IPC Section 120B: Punishment for Criminal Conspiracy in India

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IPC Section 120B: Punishment for Criminal Conspiracy in India

1. The Code:

Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deals with the offense of criminal conspiracy. It states:

“Whoever agrees with any person or persons to do, or cause to be done, an illegal act, or an act which is not illegal in itself but which is done with the intention of causing harm to any person, or with the intention of inducing any person to do an illegal act, or to omit to do any act which he is legally bound to do, is said to conspire to commit that act.”

2. Explanation:

Section 120B defines criminal conspiracy as an agreement between two or more individuals to commit an illegal act or an act which, while not illegal in itself, is done with the intention of causing harm or inducing illegal action from others. This agreement, even if not acted upon, is considered a crime.

The key elements of criminal conspiracy are:

  • An agreement or understanding between two or more persons
  • The intention to commit an illegal act, or to do a legal act with the intention of causing harm or inducing illegal action

3. Illustration:

Consider the following scenario:

  • A group of individuals agrees to vandalize a rival company’s property.
  • Even if the individuals do not carry out the act, the agreement itself constitutes criminal conspiracy under Section 120B.

4. Common Questions and Answers:

Q: What is the punishment for criminal conspiracy?

A: The punishment for criminal conspiracy depends on the nature of the illegal act agreed upon. It can range from imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both, to imprisonment for life or with fine.

Also Read  Section 10 CrPC: Subordination of Assistant Sessions Judges in India

Q: Does a conspiracy have to be successful for it to be a crime?

A: No, a conspiracy does not need to be successful for it to be a crime. The agreement itself is considered criminal, regardless of whether the act is carried out.

Q: Can a single person be convicted of conspiracy?

A: No, conspiracy requires an agreement between two or more individuals.

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