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When a person is forced to commit a crime by threatening him and

left him with no choice, his actions are morally involuntary and as such, he deserves no blame.

Section 94 of the Penal Code:- except for murder and offences against

the state punishable with a death, nothing is an offence which is done

by a person who is compelled to do it by threats, which, at the time of

doing it, reasonably causes the apprehension that instant death to

that person will otherwise be the consequence.

It requires that:-


The threat must be death It must be instant

The threat is directed at the person of the accused himself

The threat must continue to exist at the time of doing the act

Restrictions on Defence

The defence would not be available for:-

A person who places himself in siatuations where he becomes the

subject of the threat (proviso to s 94)

Offences under s302 of Penal Code- murder

Offences punishable with death in chapter VI (offences against the state) of the Penal Code:-

Weighing war against the person of the YDPA, Ruler or the YDPN under S121A of

the Penal Code

Offences against the person of the YDPA, Ruler or YDPN under S121A of the Penal Code

Act of terrorism resulting in death [s130C(1)(a)]

Intentionally directs activities of terrorists groups that result in death [s130(a)]

Act of providing or collecting property for terrorist acts that results in death.


Act of providing services for terrorist purposes results in death. [s130O(1)(aa)]


where it was held that if a person chooses to be in IRA which is known to him that would use violence, he cannot claim that he is under duress

if he being compelled to commit crime.

Case: MOHAMED YUSOF BIN HAJI AHMAD The court held that if the accused place himself in a situation by which he became subject to threats of another person, the provisions of s94 do not apply.

Elements of defence of duress

The threat must be of death:-

The threat must be threat of death and not extreme torture or serious injury anything short of death is insufficient.

QUEEN-EMPRESS V LATIF KHAN where it was held that nothing but fear of instant death would be a defence to a policeman who tortures any one by order of his superior.

the fear must be reasonable fear. i.e instant death as in S94 of the Penal Code

Teh threat of instant death

The threat of future violence is insufficient as the threat must be imminent, extreme and persistent

Case: MAGANLAL AR the court held that threats of future violence will

not generate the defence of duress

Case: TAN SENG ANN it was held that there was no duress present or continuing when the appellant went out in the car with other Chinese

men. The fact the Chinese men left the parcel in his house when when he refused to cooperate to keep the parcel was insufficient to raise the defence of duress. The defence of duress, in order to be successfully

pleaded must be imminent, extreme and persistent.

The threat must be directed at the accused person:-

It must be directed to himself and not a threat to kill his wife, children, parents etc.

Menace of threat must be present at the time of the act:-

The threta of instant death must be present and continuing to present at the time of the doing of the act.

An accused person who committed the crime after the threat has loss

its effect cannot rely on the defence of duress. Similarly if he has had chance to rescue himself but he continues to commit it.


It was held that there must be reaonable fear at the very time of instant death. If the offence is committed at the time wgen the threat

of instant death has been removed, the accused will not be able to

raise the defence under s94.

The court held that the fact he had carried the bag for about one and a

half-hour and placed the bag on the platform while purchasing the

ticket to Padang Besar shows that the mission has been completed. He made no attempt to approach any member of the public or authorities

for help when he had a chance to do so.

The disctane between the accused himself abd the Thai man was 20

feet away abd he had made no attempt to ask for help. There was

nothing to suggest and the threat was present and continuing at that


Contrast it with the case of SUBRAMANIAM V PP where the court

held that there was threat continuing to be present at the time of carrying the ammunition although the terrorist had the left at the

time of being captured. But the menace might still continue to be

present at the time of the capture as the terrorists might have come back at any time.

The threat must be objective in character:-

The accused must reasonably apprehend instant death.

The fear must be well founded: a reasonable man apprehends


Case: MOHAMAED YUSOF BIN HAJI AHMAD V PP there was no express threat of death, the court held that teh fact that pistol was

pointed out at the vital part of the body which normally results in

instant death was sufficient for the accused to apprehend death.