IPC Section 118: Concealing Design to Commit Offence Punishable with Death or Life Imprisonment

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IPC Section 118: Concealing Design to Commit Offence Punishable with Death or Life Imprisonment

1. State the Code:

Whoever, knowing that a design to commit an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life is entertained by any person, voluntarily conceals such design from the authority empowered to prevent the offence, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

2. Explanation:

Section 118 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) addresses the act of concealing knowledge of a plan to commit a serious crime. It criminalizes the act of deliberately hiding the information about the design of committing an offence punishable by death or life imprisonment from the authorities responsible for preventing such offences.

The key elements of this section are:

  • Knowledge: The accused must be aware of the design to commit the offence.
  • Voluntary Concealment: The concealment of the design must be a deliberate act, not an unintentional omission.
  • Offence Punishable with Death or Life Imprisonment: The offence being planned must be one that carries the potential for the death penalty or life imprisonment.
  • Empowered Authority: The information must be concealed from the authorities responsible for preventing the offence.

3. Illustration:

Consider a scenario where A knows that B is planning to assassinate a prominent politician. A chooses to keep this information to himself and does not inform the police. This act of concealing B’s design from the authorities would make A liable under Section 118 of the IPC.

4. Common Questions & Answers:

Q: Does Section 118 apply only to active involvement in the crime?

Also Read  IPC Section 121A: Conspiracy to Commit Offences Punishable under Section 121

A: No, Section 118 focuses on the concealment of knowledge about the crime. It does not require active participation in the crime.

Q: What if the accused is threatened by the person planning the crime?

A: While duress can be a defense in some criminal cases, it is unlikely to be successful under Section 118. The accused must show that they had no reasonable opportunity to inform the authorities.

Q: What is the punishment for violating Section 118?

A: The maximum punishment for violating Section 118 is imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

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