Upgrad LLM

section 120b


Can anyone please explain the detailed meaning of content of sec 120B of IPC.

 

Thank you.

Regards

Piyush Aggarwal

 
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advocate/counsel supreme court

sec 120B  - Puishment  o criminal conspiracy -(1) whoever is a party  to a criminal ogence punishable with death, imprisonment or lije or rigorous imprisonment o two years or upwards shall,  where no express provision is made in this code or punishment o such conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as i he had abetted such ojjence.

(2) Whoever is a party  to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an oggence punishable as agoresaid  shall be punished  with imprisonment o either descripttion or a term not exceeding six months, or with gine or with both

above is the deinition clause


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.......

Indian Penal Code (IPC)

Section 120B. Punishment of criminal conspiracy

 

1120B. Punishment of criminal conspiracy.—(1) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, 2[imprisonment for life] or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this Code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence.

 

(2) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable as aforesaid shall be punished with imprisonment of either descripttion for a term not exceeding six months, or with fine or with both.

 

CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE

 

Para I

Punishment—Same as for abetment of the offence which is the object of the conspiracy—According as the offence which is the object of conspiracy is cognizable or non-cognizable—According as offence which is object of conspiracy is bailable or non-bail­able—Triable by court by which abetment of the offence which is the object of conspiracy is triable—Non-compoundable.

 

Para II

Punishment—Imprisonment for six months or fine, or both—non-cognizable—Bailable—Triable by Magistrate of the first class—Non-compoundable.

 

Comments

 

Common intention

 

(i) Before a person can be convicted with the aid of section 34 IPC, the ingredients that are required to be satisfied are that he along with others committed a criminal act and act was done in furtherance of common intention; Chandra Kant v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1999 SC 1557.

 

(ii) The offence under section 120B is an agreement between the parties to do a particular act. Association or relation to lead a conspiracy is not enough to establish the intention to kill the deceased; Sanjiv Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh, AIR 1999 SC 782: 1999 (1) JT 716.

 

(iii) To bring home the charge of conspiracy within the ambit of section 120B it is necessary to establish that there was an agreement between the parties for doing an unlawful Act. It is difficult to establish conspiracy by direct evidence; Vijayan v. State of Kerala, 1999 (3) SCC 54: AIR 1999 SC 1086.


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Thank you for your reply.

But i am still confused with 120B(2). What does that means? Does that means if two or more person has committed crime and one of them had killed someone, the other will be punished for maximum 6 months term or anything else.


Basically i want to know that if three person committed crime(eg: robbery) and in that robbery one of them killed any person(person who is getting robbed), then what is the role of section 120B in the above case.

Please help

Thank you.

 
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Hey,

So your question is mainly related to Section 120 of the Indian Penal Code(IPC)

A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more persons to commit an offence. The mere meeting of mind of the parties to commit an offence is a conspiracy and is sufficient to impose liability. However, in the case of conspiracy, to do a legal act by illegal means, there ought to be some overt act which is committed by parties to the agreement.

A plain reading of Section 120A gives ingredients of Criminal Conspiracy which are as follows;

  1. There should be two or more persons.
  2. There should be an agreement between themselves.
  3. The agreement must be to do or cause to be done - an illegal act or a legal act by unlawful means.

Sec 120B deals with the punishment of criminal conspiracy. This section is in two parts i.e. sec 120B (1) and 120B (2). 

Section 120B of the IPC talks about Punishment of criminal conspiracy:

  1. Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this Code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence.
     
  2. Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable as aforesaid shall be punished with imprisonment of either descripttion for a term not exceeding six months, or with fine or with both.

Section 120B(1) deals with heinous and grievous offences. However, section 120B(2) deals with minor criminal offences. Any person, who is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence is punishable under section 12B.

Regarding your 2nd doubt about 120B(2) in the case of a robbery and murder -

An act done in pursuance of this agreement is part of the criminal conspiracy. Hence, it is immaterial that the act done is the ultimate object or was merely incidental to the object. Thereby if there is an agreement to commit an offence, and two or more persons agree to do that illegal act or cause to be done an illegal act, it amounts to criminal conspiracy even if the object of the agreement is not fully accomplished.

So if 3 people planned to do a robbery and 1 person out of them murders the person getting robbed, then all of them will be charged together for mother (But can vary depending on the fact that that there was an eyewitness you can prove that other people didn’t do the murder and were innocent (they will be held liable to the robbery part). This is something like Vicarious Liability.

I hope this solves your query.

Regards,

Archit

 
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Hey,

S.120B along with s.120A, collectively refer to the offence of Criminal Conspiracy.

Section 120A of the Penal Code gives the definition of “Criminal Conspiracy”. The section lays down certain requirements for an offence to be criminal co0nspiracy which are:-

  1. There should be an involvement of 2 or more persons
  2. Who are in agreement with one another
  3. This agreement relates to causing or getting done-
  1. an illegal act; or
  2. a legal act by illegal means.

This agreement would be designated as a conspiracy. ‘Agreement’ is thus the sine qua non, for constituting conspiracy. It reflects the unlawful combination which in turn reflects the object and purpose of the conspiracy.

S.120B lays down the punishment for conspiracy. They may be punished with death or rigorous imprisonment. The nature of this section is punitive. The scope of this section is limited to providing punishments after the accused has been convicted. Section 120B thus categorizes conspiracy into 2 categories.

  1. Conspiracy to a serious offence– This is an offense punishable with imprisonment of more than 2 years- In the absence of any express provisions in the IPC, it would be punishable in the same manner as if he had abetted the offence.
  2. Conspiracy to commit other offences– Shall be punishable with uniform punishment, i.e. fine or imprisonment upto 6 months or both.

Section 120B is mandated to be read with Section 196 of the CrPC which talks about “Prosecution of offences against the state and for criminal conspiracy to commit such offence”. Therefore, it is required for the Court to take the consent of the District Magistrate or the State Government before taking cognizance of the conspiracy. Either of them by virtue of Section 196(3) shall be required to hold preliminary investigation with the help of the Police, before granting the sanction or consent.

Example of Criminal Conspiracy: Persons A, B, C and D conspire to rob the local bank for which they decide that A and B would threaten the bank manager at the counter, C would take care of the situation at the gate and D would keep the car ready for A, B, and C when they successfully rob the bank. Here, there is a criminal conspiracy between A, B, C and D to rob the bank and they shall all be liable for the act.

Some important case laws to understand these sections are,

  1. Rajiv Kumar v. State of U.P., (2017) 8 SCC 791
  2. State (NCT of Delhi) v. Navjot Sandhu, AIR 2005 SC 3820
  3. Subramaniam Swamy v. A Raja, (2012) 9 SCC 257
  4. Topan Das v. State of Bombay, 1956 AIR 33

Hope this clarifies your doubt.

Regards,

Palak Singh

 
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