Theft Extortion Robbery and Dacoity under IPC 1860

Theft Extortion Robbery and Dacoity under IPC 1860

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Introduction of the Theft Extortion Robbery and Dacoity under IPC 1860: A crime is defined as the act or omission (FAILURE OF ACT) of any act with the intent of earning money, whether done alone or in a group. Crime is still an important segment of the economy. Similarly, India is not an exception.

Various types of crime have also always occurred in society, including some that were an integral part Of the Indian civilization in past centuries. Due to various social and economic factors, political intervention strategies, innovation, and so on, the present situation does include more extremely serious forms. Complete protection from them is a silly idea that has yet to be achieved.

In India, the INDIAN PENAL CODE 1860 is a codified law that addresses any type of crime, irrespective of its essence or place of occurrence. The commission of the most prevalent criminal offences, such as “Extortion, THEFT, ROBBERY & DACOITY” are addressed in Chapter XVII of this Code. Apart from theft, which can only be compounded by the property owner, all the other offences are non-compoundable and differ only by a hairline.

In this blog, we’ll look at certain basic concepts & court decisions pertaining to all these criminal offences.

Definition of Theft

The offence/crime of theft is described in section 378 of the IPC 1860 as “dishonest intention to take others’ moveable property without their permission or consent out of their possession.”

Theft is punishable u/s 379 of the IPC  up to 3 years in imprisonment, a fine, or even both. Other provisions that follow contain harsher penalties for theft in extenuating circumstances.

Landmark Judgement

In the case of “K N Mehra v. State of Rajasthan” the Hon’ble Supreme Court thoroughly stated the components that comprise a theft. 2 air wing cadets (one a trainee navigator and the other a discharged for improper conduct) deceitfully took an Air India aircraft (rather than the one allotted) to Pakistan instead of Dakota, as according to the training regime, without even any permission from the authorities concerned. They arrived in Pakistan & found themselves in the middle of nowhere, so they attempted to contact the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan. They were supposed to be sent back to Delhi, but on their way back, they were stopped in Jodhpur and taken into custody for theft.

After reviewing the entire scenario, the Hon’ble SC concluded that Air India owned a moveable property (an aeroplane). The property (aero plane) was deceitfully taken by trainees (cadets) from the Indian Air Force’s Jodhpur Training Academy even without the permission of the respective authority, and this movement ultimately led to the taking of the property. As a result, the court determined the accused guilty of the crime of theft & convicted them to prison.

The case of “Pyarelal Bhargava v State of Rajasthan” was similar, in which a government worker took a document from the workplace and returned it two days later. The court decided that the document was taken with the dishonest intent to steal it and that this was enough to constitute theft.

To summarize the crime of theft

To summarize the crime of theft encompasses the following:

  1. It must be movable property
  2. It can be found in anyone’s possession.
  3. A dishonest or deceptive intent to take it away from that person’s possession.
  4. without his permission or consent.

Definition of Extortion

Extortion is defined as “any act deliberately done or purposefully to put the other individual at risk of serious injury or to induce the other person deceitfully or dishonestly to deliver something valuable or which can be transformed into something valuable at a later stage” in Sections 383 & 384 of the IPC 1860. while the latter is punishment for an act of theft with a prison term of up to three years or a fine or both. Fear must be of such severity that it disturbs the suspect or any other individual so that any actions taken are not voluntary.

principles of extortion

The underlying principles of extortion:

  • An act that puts a person’s life in danger or injures them.
  • The act should always be done deceitfully and intentionally
  • Such a person is probable to cause harm or injury to another person in whose interest he is interested.
  • Unreasonable force should be used when attempting to take another person’s property or other valuable goods, or any document.

So it can be concluded that extortion is committed when a person commits a crime that contains all of the following issues as discussed above. The importance of intention cannot be overstated. The seriousness of such dishonest intent in light of the facts and circumstances of a case. For example, if A takes anything valuable from B while holding a gun to his head, he is committing an extortion offence.

Extortion can be distinguished from theft and cheating in the following ways:

Although movable property is required for theft, the non-movable property can also be used in extortion.

Theft occurs when the moveable property is taken dishonestly or fraudulently and without consent or permission. Extortion, on the other hand, involves the victim delivering property under threat of harm. Cheating entailed obtaining consent through deception.

definition of Robbery

Robbery is defined as a much more severe and agitated form of theft or extortion in section 390 of the IPC 1860. Every robbery involves either “theft or extortion.” In other phrases, if there is no theft or extortion, there is no possibility of robbery. Robbery, as described, is an act of taking something from a person against his consent or in his existence, either violently or by putting another person’s life at risk. The penalty for robbery is stated in section 392 of the IPC 1860 as up to 10 years in prison, which can be increased to 14 years if committed between sunrise & sunset.

Section 390 of the IPC

Sec 390 of the IPC involves two elements in its definition of robbery:

When theft is “Robbery”

Whenever the offender/wrongdoer induces or makes an attempt to cause a lot of damage, death, or unlawful restriction with the intention of committing a crime or act of theft, or when the crime or act of theft is sufficiently similar to cause any fear of death, instantaneous harm, or immediate act of unlawful restraint.

When extortion is “Robbery”

When the wrongdoer, while in the existence of the person upon whom extortion is decided to be committed, places that person in immediate fear of harm, death, or unlawful confinement, or any other person related to him because of the threat of the same impacts, or deceitfully induces the person to deliver something precious or which can be transformed into something precious or valued.

definition of Dacoity

The Offence/Crime of Dacoity is dealt with in Sec 391 of the IPC 1860. Dacoity is defined as when a gang of five people commits robbery or attempts to commit robbery, all the other persons, including them, who engage in or assist in the robbery are said to have been a part of an agitated form of robbery, i.e. Dacoity. Dacoity could perhaps take more extreme forms, such as grievous harm or being accompanied by murder or an attempt to murder.

The punishment for Dacoity is specified in Sec 395 of the IPC 1860, which broadens the punishment to 10 years or, in certain cases, life imprisonment, with or without a fine.

ingredients for Dacoity Essentials

Dacoity is comprised of the following ingredients:

  • Five or more people
  • Regardless of success or failure, an attempt should’ve been made.
  • The minimum person is 5.
  • The act must be committed as a group effort.

In the particular instance of “State of H.P. v Jagar Singh,” the accused assaulted the plaintiff and threateningly demanded that he hand over everything he owned, including cash, a wristwatch, a bicycle, and other items.  U/S 395 of IPC, 1860 all the accused were punished in this case. [ Number Of Dacoities under Sec. 395-398 IPC ]


The definitions of Theft, Extortion, Robbery, and Dacoity are introduced in this article using illustrations & case laws. Because of their minor differences, they may be used synonymously at times, but it is essential to understand the fundamental differences before coming to any conclusions. Consequently, the article presents an overview while keeping the notions in mind and in accordance with the IPC 1860.


Important Sections of IPC – You must know

Abetment meaning under Section 107 of IPC

Crime and Its essential elements under IPC 1860

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the distinction between theft & extortion?

Ans. In Theft, The offender steals moveable property without the owner’s permission/ consent. Extortion obtains such consent unlawfully by putting that individual or any other individual in fear of harm or injury.

Q. Is robbery considered extortion?

Ans. Extortion occurs when an accused takes property from a victim using force violence or threat. The distinction between extortion & robbery is that robbery requires threats or danger that put the person in fear of imminent danger, whereas extortion does not.

Q. What are the different types of extortion?

Ans. Threats of extortion come in various forms. Threatening people, such as:… Threats intimidation, and blackmail are the basis of extortion. The most well-known form is undoubtedly blackmail… Another category is cyber extortion. A more recent record of extortion involves the use of computers to achieve specific goals. … The demographic groups of criminals.

Q. What is the one thing that both robbery and theft have in common?

Ans. Robbery, like theft, is defined as taking something which doesn’t belong to you without the consent of the object’s owner. It is responsible for similar legal prerequisites as theft, such as a lack of consent/permission and intent. However, robbery includes an additional component of force.

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