Robbery and Dacoity in IPC
The act of robbery is defined in section 390 of the IPC. In all robbery, there is either theft committed or extortion. It is an advanced stage of any act of theft or extortion. When some elements combine with the essentials of theft or extortion, it becomes robbery.

HEADINGS:
1. When Theft Becomes Robbery
2. When Extortion Becomes Robbery
3. What Is The Punishment For Robbery
4. What Amounts To Dacoity
5. Punishment For Dacoity
6. Dacoity With Murder
7. Preparation To Commit Dacoity

When Theft Becomes Robbery

The act of theft becomes robbery when:-

Bare Acts

1. In order of committing theft or while committing theft, or

2. In carrying the property of theft or attempting to carry the property obtained after the theft, or

3. The offender, while committing theft, causes other person death, or hurt, or wrongful restraint.

4. The offender attempts to cause the other person to death, hurt or wrongful restraint, or

5. The offender, while committing or attempting to commit theft, makes the other person under fear of instant death, or of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint.

Note: In a normal act of theft, there is no use of force or intention to cause hurt, death, or wrongful restraint. This is the reason for robbery being an advanced stage of theft. It is the stage when theft becomes robbery.

Illustration

A went to B’s house for a party. There he found an expensive ring lying on the table of B. A with ill intention takes the ring and puts it in the pocket to take away. When A was trying to escape, B comes to know that his ring is missing. While searching here and around, it was found with A. A in attempting to take away the ring hits B down the floor and runs away. Here A has caused hurt to B while taking away property obtained by the theft.

When Extortion Becomes Robbery

The act of extortion becomes robbery when:-

1. The offender who is committing extortion is physically present near the person extorted.

2. The offender, by his presence, puts the other person in fear of instant death, or instant hurt, or instant wrongful restraint.

3. The person by causing fear to other person induces him to deliver the thing then and there.

4. The offender is said to be near when he is capable of putting the other person under fear of instant death, or of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint.

Note: In the act of extortion, there is a threat of a consequence under which a person extorts money or valuables. But in robbery, it is instant fear of death, hurt or wrongful restraint. There is the presence of a person, unlike extortion committed under section 383 of IPC.

Illustration 1

A meets B and his child on the hill road. A, in order to extort money from B, takes his child and threatens B that if he would not surrender every valuable he is carrying with him, A will throw his child down from the height. B in fear of losing the child gives his purse and other valuables to B. Here, A has extorted money by putting B under fear of instant death to the child. Here A has committed robbery.

Illustration 2

A meets Z on the high road. A by showing his pistol to Z, orders Z to give his purse to A. Z in fear surrenders his purse to A. Here A by putting Z under fear of instant death has induced Z to surrender his purse. Here A has committed robbery.

What Is The Punishment For Robbery

Section 392 of IPC prescribes the punishment for robbery. If any person commits robbery, then he shall be punished for rigorous imprisonment up to ten years. And if the person committing robbery commits robbery on the highway after sunset and before sunrise, then he can be imprisoned up to fourteen years.

What Amounts To Dacoity

Section 391 of the Indian Penal Code defines the act of dacoity. When there are five or more persons who jointly commit the act of robbery or attempt to commit robbery, they are liable for the act of dacoity. If any person aids these persons or attempts to aid, then he shall also be liable for the dacoity in the same manner as others are liable.

Punishment For Dacoity

Any group of five or more persons who commit dacoity shall be punished for life imprisonment or for rigorous imprisonment up to ten years and shall also be liable for fine.

Dacoity With Murder

If five or more persons who are committing dacoity, murder a person after the act of dacoity, then every person who is part of the group committing dacoity shall be punished with death or life imprisonment or rigorous imprisonment up to seven years and will also be liable for fine. It is a more heinous crime that, after the offence of dacoity, a person is murdered.

Preparation To Commit Dacoity

There are four stages of crime – mens rea, preparation, attempt, and accomplishment of an act. The general rule is that either the attempt is punished or a complete offence. The stage of preparation is not punished.

But this is not so in the case of dacoity. If any person does preparations to commit dacoity, then such person shall be punished for rigorous imprisonment up to ten years and will also be liable for fine.

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