There are different types of offences one of them is against the property. Any offence which is committed in regard to any property whether it is movable or immovable is punishable under the provisions of the Law of the Crimes or the Indian Penal Code. Chapter 17 of the Code contains these provisions. Such offences include Crimes like:
misappropriation of property
Breach of trust
deed and disposition of property
These offences and
the punishments relating to them are explained in details in Section
378 to 460. Let us understand two of the offences against property.
Theft and Extortion
In simple terms ‘when a person takes away the property from the possession of an individual who is in charge without his consent amounts to theft. Theft has been dealt under Section 378 to Section 382‘. Whoever, planning to take deceitfully and dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any individual without that person’s consent, moves that property, such taking, is called theft according to Section 378, Indian Penal Code.
The first thing we
do is break up the definition into parts:
Whoever, intending to take dishonestly
any moveable property
out of the possession of any person
without that person consent
moves that property in order to take it.
So, now let us understand that to constitute theft what are the essential elements which have to be satisfied.
intention to take property;
property must be movable;
property should have taken out of the possession of another person;
property should have taken without the consent of that person and,
must be moving of the property in order to accomplish the taking of it.
Dishonest Intention The term ‘dishonestly’ has been duly defined under IPC as ‘whoever does anything with the intention to bring about wrongful gain to one person or wrongful loss to another person is said to do that act dishonestly‘. A key factor for dishonest intent is doing any act deliberately. If the property is taken out of possession without any dishonest intention that is without the intention of causing wrongful loss or wrongful loss to anyone, it is not theft.
If you take the car keys of your neighbour, knowing that it’s his, then that’s
theft but if you took it thinking it’s your own then that’s not theft. – Simple
because there is no ‘dishonesty’ here.
The property must be movable Property is classified as movable and immovable. Property attached to the earth is considered immovable property. A property so long as it is attached to the earth, which is not a movable property, is not the matter of theft but as soon as it is severed from the earth it becomes capable of being the subject matter of theft.
Example Param cuts down a tree on Shyam’s ground dishonestly with the intention of taking the tree out of Shyam’s possession without his consent. Here as soon as Param has severed the tree in order to such taking he has committed theft.
of the possession of another person
Theft is an offence against possession. Possession means ‘the state of having
rights over, owning or controlling a property be it movable or immovable’. In
order for a theft to have occurred the property being stolen must be taken from
the possession of the owner of that property. The person should be in
possession although he may not be the owner of that movable property. It is not
relevant how the victim got the possession that is the possession may be lawful
Example Aleen brought home Yashi’s book without Yashi’s permission. Zeeshan dishonestly took away the book from Aleen’s house. Although Aleen’s possession was unlawful, Zeeshan committed theft because he took the property from Aleen’s possession without his consent. Ajay finds a ring belonging to Lovika on the table in the house which Samar occupies. Here, the ring is in Samar’s possession and if Ajay dishonestly removes it Ajay commits theft but if Ajay finds a ring lying on the road, not in possession of any person and he takes it, he has not committed any theft.
the consent of that person
If a person allows another into taking away his property, it cannot be
considered as theft. If the property in question is moved with the consent of
the possessor then it is not theft. Consent may be given expressly or
impliedly. It can be given by the possessor or anyone who has the authority to
give such consent.
Example Riddhiman who had a job interview in the afternoon entered his good friend Sandeep’s room in his absence he took his watch without his permission with the intention to return it soon after the interview. Here Riddhiman did not commit theft if he took the watch under the expression that he had Sandeep’s implied consent to use the watch.
the property – In
addition to all the ingredients, there must be the moving of the property with
the intention to take it. The moving does not need to be out of the ‘person
possession’ but rather simply moving it in any direction with the intention or
objective to ultimately move it out of the person’s possession. Also moving it
not only constitutes essentially moving it but also committing an act which
allows for that property to move.
If a boat is tied up to pier on Zayn’s property and Parag remove the ropes so
that it floats into the part of the lake which is his property although he is
not physically moving the property, he commits theft
Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code tells us about the punishment for theft. Any individual who commits theft shall be penalized with imprisonment of either description for a term that may extend to three years or with fine or in some cases with both.
Aggravated forms of
380 – any individual who commits
a theft in building, tent or vessel which is used as a human residence or used
as the custody of the property
381 – Theft committed by
a clerk or a servant of property whose possession is with the master
382 – Theft committed after
the preparation or planning made for causing death, hurt or restraint of an
individual in order to the committing of the theft
In simple terms,
Extortion means making threats to another person or forcing them to give up
something they have in their possession. Or it can be defined as when a person
put another person in fear of any injury and induces him to deliver any
property or valuable security commits extortion.
If a person intentionally puts
another person in apposition of fear or of a threat to cause him injury, or
deceitfully persuade him so that he may deliver the property or any other
valuable goods to another person or any document which has been signed and can
be turned into a valuable security.
Section 383, Indian Penal Code – The definition of Extortion can be understood by the following illustration –
Purva threatens Roshan that she will kill his wife if Roshan failed to pay Rs 1 crore. This is a clear cut case of extortion against Purva.
Ronak threatens Ziva to keep Ziva’s child in wrongful confinement unless Ziva signs an agreement by which Ziva would be bound to pay some money to Ronak and being pressurized by such threat Ziva agrees to signs the agreement. In this case, Ronak has committed the offence of extortion.
The main object of
Section 383 is to obtain the delivery of property or any item of value in
consequence of an inducement that is dishonest or malafide in nature. To be
more precise an intention to cause wrongful loss to one and wrongful gain to
Now let us
understand that to constitute the act of Extortion what are the essential
elements to be satisfied
Ingredients of Section 383:
person must intentionally put any person in fear of injury to himself
the person so put in fear to deliver to any person with the Dishonest intention
which is signed and sealed and that can easily be converted into a valuable
Intentionally positioning an individual in fear of injury to himself or another.
The fear so caused
must be real or apparent and must an unsettling effect on the mind of the
person so threatened which takes away from his acts the element of free
consent. The fear can be in respect of injury in mind, body, reputation or
property to the person himself or someone else.
Arjun, along with his wife and children was travelling in a train when a gang of armed robbers enters the compartment and demands the valuables from all the passengers. Arjun and his wife in fear of getting hurt or losing life in the hands of the robbers hand over them the cash.
inducement of a person to deliver any property, valuable security or anything
signed and sealed which can be converted into valuable security to any person.
The person so
threatened must be induced by the threat that he is must be forced, influenced
or pressurized to do as the accused wants him to do. The victim must be asked
to deliver any person any property, valuable security or anything signed and
sealed which can be converted into a valuable security. Delivery of property is
very important in extortion. The property should be delivered to the accused
person by the person who is threatened.
Section 384 of the Indian Penal Code tell us about the punishment for extortion. Any individual who commits extortion shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term of 3 years or with fine or in some cases with both.
Section 384, Indian Penal Code – The offence under this section is –
meaning the police can arrest the person without the warrant
offence that is bail is the matter of the discretion of the court
mean the question of entering into a compromise doesn’t even arise
Example Aman threatens to kill the son of Badri if he fails to provide him with a blank signed stamp paper with the malafide intention of extorting from him. Aman has induced Badri to give him a signed stamp paper. A has committed extortion. A could be punished with imprisonment for a term up to 3 years or with fine or with both.
Punishment for the
attempt of Extortion
Section 385 of the Indian Penal Code deals with the punishment for an attempt of extortion. Any individual who in order to commit the crime of extortion, puts any person in fear or attempts to put any person in fear of any injury, shall be penalized with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend up to 2 years or with fine or in some cases with both.
Section 385, Indian Penal Code – It shall be
understood that merely putting a person under the fear of injury of any kind is
more than enough to attract punishment under this section.
Aggravated forms of
386: Extortion by putting an individual
in fear of death or grievous hurt
387: Put or attempts to put a person in
fear of death or grievous hurt
388: Putting any person in threat of an
accusation against that person or any other
389: Putting any person in fear of
accusation of offence in order to commit extortion
Theft and Extortion
COMMISSION OF ACT
Taking property without consent / against the owner will.
Intentionally puts any person in fear of injury thereby dishonestly induce to deliver the property to the person
The offence of theft can be only committed in respect of the properties which are movable in nature.
In case of the crime of extortion, the property can either be a movable property or an immovable property
DELIVERY OF THE PROPERTY
There is no delivery of the property by the owner
There is the delivery of the property by the owner
ELEMENT OF THE FEAR
In theft, there is no element of force or fear
In extortion, there is an element of force (fear of injury).