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Chapter XVII (378-382) of IPC – Offences Against Property

Chapter XVII (383-389) of IPC – Extortion


Robbery and Dacoity – INDIAN PENAL CODE (IPC)

390. Robbery.

In all robbery there is either theft or extortion.
When theft is robbery- Theft is “robbery” if, in order to the committing of the theft, or in committing the theft, or in carving away or attempting to carry away property obtained by the theft, the offender, for that end, 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 of instant wrongful restraint.

Bare Acts

When extortion is robbery- Extortion is “robbery” if the offender, at the time of committing the extortion, is in the presence of the person put in fear, and commits the extortion by putting that person in fear of instant death, of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint to that person or to some other person, and, by so putting in fear, induces the person so put in fear then and there to deliver up the thing extorted.

Explanation-
The offender is said to be present if he is sufficiently near to put the other person in fear of instant death, of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint.

Illustrations-
(a) A holds Z down and fraudulently takes Z’s money and jewels from Z’s clothes without Z’s consent. Here A has committed theft, and in order to the committing of that theft, has voluntarily caused wrongful restraint to Z. A has therefore committed robbery.

(b) A meets Z on the high roads, shows a pistol, and demands Z’s purse. Z in consequence, surrenders his purse. Here A has extorted the purse from Z by putting him in fear of instant hurt, and being at the time of committing the extortion in his presence. A has therefore committed robbery.

(c) A meets Z and Z’s child on the high road. A takes the child and threatens to fling it down a precipice, unless Z delivers his purse. Z, in consequence delivers his purse. Here A has extorted the purse from Z, by causing Z to be in fear of instant hurt to the child who is there present. A has therefore committed robbery on Z.

(d) A obtains property from Z by saying— “Your child is in the hands of my gang, and will be put to death unless you send us ten thousand rupees”. This is extortion, and punishable as such; but it is not robbery, unless Z is put in fear of the instant death of his child.

COMMENTS
In order that theft may constitute robbery, prosecution has to establish-
(a) if in order to the committing of theft; or
(b) in committing the theft; or
(c) in carrying away or attempting to carry away property obtained by theft;
(d) the offender for that end i.e. any of the ends contemplated by (a) to (c).
(e) 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.

In other words, theft would only be robbery if for any of the ends mentioned in (a) to (c) the offender 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. If the ends does not fall within (a) to (c) but, the offender still 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, the offence would not be robbery. That (a) or (b) or (c) have to be read conjunctively with (d) and (e). It is only when (a) or (b) or (c) co-exist with (d) and (e) or there is a nexus between any of them and (d), (e) would amount to robbery;
State of Maharashtra v. Joseph Mingel Koli, (1997) 2 Crimes 228 (Bom)

391. Dacoity.

When five or more persons conjointly commit or attempt to commit a robbery, or where the whole number of persons conjointly committing or attempting to commit a robbery, and persons present and aiding such commission or attempt, amount to five or more, every person so committing, attempting or aiding, is said to commit “dacoity“.

COMMENTS
When robbery is either committed or an attempt to commit it is made by five or more persons then all such persons, who are present or aiding in its commission or in an attempt to commit it, would commit the offence of dacoity;
State of Maharashtra v. Joseph Mingel Koli, (1997) 2 Crimes 228 (Bom)

392. Punishment for robbery.

Whoever commits robbery shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and, if the robbery be committed on the highway between sunset and sunrise, the imprisonment may be extended to fourteen years.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Para I: Punishment—Rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable— Non-bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.
Para II: Punishment—Rigorous imprisonment for 14 years, and fine— Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

393. Attempt to commit robbery.

Whoever attempts to commit robbery shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Rigorous imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Cognizable—Non- bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

394. Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery.

If any person, in committing or in attempting to commit robbery, voluntarily causes hurt, such person, and any other person jointly concerned in committing or attempting to commit such robbery, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for life, or rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non- compoundable.

COMMENTS
Not only the person who actually causes hurt but an associate of his/her would equally be liable for the mischief contemplated by this section;
Shravan Dashrath Darange v. State of Maharashtra, (1997) 2 Crimes 47 (Bom)

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395. Punishment for dacoity.

Whoever commits dacoity shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for life, or rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non- compoundable.

396. Dacoity with murder.

If any one of five or more persons, who are conjointly committing dacoity, commits murder in so committing dacoity, every one of those persons shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, or rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Death, imprisonment for life, or rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.

COMMENTS
When prosecution failed to establish any nexus between death and commission of dacoity charge under section 396 will fail;
Wakil Singh v. State of Bihar, (1981) BLJ 462.

397. Robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt.

If, at the time of committing robbery or dacoity, the offender uses any deadly weapon, or causes grievous hurt to any person, or attempts to cause death or grievous hurt to any person, the imprisonment with which such offender shall be punished shall not be less than seven years.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Rigorous imprisonment for not less than 7 years—Cognizable— Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.

COMMENTS
(i) An act would only fall within the mischief of this section if at the time of committing robbery or dacoity the offender-
(a) uses any deadly weapon; or
(b) causes grievous hurt to any person; or
(c) attempts to cause death or grievous hurt to any person;
Shravan Dashrath Datrange v. State of Maharashtra, (1997) 2 Crimes 47 (Bom)

(ii) There can be no quarrel that knife is a deadly weapon within the meaning of section 397;
State of Maharashtra v. Vinayak Tukaram Utekar, (1997) 2 Crimes 615 (Bom)

(iii) When identification of articles alleged to have been recovered from accused is not properly proved nor victim could identify accused in identification parade or in court accused cannot be convicted under section 397;
Bhurekhan v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1982 SC 948 : (1982) Cr LJ 818: (1982) 1 SCC 174 : (1982) SCC (Cr) 128.

398. Attempt to commit robbery or dacoity when armed with deadly weapon.

If, at the time of attempting to commit robbery or dacoity, the offender is armed with any deadly weapon, the imprisonment with which such offender shall be punished shall not be less than seven years.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Rigorous imprisonment for not less than 7 years—Cognizable— Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.

399. Making preparation to commit dacoity.

Whoever makes, any preparation for committing dacoity, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.

400. Punishment for belonging to gang of dacoits.

Whoever, at any time after the passing of this Act, shall belong to a gang of persons associated for the purpose of habitually committing dacoity, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for life, or rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non- compoundable.

401. Punishment for belonging to gang of thieves.

Whoever, at any time after the passing of this Act, shall belong to any wandering or other gang of persons associated for the purpose of habitually committing theft or robbery, and not being a gang of thugs or dacoits, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Rigorous imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Cognizable—Non- bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

402. Assembling for purpose of committing dacoity.

Whoever, at any time after the passing of this Act, shall be one of five or more persons assembled for the purpose of committing dacoity, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Rigorous imprisonment for 7 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.

Next,
Chapter XVII (403-404) of IPC – Criminal Misappropriation of Property

Chapter XVII (405-409) of IPC – Criminal Breach of Trust

Chapter XVII (410-414) of IPC – Receiving of Stolen Property

Chapter XVII (415-420) of IPC – Cheating

Chapter XVII (421-424) of IPC – Fraudulent Deeds and Disposition of Property

Chapter XVII (425-440) of IPC – Mischief

Chapter XVII (441-462) of IPC – Criminal Trespass

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