Indian Penal Code, 1860
The Indian Penal Code was passed in the year 1860. However, it came into effect from January 1, 1862.
The Indian Penal Code applies to the whole of India except for the state of Jammu & Kashmir. It contains 23 Chapters and 511 Sections. Before the Indian Penal Code came into effect, the Mohammedan Criminal Law was applied to both Mohammedans and Hindus in India.
Sections in Indian Penal Code
- Section 1 to 106 of Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Chapter I to IV
- Chapter I: Introduction
- Chapter II: General Explanations
- Chapter III: Of Punishments
- Chapter IV: General Exceptions
- Section 107 to 229 of Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Covers Chapter V to Chapter XI
- Chapter V: Of Abetment
- Chapter VA: Criminal Conspiracy
- Chapter VI: Of Offences against the State
- Chapter VII: Of Offences related to the Army, [Navy and Air force]
- Chapter VIII: Of Offences against the public tranquility
- Chapter IX: Of offences by or relating to public servants
- Chapter IXA: Of offences relating to Elections
- Chapter X: Of Contempts of the lawful authority of public service
- Chapter XI: Of false evidence and offences against public justice
- Section 230 to 489 of Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Covers Chapter XII to Chapter XVII
- Section 490 to 511 of Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Covers Chapter XIX to Chapter XXIII
A Wrong can take place in two ways. Public Wrong and a Private Wrong.
Private Wrong causes injury to an individual or a group of individuals and the injured / aggrieved parties approach the Civil Court for damages/relief. Eg: Private nuisance, tort etc.
Public Wrong on the other hand is a threat to the society. It is an offence committed against the society which creates a social disorder. Eg: Murder, Rape etc.
Definition of Crime
Main Article: Definition of Crime
Many prominent jurists have made attempts to define Crime.
Sir William Blackstone in his 'Commentaries on Law of England', Sir William Blackstone defined Crime as "an act committed or omitted in violation of Public Law forbidding or commanding it".
Since there is no satisfactory definition of Crime, the Indian Penal Code, 1860 uses the word 'Offence' in place of Crime. Section 40 of the IPC defines Offence as an act punishable by the Code. An Offence takes place in two ways, either by commission of an act or by omission of an act.
When a Crime is done, any member of the public can institute proceedings against the person accused of the offence. Only in certain exceptional cases, the persons concerned alone can institute the criminal proceedings. Example of such crimes include Matrimonial cases, dowry cases, defamation etc.
Nature of Crime
A crime varies from place to place. Adultery is an offence in India under Sec. 497 of IPC, but not an offence in America. It is a Civil wrong in England.
A crime also changes from time to time. Consumption of Alcoholic drinks is a crime during prohibition, but not in case the prohibition is lifted.
Distinction between Tort and Crime
Tort is a kind of Civil Wrong. A Civil Wrong is a Private Wrong and is redressible in a Civil Court.
Distinction between Crime and Breach of Contract
A Contract is an agreement entered into between two or more parties/persons subject to certain terms and conditions for a lawful consideration.
Read about Elements of Crime
- Crime and four stages of committing crime
- Criminal Law
- Offenses punishable with death sentence under Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Test Identification Parade
- Measures of Punishment
- Kinds of Punishments
- Theories of Punishment
Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law
- Vilas Pandurang Pawar and Another Vs State of Maharashtra and Others, Special Leave Petition (Criminal) 6432 of 2012, Supreme Court Judgement delivered on September 10, 2012: When a case is booked under both IPC and SC/ST Act, Supreme Court held that, if Section 18 of the SC/ST Act is (also) applicable to the case, the petitioners are not entitled to anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the Code.
- December 18, 2012: Statement of Union Home Minister on Incident of gang rape in South Delhi