ROBBERY & DACOITY

The offense of robbery is broadly defined by statute in current American and English law. The most commonly used definitions are of two types. The first is based on older English common law, whereas the second is based on the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code. Robbery and dacoity are all extremely similar concepts that are frequently used interchangeably daily. However, the legal implications of these two phrases are distinct.

  • Offences

These phrases are specified very thoroughly in the Indian penal law. These have been designated as separate offenses. Robbery is defined in Section 390 of IPC[1], as is theft and extortion concerning the robbery. Dacoity is talked about in Section 391[2].

  • Definition and section
  • Robbery

This is defined under Section 390 of IPC. In all robberies there exists theft or extortion.

When theft becomes robbery- Theft is considered “robbery” if the offender, to commit the theft, or in committing the theft, or in carrying away or attempting to carry away property obtained by the theft, voluntarily causes or attempts to cause death, bodily harm, or wrongful restraint to any person, or the fear of instant death, bodily harm, or wrongful restraint to any person.

When extortion becomes a robbery- Extortion is robbery if the offender is in the presence of the person put in fear at the time of the extortion and commits the extortion by putting that person in fear of immediate death, immediate hurt, or immediate wrongful restraint to that person or another person, and by so putting in fear, induces the person so put in fear to deliver up the thing extort then and there.

  • Dacoity

This is defined under Section 391 of IPC.

It states that when five or more people commit or attempt to commit a robbery at the same time, or when the total number of people committing or attempting to commit a robbery, as well as those present and aiding in the commission or attempt, is five or more, each person committing, attempting, or aiding in the commission or attempt is said to commit “dacoity.”

Three things must be present to conduct dacoity. These are the requirements:

  1. There must be at least five or more people;
  2. They must commit or attempt to commit dacoity together; and
  3. They must have a dishonest motive.
  • Punishment with sections
  • Theft (Section 379, IPC)

The Indian Penal Code defines the penalty for theft as Section 379[3]. It states that a person who commits theft faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a fine, or both.

  • Extortion (Section 384, IPC)

Extortion is punishable under Section 384 of IPC [4]. It stipulates that anyone who commits extortion might be sentenced to up to three years in prison, a fine, or both.

  • Dacoity (Section 395, IPC)

Section 395 of IPC[5], defines the punishment for dacoity. This provision states that a person who commits dacoity will be sentenced to life in prison or too harsh imprisonment for a term of up to ten years, as well as a fine. The nature of this offense is cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable.

  • Case briefs
  • The State vs Sadhu Singh and Ors[6]

In this case, four and one Kurda Singh were involved in the dacoity. They were all armed with rifles and handguns. They broke into Gharsiram’s residence and robbed him. Gharsiram, Jugalkishore, Sandal, and Jugalkisore were all injured. The dacoits attempted to steal a wristwatch and a scarf from one person, but because they were peasants, they were unable to take anything with them. When the dacoits began fleeing the villagers, they were pursued by the villagers, who responded by setting fire to them. As a consequence, dharma, one of the villagers, died, but one of the dacoits was captured by the locals. The dacoits were charged under Section 395 of the Indian Penal Code.

  • Shyam Behari v. State of Uttar Pradesh[7]

A dacoit killed one of the victims who had caught the robber’s accomplice in the act of dacoit. Because any homicide perpetrated by the dacoits during their struggle would be classified as murder, the robber was found guilty under Section 396 of the Indian Penal Code.


[1] Section 390, The Indian Penal Code, 1860

[2] Section 391, The Indian Penal Code, 1860

[3] Section 379, The Indian Penal Code, 1860

[4] Section 384, The Indian Penal Code, 1860

[5] Section 395, The Indian Penal Code, 1860

[6] The State vs Sadhu Singh and Ors 1972 WLN 677

[7] Shyam Behari v. State of Uttar Pradesh (crl.)  72 of 1956

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