Essay On Abetment Under Ipc


A crime may be committed by one or more persons involved in crime then their liability depends upon the extent of their participation. Thus this rule of joint liability comes into existence. But there is an important fact which is that the law has a knowledge about the abettor, who has given help to another in crime. This rule is very ancient and was applied in Hindu Law also. In English Law, criminals are divided in four categories, but in India there is only one distinction between the doer and his helper who is known as abettor.  The crime of abetment come under section 107 to 120 of the IPC.  Section 107 defines ‘abetment of a things’ and section l08 defines about the abettor.


A person abets the doing of a thing by instigation:-

1.Instigate any person to do that things

2.By conspiracy.

3.By aids.

BY INSTIGATION ANY PERSON TO DO THAT THINGS:- According to the first clause of section 107 a person abets of thing that instigates any  person to do that thing. A person is said to instigate another when he incites, urges, encourages, provokes, counsels, procures or command him to do something.

EXPLANATION :- A person who by wilful misrepresentations or by wilful concealment of a material fact, which he is bound to disclose, voluntary causes or procures or attempts to cause or procures a thing to be done, is said to instigate the doing of that things.


A Police Officer is authorised by a warrant from a court of justice to apprehend Z.  B knowing that fact and also that C is not Z, wilfully represents to A that C is Z and thereby intentionally causes A to apprehend C. Here B abets by instigation the apprehension of C.

Case: Gurbachan Singh v. Sat Pal Singh, AIR- 1990

A newly wedded girl died of burns. The father of deceased had stated in FIR that the deceased committed suicide because of harassment and constant taunt for insufficient dowry.  It was held by the SC that the deceased had committed suicide at the instigation of her husband and in laws and it was not a case of accidental death.


The second clause of this section states that a person abets the doing of a thing who engages with one or more other persons in conspiracy for the doing of that thing.  If an act or illegal omission takes place in pursuance of that conspiracy and in order to doing of that thing then it is called abetment by conspiracy. If an act or illegal omission takes place in prurience of that conspiracy.


A concerts with B a plans 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 deliver it to B for the purpose explained ‘A’ administers the poison and Z dies.  Here A and C have not conspired together, yet C has therefore committed the offence and is liable for punishment.

A case  : Rup Devi v. State : 1955.

The deceased & his wife had strained relationship.  The wife had illicit intimacy with the accused.   The deceased was scheduled to go to ‘Sadhu” on a particular day.  The wife told the accused about this programme even though she knew that the accused was waiting for the opportunity to kill her husband and taking the opportunity he killed him.  It was held that the wife was not guilty of abetment by conspiracy, even though her conduct was open to censure.


The third clause of the section says that,” A person abets the doing of thing who intentionally aids by any act in the illegal omission of the doing of that thing.

EXPLANATION :- Whoever either prior to or at the time of the commission of an act does anything in order to facilitate the commission of that act thereby facilitates the commission thereof, is said to aid the doing of that act.

ILLUSTRATION:- If the servant keeps the gate open of the master’s house so that thrives may enter and thieves do not come, he cannot be held to  have abetted the commission of theft.

Case law: Ram Kumar v. State of H.P. 1995. The 19 years old prosecutrix was taken to the police station by the accused that kept watch over her husband while she was raped by the co-accused. In this custodial rape the accused turned deaf ears towards the cries of the prosecutrix and did nothing to help her. The SC implied abetment of the accused for abetment of rape.


A person can become an abettor in two ways:-

1.When he abates the commission of an offence: Example:  Where he abets ‘B’ to commit murder of ‘Z’. Here A is an abettor.

2.When he abets the commission of an offence it is committed by a person capable by law to commit an offence with the same intention or knowledge as that of the abettor.

Example: “A” abets B, a five year old child, to commit murder of Z, he is still an abettor under the 2nd category because even though the child will not be guilty of anything by virtue of the protection given to him by section 82 of the IPC.

To define the abettor the explanation must be read as:-

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.

ILLUSTRATION:- ‘A’ instigates B to murder C. B refuses to do so. A is guilty of abetting B to commit murder.

Explanation 2:- To constitute the offence of abetment it is not necessary that the particular act of abettor should be committed.

ILLUSTRATION:- ‘A’ instigates B to Murder D.  B in pursuance of the instigation stabs D.  D recovers from wound.  A is guilty of instigation B to commit murder.

Explanation 3:- It is not necessary that the abettor & the person abetted must have same guilty intention or knowledge.

ILLUSTRATION:- ‘A’ with a guilty intention, abets a child or a lunatic to commit an act which would be an offence if committed by a person capable by law lof committing an offence and having the same intention as A.  Here A, whether the act be committed or not is guilty of abetting an offence.

EXPLANATION 4:-The abetment of an offence being an offence the abetment of such an abetment is also an offence.

ILLUSTRATION:- ‘ A ‘ instigates B to instigate C to murder Z.  B accordingly instigates C to murder Z and C commits that offence in consequences of B’s instigation.  B is liable to be punished for his offence with the punishment for murder and as A instigated B to committed the offence.  A is liable to the same punishment.

EXPLANATION NO 5;-It is not necessary to the commission of the offence of abetment by conspiracy that the abettor should bi concert the offence with the person who commits it. It is sufficient if he engages in the conspiracy.

ILLUSTRATION : ‘ A’ concerts with B a plan of 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 & deliver lit to B the purpose of its being used in the matter explained.  ‘A” administers the poison, Z dies in consequence, Here though A and C did not conspired together, Yet C has been engaged in the conspiracy in pursuance of which Z had been murdered. C has therefore committed the offence defined in the section and is liable to the punishment of murder.

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Where there is no express provision in the Code for the punishment of the abetment of a particular offence, such abetment shall be punished with the same punishment as provided for the offence itself. (Section 109)

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(i) 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. A has abetted the offence defined in Section 161.

(ii) A instigates B to give false evidence. B, in consequence of the instigation, commits that offence. A is guilty of abetting that offence, and is liable to the same punishment as B.

(iii) A and B conspire to poison Z. A, in pursuance of the conspiracy, procures the poison and delivers it to B in order that he may administer it to Z. B, in pursuance of the conspiracy administers the poison to Z in A’s absence and thereby causes Z’s death. Here B is guilty of murder. A is guilty of abetting that offence by conspiracy, and is liable to the punishment for murder.

In a case, A submitted false claims to Government of Burma and obtained payment of money in respect of some works not carried out by him for Government. A was prosecuted for the offence of cheating under Section 420, I.P.C.

A contended that as payments were made not on the basis of any of his wrong representations contained in the reports of the officers verifying his claims, the offence of cheating, if at all committed, was committed by those officers and not by him. It was held that the officers who verified claims wrongly were certainly guilty of abetting A by supporting his false representations.

Though, it may be true of majority of cases that where a person is charged with having committed an offence and another is charged with having abetted him in the commission thereof and the prosecution fails to substantiate the commission of the principal offence, there can be no conviction for abetment.

But there are exemptions to this general rule particularly where there is evidence which satisfactorily establishes that the offence abetted is committed and is committed in consequence of the abetment. Hence, a conviction for abetment is not necessarily illegal when the person charged with principal offence has been acquitted.

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