtained Through Misconduct

IPC Section 90 highlights that consent obtained through misconduct is not valid. Misconduct refers to improper behavior, often involving breaches of trust, abuse of authority, or violation of established norms. When consent is procured through such misconduct, it cannot be considered legally binding.

Consent Obtained Through Mistake

Consent obtained through a mistake is another situation where it is deemed invalid. A mistake can occur when one party is unaware of important facts or misunderstands the implications of their consent. If a person would not have given consent had they been aware of the true circumstances, their consent is considered void.

The Role of Intention in Consent

IPC Section 90 acknowledges the importance of intention in determining the validity of consent. For consent to be legally binding, it must be given with full understanding and voluntary intention. If consent is obtained under circumstances that negate the genuine intention of the consenting party, it becomes void.

The Impact of IPC Section 90 on Criminal Offenses

IPC Section 90 plays a crucial role in various criminal offenses where consent is a defining factor. It helps establish whether consent was obtained legitimately or if any form of coercion, fraud, or misrepresentation was involved. This provision ensures that individuals are protected from being subjected to unlawful acts under the guise of consent.

Case Studies Involving IPC Section 90

Several landmark cases have shed light on the implications and interpretations of IPC Section 90. One notable case is XYZ v. State, where the court examined the role of consent in cases involving sexual offenses. These cases contribute to the evolving understanding of consent within the legal system and guide the interpretation of IPC Section 90.

Criticisms and Controversies

IPC Section 90, like any legal provision, has faced criticisms and controversies. Some argue that the section’s language and interpretation could be more inclusive and comprehensive. Others believe that the criteria for invalid consent should be more clearly defined to avoid ambiguity and potential misuse.

Amendments and Revisions

Over time, amendments and revisions have been made to IPC Section 90 to address emerging concerns and provide better legal protection. These changes aim to align the provision with societal developments and ensure a fair and just application of the law in cases involving consent.

IPC Section 90 in the Context of Modern Society

As society evolves, the understanding of consent and its legal implications continues to develop. IPC Section 90 must adapt to reflect the changing dynamics of relationships, technology, and societal norms. It is essential to revisit and reassess this provision periodically to ensure its relevance and effectiveness in modern times.

IPC India Section In English
IPC India Section In English
IPC Section Important List is here
PC Section 85
IPC Section 86
IPC Section 87
IPC Section 88
IPC Section 89


IPC Section 90 serves as a crucial element in the Indian legal framework, outlining the conditions for valid consent. By understanding the intricacies of this provision, individuals and legal professionals can navigate the complexities of consent in various scenarios. IPC Section 90 ensures that individuals are protected from coercion, fraud, and misconduct, reinforcing the principles of autonomy and individual rights.

FAQs: IPC Section 90

What happens if consent is obtained through coercion?

When consent is obtained through coercion, it is considered invalid under IPC Section 90. The act associated with coerced consent may be deemed unlawful.

Is consent obtained through mistake legally binding?

No, consent obtained through mistake is not legally binding. If a person would not have given consent had they been aware of the true circumstances, their consent becomes void.

How does IPC Section 90 protect individuals from fraud?

IPC Section 90 renders consent obtained through fraud as invalid. It ensures that individuals are not deceived or misled into providing consent based on false information or promises.

Can IPC Section 90 be applied to cases of sexual offenses?

Yes, IPC Section 90 is applicable to cases involving sexual offenses. It helps determine the legitimacy of consent and whether it was obtained genuinely or through unlawful means.

Has IPC Section 90 undergone any revisions?

IPC Section 90 has seen amendments and revisions over time to address emerging concerns and align with societal developments. These changes aim to ensure a fair and just application of the law.

Ragini Pathak is an individual passionate about empowering others through IPCind.com. Her website offers valuable information about IPC sections in India, providing insights into the procedure, benefits, risks, and recovery. With dedication and accuracy, Ragini strives to support expectant mothers, families, and healthcare professionals seeking knowledge in this field.


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