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When is a Person said to abet the doing of a thing? (Indian Penal Code, 1860)

January 9, 2019 0 Comment

(d) A, intending to cause a theft to be committed, instigates B to believe that the property belongs to A. B takes the property out of Z’s possession in good faith, believing it to be A’s property.

(e) A offers a bribe to B, a public servant, as a reward for showing A some favour in the exercise of B’s official functions. B accepts the bribe.

(f) A instigates B to give false evidence. B, in consequence of the instigation, commits that offence.

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(g) A in order to avoid pecuniary injury or personal moles­tation offers a bribe to a public servant.

Abetment of thing:

A person abets the doing of a thing who (1) instigates any person to do that thing; or (2) 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 (3) intentionally aids by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing. (S. 107).

The words “instigate” and “aids the doing of an act” require a little explanation. The former means to goad or urge forward or to provoke, incite, urge or encourage doing an act. A person who, by willful mis­representation, or by willful 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.

A, a police officer, is authorized by a warrant from a court of justice to apprehend, Z. B, knowing that fact and also that C is not Z, willfully represents to A that C is Z, and thereby intentionally causes A to apprehend C. Here B abets by instigation the apprehension of C.

A person is said to aid the doing of an act who either prior to or at the time of its commission does anything in order to facilitate the commission of that act, and thereby facilitates the commission thereof.

Section 108 defines an abettor as a person who abets 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. A instigates B to murder C. B refuses to do.

A is guilty of abetting B to commit murder. Again, A instigates B to murder D. B is pursuance of the instigation stabs D. D recovers from the wound. A is guilty of instigat­ing B to commit murder.

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.

A, with the intention of murdering Z, instigates B, a child under seven years of age, to do an act which causes Z’s death. B, in consequence of the abetment, does the act in the absence of A and thereby causes Z’s death.

Here, though B was not capable by law of committing an offence, A is liable to be pun­ished in the same manner as if B had been capable by law of commit­ting an offence, and had committed murder, and he is, therefore, subject to the punishment of death.

Explanation 4:

The abetment of an offence being an offence, the abetment of such an abetment is also an offence. A instigates B to instigate C to murder Z. B accordingly instigated C to murder Z, and commits that offence in consequence of B’s instigation.

B is liable to be punished for his offence with the punishment for murder, and, as A instigated B to commit the offence, A is also liable to the same punishment.

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. Concerts with B a plan for poisoning Z.

It is agreed that A shall administer the poison. B then explains the plan to C, mentioning that a third person is to administer the poison, but without mentioning A’s name. C agrees to procure the poison, and procures and delivers it to B for the purpose of its being used in the manner explained.

A ad­ministers the poison; Z dies in consequence. Here though A and C have not conspired together, yet C has been engaged in the conspiracy in pursuance of which Z has been murdered. C has, therefore, com­mitted the offence defined in the section, and is liable to the punish­ment for murder.

(a) A is guilty of abetting the offence whether the act he commit­ted or not for under Section 108, 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.

(b) A is guilty of abetment of murder as according to Section 108 of the Indian Penal Code a person is guilty of abetment of an act which would be an offence if committed with the same intention or knowledge as that of the abettor.

(c) B has committed no offence, but A is guilty of abetting the offence of setting fire to the dwelling house, and is liable to the punishment provided for that offence.

(d) B, acting under the misconception, does not take the property dishonestly and therefore does not commit theft but A is guilty of abetting theft, and is liable to the same punishment as if B had com­mitted theft.

(e) A has abetted the offence defined in Section 161, I.P.C. viz., that of a public servant taking gratification other then legal remunera­tion in respect of an official act. B is guilty of an offence under Section 161.

(f) A is guilty of abetting the offence of giving false evidence and is liable to the same punishment as B.

(g) The limits of the application of the doctrine of necessity as an excuse for an act otherwise criminal are those prescribed in Section 94, 1.P.C., viz., a person is excused from the consequences of any act except murder and offence against the State punishable with death, done under fear of instant death.

Therefore, a person who is order to avoid pecuniary/ injury or personal molestation offers or gives a bribe to a public servant is liable for abetment of the offence of taking an illegal gratification.

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