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Indian Penal Code

Introduction-Indian Panel code is the skeleton of the Indian Criminal justice system. The intent of this act is to provide a general penal code for India. This code consolidates whole of the law on the subject is exhaustive on the matters in respect of which it declares the law. As many more penal statutes governing various offenses have been created in addition to this code.

The Indian Security system has gone through a lot of tests and examinations throughout the time as due to the political and social issues of the country. People from various religions as well as ethnic backgrounds live together, there must be a single system that acts as a standard to all the decision-making process. The Indian Panel code stands alike for government employees as for a common man and even for a judicial officer. All in all, the Indian Panel code of the present does not include any special favors of any special person at some position.

The code has its roots and to improve the overall situation in the company administered territories the administration of East India company started introducing various reforms. It is applicable to all the citizens of India who commit crimes or actions suggesting misconduct in the Indian territory.

At present, the total number of sections contained in the Indian Panel Code is 511(all these sections pertain to a category of crimes committed by civilians of Indian Origin and subdivided into 23 chapters). These sections relate to Dowry Laws and jurisdictions in India and that concerns various types of criminal laws.

The penal code came into existence in 1860 on the recommendation of the 1st law commission of India established in 1834. The objective was to inquire into the jurisdiction of existing forms of judicial procedure and operation of all kind of laws. The elements were also derived from the Napoleonic code and from Edward Livingston's Louisiana Civil Code of 1825. The drafting was completed in 1850 and was presented to the Legislative council in 1856. the draft underwent a very careful revision at the hands of Barnes Peacock. The code came into operations on 1 January 1962 and was adopted by Independent India(EXCEPT IN JAMMU & KASHMIR WHERE RPC(RANBIR PANEL CODE) IS ADOPTED.

The Indian code is the product of the work of the successive Law commission constituted by the British during the 19th century.

Introduction-The act was framed to provide a general penal code for India. It is a comprehensive code that intends to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law. The penal code cannot supersede any kind of military and armed force crimes as they have a different dedicated list of laws. The penal code starts with the introduction, provides explanation and exception used in it with the main objective by covering a large range of offenses. The document consists of a list of all the punishments and cases that a person who commits any kind of a crime is to be held liable and charged with.

Chapter II of IPC i.e. general explanation covers the section from 6 to 52. Under section 6 every definition of the offense, penal provision shall be understood subject to the exceptions contained in the chapter entitled “GENERAL EXCEPTION”.

Punishments-Chapter III deals with section 53 to 74 (The punishment to which offenders are liable under the provision of this code are:

  • Death
  • Imprisonment of Life.
  • Imprisonment which is of two descriptions, namely
  • Rigorous, that is with hard labor,
  • Simple.
  • Forfeiture of Property
  • Fine.

Chapter IV-General Exceptions-IPC WAS DRAFTED WITH A MAJOR LOOPHOLE ASSUMING THAT THERE WERE NO EXCEPTIONS IN CRIMINAL CASES.

Every offense is not absolute, they have certain exceptions. Taking into consideration this loophole a separate chapter was introduced by the lawmakers of the code which is applicable to the entire concept. The object includes

1.Circumstance (Exceptional)in which an individual can escape from the liability.

2.Simpler code of construction by removing the repetition of criminal exceptions.

The exceptions are divided into 2 categories based on section 6 of IPC.

A. Excusable Acts-the act in which though the person had caused harm, yet that person should be excused because he cannot be blamed.

B. Acts which are Judicially Justifiable Thus, A person for committing a wrong, must be responsible for doing a wrongful act without having any justification or excuse for it because at the time of the commission of the offense, the person was justified with the circumstances/ his condition was such that he could not form the (guilty intention) for the crime.

Chapter V- Abetment-In general overview abetment means to aid, to assist, to help. Under IPC Abetment is discussed under chapter V, VII AND XVI. It covers the different gradations of a criminal Act considering the abettor is a different person and not directly involved in the act. Being a separate and distinct offense, the reiteration of the rationale behind punishing the preparatory stages of a crime is that the law is a deterrence not only in theory but also in practice. It covers under section 107 to 120 of the IPC. ‘Abetment of a things’ and the abettor is defined under section 107 and 108. The stages of committing the crime of Abetment are by

  • Instigating
  • Engaging
  • Intentional Aiding

Chapter VI- Offences against the State- It immediately attract state attention.

Multiple incidents have taken place and have been reported under this category. Given the proneness of the crime, ‘Offences Against the State’ entail long and harsh punishments. It deals with offenses against State. To safeguard and preserve State's existence provisions were made and a person with the intention of inducing or compelling the President, Governor or the authority to refrain from exercising in any manner any of the lawful powers shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 7 years and shall also be liable to fine. collecting arms to wage war, concealment, committing depredation on territories, receiving property taken by war, sedition, etc shall also be punished.

Chapter VII& VIII-This Chapter explains the provisions about the offenses relating to the Army, Navy and air force and against the public tranquility. This category of offense involves abetting mutiny or attempting to seduce a soldier, airman from his duty. These Offenses are termed as ‘group offenses’ which are generally committed by many persons resulting in disturbance of public tranquility.Sections 141 to 160 are explained in chapter VII & VIII. The main offenses were Unlawful Assembly, Rioting, Affray, etc. Hence the lawmakers incorporated these provisions stating and defining the offenses which are against the public tranquility with the motive to maintain peace in the society for future developments.

Chapter IX- Offenses by or relating to Public Servants-Chapter IX explains the provisions about the offenses by or related to the Public servants covered under section 161 to 171, where section 161 to 165 is omitted by act no.49 of the prevention of Corruption Act 1988. Whoever being the public servant prepares and translates the document in a manner which he knows or believes is incorrect shall be punished with maximum imprisonment of 3 years or with fine. In the present scenario corruption and bribery have become the root causes of Indian poverty. Engagement of public servant in unlawful trade is punishable.

ChapterX-Offenses related to contempt’s of the lawful authority- (Section 171 to 190)Absconding, preventing of summons, omission to give and produce documents, refusing oath and answering to the public, Non appearance (whoever fails to appear at the specified place and specified time as required by a proclamation shall be punishable with maximum imprisonment of 3 years or with fine.Furnishing false information also leads to contempt’s of the lawful authority.

ChapterXI-Offenses related to giving false and fabricating information (Section 191 to 229) 



Chapter XII-Section(230 to 263A of the IPC) This code deals with the offenses related to possession of instruments and materials capable of counterfeiting coins with the intention of counterfeiting coins; mere possession is not an offence unless it is accompanied with the intention of counterfeiting coins and offences relating to coin and government stamps. Import and export,delivery of forged Indian coin with knowledge that it is altered shall be liable for both imprisonment and fine.

Chapter XIII-Offences relating to Weight and Measures-The government makes rules not consistent with the rules made under the standards act for the sale and distribution of packed commodities. keeping weights or measures other than the standards which are defined shall be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs 2000 and subsequent offense may extend to imprisonment.

Chapter XIV- (Sections 268 to 294A)The main offences covered under this chapter are Public Nuisance, spreading infection of disease dangerous to life,Adulteration of food or drink intended for sale, sale of noxious drinks, Rash driving, negligent conduct with regard to poisonous substance and animals, sale of foul books, sale of foul objects to young person, foul acts and songs. 


Chapter XVI- Offences affecting the Human Body(Sections 299 to 311) of the Penal Code criminalizes acts affecting the human body which cause death and physical harm, including, assault, sexual offences and wrongful deed. These provisions cover violence against persons in general, and offences of this nature are considered very serious and usually carry hefty punishments,The offences related to culpable homicide, murder, death due to negligence etc.

Chapter XVIII- (Section 463 to 489) explains the provisions about the offences relating to documents and property marks. This Chapter containsthe provisions about “Forgery”, “Forged documents”, making of false documents and punishments. a person who makes, executes, signs a document dishonestly and in a fraudulent manner termed as “False Document or false electronic record. forgery of valuable security,for the purpose of security and for harming reputation shall be liable to fine and imprisonment.


 Chapter XX- & Chapter XXA- Section 493 to 498A deals with the offences relating to marriage and offence related to remarriage during lifetime of husband or wife. Dealing with adultery which has been recently decriminalized by the Supreme Court. Offensesalso includes bigamy, adultery, criminal elopement among others. One of the most serious offenses against women are dowry death and rape. Many innocent women lose their lives because of dowry and because of illegitimate demands for dowry.

It also covers offenses related to concealment of former marriage from the person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted.

Detaining a married woman with criminal intent

Cruelty

Dowry Death.

Sexual Harassment

Stalking.

Rape.


Chapter XXI- Defamation- (Section 499 to 502) deals with the defamation. Offence of defamation can be both criminal as well as civil.Law of torts covers Civil defamation. To impute anything to a deceased person, company or anassociation may amount to defamation where there is areason to believe that such imputation willharm the reputation ofother.


Chapter XXII- Criminal Intimidation, Insult and Annoyance Sections deals with the punishment for a threat to injure the reputation of any deceased person intentionally insult with the intention to provoke the person by breaching the peace, making such statements which conducts public mischiefs/promoting enmity, hatred between the class of people.

Chapter XXIII-To commit offenses punishable with life imprisonment and fine. In this Section no express provision is made and the imprisonment and fine can be of any description.

  1. What exactly the Indian panel code is?

IPC is the official criminal code of India which works on the basic format and lists all the crime along with the punishments that are liable for imprisonment and fine.

  1. How and when did it originate?

The basis of IPC is the law of England and it covers all the person of Indian origin except military and armed forces.

  1. What is its Applicability?

It covers an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin with the exceptions to any kind of military or the armed forces crimes, which are handled by a dedicated list of armed force acts.

  1. Importance and the general overview of IPC in the present scenario?

It is an important set of regulation which is very important for the system to be operated in a proper way. It is the main criminal code of India. They are various offenses that are made under this law. It includes all the relevant criminal offenses dealing with offenses against the state, offenses for a public, offenses for armed forces, kidnapping, murder, and rape. It deals with an offense related to religion, offenses against property and it has an important section for offenses for marriage, cruelty from husband or relatives, defamation and so on so forth. This is a general overview of the structure of the Indian Penal Code. Not only in India but every country should have a Penal Code for its system to be operated in a systematic way. The code majorly covers all the basic offenses which are highlighted in the society.

  1. What are the features & How does it works?

The important feature of the IPC is the impartial nature of judgments promoted by the document and does not include any special favors for any special person at some position. Thus, it stands alike for government employees, as for a common man, and even for a judicial officer. It helps in building up the faith of the common citizens in the lawmaking and enforcing bodies in the country and prevents any sort of corruption or misuse of power on the part of the people in power.

  1. What are specific provisions to deal with domestic violence?

Section 498A was introduced to deal with the domestic violence i.e. cruelty by the husband or relatives of the husband (Family members) towards a married woman. Cruelty here means

  • Any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive a woman to commit suicide
  • Can cause grave injury or danger to her life.
  • Coercing her or her relative to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security.
  • Imprisonment and fine-3 years of imprisonment and fine.
  1. Who will be guilty Under section 149 of IPC if an offense is committed by a member of the unlawful assembly in furtherance of their common object?

Every person who at that time was a member of that assembly shall be guilty of that offense.

  1. What is the exception of grave & sudden provocation?

Provocation should not be voluntarily provoked by the offender if:

(a)  exercise(lawful) of the right of private defense does not give provocation.

(b) exercise(lawful) of powers by a public servant in obedience to the law does not amount to provocation.

  1. What is culpable homicide which does not amount to murder?

If the offender does not know that his act is so imminently dangerous that it must, in all probability causes death.

Note-Culpable homicide not amounting to murder is punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment for ten years.

  1. What are the rights of private defense of the body and of property and against the action of the person of unsound mind?

In case a person is attacked by someone, a person cannot wait for the law and process to protect his or herself, it is only the duty of the concerned person to protect his/herself. It is impossible for the state to keep a record of each person and cannot take immediate decisions when a person’s life and property is in danger. Therefore, this section was incorporated by the lawmakers to provide the right to private defense of body and property. (Section 97)

The right of private defense is available against the person(attacker) who is mentally incapacitated. The law does not make a distinction between a normal and a non-normal attacker on body or property of any person and in both cases the same right is available to the defender. (Section 98)

  1. Explain the acts done with common intention to commit a crime?

When an act (Criminal)is done by several people with the common intention of all, each such person is liable for the act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone. (Section 34). Under this section, there must be participation of all the persons in continuing the common intention. Participation in some way or other in committing the act is necessary as the person cannot be held liable if they have decided what to do and they have not done the same.

  1. Difference between section 120A and Section 34 of IPC?

Conspiracy is defined under section 120A and acting on common intention is defined under section 34.

Common intention means there should be unity of criminal behavior that results in something for which an individual would be punishable if an act was done alone by him whereas Section 120 A refers to a conspiracy or agreement to commit an offense.

Under the section, 34-there should a criminal mind and act and it should be done by several persons with the common intentions as it only defines as to what constitutes a joint liability.

  1. What is pride against prejudice under section 377 of IPC?

In India, homosexual is not a crime. With the recent judgment of the Supreme court, society owes LGBT and their family members an apology for the historical wrongs. The process begins with accepting oneself. Everyone has to find the right time to take the right decision.

Earlier under section 377, it criminalizes unnatural sex between two individuals and was punishable with imprisonment for life. The Delhi High Court described Section 377 as a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution whereas contradicting the same the supreme court reinforced criminalization of homosexuality stating the job of parliament was to scrap laws.

  1. What are the offenses that are bailable and non-bailable under the Indian Penal code?

Bailable offenses are those offenses which are less serious in nature where Non-bailable offenses are those offenses which are serious in nature. In Bailable offenses, bail is claimed as the matter of Right whereas in nonbailable offense bail is a matter of discretion.

Forgery, false information, stalking, using force, criminal intimidation are some of the Bailable offenses.

Sedition, Dowry Death, Trafficking of person, Rape, murder, criminal breach of trust are some of the Non-bailable offenses.

  1. What is ‘Bigamy’ and can an action be taken against a person involved in Bigamy under IPC?

Section 494-If a person hides his/her first marriage i.e. when a person having a husband and wife living, remarries during the life of such husband and wife which in any case is void and such person involved in bigamy is punishable with imprisonment and fine of any description.

  1. What are the acts causing slight Harm?

If a person causes harm or harm results because of the action was done with the intention to cause harm, such an act on his part would not amount to an offense if the output of the harm was so small that an ordinary person would not complain about such harm. The harm may be physical, mental, financial and reputational loss.

  1. A tries to steal some jewels by breaking open a box and finds after so opening the box, that there is no jewel in it. what is the act of A amounts to?

A has done an act towards the commission of theft therefore A is guilty under the section511 and shall be punishable for attempting to commit offenses punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment depending upon the case.

Reference case-Arun makes attempt to pick the pocket of Akash by thrusting his hand into Z’s pockets. A fail in the attempt in consequence of Z’s having nothing in his pocket. Arun is guilty under the section 511.

  1. Viren a soldier,fires on a mob by the order of his superior officer does it amount to offense?

A has committed no offense as the act was done in conformity with the commands of Law i.e. by the order of his superior officer.

Reference-Section 76 of Chapter IV deals with act done by a person bound, or by mistake of fact believing himself bound by law.

  1. Shivam a doctor(Surgeon) knowing that an operation is likely to cause death of Z who suffers under a painful complaint, but not intending to cause Z’s death and intending in good faith Z’s benefit, performs that operation with Z’s consent. Did Shivam commit any offence?

An act not intended to cause death, done by consent in good faith for persons benefit will not amount to offense. In this case as per Section 88 Shivam a surgeon acted in good faith for Z’s benefit who has given consent whether express or implied to suffer that harm or to take the risk of that harm.

Reference Case-Any act done in good faith for benefit of child or insane by his or her consent or the consent of his/her guardian will not amount to offense.

  1. Akhil under the influence of madness attempts to kill Ankur? Does it amount to offense for Akhil?

Section 98 deals with right of private defense against the act of a person of unsound mind. As in this case Akhil is guilty of no offense, but A has the same right of private defense in case if Akhil was sane.

  1. Abhishek was legally bound to appear and submit the documents before the high court at Calcutta against the summon issued from that court, intentionally omits to appear. Did Abhishek has committed the offense defined in the section 174?

As per section 174 Non appearance in obedience to an order from the public servant and authority will be treated as offense and shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 1 month and fine or with both.

In this case Abhishek intentionally omits to attend at that place or time where he is bound to attend before the time will be treated as offense.

  1. Irfan informs a Magistrate that Veer,a public officer, a subordinate to the Magistrate has been guilty of neglect of duty, knowing such information to be false and knowingly that the information will cause the magistrate to dismiss Veer. Did Irfan has committed the offense defined in the section 182?

Irfan has committed the offense under section 182 by giving information to the public servant which he knows or believes to be false and he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description or with fine which can extend to Rs 1000.

  1. Shakti being bound by an oath to state the truth, states that he knows that Shiva was at a place on a particularday. Shakti gives a false evidence whether Shiva was at the place on the day or not?

Shakti gives a false evidence not even knowing anything upon the subject that whether Shiva was at the place or not will be considered as an offense of giving false evidence under section 191.

Reference case-Giving and fabricating false evidence will be considered as offense and shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to 7 years and shall also be liable to fine.

  1. Arvind secretly buries and dispose of the dead body of a child and intentionally conceals the birth of the child from his wife. Does this concealment amount to offense under section 318?

Under section 318 whoever secretly conceals the birth of the child and dispose of the dead body whether such child die before, during or after its birth shall be punished with maximum imprisonment of 2 years or with fine or both.

  1. M intentionally pulls up a woman’s veil without her consent and intentionally used force to her. Does it lead to criminal force under IPC?

M intentionally pulls up a woman’s veil intentionally intending it to be likely that he may cause injure or annoy her and he does so without her consent. In the given case M has used the criminal force under section 350 of IPC and is punishable with imprisonment and fine. (Imprisonment may extend to 3 months and fine with Rs 500.

  1. Animesh cuts down a tree on Zahir’s ground with the intention of dishonestly taking the tree out of Zahir’s possession without his Consent. Does the act of Animesh amount to theft?

Animesh has severed the tree intending to take any movable property dishonestly without the consent is said to commit theft under section 378 offenses against the property.

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