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This article is authored by Magaonkar Revati, a student pursuing BA-LLB (Hons.) from Dayanand College of Law. This article has elaborate provisions of psychopathy and provisions related to it briefly while giving accurate information of a psychopathic offender.


As we all have a specific nature, thinking and different mindsets, it changes from person to person. The nature, behaviour or the thinking of a person is depending upon his/her surroundings, sometimes genetic qualities and upbringing. The word psychopathy determines the behaviour of a person. It is commonly used to describe a person’s mental illness. Psychopathy has a huge impact on crimes, which deals with the mindset of an offender. The word psychopathy is related to psychological factors. The history of the psychopathic personality can be found from the ancient period to this modern era which has scientific assessment. The psychopathic offenders have an irrelevant or inconsequential impact on the criminal justice system in India. The offenders with psychopathic personalities are more dangerous and violent than the non-psychopaths in prison and they are also not supportive and of obstructive nature for any forms of treatment.

The disadvantage of the term psychopath is often taken by many authorities like police, defence lawyers, parole or prison officials for their own sake. It is a selected group of psychological symptoms that particularly starts early in childhood that affects all the aspects of the life of the sufferer, it effects reflect in the relations of that person’s life in work, family, friends etc.

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The person with psychopathic symptoms like lack of feeling of guilt, empathy, repentance and irresponsibility. In the present time calculation shows that male’s of age 18 and above who are non-institutional seem to be psychopathic. The psychopathic disorder is as common as bipolar disorder, panic disorder, self worshipped, panic disorder etc.

Psychopath behaviour

Meaning of Psychopath

The term psychopath can be described with a personality who is harsh, having no moral values, unemotional. This term is not an official health diagnosis and is generally used by the legal and medical field.

Originally this term was used to specify the individuals who are dishonest, heartless and manipulative. This term was changed to the sociopath in the end, to highlight the fact that the persons with such mentality are harmful and dangerous to society. Therefore, after passing some time researchers preferred to use the term psychopath, the psychopath disorder can be diagnosed with an antisocial personality disorder.

Psychopath Behaviour

The persons with psychopath behaviour are more likely to be violent, inhuman behaviour, cold-hearted. Persons with such disorders don’t have emotional feelings like normal human beings with empathy. They usually behave irresponsible, disregard or violate the rights of others, don’t differentiate between right and wrong and don’t show remorse or empathy. They usually tend to lie, manipulating and hurting others. They don’t have awareness about safety and responsibility, psychopaths have a superficial charm about them and have more aggression and anger. The signs of a psychopath are often found more in men than women.

Reasons behind the behaviour of a psychopath

Reasons for sadness

Some persons with psychopaths often have feelings for their family but they have major issues in trusting and dealing with society. They often get hurt when they get separated from their loved ones or when they die. They like and wish to be loved and cared for but it’s often not possible for everyone to love such a personality with a violent nature, not getting love leads them to have more anxiety and offence.

Some psychopaths show a different picture of themselves to the world so that they can be popular by hiding their real nature thinking that other people will not accept them. Psychopaths are mostly known for their extreme excitement but because of the tipsy adventures it only ends with disappointment causing conflicts and unreal expectations.

Many psychopaths get disheartened because of their inability to control their wish to seek thrill in life and always getting confronted with their weakness. Psychopaths can’t learn from their experience,  fearless nature, always facing a depressing and frustrating life doesn’t give them a lead even if they want to attempt to change.

Violence and emotions

The feeling of loneliness, being isolated or separated from society and pain out of emotions can result in psychopaths being more brutal and violent criminals. They have different beliefs about the world and feel like the whole society and world is against them and at the end they get themself convinced they do need a special advantage, rights to complete their inclinations. 

Some psychopathic offenders themselves have said that they reach such a point in life where there is no ‘U-turn’ and they have the feeling of being cut off from the normal world. These feelings lead them to become more dangerous and bizarre criminals.

Dahmer and Nilsen are examples of psychopath offenders who faced unimaginable loneliness and social failures which became unbearable things to them as expressed by them. They kill people even when they don’t want to because dead bodies never leave them as living humans do. 

Surender Koli (Noida Serial Murders, Nithari case)

This case is known as the Noida murders case or Nithari serial murders, Nithari Kand. It was the most heartbreaking and brutal criminal case which became a highlight in the year of 2006. This crime was done in the house of businessman Moninder Singh Pandhar in Nithari village which 8s situated in Noida (Delhi), India in the year of 2005 and 2006. This case involves the brutal and bizarre offences like sexual assault, murder, cannibalism and necrophilia (a sexual attraction towards or a sexual act with (corpses) the dead human body.

In the said case in large numbers children and women were missing from Nithari village (Noida) sector 31. This happened after the person named Surinder Koli came as a domestic helper in the bungalow of businessman Moninder Singh Pandhar whose house was also located at sector 31 of Nithari village. Firstly a 14-year girl went missing from the date of 8 February 2005, her parent’s attempts to register a report became unsuccessful. 


  • On May 7th of 2006, a girl named Payal went to the bungalow of Moninder Singh by telling her father, but she didn’t return home and was missing, her father searched her in the mentioned bungalow but both Koli and Moninder denied the statement that Payal had came to the bungalow. 
  • Police refused to register the complaint so after a lot of effort he went to SSP and the complaint got registered by the police. The call history of Payal’s cellphone was traced and the last call was made by the Koli to call her at the bungalow. With that lead police arrested Koli for further investigation but got released soon with the help of Pandhar. 
  • Also, the police were unable to find anything which could take them to Payal but they had got the lead by call history. After not getting support from police Payal’s father went to court and court-ordered an investigation in which police discovered a huge number of plastic bags filled with human skeletons from the backsides drain of Moninder Singh’s bungalow.
  • On that evidence, both Moninder Singh Pandhar and Koli got arrested and more skeletons were found. This investigation opened the case of other missing children, there was much pressure, as a result, the UP Government gave the case to the CBI.
  • After the efforts of 60 days CBI applied to the magistrate for having confession of Koli, he confessed about how he planned and steered 9 female children, 5 adult women and 2 male children, because of which they came to the bungalow. He murdered all of them and tried to have sex with those dead bodies, he chopped all the dead bodies and eat some parts of it and threw the remaining in backside drain of the bungalow. 
  • Koli was awarded death sentence by the special CBI court under the charges of murder and rape after both Pandhar and Koli were awarded for the death sentence by the trial court but Pandhar was acquitted by High Court and had confirmed the Koli’s death sentence, but after so many stay orders and delay by including various authorities the CBI convicted both of them for murder and rape in Pinky Sardar case this was the 8th from those 16 murder case and other 8 cases judgment have not been delivered yet.

This case is an example of the brutal, cruel and bizarre nature of crime by the psychopathic offender. 

Legal lacuna

Every law has some lacks and gaps, which gives ways to criminals for getting acquittals, lowering the punishment. In law, this term refers to a situation where there is no applicable law. When there is no law for governing a certain situation, at that time law adjudicating bodies conclude that there is a lacuna in the law. Such lacunas can be found mostly in international law as the International Court of Justice and the other ad hoc courts are unable to invent such new laws to fill up the gaps in between.

Persons with Disability (equal opportunities and protection of rights, full participation) Act, 1995

This Act has been enacted by the Government of India for the disabled to be sure that they are also an important part of the nation’s building. This Act ensures equal opportunity to people with disabilities, it provides preventive and promotional both aspects for employment, rehabilitation for the education, reservation, unemployment allowance for people with disabilities etc. In this Act the provisions have been made for the disabled persons like persons having following inabilities : 

Disability particularly includes blindness, cured leprosy, hearing problem, locomotive (ex. Running, walking, swimming etc.) disability, mental retardation (the slow process of thinking and thought process), mental illness – disorders relating to anxiety, bipolar, depression, traumatic stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorder etc.

Disabilities with mental health are the most misused disabilities by the offender’s particularly psychopaths, as it is not easy to prove or disprove a mental issue, it is one of the most critical disabilities to be disproved as the other persons with blindness, hearing problem, the locomotor disorder can be proved with the help of science and technology which are available for the medical field. Even science has been so much developed and with so many new inventions there is still a lacuna while examining the human mind or mental condition.

Mostly misused disabilities

Mental retardation

It is a condition where a person is not having complete development of mind and it can be specified as a person with subnormal intelligence level.

Mental illness

It is simply defined as any other mental disorder than mental retardation.

Benefits and rights provided under, Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995

Educational facilities shall be provided to every child having a disability and they have the right to free education until they attained 18 years of age.

  • Persons with disabilities shall have three percent of vacancies reserved for each person suffering from the disabilities mentioned above.
  • Persons with disabilities shall get the aid and appliances and lands should be allocated to them at a concessional price for residential use or business or factories why disabled entrepreneurs etc.
  • There should be facilities for easy access to rail, bus, public buildings, aircraft for disabled people.
  • Non-government organisations of rehabilitation for disabled persons should get financial assistance.


Misuse of the Act 

This Act has been misused by so many offenders or criminals most particularly by the psychopathic offenders and also some as authorities help some criminals in acquittal, lowering the punishment, other benefits of the provisions. In this most public officials are included in helping the psychopaths, prison authority, police, defence lawyers etc. It’s a huge lacuna of this law. Psychopath offenders usually use the provisions provided to the persons with disabilities, they falsely represent themselves as insane, unsound, or mentally ill with different mental disorders. Which is being a threat to the justice system in India. 

National Trust Act of 1999

The National Trust Act, 1999 is dealing with the welfare of the persons dealing with the following disorders or disabilities :

Autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities. These disabilities have been defined by the National Trust as follows:

  1. Autism is a condition of having uneven skills developed which primarily affects the social and communication abilities of a person which can be marked by repetitive and ritualistic behaviour.
  2. Cerebral Palsy is known as a group of non-progressive conditions of a person who can be described as abnormal motor control posture which is caused by brain insult or injuries occurred during prenatal, perinatal or infant period of development.
  3. Multiple disabilities mean having two or more disabilities combined which have been described under Section 2(1) of Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995.
  4. Severe disability means having a disability of eighty per cent or more of one or more multiple disabilities.

This Act aims to enable and empower the persons with disabilities so that they can live as much independence as possible and also close to their flock. It helps those persons by strengthening the facilities to support them so that they can live with their families and also help those who don’t have families. It has facilitated the realisation for equal opportunity and protection of the rights of those persons etc.

Though this Act has been enacted for the protection of the persons with disabilities, retardation and cerebral palsy, many other criminal offenders are using this Act for their own sake and benefit so that they get protection from the criminal justice system. It is mostly done by psychopaths who have abnormal intelligence in finding the loopholes in the various laws. So we can find the lacuna of law which can be a big loss to the other innocent persons who don’t get justice because of the psychopathic offenders. It is really hard most of the time for the legal authorities to prove an offender is not having any disabilities or any mental illness or retardation etc.

The Act also gives protection to the psychopathic offenders because of the mental disorder they have, it aims and tries to keep them independent and also near to their social folks so that they could be cured by different means of operating such persons. 

United Nations (UN) Convention for rights of persons with disabilities-2006 and Indian laws

The United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities it is a treaty of the international human rights of the United Nations whose intention is to protect the rights and dignity of the persons with disabilities. Parties of the convention are required to protect, promote and should be ensured about the full enjoyment of equality under the law. This convention is serving as an activist in the world’s global disability rights and movement. It sees the disabled persons not only as an object for charity or any medical treatment but often it looks after all those persons as the equal members of society.

Regardless as the UN’s authorising official function of no new rights, these provisions provide a broad range of human rights, also making states obliged about providing support to it to guarantee that rights can be practised. This UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first instrument which clearly and in detail has addressed the disability.

Moreover, the general principles and obligations of the CRPD Article 12 give more strength and support to the people with disabilities so they should have the ability to achieve more other rights available under the convention. Article 5 of the Convention assures that states parties recognize that all are equal before and under the law and are entitled to get equal protection and equal benefits without discrimination. It is described under Article 13 of the convention that the state shall ensure that all persons with disabilities have equal access to justice.

Every state has to submit its report to the committee through the secretary-general of the UN about the measures undertaken to give effect to the obligation of the present Convention and progress made regarding it. India has ratified this United Nations Convention on the Persons with the Disability (CRPD) 2006, in the year of 2007. The 2013 bill explicitly seeks to harmonize Indian Legislation with the CRPD.

Other laws in India for mental and physical disability

  • The Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 was introduced to the Rajyasabha, on 19 August 2013, it’s aim is to provide mental health care and protection to the persons who are suffering from mental illness. This legislative initiative is one of the exceptionally important starts to improve the positions of the mentally ill persons and also to increase their experience of good mental condition and health, liberty and social justice.
  • The Right of Persons with Disabilities (RPW) Act, 2016.

This Act has cast all responsibility on the appropriate government so that they should take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy the equality of their rights as others. It has covered physical disability, intellectual disability, Mental behaviour, disability caused by- another medical disease, multiple disabilities.

Testamentary capacity

Testamentary capacity is the legal and mental ability of a person to make or alter a valid will. Testamentary capacity can be evaluated by the legal or medical professionals which are used for different reasons, but legally it is used for legal instruments. A medical condition of a person can interfere or eliminate the legal capacity of a person to execute a will. So collaborating with medical and legal professionals while assessing the process is important. 

While evaluating testamentary capacity it is more useful and important to know the mental capacity so that person can understand the purpose, importance and its consequences and legal capacity to understandability of a person for entering into any transaction or recognised status by law. As the medical understanding has been developed in evaluating the different patterns of cognitive dysfunction and craziness have made the testamentary capacity more complex. As the legal professionals are not trained to know the medical condition of a person, in a legal capacity and vice versa. It is necessary to have both combinations to know the testamentary capacity of a person, lack of communication, terminological clarity between both medical and legal professionals can lack the proper process of assessment.

The assessment should be done by considering the person’s ability to understand, communicate and appreciate the causes or reasons behind any choice made by them. For adequate assessment needs to consider the person’s ability to recall or inhibit relevant information, understand the reason behind the decision, and should have the capacity to evaluate benefits and risks of the particular choice and to communicate the same and to retain the same.

The assessment should be in three forms, firstly an initial assessment by a legal professional, secondly a clinical assessment by a medical professional and the third one for determining the person’s legal capacity to perform a specific task.

So the testamentary capacity of the psychopath cannot be assessed properly. As he doesn’t have the mental stability and inability to understand right and wrong.

Criminal liability

The psychopath is identified as a morally defective and potentially highly disruptive individual. It is said that psychopaths are intentionally bad, who deserves an acute/severe punishment. The psychiatrist currently favoured that the psychopaths have antisocial and dissocial personality disorder rather than psychopathy. Many scholars and eminent lawyers support the same conclusion that the psychopaths should not be held criminally punishable for the criminal acts done by them.

Psychopath and judicial response

From the centuries it has been proved that mentally ill persons or psychopaths are themselves a huge difficulty for the judicial system. But due to the development in technologies, it has made it easy to understand the effects of the different mental disorders, with the enhancement of knowledge the courts are now ready to decide and utilize the assessment of dangerous defendants. In the view of the judicial system, the psychopaths are fearless, which makes the psychopath more difficult to socialize with others.

As they remain hard to diagnose, The law says that psychopaths are not factually insane and should be punishable for the criminal offences done by them. But it is hard to prove that they have not done the offence and just have slightly going to choose that path. But only because of this it is really hard to say that they are not psychopaths and something different. 

It is an observation that psychopath is a disease which is a continuous lifelong condition of a person characterized by aggression in early childhood, counteraction to punishment, lacking emotional attachment or concern for other people, selfish while socially interacting, dishonest etc. They are even described by many researchers and eminent personalities as cold-blooded intraspecies predators who are only there to violate others even to the closer ones of them.

Psychopaths confused with other sexual crimes

The psychopathic traits and deviant sexual interests are across gender in the large community sample. Its correlation analysis has supported the positive connection between the deviant sexual interests and psychopathic traits. Return analysis indicated the unique change in the antisocial side of psychopathy showed the six deviant sexual interests of the psychopath in advance. In a recent study, it was found that so many sex offenders were convicted for new sexual offences within ten years of release.

The persons with psychopathy have done some of the worst forms of sexual offences. So many researchers have described the psychopathic offenders who have done sexual offences with bizarre cruelty, as most of them are frighteningly sadistic, cold, cruel, callous, highly dangerous with zero emotions, manipulative individuals

The psychopathic personalities lack morality and conscience, it is a characteristic that facilitates sexual offending. If a person doesn’t have a little empathy or remorse for his/her actions then nothing can prevent them from sexually violating other persons. There are the psychopathic offenders who do the sexual offences simultaneously for a specific period with various victims like adult women, children, inmates etc. 

Some of the psychopathic offenders themselves have described the facts of crime and reasons behind it, some said they get bored with one type of sexual offence and victim so they simultaneously change the victims after using and killing them.


Provisions are given under Indian Penal Code: persons with disabilities

The criminal justice system and law in India have covered punishments for various offences but there are also some exceptions where the criminal offender doesn’t get punished for the crime. The Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 is dealing with such defences under Chapter 4 under General Exceptions which are given from section 76 to 106. It covers all offences based on the presumptions that say not all persons are liable for the punishment for the crimes done by them.

Some common defences given under this law are insanity, infancy and intoxication which lowers the defendant’s liability for the offences. To use insanity as a legal defence or excuse for crime, the person has to show his inability.

Section 84 deals with the general defence, it says that offence which is done by a person of unsound mind is not an offence because he is incapable of knowing the nature of the Act or the fact that he is doing is wrong or contrary to the law.


As we have seen above there are so many laws which help and give equal protection to the persons with mental disabilities etc. These Acts and laws try to treat the psychopaths so that they can come back to normal life. But as we see there are so many laws to secure and protect psychopath but when it comes to a serial killer psychopath who have themselves created their personality to get the attention of the world and to be in news have done the serious nature of brutal and bizarre crimes against the humanity and society do they need protection under these laws. It is right to treat the persons with disabilities and mental disorders equally like normal people but it cannot be the same with the psychopath criminal offenders or the serial killers. The psychopathic offenders who have done the crimes really without knowing the fact and law, who don’t even have the sense about what they are doing are wrong or right, they do need protection and curable medical treatment and psychological help.


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