Laws may be classified into (1) International Laws, and (2) State Laws. The State Laws may be further classified into (1) Private Laws, and (2) Public Laws. Public Laws can be further classified into (1) Constitutional Law, (2) Administrative Law, and (3) Criminal Law. Criminal Law may be further classified into (1) Substantive Law, and (2) Procedural Law.
Law is an instrument to regulate human conduct or behavior. The State, with the help of law, maintains law and order and ensures peace and social security.
As stated above, the subject of Criminal Law can be further divided into (1) Substantive Law and (2) Procedural Law. In India, the Indian Penal Code, 1860 is the Substantive Law, while the Indian Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 is the procedural law.
Substantive Law defines the law. In other words, it defines the various offenses and prescribes the punishment for such offices. The Procedural Law provides the mechanism for the enforcement of the substantial law.
The Indian Penal Code was passed in the year 1860 and is applicable to the whole of India, except
Jammu & Kashmir.
Crime - Meaning & Nature
Wrongs take place in the following ways:
- Private Wrongs
- Public Wrongs
Private wrongs cause injury to an individual or a group of persons.
Public wrongs cause injury to the public in general or the society at large.
In case of a private wrongs, the aggrieved party can approach the civil courts for relief.
In case of public wrongs, the State’s authorities such as Police, Criminal Courts, Prisons, etc.
Crime may be defined as “an act committed or omitted in violation of Public Law”.
Crime or Offence can take place in the following two ways.
- Commission of an act (Example, killing a person with knife)
- Omission of an act (Example, killing a person by not giving food)
All acts and omissions, which are described as offenses under the Indian Penal Code are crimes and are punishable under the Code. Crime is a public wrong and hence any member of the public can institute criminal proceedings against the person accused of an offense. However, there are certain crimes in which only the aggrieved party can institute the criminal proceedings, such as matrimonial crimes, dowry crimes, defamation, etc.
Difference between tort and Crime:
Tort is a type of private wrong while crime is a public wrong.
Tort is a civil wrong for which the remedy is common law action for un-liquidated damages.
The following are the major differences between the two.
Essential Elements of Crime:
|It is a public wrong
||It is a civil wrong
|The person committing the offence is called as “Accused” before the guilt is proved and a “Convict” after the guilt is proved
||The person who commits tort is called as “Tort Feasor” or “Wrong Doer”.
|It is an offence against the public at large or society in general
||It is an offence against an private individual or group of individuals. It causes injury or damages to them.
|It is tried in criminal courts
||It is tried in civil courts
|The object of criminal law is to punish the criminal and to establish peace and security
||The object of the law of torts is to provide relief to the affected or injured
|Generally, the law does not permit settlement of criminal case by compromise between the parties. However, there are some exceptions. Section 320 Cr.Pc. deals with Compoundable Offenses)
||Law provides settlement of disputes directly by the parties. The aggrieved party can withdraw the case.
The following are the essential elements of crime.
1. Human Being:
- Human Being
- Mens Rea (Mental Element or Evil Intent)
- Act or Omission
Crime must have been committed by human beings. In the olden days, animals were also punished for committing crimes. However, the current laws do not include animals. Only human beings are subjected to the laws.
2. Mens Rea:
It means mental element or evil intent. It is one of the most important elements of a crime. It refers to the intention to do a crime (forbidden act). In other words, an act itself is no crime, unless it is coupled with an evil intent. For a person to be held guilty of a crime, it is necessary that he had an intention to do it.
If “A” intentionally kills “B” with a knife or by administering poison, “A” is guilty of murder and is awarded serious punishment viz., life imprisonment or death sentence under Sec. 302 I.P.C. However, if “A” commits an accident which results in the death of 20 persons, he is punishable upto 2 years imprisonment under Sec. 304 I.P.C.
In the above example, even though “A” killed 20 persons he was awarded small punishment, while he was awarded serious punishment for killing just one person. The reason for this is the lack of Mens Rea in the first case and the present of it in the second case.
3. Act or Omission:
To constitute crime, there must exist commission or omission of an illegal or forbidden act.
It means to cause harm to any person in body, mind, reputation or property. The term injury is defined in Section 44 of IPC. The act by which injury is caused must be illegal.
Stages in the commission of a crime:
Generally, crime involves the following four (4) stages:
- Attempt, and
It is the first stage in the commission of a crime. It is very difficult to prove this. Intention to commit crime is not punishable unless it is made known to others either by words or conduct. In India, the mere intention to commit a crime is not punishable. However, the law takes notice of such intention. For example, Waging war against the State is considered a serious offence and even the mere intention to commit it is punishable. Similarly, the mere intention or assembly of persons to commit robbery without any further action is punishable.
It means to arrange the means or measures necessary for commission of the intended criminal act. It is difficult to prove this. The mere preparation is not sufficient for punishment. However, in the following cases, preparation is sufficient to attract punishment.
- Waging war
- Preparation to commit robbery
- Preparation for counterfeiting coins and Govt. stamps
- Possessing counterfeit coins, false weights or measurements and forged documents.
It is the third stage in commission of a crime. It is also known as “Preliminary Crime”. The following are the essential elements of “Attempt”.
- Guilty intention to commit an offence
- Some act done towards the commitment of the crime; and
- The act must fall short of the completed offence.
The attempt to do an forbidden act is punishable under Indian Law.
The last stage in the commission of a crime is “accomplishment”. If the accused succeeds in his attempt, he is guilty of the offence. Otherwise, he is guilty of attempt only.
“A” shoots at “B” with an intention to kill him. If “B” dies, “A” is guilty of murder. If “B” does not die but is injured, then “A” is guilty of attempt to murder. The punishment for accomplishment is different from the punishment for attempt.
Theories and Kinds of Punishment
Punishment is the process by which the State inflicts some pain upon the person or property of a person who is found guilty of an forbidden offence. The principal object of punishment is the prevention of offence. Though the process of punishment, the State can:
Theories of Punishment:
- Prevent the criminal not to repeat the crimes in future.
- To create fear among the people not to commit such crimes.
The following are some of the theories of punishment.
1. Deterrent Theory:
- Deterrent Theory
- Retributive Theory
- Preventive Theory
- Reformative Theory; and
- Expiatory Theory
The term ‘Deter’ means “to abstain from doing an act”. According to this theory, punishment is a warning to others. In other words, punishment to an convict will deter others from doing similar acts. It also serves as a warning to the offender not to repeat such acts in future. Despite certain
defects, this theory is regarded as a workable one.
2. Retributive Theory:
The word “retribute” means “to give in return”. This theory is based on the idea of taking revenge against the wrong doer. In other words, evil should be returned for evil. This is to ensure that the offender realises the suffering or pain. This system is prevalent in some Islamic countries and is known as “QISAS” under ancient Mohammedan Criminal Law.
This system is subject to criticism on the ground that it is brutal and barbaric. A majority of Jurists, Criminologists, Penologists, and Sociologists do not support this theory.
3. Preventive Theory:
This theory is also known as “Theory of Disablement”. It aims to prevent the criminal from committing crimes by keeping him away from the society. The prescribed measures under this theory are death penalty, imprisonment for life, transportation of life, etc. This theory is criticised on the
ground that prevention of crime can be done through other forms such as reforming the behaviour of criminals.
4. Reformative Theory:
The object of this theory is to reform the criminal. No one is a criminal by birth. A criminal is a product of his social, economic and environmental conditions. Crime is a mental disease, caused by different anti-social elements. Therefore, the mental cure of criminals rather than awarding punishment will serve the purpose. If criminals are educated and trained, they can be made competent to behave well in the society. This theory has been proved successful in case of young offenders.
5. Expiatory Theory:
According to this theory, repentance by the offender itself is a punishment. If the offender repents, he must be forgiven. This type of punishment was prevalent in ancient Indian Criminal Law. Expiations were performed by way of uttering mantras, fasting, self-immolation, or even burning
oneself to death.
None of the above mentioned theories are a sole standard of punishment for the perfect Penal Code. A combination of some of the features of the above theories are used in the current penal codes.
Kinds of Punishment:
Before passing of the Indian Penal Code, the Mohammedan Criminal Law was applied for both Mohammedans and Hindus. Under the Mohammedan Criminal Law, five kinds of punishments were prescribed.
1. Kisa (Qisas):
- Kisa (Qisas)
- Diya (Blood Money)
- Hadd (Fixed Punishment)
- Tazeer (Discretionary Punishment); and
- Siyasat (Punishment by King in the interest of public).
It means retaliation. The injured or his relatives could inflict similar punishment to the offender.
Life for life, Limb for limb, etc.
It refers to Blood Money. The offender can escape criminal liability by making payment to the injured or his/her heir. For example, in case of a murder, the heir of the deceased has the option to accept diya and exempt the offender from any physical punishment.
It means “boundary” or “limit”. In case of hadd, the punishment is fixed and the Judge did not have any discretionary powers to award more or less punishment than what is fixed.
The punishment for Zina (illicit intercourse) was death by stoning; for theft, it is amputation of hands.
It means “discretionary punishment”. Under this method of punishment, the judge has complete discretion to award punishment to the offender.
The King, in the interest of the public, could award punishment to the offenders.
Punishment under Penal Code:
Section 53 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 prescribes five (5) kinds of punishments. They are as follows.
1. Death Penalty:
- Death Penalty
- Life Imprisonment
- Imprisonment - Rigorous and Simple
- Forfeiture of property; and
It is the most serious nature of punishment. It has been abolished in many countries. In India, it is awarded under exceptional circumstances. The following are some of the situations or circumstances in which it is awarded in India.
- Waging war against the Govt. of India (Section 121)
- Abetting mutiny actually committed (Section 132)
- Giving or fabricating false evidence upon which an innocent person suffers death (Section 194)
- Murder (Section 302)
- Abatement of suicide of a minor or an insane or an intoxicated person (S. 305)
- Dacoity accompanied with murder (Section 396); and
- Attempt to murder by a person under sentence of imprisonment for life, if hurt is caused (Section 307)
The law confers on the Judge wide discretionary powers in the matter of passing a sentence. However, Under Section 303 the Judge has no such discretionary power since the Section 303 prescribes fixed punishment such as death sentence in case of life imprisonment convict, who is found guilty of committing murder, while undergoing the sentence of imprisonment for life.
2. Imprisonment for life:
The words “Imprisonment for life” were substituted by the words “transportation for life” by the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1955. The words “transportation for life” means “rigorous imprisonment for life”. this refers to imprisonment for the remaining period of life (i.e. till
death). However, in practice in India, the ‘for life’ refers to either 14 years or 20 years under Section 57 IPC. The life convict is not entitled for automatic release on completion of 14 years imprisonment unless the Government passes an order remitting the balance of his sentence. Section 55 of IPC empowers the appropriate government to commute the sentence of a convict.
It means confinement or total deprivation of personal liberty. It is of two types - 1) Rigorous, and 2) Simple. In case of rigorous imprisonment, the convict is put to hard labour, such as digging earth, cutting wood, etc. In case of simple imprisonment, the convict is not put to any kind of work or labour.
4. Forfeiture or property:
It means taking away the property of the criminal by the State.
It means forfeiture of the offender’s money. In some cases the punishment is only fine, while in others it is fine plus imprisonment.
Joint Liability (Common Intention and Common Object)
When two or more persons commit a crime jointly, each one of them is equally liable as if he alone has committed such offence. Their liability is called Joint Liability or Constructive Joint Liability. All of the convicts are given the same punishment.
A, B and C jointly went to D’s house to kill him. B alone fired at D and killed him. However, A,
B and C are equally liable and the same punishment is awarded to all of them.
Common Intention (Section 34)
When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner. Each of such person is perceived to have done the criminal act all by himself and alone. The liability is called as ‘Joint Liability’, or ‘Joint Constructive Liability’ or ‘Constructive Criminality’.
Essential Ingredients of Joint Liability:
1. Two or more persons:
- There must be two or more persons
- They must have a common intention to commit the offence
- The criminal act must have been done in furtherance of the common intention.
- Participation in the action by all the accused.
There must be at least two offenders. Each of the offenders must have consented to commit the crime. It is not necessary for all of them to participate actively in the crime.
2. Common Intention:
‘Intention’ means ‘the desire of doing an act’. If two or more persons meet together and plan to carry out an act they are said to have ‘common intention’.
‘A’ and ‘B’ planned to kill ‘C’ in his house. Here, both A and B are said to have common intention. Suppose, A and B independently, without any prior planning or meeting went to C’s house to kill him, their intention is not common. Hence, the liability is not joint but independent.
Common Intention is different from similar or same intention.
3. In furtherance of the common intention:
The expression in ‘furtherance of’ means action of helping forward. If an action is committed in accordance to the common intention then such action is said to be in furtherance of the common intention.
4. Participation in action:
The person involved in the offence under this section must have participated in the action or crime. The physical presence coupled with actual participation is necessary. Active participation is not necessary. Even a passive participation amounts to participation in crime.
Common Object (Section 149)
According to Indian Penal Code, when five (5) of more persons commit a crime in prosecution of common object, each member of such group will be liable for that act in the same manner as if it was done by him alone.
Section 149 of IPC deals with joint liability of members of an unlawful assembly. To constitute unlawful assembly, the following is required.
- There must be an assembly of not less than five persons.
- They must have common object in committing the offence
- The offence must be of the following specified nature.
- Overawing the Government by using criminal force or show of criminal force
- Resisting the execution of law or legal process
- To commit any mischief, criminal trespass or other offence
- Forcible possession or dispossession of property; and
- Illegal compulsion
Any member of the unlawful assembly with any one of the above objects commits an offence, all the members of such assembly are jointly liable for that offence. The important point under the Section 149 is that even if any member of the assembly commits the offence, all the members are equally charged with the offence. The other important point under this section is that there must be a connection between the committed offence and the common object.
Distinction between Common Intention and Common Object
|Common Intention (Section 34)
||Common Object (Section 149)
|The number of offenders is two or more.
||The number of offenders is five or more.
|The intention under Sec. 34 may be of any intention
||The object under Section 149 must be one of the objects mentioned under Sec. 141.
|It does not create any specific offence
||It creates a specific offence
|Prior meeting of minds is necessary
||Prior meeting of minds is not necessary
|Participation in action is necessary
||Mere assembly is sufficient
In some cases, a person might not actually commit a crime but may be involved in helping the accused/convict in committing the crime. Such person is said to have abetted in crime.
“A” encourages or instigates or provokes or engages “B” to commit murder of “C”. In
this case, “A” is charged with abetment, which “B” is charged with the actual crime,
Classification of Criminals:
When two or more persons are involved in a crime, their respective shares in the commission of a crime differs from one another. For the purpose of imposing liability, English Law classified the criminals under the following four (4) heads.
1. Principal in the first degree:
- Principal in the first degree
- Principal in the second degree
- Accessory before the fact; and
- Accessory after the fact
He is the person who has actually committed the crime. However, if he commits the crime through an innocent person then the innocent person is not responsible.
If a doctor administers a wrong medicine to a patient through an innocent nurse, the nurse
is not responsible as she is an innocent person in this case. The responsible person or the
accused is the doctor.
2. Principal in the second degree:
A person who aids or abets another in commission of a crime is called the principal in the second degree.
If a person aids robbery by giving signal from a distance, he is a principal in the second
3. Accessory before the fact:
Accessory is a person who gives advice to the principal to commit the crime.
A directs B to poison C. But B kills C by shooting. A is accessory before the fact to C’s murder
even though C is not killed as per his instructions. However, if B injures or kills C’s wife then
A is not a accessory before the fact.
4. Accessory after the fact:
He is a person who assists the criminal with a view to save him.
To ‘abet’ means ‘to help in doing something’. If an offence is committed on the advise or instigation of another, it is called ‘abetment’. The person who abets is called “Abettor”. Abetment is an offence and is punishable both under English and Indian Laws.
Types of Abetment under Section 107:
There are three (3) types of abetment under Section 107. The following are those.
1. Abetment by Instigation:
- Abetment by Instigation
- Abetment by Conspiracy; and
- Abetment by Intentional Aiding
The word ‘instigate’ means urge forward or to provoke or to encourage. Even silent approval producing an effect of incitement is also abetment.
‘A’ offers bribe to ‘B’, a public servant as a reward for showing some favour in the exercise of B’s official functions. ‘B’ refused to accept the bribe. ‘A’ is guilty of abetment by instigation and is punishable under Section 116.
2. Abetment by Conspiracy:
‘Conspiracy’ means ‘an agreement of two or more persons to do an illegal act or a legal act by illegal means’. To constitute abetment by conspiracy, two or more persons must conspire and one of the persons must be the person abetting
3. Abetment by Aiding:
Helping or to facilitate the actual offender in commission of the crime is known as ‘Abetment by aiding’. The aiding should be intentional aiding, which may consist of any of the three essential ingredients, namely:
- Doing of an act directly assisting the commission of the crime; or
- Illegally omitting to do a thing, which one is bound to do; or
- Doing any act, which may facilitate the commission of a crime by another.
A person who abets another to commit an offence is called “abettor”. The abetment must be for commission of a criminal act.
It is not necessary that the crime for which abetment is done is committed.
It is also not necessary that the person abetted should be capable by law of committing an offence, or that he possesses similar guilty intentions or knowledge.
“A instigates B to murder C. B refused to do so. A is guilty of abetting B to commit murder.
“A instigates B to murder D. B in pursuance of the instigation stabs D. D recovers from the wound. A is guilty of instigating B to commit murder.
‘A’ with a guilty intention abets a child under 7 years of age to commit murder. The child commits the murder. Here, the child is not punished as he is not capable of committing crime as per law. However, ‘A’ is guilty of abetting an offence.
The abetment to abet an offence is an offence in itself.
A instigates B to instigate C to murder D. B accordingly instigates C, and C commits the offence. Here, A is guilty of abetment.
Criminal Conspiracy (Section 120)
When two are more persons agree to commit a crime, they are said to have conspired. It is immaterial whether the crime is committed or not. The persons are called ‘conspirators’.
English Law defines conspiracy as “an agreement of two or more persons to do an illegal act or a legal act by illegal means”.
There must be two or more persons. A single person cannot be charged with criminal conspiracy.
If the actual offence is punishable with death, then the punishment for conspiracy is imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or more.
If the actual offence is punishable with no specific punishment, then the punishment for conspiracy is as an abettor.
In other cases, the conspirators are punishable with imprisonment for a term not more than 6 months or fine or with both.
Difference between Abetment and Criminal Conspiracy
|It is a process by which one or more engage others for commission of an offence.
||It is a process by which an agreement is entered into between two or more persons for commission of an illegal act or legal act by illegal means.
|It can be committed by one or more
||It can be committed by two or more
|Section 107 to 120 deals with Abetment
||Section 120 deals with Criminal Conspiracy
|It may be committed by various methods, such as Instigation, Conspiracy, Intentional aid, etc.
||It is one of the methods of Abetment
|Abetment per se is not a substantive offence
||Criminal Conspiracy is a substantive offence by itself.
The general rule is that a person should be punished only for the offence he/she has committed and not for the offence committed by others. The principle of vicarious liability, which plays an important role in the “Law of Torts and Civil Law, should not be extended to Criminal Law. Therefore, it is said that “Vicarious Liability is unknown to Criminal Law”. However, there are certain exceptional cases in which vicarious liability is extended to criminal law.
Vicarious Liability refers to the liability of a person for an act committed by another. For example,
if the driver of a vehicle commits an accident, the owner of the vehicle is liable.
Underlying principle of Vicarious Liability:
There are two basic principles of vicarious liability. The following are they.
1. Qui Facit per alium facit per se
- Qui Facit per alium facit per se
- Respondent Superior
It means ‘he, who does an act through another, is deemed in law, to do it himself.
2. Respondent Superior
It means ‘let the superior be liable’. According to this maxim, the liability is imposed on the superior (stronger) man, ignoring the inferior (weaker) man in the interest of the injured party.
In the law of torts, the vicarious liability plays an important role. The master is liable for the torts committed by his servants, subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions.
In criminal law, vicarious liability, in general, is not applicable. However, there are certain circumstances where vicarious liability is applicable in criminal law. For example, A warden of a prison has killed a prisoner. The murder was witnessed by a sub-ordinate of the warden. In this case, the warden is charged with murder but the sub-ordinate is not convicted or liable due to the applicability of vicarious liability.
Exceptions under Indian Law (Applicability of vicarious liability under Indian Criminal Law):
Section 154 (Owner or occupier of land on which an unlawful assembly is held):
Whenever any unlawful assembly or riot takes place, the owner or occupier of the land upon which such unlawful assembly is held, or such riot is committed, and any person having or claiming an interest in such land, shall be punishable with fine not exceeding Rs. 1,000, if he or his manager,
knows that such offence is being or has been committed, or has reason to believe that it is likely to be committed.
If the owner of the land has such knowledge of crime being or likely to be committed, he shall provide the notice to that effect to the nearest police station.
Section 155 (Liability of person for whose benefit the riot is committed):
Whenever a riot is committed for the benefit of or on behalf of any person who is the owner or occupier of any land shall be punishable with fine if he fails to prevent or fails in trying to prevent the riot through legal means.
Section 156 (Liability of agent of owner or occupier for whose benefit the riot is committed):
Whenever a riot is committed for the benefit or on behalf of any person who is the owner or occupier of any land respecting which such riot takes place, the agent of the owner or the occupier shall be punishable with fine if they fail to prevent the riot or fails in trying to prevent the riot through legal means.
Protection of individuals’ rights and enforcement of laws by the courts may be termed as “Administration of Justice”. It is divided into two parts, namely 1) Natural Justice, and 2) Legal Justice. In the administration of natural justice, the principles of equity are applied. In the administration of legal justice, the principles framed and recognized by the State are applied.
Legal Justice is again divided into two parts, namely 1) Civil Justice, and 2) Criminal Justice. The main objective of the civil justice is to regulate civil wrongs and to provide relief to the injured or aggrieved party. The main objective of criminal justice is to regulate public wrongs (crimes or offences). All acts punishable under the Indian Penal Code are called as ‘Offences’. The power of the courts to regulate the wrongs is subject to “Jurisdiction of the Courts”.
Jurisdiction of Criminal Courts:
The expression ‘Jurisdiction’ refers to the power conferred by the statute to decide disputes or cases. In other words, it refers to the limits within which the courts can exercise its authority. The limits may be with regard to the following.
- Subject matter
- Parties, etc.
The jurisdiction of a Criminal Court includes the power to try cases, award punishments, impose fines and also to grant the relief asked for. The jurisdiction of criminal courts may be classified with reference to the following heads:
1. Personal Jurisdiction:
- Personal Jurisdiction
- Territorial Jurisdiction
- Intra-territorial jurisdiction
- Extra-territorial jurisdiction
- Admiralty Jurisdiction
According to this, every person irrespective of his rank, nationality, caste or creed shall be liable to punishment for an offence committed in India and of which he is found guilty. It extends to foreign nationals as well. There is no distinction between an Indian citizen and a foreigner. Ignorance of law is no excuse and hence foreigners need to know the law of the land. However, there are certain persons who are exempt from liability or punishment. The following are those.
2. Territorial Jurisdiction:
- Foreign Sovereigns
- Alien Enemies
- Foreign Army
- Warships; and
- President and Governors (Article 361 of the Indian Constitution)
It means the power of the state to exercise jurisdiction over/throughout its territory. The territory of the state includes land and sea comprising of territorial waters. The state can exercise jurisdiction over its land, air space, internal waters comprising rivers, lakes, sea comprising of territorial waters, etc. The State also exercises jurisdiction over all ships and aircrafts belonging to India,
wherever they are in the world. It can also exercise jurisdiction over the ships and aircrafts belonging
to foreign countries within the territorial limits of India. The territorial jurisdiction is divided
into two kinds, namely.
i. Intra-territorial jurisdiction:
- Intra-territorial jurisdiction, and
- Extra-territorial jurisdiction
It refers to the territories within India. According to this, any person who is found guilty of committing an offence within the territories of India (which includes not only the land of India but also 12 nautical miles or 22.2 kilometers or 13.8 miles from the baseline of the territorial sea) is punishable under the Indian Penal Code.
ii. Extra-territorial jurisdiction:
It refers to the power of the State to exercise its jurisdiction beyond the territorial limits of the State. When an offence is committed outside India by a citizen of India or by a foreign on any ship or aircraft registered in India, such offence shall be inquired into and tried in India with previous sanction of the Central Government.
A, who is a citizen of India, commits a murder in Uganda. He can be tried and convicted of murder in any place in India in which he may be found.
Suppose, A committed murder in India and fled to Pakistan to escape punishment/criminal liability. If the State of Pakistan grants him shelter and protects him, such protection and shelter extended is called “Asylum”. In other words, A is said to be in “Asylum”. If A (alleged offender) is handed over or delivered to India by Pakistan, such delivery of the accused is called “Extradition”.
Jurisdiction of Indian Court - Case Law:
The accused, Mubarak Ali was a Pakistani national undertaking foreign trade at Karachi. The complainant, Luis Antonio Correa was a business man at Goa in India.
The accused entered into an agreement with the complainant to supply 2,000 tons of rice. He (the accused) received major part of the payment in advance and the balance amount through his agent at Bombay, but did not supply the rice. The complainant lodged a complaint against the accused for cheating. Later, the accused was found in London. Against an application by the Indian Authorities, the British Government arrested the accused and extradited him to India. The trial court found him guilty of cheating under Section 420 IPC and sentenced him to imprisonment for 3 years and 10 months.
In the above case, even though the accused is not an Indian citizen, the Indian Courts exerted their jurisdiction on the grounds that the amount was paid to him in Bombay and hence the offence has taken place in Bombay, which is within India.
3. Admiralty Jurisdiction:
Admiralty Court is a special court which is designed to deal with mercantile cases and maritime cases in particular. Mercantile cases means the cases pertaining to disputes between the merchants or traders, while maritime cases means cases pertaining to the offences committed on high seas including piracy. Admiralty Jurisdiction means the power conferred upon the courts to try the mercantile and maritime cases or disputes.
General Exceptions or General Defences
Whenever a person is alleged to have committed an offence, he is tried in the criminal courts. The courts, before declaring him guilty of the offence, gives him an opportunity to get exemption from criminal liability. Such provisions to get exemptions from criminal liability are called as “General Defences or General Exemptions”.
When a person is charged with an offence, the prosecution must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he is guilty of the offence. The following defences are available to the person guilty of an offence.
- Judicial Acts
- Necessity and Compulsion
- Right of private defence
The term mistake refers to unintentionally causing injury or damage to others by an act of commission or omission. The accused has no real intentions to injure someone else but does so by mistake, which could be due to forgetfulness, lack of knowledge or otherwise. Mistake can be of
- Mistake of fact; and
- Mistake of law
Mistake of fact refers to a mistake that is committed due to lack of knowledge or facts of the circumstances. It is an offence but is excusable.
A, a soldier, fires on a mob by the order of his superior officer, in conformity with the commands of the law. A has committed no offence.
A, an officer of a Court of Justice being ordered by that Court to arrest Y, and, after due enquiry, believing Z to be Y, arrests Z. A has committed no offence.
Mrs. Talson married Mr. Talson in September 1880. Her husband deserted her in 1881. Mr. Talson’s whereabouts were unknown for more than 7 years. She made all inquiries about her husband and learnt from reliable sources that he died in a ship-wreck. Mrs. Talson got remarried in 1887 reasonably believing that her husband died. Some time after her remarriage, her first husband reappeared and charged her for bigamy. The Court acquitted her as there is a mistake of fact.
Mistake of law refers to a mistake that is committed due to ignorance of law. It is not excusable. Ignorance of law is not an excuse whether it is a citizen of the land or a foreigner. There is no defence for mistake of law.
The accused was away from the coast of Africa, when a statute was passed by the British Parliament. The accused could not have known by any means about the passing of the statute under which he was charged. The courts held him guilty, disallowing the plea of lack of knowledge of law.
The accused was an illiterate. He was informed in good faith that he had been granted divorce and he got remarried. His first wife charged him for bigamy. The court held him guilty of bigamy and convicted him.
2. Judicial Acts
The law provides exemptions from criminal liability in respect of judicial acts i.e. the acts of Judges and Courts. Section 77 protects the Judges from criminal prosecution and Section 78 protects the person acting under the judgement or orders of a court.
Absence of mens rea is a good ground to get exemption from criminal liability. In an accident, mens rea is absent. Accident is an event which occurs all of a sudden and no man of ordinary prudence could anticipate, foresee, or expect it.
The accused, a tribal in a forest, with a bonafide intention shot an arrow at an animal. But, a person was hit by the arrow and died. The Orissa High Court allowing the defence of accident under Section 80, acquitted the accused.
A and B were friends. During the wrestling bout, B received head injuries an died, when he was thrown by A. It was held that the injuries were accidental and not intentional and hence A was protected under Section 80.
4. Necessity and Compulsion:
There are certain circumstances in which a person is put to the threat of two evils or dangerous situations and it is inevitable/unavoidable for him to face one of the two. In such a situation, he is left with no other alternative except to choose/invite the lesser dangerous alternative rather than the greater. In such cases, the law justifies his actions and protects him by exempting him from criminal liability. This is known as the ‘Doctrine of Necessity and Compulsion’ or ‘Jus necessitatis”. It can also be interpreted as ‘Necessity knows no laws’.
A, in a great fire, pulls down houses in order to prevent the conflagration from spreading. He does this with the intention in good faith of saving human life or property. In such cases, A is not guilty of any offence.
To involve protection under this general defence, the following essential conditions must be met.
- The act must have been done in good faith; and
- There must not be any presence of mens rea. (evil intention)
Three seamen named Dudley, Stephens and Brooks and a cabin boy of 18 years were the crew of an English Vessel. While prosecuting voyage on high seas, due to ship-wreck, the three seamen and the boy escaped and were put into open boat. On 20th day, when they had no food for eight days and no water for five days, Dudley and Stephens killed the boy and fed on the flesh and blood for four days to survive themselves. On the fourth day, they were picked up by a passing vessel. After reaching the shore, they were prosecuted and tried for murder of the boy. The accused pleaded the defence of ‘necessity’ to get exemption from the criminal liability. The Privy Council held the accused guilty of murder and convicted them on the following grounds:
- Self preservation is not an absolute necessity
- No man has a right to take another’s life to preserve his own, and
- There is no necessity that justifies homicide.
In criminal law, children or juvenile are placed in a privileged position. They are exempted from criminal liability under certain circumstances. For example, a child below the age of 7 years is totally exempted from criminal liability, and the criminal liability of a child between the age of 8 and 12 years is subject to proof of mens rea. Further, the juvenile offenders are tried in Juvenile courts, which are specially designated courts.
According to the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986, juvenile means ‘a boy below the age of 16 years and a girl below the age of 18 years’.
6. Insanity or Mental Abnormality
The word ‘insane’ means ‘not sane or of unsound mind’. Insanity means ‘mental disorder or mental abnormality or disease of the mind’. If an insane person commits a crime, he/she is not liable for punishment. An insane person is exempted from criminal liability under Section 84 I.P.C., on the
ground that such a person is unable to know what is right or wrong and is incapable of understanding the nature and extent of consequences of the act he/she is doing. It is very difficult to prove such mental abnormality, while committing the offence.
Daniel Mc. Naughten, the accused, murdered Mr. Drummond, the Private Secretary of Sir Robert Peel, the then Prime Minister of England, thinking by confusion that he (Mr. Drummond) was Sir Robert Peel. He was tried for murder.
On behalf of the accused, the defence council pleaded that the accused due to insanity, was not able to know that he was violating the laws of God and Man. It was established that the accused lost the power of control, while committing the offence, as he was labouring delusion and a medical
report was produced to that effect.
The House of Lords acquitted Mc. Naughten on the grounds of insanity.
After the proceedings of the case, the House of Lords formulated certain principles to determine whether any exemption should be provided to persons suffering from insanity. The following are the principles.
Types of Insane Persons:
The following categorization have been made to insane persons.
- Every man is presumed to be sane or of sound mind and to possess a sufficient degree of reason to be responsible for his crimes until the contrary is proved to the satisfaction of the jury.
- To establish a defence on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, at the time of committing the offence, the party accused was labouring insanity and was unable to know the consequences of the act that he is committing.
- If the accused was conscious that the act was one which he ought not to do then he is punishable.
- The accused is not punishable if he kills the deceased in a delusion that the deceased was attempting to kill him. However, the accused is punishable if he kills the deceased in a delusion that the deceased was attempting to inflict serious injury.
- The medical witness who is present during the trial cannot be asked to give his opinion as to the state of the mind of the accused since he was ignorant of the same at the time of commission of the act.
7. Drunkenness :
- Lunatics - He is one who is suffering from mental illness.
- Idiot - He is one who has lost his mental power.
- Disease - Has a mental diseases which has reduced his mental power
- Drunken or intoxicated person
Nothing is an offence which is done by a person who, at the time of doing it, is, by reason of intoxication, incapable of knowing the nature of the act, or that he is doing what is either wrong, or contrary to law, provided that the thing which intoxicated him was administered to him without
his knowledge or against his will.
Drunkenness or intoxication is the result of consuming drinks or drugs. A drunken or intoxicated person is incapable of having the required mental element to commit an offence. However, the exemption from criminal liability depends on the type of offence and the nature of drunkenness.
Generally speaking, drunkenness is of the following two types:
1. Voluntary Drunkenness:
- Voluntary Drunkenness
- Involuntary Drunkenness
When a person voluntary takes drinks or drugs and gets intoxicated, it is called as ‘voluntary drunkenness’. According to Section 85 of the I.P.C., voluntary drunkenness is no excuse or defence against any crimes committed.
2. Involuntary Drunkenness:
When a person gets intoxicated without his knowledge through fraud or through acts of others, it is called as ‘involuntary drunkenness’. In certain situations, involuntary drunkenness can be accepted as a defence against a crime.
There are certain important points that are taken into consideration in case of crimes committed in a state of drunkenness. The following are those points.
- The insanity produced by drunkenness is the defence to the crime charged.
- The evidence of drunkenness is taken into consideration to determine whether the accused had any intentions to commit the crime.
- Mere establishment of the fact that a man’s mind was so affected by drink, affords no protection.
Two or more persons are said to have consented, when they agree upon the same thing in the same sense and at the same time. To plead consent as a defence, it must be free. A consent is said to be free when it is not obtained under due influence, coercion, fraud, misrepresentation, mistake,
etc. A consent may be either oral or in writing.
According to Section 87 of IPC, any harm other than death or grievous hurt even though intended or known by the doer to be likely to be caused will not be an offence under the following circumstances.
- If the act is done without any intention of causing death or grievous hurt.
- Harm is caused to any person with his consent
- Person giving consent is above 18 years of age; and
- The consent given may be expressed or implied.
Injuries suffered in games such as boxing, football, etc., are protected under this section.
Section 88 protects any harm done other than intentional death, if the act is done by the doer in good faith for the benefit of the consenting person. The consenting person must be at least 12 years of age. This section protects the doctors and surgeons, who with the consent of the patient
undertake to perform surgical operations, which is likely to cause death.
The accused, a doctor, in good faith for the benefit of his patient, operated the eye of the patient for Cataract. It resulted in loss of eye sight. In an action against the accused, it was held that the act of the accused was not an offence and was acquitted under Section 88.
Section 89 provides protection in respect of harm caused to person/child below 12 years of age or a person of unsound mind by his guardian himself or other person with the consent given by the guardian. To invoke protection under Section 89, the act must be done in good faith for the benefit of the child or the person of unsound mind.
The accused under utter distress wanted to put an end to this life by committing suicide. But, his wife asked him to kill her first and then commit suicide. Accordingly, he killed her first but was caught before committing suicide. It was held that the consent of the accused’s wife was a free-consent.
The accused, a snake charmer compelled the deceased to allow (to give consent) to be bitten by a poisonous snake. The accused also induced him to believe that he had magical power to protect/prevent harm from the snake bite. Believing the words of the accused, the deceased allowed to be bitten by the snake,. But the accused could not save his life and hence was convicted. No defence under ‘free consent’ was accepted as the consent obtained was not free.
Section 91 deals with constructive consent; and
Section 92 deals with ‘act done in good faith for the benefit of a person without consent’.
A surgeon performs operation to a child as there was no time to obtain the consent of his parent or guardian. The surgeon’s act is protected under Section 92. Section 93 protects communication made in good faith.
9. Right of Private Defences:
The law confers right on every individual to defend his life, liberty and property, when he is confronted with an imminent danger or unlawful aggression. The right of private defence means “committing an offence in exercise of one’s own right to defend/protect his life, liberty or property”.
“A” attacks “B” to kill him. B in order to save himself, kills A. Here B is said to have exercised his right of private defence. B can plead the defence of right of private defence to get exemption from criminal liability.
The law relating to right of private defences is based on the following principles.
Basic reason for the defences:
- Everyone has the right to defend one’s own body and property and also to defend other’s body and property at the time of immediate necessity.
- The right cannot be exercised to cause harm to another as revenge.
The following are the basic reason for providing such defences.
- The State undertakes to protect the individuals against unlawful attacks on their persons and property.
- Where such protection from the State cannot be obtained by the individual, who is threatened, he/she can do everything that is necessary to protect himself; and
- The violence used (in exercise of the right of private defence) in the protection must be in proportion to the injury to be averted and must not be used to revenge against the aggressor.
The right of private defence is not available when there is a free fight between the parties.
Right to defend against the act of Insane, Intoxicate:
The right of private defence can also be exercised against an infant, insane or intoxicated person or one suffering from misconception of facts.
Limitation on the right of private defence:
The following are the limitations on the right of private defence.
The police entered the accused’s house in civil uniform in the night to arrest him. The accused did not recognize or identify them as police and fired at them. It was held that the accused had a right of private defence.
- No defence is available against acts done, or attempted to be done by or by the direction of a public servant (provided such acts are done in good faith under law).
- The acts or persons who are acting under the directions of public servants are also protected.
- The private defence is not available if there is time to have recourse to protection of public authorities.
- More harm than what is necessary should not be inflicted while protecting ones own rights.
The accused, a trader abducted and assaulted the Sales Tax Officer, who inspected the shop and attempted to seize the accounts. The accused pleaded the defence of the right of private defence.
The accused was held guilty and his defence was not allowed.
The accused, in order to save/protect his sister from merciless beating by her husband intervened and killed him. It was held that the accused was entitled to the right of private defence under such circumstances.
The accused shot and killed his father, whom he believed to be cutting the throat of his mother. The accused was allowed the right of private defence to protect his mother against his father’s act.
Part - II Specific Offenses
The following are the offences which are covered under the specific offences.
- Offences against the State
- Offences relating to Army, Navy and Air Force
- Offences against Public Tranquility
- Offences relating to Public Servant
- Offences relating to Elections
- Contempt of the lawful authority of the public servants
- False Evidence and Offences against Public Justice
- Offences relating to coin and Government Stamps
- Offences relating to Weights and Measurements
- Offences affecting the Public Health, Safety, Convenience, Decency and Morals
- Offences relating to Religion
- Offences affecting the Human Body
- Offences against Property
Offences affecting Human Body
The following are the offences affecting human body.
Offences affecting life
Culpable homicide and murder
- Offences affecting life
- Culpable homicide and murder
- Rash or negligent homicide
- Dowry death
- Abetment of suicide and Attempt to commit suicide
- Offences relating to birth of children
- Causing miscarriage
- Injuries to unborn
- Exposure and abandonment of infants and concealment of birth
- Hurt and grievous hurt
- Wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement
- Criminal force and assault
- Kidnapping and abduction
- Unnatural offences
- Lawful or justifiable simple homicide:
It includes several cases falling under the general exceptions defences such as execution of death sentence by the Court of Law, killing a person by an Infant or Insane person, etc.
- Unlawful or excusable homicide:
- Culpable homicide or culpable homicide not amounting to murder
- Murder or homicide amounting to murder
- Rash or negligent homicide
- Dowry death
A lays sticks and turf over a pit, with the intention of thereby causing death, or with the knowledge that death is likely to be thereby caused. Z, believing the ground to be firm, treads on it, falls in it and is killed. A has committed the offence of culpable homicide.
A knows Z to be behind a bush. B does not know it. A, intending to cause, or knowing it is to be likely to cause Z’s death, induces B to fire at the bush. B fires and kills Z. Here B may be guilty of no offence but A has committed the offence of culpable homicide.
A, by shooting at a fowl with intent to kill and steal it, kills B, who is behind a bush. A did not know that B was behind the bush. Here, although A was doing an unlawful fact, he was not guilty of culpable homicide, as he did not intent to kill B, or to cause death by doing an act that he knew was likely to cause death.
To constitute a culpable homicide, the following elements should be present.
- Causing the death of a human being
- Such death must have been caused by doing an act either with the intention of causing death or with the intention of causing such bodily injury which will eventually cause death or with the knowledge that the doer is likely by such act to cause death.
Section 304 provides for the punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The punishment for this crime is imprisonment for life or imprisonment.
Murder is a more serious offence than culpable homicide. Culpable homicide is a genus, whereas murder is a species. All murders are culpable homicides but not all culpable homicides are murders. A culpable homicide amounts to murder in the following cases.
A shoots B with the intention of killing him. B dies in consequence. A commits murder. A strikes B with a hard object with the intention of killing B, who dies after a few days succumbing to the injuries caused by A. In this case, A has committed murder. A fires at a crowd and kills a few persons. A is guilty of murder even though he has not specifically targeted a particular person.
- Where the death is caused with the intention of causing death.
- If the offence is caused with the intention of causing such bodily injury as the offender knows to be likely to cause the death of the person on whom such harm is caused.
- If the offence is done with the intention of causing bodily injury to any person and the bodily injury intended to be inflicted is sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death; or
- If the person committing the act knows that it is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability, cause death or such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, and commits such act without any excuse for incurring the risk of causing death or such injury aforesaid.
There are instances where a culpable homicide is not murder. The following are those.
Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, whilst deprived of the power or self-control by grave and sudden provocation, causes the death of the person who gave the provocation or causes the death of any person by mistake or accident.
The above exception is subject to the following provisions.
- That the provocation is not sought or voluntary provoked by the offender as an excuse for killing or doing harm to any person.
- That the provocation is not given by anything done in obedience to the law, or by a public servant in the lawful exercise of the powers of such public servant.
- The the provocation is not given by anything done in the lawful exercise of the right of private defence.
A, under the influence of passion excited by the provocation done by B, intentionally kills C. This amounts to murder as C has not provoked A.
A provokes B, due to which B, without any intention, kills A. In this case, A has committed culpable homicide but no murder.
Z strikes B. B is by this provocation excited to violent rage. A, a by-stander intending to take advantage of B’s rage, and to cause him to kill Z, puts a knife into B’s hand for that purpose. B kills Z with the knife. Here, B has committed culpable homicide but A is guilty of murder.
Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, if the exercise in good faith of the right of private defence of a person or property, exceeds the power given to him by law and causes the death of the person against whom he is exercising such right of defence without premeditation, and without any intention of doing more harm than is necessary for the purpose of such defence.
A attempts to horsewhip B, not in a manner to cause grievous hurt to B. B pulls a pistol and shoots at A in order to stop A from horsewhipping him. A dies in the incident. A is guilty of culpable homicide but not murder.
Culpable homicide is not murder if the offender, being a public servant or aiding a public servant acting for the advancement of public justice, exceeds the powers given to him by law, and causes death by doing an act which he, in good faith, believes be to lawful and necessary for the due discharge of his duty as such public servant and without ill-will towards the person whose death is caused.
Culpable homicide is not murder if it is committed without premeditation in a sudden fight, in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel and without the offender’s having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner.
Culpable homicide is not murder when the person whose death is caused, being above the age of eighteen (18) years, suffers death or takes the risk of death with his own consent.
Punishment for murder:
Section 302 prescribes punishment for murder. Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable for fine.
When does culpable homicide amounts to murder?
Culpable homicide amounts to murder provided the following two conditions are satisfied.
1. Killing must be accompanied by intention or knowledge specified in Section 300.
2. Killing must not fall within one or other of the five exceptions.
In simple words, if the intention is to kill, the killing results and the accused succeeds in doing so, then it amounts to murder.
If the intention is not to kill, however, the killing results then it amounts to culpable homicide but not murder.
Rash or Negligent Homicide (Section 304A):
|Culpable Homicide (Section 299)
||Murder (Section 300)
|Death is the likely result
||Death is the most probable result
|Less serious when compared to murder
||More serious than culpable homicide
|Every culpable homicide may not be murder
||Every murder is primarily a culpable homicide
|The maximum punishment is life imprisonment
||The maximum punishment is death sentence or life imprisonment
Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
The expression ‘Rashness’ means an act done with the consciousness of a risk that evil consequence will follow . In other words, it is an act done with the knowledge that evil consequence will follow but with the hope that it will not.
The term ‘Negligence’ means breach of legal duty to take care, which results in injury/damage undesired by the wrong doer.
Rashness is a very high degree of negligence.
In negligent homicide, there is no intention or knowledge to cause death.
The accused in this case was Assistant Station Master. There was a collision of passenger train and goods train caused by the signaling of the accused. The collision claimed many lives and the accused was convicted under Section 304A (Rash and Negligent homicide).
Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband
for, or in connection with any demand for dowry, such death shall be called “Dowry Death”, and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death.
Dowry shall have the same meaning as in Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven (7) years but may extent to life imprisonment.
Abetment of Suicide
The word ‘abetment’ means commission of an offence on the advice or instigation of another. The person who abets is called as ‘Abettor’. The term ‘Suicide’ means putting an end to ones own life. Suicide is a self-inflicted homicide. Hence, the term ‘Abetment of Suicide’ means ‘instigating
another to commit suicide.
If any person who is less than 18 years of age or any insane person commits suicide due to the instigation of another person then such person who instigated is punishable with death or imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.
If the person who commits suicide is more than 18 years then the abettor is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.
Attempt to Commit Suicide (Section 309):
Attempt to commit suicide is punishable. Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punishable with simple imprisonment for a term which may extent to one year, or with fine, or with both.
Offences relating to birth of children
The following three (3) offences come under this topic.
Causing Miscarriage (Section 312 to 314)
- Causing miscarriage
- Injuries to unborn
- Exposures and abandonment of infants
Miscarriage refers to premature expulsion of foetus or embryo from the uterus. Voluntarily causing miscarriage is an punishable offence if the same is not caused in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the woman.
Injuries to Unborn (Section 315 to 316)
If a man intending to prevent the birth of a living child, does an act which prevents the child from being born alive or causes to die after its birth, and if such act is not done in good faith for the purpose of saving the life of the mother, then such an act amounts to culpable homicide and is an punishable offence.
Exposure and Abandonment of Infants (Section 317 and 318)
If the parents or the persons who are having the care of a child under twelve (12) years expose it or leave it in any place with the intention of wholly abandoning it, such acts are made punishable offences. If the child dies due to such exposure or abandonment then the act amounts to culpable homicide.
Hurt and Grievous Hurt
Hurt means causing bodily injury or infirmity by one person to another person. Grievous hurt is an aggravated form of hurt. Both hurt and grievous hurt are punishable offences.
The punishment for voluntarily causing hurt is imprisonment for a period of one (1) year or fine or both.
The punishment for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons is imprisonment for a period of three (3) years or with fine or both.
Grievous hurt can be caused in any of the following ways.
- Emasculation (depriving a person of his masculine vigour)
- Permanent privation of the sight of either eye
- Permanent privation of the hearing of either ear
- Privation of any member of joint
- Destruction of permanent impairing of the powers of any member of joint
- Permanent dis-figuration of the head or face
- Fracture or dislocation of a bone or tooth; and
- Any hurt, which endangers life or makes the victim suffer from serious pain or unable to follow (take up) his ordinary pursuits for a period of 20 days or more.
The punishment for hurt and grievous hurt depends on the circumstances of the case. Usually, the punishment for grievous hurt is imprisonment upto a term of seven (7) years and/or fine. In case the grievous hurt is done by using dangerous weapons, the penalty could be life imprisonment or
upto ten (10) years and/or fine.
Wrongful restraint and wrongly confinement
Restraint means ‘cutting short of a person’s liberty’. The slightest obstruction may amount to restraint, while confinement refers to total restraint. Wrongful restraint means ‘infliction of a bodily restraint upon the freedom of a person’. If the restraint is partial, it is called as ‘wrongful restraint’. If the restraint is total, it is called as ‘wrongful confinement’.
A causes B to go within a walled space and locks B in it. B is thus prevented from proceeding from any direction beyond the circumscribing line of wall. A wrongfully confines B.
A places men with firearms at the outlets of a building in which B is present. A tells B that the men will shoot him if he comes out of the building. A has wrongfully confined B.
The accused, a landlord obstructed/prevented the tenant from using bathroom. The accused was held guilty of wrongful restraint.
To constitute wrongful confinement, the period or length of confinement is immaterial.
The punishment for wrongful restraint is simple imprisonment for a term, which may extent to one (1) month or with a fine or both.
Criminal Force and Assault
|Wrongful Restraint (Section 339)
||Wrongful Confinement (Section 340)
|The restraint is partial
||The restraint is total
|The person is restrained from proceeding towards a particular direction
||The person is restrained from proceedings to all directions beyond a certain area
|It is an offence under Section 339
||It is an offence under Section 340
|Wrongful restraint is genus
||Wrongful confinement is species of the wrongful restraint
|Punishment is simple imprisonment of upto one year or fine or both
||Punishment is imprisonment of one year or fine or both
A person is said to have used force on another, when he causes motion, change of motion, or cessation of motion on other. The motion or change of motion can be brought about in the following three ways.
- By his own bodily power
- By disposing any substance in such a manner that the motion or change or cessation or motion takes place without any further act on his part, or on the part of any other person.
- By inducing any animal to move, to change its motion, or to cease to move.
Whoever intentionally uses force to any person, without that person’s consent, in order to commit an offence is said to have used criminal force on the other.
A incites a dog to spring upon B, without B’s consent. Here, if A’s intention is to cause injury to B, then A has used criminal force against B.
Assault is something less than the use of criminal force. Every criminal force includes assault but not every assault includes criminal force. The term ‘assault’ literally means ‘laying of hands or an attempt to do a corporal hurt to another by using some force without any lawful justification’.
Mere words do not amount to assault. But the words which a person may give to his gestures or may convey his intention to cause hurt will results in assault.
A shakes his fist at B, intending or knowing it to be likely that he may thereby cause B to believe that A is about to strike B. A has committed an assault.
A begins to unloose the muzzle of a ferocious dog, intending or knowing it to be likely that he may thereby cause B to believe that he is about to cause the dog to attack B. A has committed an assault upon B.
Distinction between Criminal Force and Assault
Kidnapping and Abduction
|Section 349 defines Force and Section 350 defines Criminal Force
||Section 351 defines Assault
|Physical contact exists
||There exists no physical contact
|It is an application of criminal force
||It is an attempt of criminal force
|Criminal force includes assault
||Every assult is not a criminal force
|The offence is more serious
||The offence is less serious when compared to criminal force
Kidnapping means ‘child stealing’ or taking away a girl below the age of 16 years or a boy below the age of 18 years from the lawful custody of their parents or guardian. However, kidnapping is not just confined to child stealing but extends to all.
Abduction means compelling or inducing a person to go from any place. Abduction by itself is not an offence, unless it involves an intent to commit an offence such as to rob, murder, rape, etc.
Kinds of kidnapping:
There are two kinds of kidnapping under IPC.
- Kidnapping from India
- Kidnapping from lawful guardianship
Whoever kidnaps any person from India or from lawful guardianship shall be punished with imprisonment upto 7 years and also liable for fine.
Whoever abducts any person is liable for rigorous punishment for a period of 10 days and/or with fine.
Distinction between Kidnapping and Abduction
|Kidnapping is from lawful guardianship
||Abduction is in respect of any person
|Intention is not relevant
||Intention is relevant
|The person is removed from legal guardianship
||It is not necessary that the person is removed from legal guardianship
It is a sexual offence. It simply means ‘having sexual intercourse by a man with a woman against her will or consent’. However, it should be noted that a sexual intercourse by a man with a girl who is below 16 years of age with her consent also amounts to rape.
Essential elements of rape:
According to IPC, the following constitutes rape.
A man is said to have committed rape, if he has sexual intercourse with a woman under any one of the following six instances.
- against her will
- without her consent
- with her consent, obtained by coercion
- with her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and she believes herself to be lawfully married
- with her consent, when she is of unsound mind or in intoxicated/drunken state; and
- with or without her consent if she is under sixteen (16) years of age.
Section 375 states that mere penetration is sufficient to constitute the offence of rape. Seminal emission is not necessary.
The Supreme Court has stated that “Rape for a woman is deathless shame and must be dealt with as the gravest crime against human dignity.”
Punishment for ordinary rape:
The punishment for rape shall not be less than seven (7) years of imprisonment but may extend to life imprisonment or a term which may also extend to ten years and shall also be liable for fine.
Punishment for custodial rape:
In case of custodial rape (where the person is in the custody of someone else in trust), the punishment shall be at least ten (10) years of imprisonment or may also extend to life imprisonment and fine.
Punishment for rape by public servants:
Punishment may extend to five (5) years imprisonment and liable for fine.
Punishment for rape by Jail Superintendent:
Punishment for five (5) years imprisonment and/or fine.
Punishment for child rape:
The punishment for rape of a girl below the age of 10 years is either death or life imprisonment.
Voluntarily having carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal is known as unnatural offences. In case of unnatural offences, the consent of the victim is immaterial.
The punishment for such offences may extend to imprisonment for life or a term of 10 years and or with fine.
Offences against Property
The following are the usual offences against property.
1. Theft (Section 378-382):
- Criminal Misappropriation or Dishonest Misappropriation of Property
- Criminal Breach of Trust
- Receiving of Stolen Property
- Fraudulent Deeds
- Criminal Trespass
It means ‘taking away any movable property intentionally and dishonestly without the consent of the owner or possessor.”
The person guilty of theft shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to three (3) years, or with fine or with both.
2. Extortion (Section 383-389):
Whoever intentionally puts any person in fear of any injury and thereby dishonestly induces that person to deliver (to any person) any property or valuable or security or anything signed or sealed, which may be converted into a valuable security, is said to have committed an offence of extortion.”
The person guilty of extortion shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three (3) years, or with fine, or with both.
Distinction between Theft and Extortion:
3. Robbery (Section 390,392-394 and 401)
|Possession of movable property is obtained without consent
||Possession of property is obtained by putting a person in fear of threat
|The subject matter is movable property
||Any property (movable or immovable) can be the subject matter of extortion
|There is no force or compulsion
||There is a force of compulsion
Robbery is either an aggravated form of theft or aggravated form of extortion. In other words, in all robbery, there is either theft or extortion.
When Theft is Robbery:
Theft becomes robbery, if the offender, at the time of committing theft or in carrying away or attempting to carry away the property, voluntarily causes or attempts to cause to any person, death or hurt or wrongful restraint, or fear of instant death or of instant hurt or instant wrongful restraint.
A, holds B down, and fraudulently takes B’s money without B’s consent. Here, A has committed theft, and has voluntarily caused wrongly restrained to B, and has therefore committed robbery.
When Extortion is Robbery:
The person, who committed the offence of extortion is said to have committed robbery, if the accused at the time of committing extortion puts the victim in fear of hurt or wrongful restraint to himself of any other thereby inducing him to deliver the thing/property.
A meets B on a highway, shows a gun and demands B’s wallet. B, in consequence, surrenders his wallet. Here, A has extorted the wallet from B by putting him in fear of instant hurt, and committing extortion. A, has therefore committed robbery.
Robbery = Theft + violence or fear of instant violence.
Robbery = Extortion + presence of the offender + fear of instant violence + immediate delivery.
Whoever commits robbery, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to ten years (10) and also be liable to fine. If the robbery is committed on highway between sun-rise and sun-set, the imprisonment may be extended to fourteen (14) years.
4. Dacoity (Section 391, 395-400 and 402)
When five (5) or more people conjointly commit or attempt to commit robbery, every one of them is said to have committed ‘dacoity’.
Whoever commits dacoity shall be punished with imprisonment for life or with rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.
Whoever commits dacoity with murder, everyone of them shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and shall also be liable to fine.
5. Criminal Misappropriation/Dishonest Misappropriation of property (Section 403 and 404)
When a person takes possession of a property of another under an honest belief/good faith that it belongs to himself and later he discovers/comes to know that it does not belong to him, but keeps the same with him without returning to the real owner, then such an act is called as criminal or
dishonest misappropriation of property.
Whoever dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use any movable property, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two (2) years or with fine or both.
6. Criminal Breach of Trust (Section 405 to 409)
Whoever dishonestly misappropriates trust property is said to have committed the offence of “Criminal Breach of Trust”. The offence of criminal breach of trust is committed by a person, who is entrusted with property or dominion over property and he dishonestly misappropriates or converts
the same for his own use.”
A being executor to the will of a deceased person, dishonestly disobeys the law which directs him to divide the effects according to the will, and appropriates them to his own use. A has committed criminal breach of trust.
Criminal Breach of Trust is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three (3) years or with fine or both.
7. Receiving of stolen property (Section 410 to 414):
The property, the possession of which is obtained by theft, extortion, robbery, dacoity, criminal/dishonest misappropriation or by criminal breach of trust is termed as “Stolen Property”. The stolen property ceases to be stolen property, when it comes to the possession of the real owner or
the person, who is legally entitled to possess it.
Whoever dishonestly receives stolen property shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to three (3) years or with fine or both.
8. Cheating (Section 415 to 420):
A person is said to have committed the offence of cheating:
- when he by deceiving another person fraudulently; or
- dishonestly induces the person so deceived to deliver any property to him; or
- to consent that he shall retain any property; or
- intentionally induces the person so deceived to do or omit to do anything which he would not do or omit if he was not so deceived and which act or omission causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to that person in body, mind, reputation or property.
The term deception means ‘making a person to believe something which is false’.
A, by falsely pretending to be a Civil Servant, intentionally deceives B. A has cheated B.
A, by showing a wrong sample of a product, induces B to enter into a contract. Subsequently, A supplies to B inferior quality product. A has cheated B.
Whoever cheats shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
9. Fradulent Deeds and Dispositions of Property (Section 421 to 424):
A fraudulent or dishonest intention is common to all offences relating to such deeds or disposition of property. The offences are as follows.
- Dishonest or fraudulent removal or concealment of property to prevent distribution among creditors.
- Dishonestly or fraudulently preventing debt due or payable to the offender or to any other person so that the amount of the debt so due may not be available to the creditors.
- Dishonest or fraudulent execution of deed of transfer containing false statement or consideration.
- Dishonest or fraudulent removal or concealment of property.
The above offences are punishable with imprisonment of upto 2 years or fine or both.
10. Mischief (Section 425 to 440):
Whoever, with intent to cause or knowing that he is likely to cause, wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person, causes the destruction of any property, or any such change in any property or in the situation thereof as destroys or diminishes its value or utility, or affect injuriously, commits “mischief.”
A voluntarily burns a valuable security belonging to B intending to cause wrongful loss to B. A has committed mischief.
A introduces water into an ice-house belonging to B, and thus causes the ice to melt, intending wrongful loss to B. A has committed mischief.
A voluntarily throws into a river a ring belonging to B, with the intention of thereby causing wrongful loss to B. A has committed mischief.
Kinds of Mischief:
There are seven (7) aggravated types of mischief as below.
- Mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs. 50.
- Mischief in regard to animals.
- Mischief in regard to water supply and public works
- Mischief by fire
- Mischief in regard to decked vessels
- Mischief in regard to any vessel with intent to steal
- Mischief with preparation for causing death, hurt or wrongful restraint or fear, of such death, hurt or wrongful restraint.
Whoever commits mischief shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three (3) months or with fine or both.
11. Criminal Trespass (Section 441 to 462):
Trespass into the property of another is a civil wrong. When it is committed with an intention to commit an offence it will become a crime. To constitute the offence of criminal trespass there should be unauthorised entry. If the entry is lawful, the offender should remain there unlawfully
with an intention to commit an offence. It is not necessary that the complainant should be present at the time of entry by the accused.
House Trespass (Section 442):
Criminal trespass when committed in any building, tent or vessel used as a human dwelling or any building used as a place of worship or as a place for the custody of property, the offence of house trespass is committed.
Lurking House Trespass (Section 443):
This is an aggravated form of house trespass. If the offender after taking sufficient precautions not to be seen by any one who is having a right to prevent him, commits house trespass, that house trespass is known as Lurking House Trespass.This offence is considered as a more serious one, if it is committed during night.
House Breaking (Section 445):
House trespass if it is committed in any one of the following means is known as House Breaking.
The punishment for any trespass is imprisonment or fine or both.
- If the trespasser enters or quits through a passage made by himself or by any abettor of the house trespass in order to commit house trespass.
- If he enters or quits through any passage which is generally not used for human entrance or through any passage to which he has obtained access by scaling or climbing over any wall door building.
- If he enters or quits through any passage which he or any abettor of the house trespass has opened , in order to commit house trespass by which the passage was not intended by the occupier of the house to be opened.
- If he enters or quits by opening any lock in order to commit house trespass or in order to quit the house after house trespass.
- If he effects his entrance or departure by using criminal force or committing assault or by threatening any person with assault.
- If he enters or quits any passage which he knows to have been fastened against such entrance or departure and to have unfastened himself or by any abettor of the house trespass.
Offences relating to Marriage
The following are the offences relating to marriage.
1. Mock Marriage (Section 493 and 496):
- Mock Marriage
- Seduction or Criminal Elopement
It means invalid marriage. Cohabitation or sexual intercourse by a man (married or not) with a woman (of any age) whom he induces to be his wife, but really a concubine. The punishment is ten years (10) imprisonment and fine.
2. Bigamy (Section 494 to 496):
It means having two living spouses. Spouse means wife or husband. If a man or woman, having living spouse, marries again, is guilty of the offence of bigamy. In other words, if a man has two wives or if a woman has two husbands, it is bigamy. If a man has more than two wives, it amounts to ‘polygamy’. If a woman has more than two husbands, it is called ‘polyandry’.
According to IPC, whoever having a living husband or wife, marries again, such marriage is void as it amounts to bigamy, which is an offence under IPC. There are, however, certain exceptions to this offence. The following are those.
- When the first marriage is declared void or dissolved by the court of competent jurisdiction.
- If the whereabouts of the other spouse are not known for a continuous period of seven (7) years.
Section 494 IPC is applicable to Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Jews, and Mohamedan woman. It is not applicable to Mohamedan male, who can have four wives at a time legally. However, if a muslim male marries again during the lifetime of four wives, he is guilty of bigamy.
The person guilty of bigamy shall be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to seven (7) years and shall also be liable to fine. If a spouse conceals her former marriage and marries again, the punishment is up to 10 years and fine.
3. Adultery (Section 497):
It means sexual intercourse by a man with a married woman, who is not his wife, with her consent but without the consent of her husband, not amounting to rape.
For the offence of adultery, man alone is punished, though woman is involved. The compliant should be filed by her husband, who is the aggrieved party.
The punishment for adultery is imprisonment for a term which may extend to five (5) years or with fine or with both. The woman is not subject to punishment even as an abettor, though she is the consenting party.
Defamation means injury to reputation or character of a person. It is a publication of a false statement by one person, causing injury to reputation or character of another person. It is an offence under IPC.
Defamation is a tort as well as a crime. In other words, the injured party can file a suit against the wrongdoer in civil court for damages and can also institute criminal proceedings to punish the wrongdoer.
Exceptions for defamation:
There are ten (10) exceptions for defamation. The following are those.
- Imputation of truth for public good: If a person proves that the defamatory statement made by him is true and it is published for the public good, it is no offence.
- Public conduct of public servant: If a public servant, in discharging of his duty, communicates to the higher authority, about the conduct of his subordinates, he is not subject to defamatory suit or proceedings.
- Conduct of any person touching any public question: It is no defamation to express in good faith, any opinion respecting the conduct of any person or touching any public question.
- Publication of reports of proceedings of court: It is no defamation and the accused is not liable.
- Expression of opinion as to the decision of a court or conduct of a witness: If a person in good faith, in the interest of justice expresses his opinion on the decision of court of conduct of a witness, it is no offence.
- Merits of public performance: It is no defamation to express in good faith, opinion respecting the merits of any performance.
- Censure passed in good faith by person having lawful authority: It is not defamation to pass in good faith any censure on the conduct of that another in matters to which such lawful authority relates.
- Accusation preferred in good faith to authorised person: It is not defamation to prefer in good faith such accusation.
- Imputation in protection of other’s interest: It is no defamation, to make an imputation, if it is made in good faith in protection of other’s interest or for the public good.
- Conveyance of caution for public good: It is no defamation to convey a caution in good faith to one person against another, provided it is intended for the good of the person to whom it is conveyed or for the public good.
The punishment for defamation is simple imprisonment, which may extend to two (2) years, or with fine or with both.
Offences against the State
The following are the offences against the State.
1. Waging War (Section 121 to 123):
- Waging War
- Assaulting President, Governor, etc.
It refers to taking part in an armed insurrection revolution or mutiny. Mere collection of arms and ammunitions do not amount to waging war. There should be some action or attempt.
Whoever wages war or attempts to wage war or abets the waging of such war shall be punished with death or life imprisonment. This is the highest form of treason and hence is punishable with death penalty.
2. Assaulting President, Governor, Etc. (Section 124):
Whoever with the intention of inducing or compelling the President of India, or the Governor of any State, to exercise or refrain from exercising in any manner any of the lawful powers of such President or Governor, assaults or wrongfully restraints, or attempts to wrongfully restraint, uses
criminal force or any other means shall be guilty of the offence and is punishable with imprisonment which can extend to seven (7) years and/or fine.
3. Sedition (Section 124.A):
Sedition means disturbing the tranquility of the State by word, deed or writing and leading ignorant persons to subvert the Government. The word sedition a comprehensive term and it covers disloyalty, disconcert and dissatisfaction towards the government. Even defamation of the government
or the State comes within the meaning of sedition.
Sedition is an offence under IPC and is punishable with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment which may extend to three (3) years or with fine or both.
Offences against the Public Tranquility
The following offences come under the offences against public tranquility.
1. Unlawful assembly (Section 141 to 145, 149, 151, 157 and 158):
- Unlawful assembly
- Riot or Rioting; and
The following constitutes unlawful assembly.
2. Riot or Rioting (Section 146 to 148):
- There must be an assembly of not less than five (5) persons.
- They must have common object in committing the offence.
- The object must be one of the following.
- Overawing the Government by using criminal force or show of criminal force.
- Resisting the execution of law or legal process
- To commit any mischief, criminal trespass or other offence
- Forcible possession or dispossession of property; and
- Illegal compulsion
Riot is an unlawful assembly in a particular state of activity. An unlawful assembly in a state of violence becomes a riot. In other words, riot is an aggravated form of unlawful assembly. Whenever force or violence is used by an unlawful assembly, or by any member thereof, in pursuance of the common objective of such assembly, every member of such assembly is guilty of the offence of rioting.
Whoever is guilty of rioting, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine or both.
3. Affray (Section 159 and 160):
When two or more persons by fighting in a public place disturb the public peace, they are said to have committed the offence of affray.”
Whoever commits the offence of affray shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one (1) month or with fine or both.
False Evidence and Offences against Public Justice
The following are the offences under this head.
1. Giving false evidence (Section 191 and 193):
- Giving false evidence
- Fabricating false evidence
- False certificates
- False declarations
- Contempt of court
It is also known as ‘Perjury’. It is an offence under IPC.
A person is said to have given false evidence if he:
- Being legally bound by an oath or by an express provision of the law to state the truth, or to make a declaration, upon any subject;
- Makes a false statement
- Which he either -
- knows or believes to be false; or
- does not believe to be true
Whoever intentionally gives false evidence shall be punished with imprisonment upto seven (7) years and shall also be liable to fine.
2. Fabricating false evidence (Section 192):
It means creating false evidence. It is a punishable offence.
3. False certificates (Section 197 and 198):
Whoever issues or signs any certificate required by law to be given or signed, or relating to any fact of which such certificate is by law admissible in evidence, knowing or believing that such certificate is false in any material point, shall be punished in the same manner as if he gave false evidence.
4. False declarations (Section 199):
Whoever makes a false declaration, which is supposed to serve as an evidence in a court of law, knowing or believing that such a declaration is false in any material point, shall be punished in the same manner as if he has given false evidence.
5. Contempt of court (Section 228):
It means “intentional insult or interruption to public servant sitting in a judicial proceeding.” Any such intentional insult is an offence under IPC. The main object of this law is to punish a person, who intentionally insults in any way the court administering justice and to preserve the prestige and dignity of the court.
A person who is found guilty of contempt of court shall be punished with simple imprisonment of a term which may extend to six (6) months or with fine or both.
Offences affecting Public Health Safety, Convenience, Decency and Morals
The following are the laws under this subject.
1. Public Nuisance (Section 268):
- Public Nuisance
- Public Health
- Public Safety
- Public Decency and Morals
Nuisance means ‘to hurt or to annoy’. It is an act or omission interfering with the right of another to enjoy some property, causing damage or physical discomfort. It is of two kinds, namely.
- Private Nuisance
- Public Nuisance
Private Nuisance causes discomfort to an individual or a group of individuals. For example, listening to Radio in loud noise causing inconvenience to neighbors.
Public Nuisance causes injury or damage or inconvenience to public at large in general. For example, digging a trench on highway, etc.
The punishment for nuisance, which is illegal in nature, can be imprisonment upto three (3) months or fine or both.
2. Public Health (Section 269 to 278):
It refers to negligent or malign acts to spread infection of any diseases which are dangerous to life.
For example, adulteration of food, drink, drug, medical preparation, etc.
The punishment for this offence is imprisonment for a period of six (6) months or fine or both.
3. Public Safety (Section 277 to 299):
The following are the offences related to public safety.
4. Public Decency and Morals (Section 292 to 294):
- Fouling water of public spring or reservoir (Sec 277) - punishable with three (3) months imprisonment or fine or both.
- Making atmosphere noxious to health (Sec 278) - punishable with a fine.
- Rash driving or riding on a public way (Sec 279) - punishable upto six (6) months imprisonment and/or fine.
- Rash navigation of vessel (Sec 280) - punishable upto six (6) months imprisonment and/or fine.
- Negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance which endangers human life or likely to cause hurt or injury (Sec 284) - punishable with six (6) month imprisonment and/or fine.
The following are the offences under this category.
- Selling, distributing, importing, exporting, publishing, letting to hire any obscene book, pamphlet, drawing, painting, representation or figure.
- Making, keeping or producing such things for any of such purposes.
- Taking part in or receiving profits from any business connected with such things in any way including advertisement.
- Offering or attempting to do any of the foregoing offences.
The above offences are punishable with imprisonment of upto three (3) months or fine or both.
Offences relating to Coin and Government Stamps
The term coin for the purpose of this subject means ‘only such metal/coin, which is used as money and defined as coin by the Government of India’.
The offences relating to coins fall under the following heads.
- Uttering coins
- Offences by mint employees
- Government stamps
The following are the offences and punishments under this head.
2) Uttering Coins:
- Counterfeiting or knowingly performing any part of the process of counterfeiting coin - upto 7 years imprisonment and fine.
- Counterfeiting Indian coin or knowing performing any part of the process of counterfeiting - 10 years imprisonment and fine.
- Making or selling or disposing of instrument for counterfeiting coin - 3 years imprisonment and fine.
- Making or selling or disposing of instrument for counterfeiting Indian coin - 7 years imprisonment and fine.
- Abetting counterfeiting coin outside India - punished as if abetting counterfeiting inside India.
- Import or export of counterfeiting coins - 3 years imprisonment and fine.
- Import or export of counterfeiting Indian coins - 10 years imprisonment and fine.
The following are the offences and punishments under this head.
3) Alternation of Coin:
- Fraudulent delivery of coin possessed with knowledge that it is counterfeit or attempting to induce any person to receive it - 5 years imprisonment and fine.
- Fraudulent delivery of India coin possessed with knowledge that it is counterfeit or attempting to induce any person to receive it - 10 years and fine.
- Delivery of counterfeit coin not known to be so when first possessed but discovered to be so later on - 2 years or fine or both.
- Fraudulent possession of a counterfeit coin knowing it to be so (any coin) - 3 years imprisonment and fine.
- Fraudulent possession of a counterfeit Indian coin knowing it to be so - 7 years and fine.
The following are the offences and punishments under this head.
4) Offences by Mint Employees:
- Fraudulently or dishonestly diminishing the weight or altering composition of any coin - 3 years imprisonment and fine.
- Fraudulently or dishonestly diminishing the weight or altering composition of an Indian coin - 7 years imprisonment and fine.
- Altering appearance or any coin to pass off as different coin - 3 years and fine; altering Indian coin - 7 years and fine.
- Fraudulent delivery of or attempt to induce any person to receive coin possessed with knowledge that it is diminished or altered - 5 years and fine; for Indian coin - 10 years and fine.
- Fraudulent possession of such coin with such knowledge - 3 years and fine; Indian coin - 5 years with fine.
- Fraudulent delivery of such coin innocently received but subsequently known to be such coin - 2 years or with fine upto 10 times the value of the coin for which such coin is passed.
5) Government Stamps:
- Causing coin to be of different weight or composition from that fixed by law - 7 years and fine.
- Unlawfully taking coining tool or instrument out of mint - 7 years and fine
The following are the offences and punishments under this head.
- Counterfeiting government stamps or performing any process of counterfeiting - Imprisonment for life or 10 years and also fine.
- Possession of instrument or material for counterfeiting a stamp with knowledge or belief that it may be so used - 7 years and fine.
- Making or selling instrument for counterfeiting government stamp - 7 years and fine.
- Sale of a counterfeit government stamp - 7 years and fine
- Possession of counterfeit government stamp - 7 years and fine
- Using as genuine government stamp known as counterfeit - 7 years and fine.
- Effacing writing from substance bearing government stamp, or removing from document a stamp used for it, with intent to cause loss to government - 3 years or fine or both.
- Using used government stamp - 2 years or fine or both
- Erasure of marks denoting that a stamp has been used - 3 years or fine or both.
- Making, altering, dealing in, selling and or using for postal purposes, fictions stamp or possessing it or possessing any instrument for manufacturing such stamp - fine and forfeiture of stamp and instrument.
End of Notes
- First updated on 24th January 2017
- Last updated on 20th October 2018