The offence of Theft and Extortion are both separate offence and preview under Offence against Property which are defined under Section-378 to 462 of Indian Penal Code 1860. The offence of Theft is defined under Section 379 of Indian Penal Code 1860 and afterwards under Section 379 the punishment of Theft is defined.
WHAT IS THEFT ?
• The offence of Theft is defined under Section 378 of Indian Penal Code 1860.
• In simple words, Theft means when any person who have dishonest intention takes or move any movable property out of possession of any person without that person consent is said that person commit offence of theft.
• In simple words, when any person who have intention that is Dishonest intention moves any movable property without the consent of person who have possession on that particular property is said that person commit Theft.
ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT OF THEFT
There are basically 5 important ingredients of Theft-:
• The person who committing the offence must have dishonest intention .
• There must be always movable property not immovable property.
• Such property must be taken away from the owner.
• The property must be in possession of that person. It does not important that who is the owner of that property at the time of theft.
• There must be absence of consent of that person who has possession on that property
The word Intention means mens rea of that person who commit the offence. Intention acts as mental element if in case where there is so difficulty to prove the guilt of accused, in such case the court take into consideration what is mens rea of that person while committing the offence.
Dishonest intention means doing wrongful gain to one person and wrongful loss to another person. But the person who dishonestly gain from other is not legally justified in eye of law and the person who wrongfully loss to another is legally justified in law. Dishonest intention is defined in Section 24 of Indian Penal Code 1860.
There must be movable property because immovable property cannot be stolen. Basically Movable property is that property which can be move easily and which cannot be attached to earth. And that property which cannot moved and attached to earth is considered as immovable property.
PROPERTY MUST TAKEN AWAY FROM OWNER
It means the property must be taken away from the possession of person to whom the property belongs. There is no theft of wild animals, fishes, birds but there is theft of animals which are owned by someone.
ABSENCE OF CONSENT
There must be absence of consent of person who have possession on that particular property. Consent is of two types either expressed or implied.
PUNISHMENT FOR THEFT ?
• Punishment for theft is defined in Section 379 of Indian Penal Code 1860.
• When any person commit the offence of theft then he/she shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 3 years or with fine or with both.
• “A” a delivery boy goes to “B” house take away B watch without B consent and come back home. In this situation A has committing the offence of Theft.
• “A” a master entrust “B” a servant his dog and went to abroad for few months. B a servant sell that dog to other person. In this case B has not commit the offence of theft because A who is the owner himself transfer the ownership to B. Here, B is liable for criminal breach of trust.
Pyare Lal vs State of Rajasthan AIR 1963
In this case there is a government employee that is peon who theft some files from office and give to one person and bought it back after 2 days. In this case it was held that permanent taking away of property is not essential. Temporary taking away of property with dishonest intention is also the offence of Theft. Hence Pyare Lal was liable for offence of theft.
Ramratan v State of Bihar AIR 1965
In this case the honourable court held that when a person seizes cattle on the ground that they were trespassing on his land and causing damage to his crop. He has right of land and crop. Hence seizing of cattle is not theft in this case.
WHAT IS EXTORTION ?
• The offence of Extortion is defined under Section 383 of India Penal Code 1860.
• In simple words, Extortion means when any person put any person in fear of injury to that person or any other person and then dishonestly inducing that person to deliver any person any property or valuable security or anything signed or sealed which is converted into valuable security.
• In Extortion firstly the person put any person in fear of injury to that person or any other person then demands him to deliver any property and valuable security.
ESSENTIALS OF EXTORTION
• The act must cause imminent threat and injury to person. Injury are of 4 types which is discuss in Section 34 of IPC 1860.
a) Physical Injury
b) Mental Injury
c) Injury to Reputation
d) Injury to Property
• There must be dishonest intention of person present at time when the person committing the offence.
Dishonest Intention means wrongful gain to one person and wrongful loss to another person. It is defined in Section 24 of IPC 1860.
• Deliver of Property is essential for completion of offence of Extortion. Without deliver of property the offence is incomplete.
If person commits offence which include all essential ingredients then it can be said that the person commit the offence of Extortion.
PUNISHMENT FOR EXTORTION
• Punishment for extortion is defined in Section 384 of IPC 1860.
• When any person commit the offence of Extortion then he/she shall be punished for imprisonment which may extend to 3 years or with fine or with both.
• “A” kidnaps “B” child name “Z” and then demands a sum of 1 crore from B. And B with intention of saving his child life from A delivers the said amount to A the kidnapper. In such situation deliver of property is complete by putting person in fear of injury to other person. Hence, A is liable for offence of Extortion.
• “A” threatens “B” to give him a sum of 10 lakh rupees otherwise A publish the defamatory video of B on social sites. In such case B deliver the said amount to A. Hence A is liable for offence of extortion because A first give fear of injury to reputation of B and then demand the money.
Romesh Chandra Arora vs The State AIR 1960
In this case there were a boy and girl who was compelled by accused to take off their clothes for taking photographs and later these photographs were used by accused to extort money from them . The court held that the accused has committing the offence of Extortion.
Queen vs Nathalirc Mirad AIR 1844
In this case there was a bishop who was threatened in order to exposed his illegitimate relation with woman. The court held that this act was considered as an offence of Extortion.
At last it can be concluded that both Theft and Extortion offence are different and there is difference between them. Under Section 378 that is Theft the person dishonestly or wrongfully moves the movable property out of possession of person without that person consent but under Section 383 that is Extortion the person firstly put person in fear of injury then demands them property or valuable security. In Extortion there is consent of victim present at time of committing the offence due to fear of injury but in Theft the consent of person is absent.
Another main difference between them is in case of Theft it can be committed only in respect of movable property but the offence of Extortion can be committed in respect of both movable and immovable property.
Last main difference between them is in case of Theft there is no delivery of property and in case of Extortion there is delivery of property.
Author: Mohak Jain,
Ideal Institute of Management and Technology affiliated to GGSIPU 2nd year law student