This section, along with sections 88 and 89 of the Code, deals with acts done for the benefit of others whereas section 93 deals with communication made for the benefit of a person. The authors of the Code observed:
“There yet remains a kindred class of cases which are by no means of rare occurrence. For example, a person falls down in an apopletic fit. Bleeding alone can save him, and he is unable to signify his consent to be bled, The surgeon who bleads him commits an act falling under the definition of an offence. The surgeons is not the patient’s guardian, and has no authority from any such guardian; yet it is evident that the surgeon ought not to be punished.
Again, a house is on fire. A person snatches up a child too young to understand the danger, and flings it from the house-top, with a faint hope that he may be caught in a blanket below, but with the knowledge that it is highly probable that he will be dashed to pieces. Here, though the child may be killed by the fall, though the person who threw it down knew that it would very probably be killed, and though he was not the child’s parent or guardian, he ought not to be punished.
“In these examples there is what may be called a temporary guardianship justified by the exigency of the case and by the humanity of the motive. This temporary guardianship bears a considerable analogy to that temporary magistracy with which the law invests every person who is present when a great crime is committed, or when the public peace is concerned. To acts done in the exercise of this temporary guardianship, we extend by clause 72 (this section) a protection very similar to that which we have given to the acts of regular guardians.”
This section in a way extends what has been provided in section 89 of the Code. Under section 92 the requirement of consent on the part of the person for whose benefit something is done, or consent by another on his behalf, has altogether been dispensed with.
If there is a situation where the person is not in a position to signify consent, or if the person is incapable of giving consent and there is no guardian or other person in lawful charge of him from whom it is possible to obtain consent in time for the thing to be done with benefit, even then the person acting for the benefit of such a person is protected under this section if the act is done by him in good faith.
The first two illustrations mentioned in the section relate to a situation where it is impossible for a person to signify consent while the latter two illustrations show that the person is incapable of giving consent and there is no possibility of obtaining consent on his behalf in time.
The explanation under this section clearly states that mere pecuniary benefit is not benefit within the meaning of sections 88, 89 and 92 of the Code. The expression good faith has the same meaning as is given in section 52 of the Code. The first, second and fourth provisos under this section and section 89 are identical but there is a slight difference between the third provisos of the two sections.
The third proviso under section 89 mentions about grievous hurt whereas the third proviso under this section mentions about hurt. Also, the words ‘or the curing of any grievous disease or infirmity’ exist in section 89 but they have been omitted in section 92.
Where the accused, an educated and wealthy man living in a town where reasonable medical facilities existed, kept his brother, who was subject to violent fits at intervals, chained up, it was held that he did not act in good faith and was liable for wrongful confinement under section 344 of the Code.
It has been held that performing a dangerous surgical operation by an unskilled person on a person with his consent with a view to make him an eunuch with a peculiar benefit in mind does not justify the act under sections 88 and 92 of the Code.