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  • LEGALPEDIA JOURNAL VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1

    Page | 1

    ABETMENT AND CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY: AN ANALYSIS

    By Nishi Kumari*

    ABSTRACT

    Law and crime have a long history in the civilization of the society. Crime is basically regarded

    as an act which is forbidden by the law of the land. Sometimes an offender himself is the reason

    for committing an offence and sometimes it’s some hidden factor/ person who abets an offender

    to commit an offence. Both Abetment and Criminal Conspiracy have its roots in Indian Penal

    Code,1860. The word 'abet' has been defined as meaning to aid; to assist or to give aid; to

    command, to procure, or to counsel; to countenance; to encourage; induce, or assist, to

    encourage or to set another one to commit. Whereas, conspiracy is an inchoate crime and is

    punishable primarily because an agreement to commit a crime is a decisive act, fraught with

    potential dangers. Both the concepts are similar as both aims to commit an offence but still

    there are many differences on the technical grounds. This paper aims to analysis the concept of

    Abetment and Criminal Conspiracy and therefore to find out the key difference between the

    both.

    Keywords: Abetment, Conspiracy, Crime

    * B.A.LL.B., 3rd year, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab.

    ABETMENT AND CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY: AN ANALYSIS

    Law and crime have a long history in the civilization of the society. Crime

    is basically regarded as an act which is forbidden by the law of the land.

    to aid; to assist or to give aid; to command, to procure, or to counsel; to

    countenance; to encourage; induce, or assist, to encourage or to set an-

    other one to commit. Whereas, conspiracy is an inchoate crime and is pun-

    ishable primarily because an agreement to commit a crime is a decisive

    act, fraught with potential dangers. Both the concepts are similar as both

    -

    nical grounds. This paper aims to analysis the concept of Abetment and

    the both.

    ABSTRACT

    LEGALPEDIA JOURNAL VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1

    http://legalpediajournal.com

    Nishi Kumari

    B.A.LL.B., 3rd year, Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab.

    *

    *

    Keywords : Abetment, Conspiracy, Crime

    ISSN No. 2581-7949

  • LEGALPEDIA JOURNAL VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1

    Page | 59

    1. INTRODUCTION

    The very definition and concept of crime varies not only according to the values of a particular

    group and society, its deals, faith, religious attitudes, customs, traditions, and taboos, but also

    according to the form of government, political, economic structure of the society and number

    of other factors. For instance, what is an offence against property in a capitalist society may be

    a lawful way of living in a socialist society.

    People may believe that if they plan to commit a crime, but do not actually go through with it,

    that they will not be held responsible for a crime. This belief is mistaken; however, as there are

    laws set out for specific offences called “inchoate” offences. Inchoate means that a criminal

    act was anticipated or prepared for, but not completed. The major offences which are included

    in this are: Abetment and Conspiracy.

    Indian Penal Code is a piece of comprehensive legislation. The code embodies the general

    penal law of country and is the sole authority in respect to the general conditions of work, the

    definitions of the specific offences in Code, and the conditions of exemptions from criminal

    liability. Some crimes are cognizable, and some are not.2

    Traditional and conventional crimes are rooted in time and customs and Indian Penal Code

    represents its core. The Code punishes such acts against persons and their property as are

    universally accepted as injurious to all civilized societies and acts which offend against

    fundamental principles on which the existence of human being as society rests. These

    fundamentals are more or less of a permanent nature and will endure for a long time to come.

    The term 'abetment' in criminal law indicates that there is a distinction between the person

    abetting the commission of an offence (or abettor) and the actual perpetrator of the offence or

    the principal offence or the principal offender. Whosoever, 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 facilitate the commission thereof, is said to aid the doing of that act.3

    Russell remarks the crime of conspiracy as, “affords support for any who advance the

    proposition that criminal law is an instrument of government.”4 The IPC was amended in 1870

    as to insert S. 120-A IPC. Chapter V-A has been introduced in the code by the Criminal Law

    2 Cr.P.C., (1973), sec. 2 (c) 3 Indian Penal Code, sec. 107 4 Russell on Crimes, vol. 1 (11th Ed.) p. 213

    ISSN No. 2581-7949

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    Amendment Act (8 of 1913). The object of the amendment was to prevent the commission of

    crime by nipping them in the bud.5 As stated above the inclusion of Chapter V-A in the Penal

    Code was designed to assimilate the provisions of English law. This chapter was inserted in

    the Indian Penal Code in 1913. Conspiracy, at common law, had its origin primarily as a civil

    wrong, but was lately made punishable as criminal wrong.6

    2. ABETMENT

    In Indian Penal Code, Abetment is defined under section 107 as:7

    Abetment of a thing - A person abets the doing of a thing, who: -

    a. Instigates any person to do that thing; or

    b. 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

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

    In comprehensive way under Indian Penal Code, abetment can be defined as, a person becomes

    liable as an abettor if he instigates another to commit a crime or engages in a conspiracy with

    another to commit a crime and some act is done in furtherance of such conspiracy or if he

    intentionally aids another in order to facilitate the commission of a crime. The term 'abet' in

    general usage means to assist, advance, aid, conduce, help and promote. The word 'abet' has

    been defined as meaning to aid; to assist or to give aid; to command, to procure, or to counsel;

    to countenance; to encourage; induce, or assist, to encourage or to set another one to commit.8

    The term 'abetment' in criminal law indicates that there is a distinction between the person

    abetting the commission of an offence (or abettor) and the actual perpetrator of the offence or

    the principal offence or the principal offender.

    Abettor is a person who 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

    5 State of A.P. v. Cheemalapati Caneswara Rao, AIR1963 SC 1850; (1963) 1 Cri L J 67 6 Gour, Hari Singh, Penal Law of India, 11th Edn., Vol. II, 2000, pp. 1101-1135 7 Indian Penal Code, 1860, sec.107 8 Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab, 1994 Cri LJ 3139; See also Sanju v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (2002) 5 S.C.C. 371(India)

    ISSN No. 2581-7949

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    of committing an offence with the same intention or knowledge as that of the abettor. The

    essentials are:

    (1) There must be an abettor;

    (2) He must abet, and

    (3) The abetment must be an offence or an act which would be an offence, if committed

    by a person capable in law of committing the offence with the same intention or

    knowledge as that of the abettor.9

    The chapter on abetment contains 15 sections.

    � Section 107 which defines abetment generally speaks of three kinds of abetment, viz.,

    abetment by instigation, abetment by conspiracy and abetment by aid.

    � Section 108 explains as to when an abetment of an offence takes place, and S. 108-A

    provides for the case of abetments-in India of an offence committed in a foreign

    country.

    � Section 109 prescribes the punishment for the offence of abetment when the offence

    abetted is committed, while

    � S. 110 prescribe the punishment for abetment where the person abetted commits the act

    with a different intention or knowledge from that of the abettor.

    � Section 111 provides for cases of abetment resulting in a different offence but which is

    a probable consequence thereof.

    � Section 112 provides for cumulative punishment in cases covered by S. 111.

    � Section 113 which is supplementary to S.111 provides for punishment in cases where

    the act abetted causes a different effect from that intended by the abettor.

    � Section 114 provides for cases where the abettor is present at the time of the offence

    and makes him liable for the m

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