Chapter V: Of Abetment (Section 107 – 120)

Section 107: Abetment of a thing.

A person abets the doing of a thing, who

First.Instigates any person to do that thing; or

Secondly.Engages with one or more other person or persons in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing, if an act or illegal omission takes place in pursuance of that conspiracy, and in order to the doing of that thing; or

Thirdly.Intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing.

Explanation 1.A person who, by wilful misrepresentation, or by wilful concealment of a material fact which he is bound to disclose, voluntarily causes or procures, or attempts to cause or procure, a thing to be done, is said to instigate the doing of that thing.


Section 108: Abettor.

A person abets an offence, who abets either the commission of an offence, or the commission of an act which would be an offence, if committed by a person capable by law of committing an offence with the same intention or knowledge as that of the abettor.

Explanation 1.The abetment of the illegal omission of an act may amount to an offence although the abettor may not himself be bound to do that act.

Explanation 2.To constitute the offence of abetment it is not necessary that the act abetted should be committed, or that the effect requisite to constitute the offence should be caused.

Explanation 3.It is not necessary that the person abetted should be capable by law of committing an offence, or that he should have the same guilty intention or knowledge as that of the abettor, or any guilty intention or knowledge.

Explanation 4.The abetment of an offence being an offence, the abetment of such an abetment is also an offence.

Explanation 5.It is not necessary to the commission of the offence of abetment by conspiracy that the abettor should concert the offence with the person who commits it. It is sufficient if he engages in the conspiracy in pursuance of which the offence is committed.


Section 108A: Abetment in India of offences outside India.

A person abets an offence within the meaning of this Code who, in India, abets the commission of any act without and beyond India which would constitute an offence if committed in India.


Section 109: Punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment.

Whoever abets any offence shall, if the act abetted is committed in consequence of the abetment, and no express provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such abetment, be punished with the punishment provided for the offence.

Explanation.An act or offence is said to be committed in consequence of abetment, when it is committed in consequence of the instigation, or in pursuance of the conspiracy, or with the aid which constitutes the abetment.


Section 110: Punishment of abetment if person abetted does act with different intention from that of abettor.

Whoever abets the commission of an offence shall, if the person abetted does the act with a different intention or knowledge from that of the abettor, be punished with the punishment provided for the offence which would have been committed if the act had been done with the intention or knowledge of the abettor and with no other.


Section 111: Liability of abettor when one act abetted and different act done.

When an Act is abetted and a different act is done, the abettor is liable for the act done, in the same manner and to the same extent as if he had directly abetted it:

Provided the act done was a probable consequence of the abetment, and was committed under the influence of the instigation, or with the aid or in pursuance of the conspiracy which constituted the abetment.


Section 112: Abettor when liable to cumulative punishment for act abetted and for act done.

If the act for which the abettor is liable under the last preceding section is committed in addition to the act abetted, and constitute a distinct offence, the abettor is liable to punishment for each of the offences.


Section 113: Liability of abettor for an effect caused by the act abetted different from that intended by the abettor.—

When an act is abetted with the intention on the part of the abettor of causing a particular effect, and an act for which the abettor is liable in consequence of the abetment, causes a different effect from that intended by the abettor, the abettor is liable for the effect caused, in the same manner and to the same extent as if he had abetted the act with the intention of causing that effect, provided he knew that the act abetted was likely to cause that effect.


Section 114: Abettor present when offence is committed.

Whenever any person, who is absent would be liable to be punished as an abettor, is present when the act or offence for which he would be punishable in consequence of the abetment is committed, he shall be deemed to have committed such act or offence.


Section 115: Abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

if offence not committed.Whoever abets the commission of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, shall, if that offence be not committed in consequence of the abetment, and no express provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such abetment, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine;

if act causing harm be done in consequence.and if any act for which the abettor is liable in consequence of the abetment, and which causes hurt to any person, is done, the abettor shall be liable to imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to fourteen years, and shall also be liable to fine.


Section 116: Abetment of offence punishable with imprisonment—

if offence be not committed.— Whoever abets an offence punishable with imprisonment shall, if that offence be not committed in consequence of the abetment, and no express provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such abetment, be punished with imprisonment of any description provided for that offence for a term which may extend to one-fourth part of the longest term provided for that offence; or with such fine as is provided for that offence, or with both;

if abettor or person abetted be a public servant whose duty it is to prevent offence.and if the abettor or the person abetted is a public servant, whose duty it is to prevent the commission of such offence, the abettor shall be punished with imprisonment of any description provided for that offence, for a term which may extend to one-half of the longest term provided for that offence, or with such fine as is provided for the offence, or with both.


Section 117: Abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons.

Whoever abets the commission of an offence by the public generally or by any number or class of persons exceeding ten, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.


Section 118: Concealing design to commit offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life.

Whoever intending to facilitate or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby facilitate the commission of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, voluntarily conceals by any act or illegal omission, or by the use of encryption or any other information hiding tool, the existence of a design] to commit such offence or makes any representation which he knows to be false respecting such design,

if offence be committed; if offence be not committed.shall, if that offence be committed, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or, if the offence be not committed, with imprisonment of either description, for a term which may extend to three years; and in either case shall also be liable to fine.


Section 119: Public servant concealing design to commit offence which it is his duty to prevent.

Whoever, being a public servant intending to facilitate or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby facilitate the commission of an offence which it is his duty as such public servant to prevent, voluntarily conceals, by any act or illegal omission or by the use of encryption or any other information hiding tool, the existence of a design] to commit such offence, or makes any representation which he knows to be false respecting such design,

if offence be committed.shall, if the offence be committed, be punished with imprisonment of any description provided for the offence, for a term which may extend to one-half of the longest term of such imprisonment, or with such fine as is provided for that offence, or with both;

if offence be punishable with death, etc.or, if the offence be punishable with death or imprisonment for life, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years;

if offence be not committed.or, if the offence be not committed, shall be punished with imprisonment of any description provided for the offence for a term which may extend to one-fourth part of the longest term of such imprisonment or with such fine as is provided for the offence, or with both.


Section 120: Concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment.

Whoever, intending to facilitate or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby facilitate the commission of an offence punishable with imprisonment, voluntarily conceals, by any act or illegal omission, the existence of a design to commit such offence, or makes any representation which he knows to be false respecting such design,

if offence be committed; if offence be not committed.shall, if the offence be committed, be punished with imprisonment of the description provided for the offence, for a term which may extend to one-fourth, and, if the offence be not committed, to one-eight, of the longest term of such imprisonment, or with such fine as is provided for the offence, or with both.


IMPORTANT CASE LAWS

1. Scope of Abetment

Shri Ram v. State of U.P., (1975) 3 SCC 495: “Section 107 of the Penal Code which defines abetment provides to the extent material that a person abets the doing of a thing who “Intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing”. Explanation 2 to the section says that “whoever, either prior to or at the time of the commission of an act, does anything in order to facilitate the commission of that act, and thereby facilitates the commission thereof, is said to aid the doing of that act”. Thus, in order to constitute abetment, the abettor must be shown to have “intentionally” aided the commission of the crime. Mere proof that the crime charged could not have been committed without the interposition of the alleged abettor is not enough compliance with the requirements of Section 107. A person may, for example, invite another casually or for a friendly purpose and that may facilitate the murder of the invitee. But unless the invitation was extended with intent to facilitate the commission of the murder, the person inviting cannot be said to have abetted the murder. It is not enough that an act on the part of the alleged abettor happens to facilitate the commission of the crime. Intentional aiding and therefore active complicity is the gist of the offence of abetment under the third para of Section 107.”


2. One offence abetted and a different act done

Emperor v. Girja Prasad, AIR 1935 All 346 (2): “By reason of section 111 of the Penal Code, 1860 an abettor may be liable for a different act than the one he instigated, provided the different act was a probable consequence of the abetment and was committed under the influence of the instigation………A probable consequence of an act is one which is likely or which can reasonably be expected to follow from such an act. An unusual or unexpected consequence cannot be described as a probable one. When the consequence of an act is such that a reasonable man could not be expected to foresee that it would follow from such an act, such consequence cannot be described as a probable one. On the contrary it can only properly be described as an unexpected, unlikely or improbable consequence.”


 

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