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IPC Section 378 defines “Theft”


IPC Section 390 defines “Robbery”.


IPC Section 391 defines “Dacoity”.

According to Sec. 378 of IPC: – Theft is when someone steals a movable property out of your possession with the intention of stealing it from you (physical removal of an object).

According to Sec 390 of IPC: – Robbery is an aggravated form of theft, so if someone attempts or causes any hurt, wrongful restraint or death in order to commit an act of theft, it is known as robbery (robbery is defined as taking the property of another).

According to Sec. 391 of IPC: – Dacoity is a crime when 5 (five) or more people commit or attempt to or aid someone to commit an act of robbery together.

For example: If Rohit steals 10 (ten) lakhs rupees from your home when you were not in the room, then it is an act of theft.

For example: If Rohit comes to your house, beats you up and then steals twenty lakh rupees from your locker, it is an act of robbery.

For example: If Rohit and his 4 friends (5 Person) come to your house and beat you up to steal your Cash and Gold jewellery, then it is an act of dacoity. 

Essential elements of theft are as follows:

Essential elements of Robbery are as follows:

Essential elements of Dacoity are as follows:        
  • The person should have dishonest intention.
  • It should be a moveable property.
  •  It should be out of the possession of another person.
  •  There should not be such person’s consent.
  • And the person should move that property in order to take it away.
  • Offender caused or attempted to cause to some persons.
  • In Robbery The person should have fear of death, or hurt or wrongful restraint.
  • The person must have fear of instant death, or of instant hurt or of instant wrongful restrain
  • Offender did such act either and in order to the committing of the theft.
  • Carrying away or attempting to carry away the property.


  • The accused/person commit or attempt to commit robbery.
  • Persons/accused committing or attempting to commit robbery must not be less than five.
  • All such persons should act conjointly.

Punishments Under Section 379 of IPC

May be punished with imprisonment/ Jail time up to 3 years or a fine or both.

Punishment under Section 392 of IPC

May be punished with Imprisonment/Jail time up 10 years or a fine or both. If it is committed on highway between sunrise and sunset the punishment may extend up to 14 years. 

Punishments Under Section 395 of IPC

May be punished with Imprisonment/jail time which may be for life and a fine.

CASE LAW:- Ram Ratan Alias Ratan Ahir & Anr. Vs the State of Bihar and Anr 1965 SCR (1)293

That, for the crime of theft, a mala fide intention is a must, without a mala fide intention, a person cannot be convicted under sec 378 of the Indian Penal Code.



CASE LAW:- Abdul Rashid and Ors. vs. Nausher Ali (10.04.1979 – CALHC): MANU/WB/0289/1979

In this case said that the essence of the offence of robbery therefore is that the offender for the end of committing theft, or carrying away or attempting to carry away the looted property, voluntarily causes or attempts to cause to any person death or hurt or wrongful restraint or fear of instant death or of instant hurt or of instant wrongful restraint.



CASE LAW:-The State vs Sadhu Singh and Ors 1972 WLN677

 In this case, four and one Kurda Singh (5 Person) was involved in committing a dacoity. They all were armed with deadly weapons such as rifles and pistols etc. They committed a robbery at the house of Gharsiram. They injured Gharsiram, Jugal Kishore, Sandal and Basantilal. The dacoits, in this case, tried to take a wristwatch and a shawl of one person but as they were villagers the dacoits were not able to take anything with them. When dacoits started running from the villagers, they received a hot chase from them and in return dacoits shot a fire. As a result, dharma, one of the villagers died but the villages captured one of the dacoits. In this case, the dacoits were charged under Sec 395 of the Indian Penal Code.


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