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Dacoity with Murder: Section 396 IPC

To understand Dacoity with Murder, let us first define robbery since dacoity is a form of robbery where the number of miscreants is five or more.


Section 390 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) defines robbery as an act involving theft or extortion. In the crime of robbery, the number of miscreants is four or less. Even one person may commit robbery.

Theft as Robbery:

Theft becomes robbery when the perpetrator, during or after the commission of theft, intentionally causes or attempts to cause death, harm, or wrongful restraint, or instils fear of the same in any individual.

Extortion as Robbery:

Extortion becomes 'robbery' when the offender, in the presence of the victim, induces fear of immediate death, harm, or wrongful restraint either to the victim or another individual, and compels the victim to surrender the extorted item through such fear.

Essence of Section 390 IPC:

Section 390 emphasizes that robbery involves either theft or extortion, accompanied by the use of force, threat, or intimidation to compel compliance.

Dacoity with Murder:

Section 396 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is concerned with the gravest crime of dacoity with murder. This section states that if one of the participants in a dacoity, which involves five or more individuals committing robbery, causes the death of a non-gang member, the offence is considered as dacoity with murder.

The punishment for this offence is outlined in Section 396 IPC, which includes the death penalty or life imprisonment or rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years, along with a fine. This strict punishment reflects the seriousness with which the law treats such crimes, particularly when they result in loss of life. This offence is cognizable, non-bailable, triable by a court of session and non-compoundable.

Section 396 IPC is a crucial provision in the Indian legal system, highlighting the severity of dacoity-related offences. It stipulates that if any person involved in a dacoity causes the death of an innocent individual, the crime is elevated to dacoity with murder. This provision serves to distinguish the gravity of the offence based on the tragic outcome, emphasizing the value of human life and the heightened culpability of the perpetrators.

The inclusion of murder in the context of dacoity under Section 396 IPC has significant legal implications. It signifies a deliberate escalation of violence beyond mere robbery, making the crime even more heinous. By encompassing both dacoity and murder, this provision showcases the legislature's intention to address and prevent heinous acts of violence committed during organized criminal activities.

The prescribed punishments for offences under Section 396 IPC are a reflection of their severity. Those convicted of dacoity and murder face the most severe consequences, including the possibility of death or life imprisonment, as well as monetary fines. This strict punishment highlights society's abhorrence towards crimes that result in the loss of innocent lives, emphasizing the crucial need to uphold justice and prevent such heinous acts.

Section 396 of the Indian Penal Code serves as a strong defence against the menace of dacoity with murder, showcasing society's dedication to justice and deterrence. Its provisions act as a powerful deterrent, dissuading individuals from participating in organized criminal activities that put innocent lives at risk. By enforcing strict penalties and legal scrutiny, Section 396 IPC prioritizes the sanctity of human life and emphasizes the importance of maintaining law and order in society.

Written By: Md.Imran Wahab, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9836576565

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