Section 115 of Indian Penal Code – Explained!

Section 115 of IPC – “Abetment of offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life. If offence not committed.”

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Whoever abets the commission of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, shall, if that offence be not committed in consequence of the abetment, and no express provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such abetment, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine;

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If act causing harm be done in consequence:

And if any act for which the abettor is liable in consequence of the abetment, and which causes hurt to any person, is done, the abettor shall be liable to imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to fourteen years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Illustration:

A instigates B to murder Z. The offence is not committed, if B had murdered Z, he would have been subject to the punishment of death or imprisonment for life. Therefore, A is liable to imprisonment upto 7 years and also fine and if hurt be caused to Z in consequence of the abetment he will be liable to imprisonment upto 14 years and also fine.

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In a case the appellant instigated another to commit an offence under Section 436, I.P.C. The offence was committed not by the person instigated but by someone else. It was held that the appellant was guilty of the offence of abetment not under Section 436 read with Section 109 but under Section 436 read with Section 115, I.P.C., since the commission of the offence was not a consequence of his abetment.

Ingredients of offence:

The essential ingredients of the offence under Section 115 are as follows:

(1) The accused must have abetted the commission of the offence;

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(2) The offence abetted is punishable with death or imprisonment for life;

(3) The offence abetted was not committed or no hurt was caused to any person in consequence of such abetment.