Robbery and Dacoity - 

      Section 390 defines Robbery and Section 392 of the Indian Penal Code provides punishment for robbery. 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.

A] Robbery - 


      According to Section 390 of the Indian Penal Code, 1680, in all robbery, there is either theft or extortion

1) When theft is robbery  - 

       Theft is "robbery" if, in order to the committing of the theft, or in committing the theft, or in carrying away or attempting to carry away property obtained by the theft, the offender, for that end, voluntarily causes or attempts to cause to any person death or hurt or wrongful restraint, or fear of instant death or of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint.

2) When extortion is robbery -

       Extortion is "robbery" if the offender, at the time of committing the extortion, is in the presence of the person put in fear, and commits the extortion by putting that person in fear of instant death, of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint to that person or to some other person, and, by so putting in fear, induces the person, so put in fear then and there to deliver up the thing extorted.

Explanation -

      The offender is said to be present if he is sufficiently near to put the other person in fear of instant death, of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint.

Illustrations - 

     (a) A holds Z down, and fraudulently takes Z's money and jewels from Z's clothes, without Z's consent. Here A has committed theft, and, in order to the committing of that theft, has voluntarily caused wrongful restraint to Z. A has therefore committed robbery.

     (b) A meets Z on the high road, shows a pistol, and demands Z's purse. Z, in consequence, surrenders his purse. Here A has extorted the purse from Z by putting him in fear of instant hurt, and being at the time of committing the extortion in his presence. A has therefore committed robbery.

     (c) A meets Z and Z's child on the high road. A takes the child, and threatens to filing it down a precipice, unless Z delivers his purse. Z, in consequence, delivers his purse. Here A has extorted the purse from Z, by causing Z to be in fear of instant hurt to the child who is there present. A has therefore committed robbery on Z.

     (d) A obtains property from Z by saying-"Your child is in the hands of my gang, and will be put to death unless you send us ten thousand rupees". This is extortion, and punishable as such: but it is not robbery, unless Z is put in fear of the instant death of his child.

3) Punishment for robbery - 

       Section 392 of the Indian Penal Code prescribes punishment for robbery. According to said Section Whoever commits robbery shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and, if the robbery be committed on the highway between sunset and sunrise, the imprisonment may be extended to fourteen years.

4) Attempt to commit robbery.

         According to Section 393 of the Indian Penal Code 1680, whoever attempts to commit robbery shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

5) Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery - 

           As per Section 394 of the Indian Penal Code, If any person, in committing or in attempting to commit robbery, voluntarily causes hurt, such person, and any other person jointly concerned in committing or attempting to commit such robbery, 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.


B] Dacoity -


         According to Section 391 of the Indian Penal Code, 1680  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".

Punishment for dacoity - 

        According to Section 395 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.

Dacoity with murder - 

          As per 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.

Robbery or dacoity, with the attempt to cause death or grievous hurt -

       According to Section 397of the Code. 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.

Attempt to commit robbery or dacoity when armed with deadly weapon - 

      According to Section, 398 of the Indian Penal Code, 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.

Making preparation to commit dacoity - 

       Section 399 of the Indian Penal Code 1680, 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.

Punishment for belonging to gang of dacoits -

         As per Section 400 of the Indian Penal Code, 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.

Punishment for belonging to gang of thieves -

           According to Section 401 of the said 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.


Assembling for purpose of committing dacoity - 

         As per Section 402 of the Indian Penal Code, 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.

See Also...


Theft, Punishment for theft (Section 378 to Section 382)

Extortion: Offences against property  (Indian Penal Code 1860)

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