Definition of Abetment
The definition of abetment under Section 107, IPC requires a person to abet the commission of an offence. This abetment may occur in any of the three methods that the provision prescribes. The Section says that abetment basically takes place when a person abets the doing of a thing by:
(1) instigating a person to do that thing; or
(2) engaging with another person (or persons) in a conspiracy to do that thing; or
(3) intentionally aiding a person to do that thing.
There are four stages of crime. They are:
- For any offence being committed or instigates other for their commission there should be a human being, Human being plays an important role in any kind of criminal act being done by himself or either made other to do so and be liable for the same.
- Intension and knowledge plays an important role in any criminal act being done by human being. However a non- criminal behavior as simple as buying a knife for household use becomes criminal when there is any kind of criminal intension behind getting the knife. None of the act can be considered itself a crime if done with guilty mind.
- After the formation of an intension mere execution is necessary which is followed by actusrea i.e the act done in return of the intension formed causing injury to others.
- Last stage is the offense itself which is the result of any kind of criminal intention and criminal act punishable under law. Eg: Murder, Rape, Robbery, etc.
So , in middle of the above four stages abetment may take place i.e. at the very initial stage of planning where the intension is develop by one person but the act is done by other as a result of instigation for the commission of an offence. Abetment is a substantive offence where the commission of offence is not considered, one is held liable for mere instigating, conspiring and aiding other for the commission of the offence.
Meaning Of Abetment: (Section-107)
Section 107-120 of Indian Penal Code 1860, talks about abetment. According to section 107 which explains the meaning of abetment, in general to abets means to instigate, to help, to encourage to put in execution his criminal intension. Abetment consists of three act which is laid down in section 107:
Abetment by instigation: In common it is said that one can motivate other in two possible ways which is motivating one for good cause and motivating other for bad cause which is abetment by instigation and hence, held liable for such instigation irrespective of the act abetted be committed or not.A person “instigate” the doing of a thing who by willful misrepresent, or willful concealment of a material fact which he is bound to disclose, voluntarily causes or procure , or attempt to cause or procure a thing to be done. This is known as abetment by instigation.
Illustration: A, a public officer, is authorized by a warrant by court of justice to apprehend Z. B, knowing that fact that C is not Z, willful represent to A that C is Z ,and thereby intentionally causes A to apprehend C. Here B abets by instigation the apprehension of C.
Abetment by conspiracy: Abetment by conspiracy involves engaging with one or more person in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing, if an act or illegal omission takes in pursuance of that conspiracy. Abetment by conspiracy is only said to be done when there is conspiracy done between two or more person for commission of an criminal act, if act committed will amount to abetment by conspiracy, if the same is not committed will amount to conspiracy and will be punishable under section 120A and not for abetment by conspiracy.
Abetment by aid: The third kind of abetment is abetment by intentionally aiding (by an act or illegal omission) the doing of any criminal offence. Explanation 2 to section 107 clarifies that a person is said to aid the doing of an act, who either prior to or at the time of commission of an offence, does anything in order to facilitate the commission of that act.
Illustration: Aa priest performed the wedding ceremony of a marriage man with an unmarried women. Here priest is liable for intentionally aiding and is liable for abetment by aid.
Punishment For Abetment Under Indian Penal Code,1860
From section 109 to section 120 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with punishment for abetment which are as follows:
Section 109: Punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequences, and where no express provision is made for its punishment:
If a person abets an offence, and the act abetted is committed in consequences of the abetment where no expressed provision is made under this code for the punishment of such abetment, be punished with the punishment provided for the offence with is abetted and committed.
Whereas in some case of abetment the express provision is made for the punishment. It is to be made clear that an act or offence is said to be committed in the consequences of abetment, when it is committed in consequences of instigation, or in pursuance of conspiracy, or with aiding, which constitute the abetment. According as offence abetted is cognizable or non- cognizable, bailable or non- bailable, triable by court and non -compoundable.
Illustration: A instigates B to give false evidence B under the instigation of A commits an offence. Here A is guilty of abetting the offence, and is liable for same offence as of B.
A offers a bribe to B , a public servant, as a reward of showing some official favour to A. B accepts the bribe A has abetted the offence and is liable for the offence defined in section 161 of IPC.
Section 110: Punishment of abetment if person abetted does act with different intension from that of the abettor:
This section laid down the provision for punishment of abetteei.e the person abetted, if does the act with different knowledge or intension from that of the abettor, be punished with the punishment provided for the offence which would have been committed if the act has been done with the same intension and knowledge of the abettor. The person abetted for the commission of an offence and commit and act cannot take a defense mere on the ground that the act done in the consequences of the abetment is done with different intension and knowledge from that of abettor, he will be equally liable for the punishment. According as offence abetted is cognizable or non- cognizable, bailable or non- bailable, triable by court and non- compoundable.
Abetment is said to be a substantive offence which is punishable in itself respective of the act abetted is committed or not. When any act is done as consequences of instigation, conspiracy and aid, the person performing such act is held liable under Indian Penal Code, 1860 but the person behind the commission of an act will also be held liable for abetment as the instigation for such commission has been done by that person. Therefore, we say that abetment as an offence is just and fair law which enhances the principle of natural justice in legal system.