Robber and theft both are criminal offences punishable in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 as both falls under the ambit of offences against property. Even though the term ‘robbery’ and ‘dacoity’ are both used correspondingly with respect to their inter-relationship, there are reasonable and considerable points which hold a differentiation between the two.
Concept of Robbery
Robbery has been explained u/s 390 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In contemporary British and American Law, the offence of robbery is usually explained by the statute itself. Terms like robbery, theft, extortion, and Dacoity are very similar to each other having a hairline difference from one another. The Indian Penal Code, 1860 has made it crystal clear by identifying the distinction between all the offences. Section 390 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 has defined robbery and has identified theft, extortion, and Dacoity in relation to robbery.
Essentials to make Robbery happen
Section 390 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 says that for a robber to happen there must be either extortion or theft present. It is explained by the dictionary of Black Law that robbery is the evil commission of taking the personal property of another person against his will consummated by using force and fear, with an intent of permanently disposing of the owner of the thing.
For theft to be robbery
- There must be a commission of theft that has been defined u/s 378 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
- Meanwhile the commission of the theft or when the things are being carried away or attempting to carry away the goods of someone else, the perpetrator must have caused or attempted to cause fear of death, hurt or wrongful restraint or fear of instant death, instant hurt or instant wrongful restraint.
For extortion to be robbery
- Must be a Commission of extortion as defined u/s 383 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
- While committing the extortion, the perpetrator must have been in presence of the person he is stealing from and put that person in fear of instant hurt or instant death or instant wrongful restraint.
- There must be a stimulation to deliver the goods.
Possession of the property stolen
The Property holds a pivotal role in the eyes of law. Section 410 to Section 414 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 talks about the concept of stolen property. As per Section 410, when a person transfers his/her property to another person, happening by the procedure of theft, robbery, or extortion. It is inclusive of all sorts of properties which a person can misinterpret for criminal breach of trust.
Such instances are called to be as stolen property, as per the law.
Punishment for Robbery
It must be surely known to all the law students and legal professionals that the Indian Penal Code, 1860 handles all sorts of punishments with reference to criminal law in India. Likewise, the punishment for robbery has been defined u/s 392 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which says that any person who commits robbery hall be punished with imprisonment which may be extended up to ten years and shall also be liable to a fine. In addition to that, if the robbery is committed on a highway, then the duration of imprisonment will be fourteen years.
Attempt to commit robbery has also been defined u/s 393 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which says that someone who attempts to commit robbery shall be imprisoned whose term can be extended to seven years and he/she shall also be liable to a fine.
Concept of Dacoity
As per oxford’s dictionary, Dacoity refers to an act of violent robbery which is committed by a gang that has arms. There is literally only one factor that distinguishes dacoity from robbery, which is the number of offenders. In terms of robbery, only one person is ample enough. When dacoity is committed five or more than five persons are included. Dacoity has been defined as u/s 391 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. It states that five or more than five people co jointly commit or attempt to commit robbery, or where the whole number of offenders 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”.
With regards to commit dacoity, there are three essentials which must be present. They are as follows:
- At least five or more than five persons shall be present
- They must co jointly commit or attempt to commit dacoity
- They must have the dishonest intention
Punishment for Dacoity
The sentence for dacoity has been defined u/s 395 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 which says that anyone who commits dacoity shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which can be extended to ten years and shall also be liable to pay for the fine.
Differentiation between robbery and dacoity
|Robbery is an exasperated form of theft where there is a fear of death, hurt and wrongful restraint.||Dacoity is a newfangled form of robbery where at least five people are involved co jointly as the perpetrators.|
|Punishment up to ten years of rigorous imprisonment.||Punishment is life imprisonment or up to ten years of rigorous imprisonment of ten years as well as fine.|
|It is a cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offence and can be treated by Judicial Magistrate First Class.||It is a cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable offence and is tried in the Court of Sessions.|
Precedents on relation between robbery and dacoity
In the case of Ram Shanker Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh, there were six persons accused of dacoity. It was found upon trial that three of the six accused were not guilty. Since the three of them got acquitted, it was contended that the remaining three accused defendants could only be charged for robber u/s 392 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and not with dacoity u/s 395 as three people committed the offence instead of five or more than five.
Likewise, in Om Prakash v. the State of Rajasthan, the honorable Apex Court observed that if a case of dacoity is brought against five people and two of them got acquitted for being proven as not guilty, the remaining three cannot be held liable for the offence of Dacoity u/s 395.
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