Section 391 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 defines dacoity. Section 395 of the Indian Penal Code prescribes the punishment for dacoity which may be either imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years and fine. 

   There is no difference between robbery and dacoity except in the numbers of offenders. Robbery is dacoity, if the persons committing, robbery are five or more in number.


1) Definition of Dacoity :  

        According to Section 391 of the Indian Penal Code,  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".


Ingredients 

   (1) The accused commit or attempt to commit robbery
  
   (2) The Persons committing or attempting to commit robbery and persons present and aiding must not be less than five.

   (3) All such persons should act conjointly


 
2) Punishment for Dacoity : 

          Section 395 of the Indian Penal Code prescribes punishment for dacoity. It says that, 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.

      The offence under Section 395 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Court of Session. 

 3) Dacoity with murder : 

          According to Section 396 of the Indian Penal Code, 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.

      Section 396 of the Code fixes joint liability on all the persons causing murder who conjointly commit dacoity. 

 Ingredients 

   To invoke Section 396 of the Indian Penal Code,  following conditions must be satisfied.

  (1) Dacoity was committed

  (2) Five or more persons conjointly committed dacoity

  (3) One or more of them Committed Murder

  (4) The murder was committed during the commission of Dacoity.

       The offence under Section 396 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Court of Session. 

4)  Robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt :

   Section 397 of the Indian Penal Code says that, If, at the time of committing robbery or dacoity, the offender uses any deadly weapon, or causes grievous hurt to any person, so 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.


Ingredients :

(1) Robbery or Dacoity was committed;

(2) The accused used deadly weapons or caused grievous hurt or attempted to cause death;

(3) During Commission of Robbery or Dacoity such weapons was used.

        The offence under Section 397 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Court of Session. 
 

 5) Attempt to commit robbery or dacoity when armed with deadly weapon :

           Section 398 of the Indian Penal Code says that 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.

          The offence under Section 398 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Court of Session.   

6) Making preparation to commit dacoity :

      According to Section 399 of the code, 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.

Ingredients 

   (1) The act of accused person amounted preparation;
  
   (2) The presence of five or more persons making preparation
  
   (3) The preparation was to commit robbery
  
     The offence under Section 399 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Court of Session.


7) Punishment for belonging to gang of dacoits : 

         Section 400 of the Indian Penal Code says that  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.

Ingredients : 
 
 To invoke Section 400 of the Indian Penal Code,  following conditions must be satisfied.

    (1) There is existence of a gang of dacoits; 
    
    (2)  The Accused belong to that gang ; and

    (3) The members of the gang were associated for the purpose of committing dacoity.

  The offence under Section 400 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Court of Session.


8) Punishment for belonging to gang of thieves.

     According to Section 401 of the Code 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.


Ingredients : 

Following ingredients must be established under this Section -

(1) Persons were associated for the purpose of committing theft or Robbery. 

(2) There was a gang of persons

(3)  Their object was to commit theft or robbery habitability

(4) That the accused Joined that group.

     The offence under Section 401 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Magistrate of First Class. 


 9) Assembling for purpose of committing dacoity (Section 402) : 

         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.

 Ingredients : 

To bring an action under Section 402 of the code following facts must be proved.


(1) Five or more persons are assembled;

(2) That the persons are assembled for committing dacoity

(3) That the accused was one of the five or more persons assembled


  The offence under Section 402 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and triable by Court of Session. 

See also  

1) Robbery : Offences against Property (Section 390 of the Indian Penal Code 1860)

2) Wrongful confinement : Offences affecting the Human Body (Indian Penal Code, 1860)

3) Offences Relating to Weights and Measures (Indian Penal Code,1860)

4) Distinction / Difference between wrongful Restraint and Wrongful Confinement

5)  Cheating : Offences against Property (Section 415 to Section 419 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860)

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