November 25, 2023
symbolizing justice and order

The performance of an act that is forbidden by law or the failure to perform an act that is required by law is referred to as a crime. Stated differently, one definition of crime is the disobedience of the law. The fact that a crime impacts the public interest rather than a single person’s rights, which are the domain of civil law, is another significant feature of crime.

Both substantive and procedural law govern the administration of criminal justice in India. The Criminal Procedure Code (1973) is a procedural law, whereas the Indian Penal Code (1860) consists of substantive law.

Important Elements of Crime IPC

The two most important elements of crime IPC are as follows:

  • Mens Rea: It is a certain mental state.
  • Actus Reus: It is a deliberate act or omission.

Stages of Crime: About

  • In the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the stages of crime in IPC refer to the various stages involved in the commission of a criminal offence. In addition to providing an arrangement for the legal system to decide on criminal accountability and punishment, these stages also help define the different levels of criminal conduct and intent.
  • The stages allow any individual to determine the level of seriousness of an offense, bring the proper charges, and administer the proper punishment in accordance with the degree of unlawful conduct involved. In this way, the IPC’s crime phases are a crucial component of the criminal justice framework and are crucial to upholding social order.

Established Stages of Crime in IPC

The Stage of “INTENTION”

  • The first stage in criminal activity is the intention, during which the accused develops the Mens Rea, or mental state, necessary to conduct a specific offense.
  • It entails making the deliberate choice or wanting to do the crime without acting on it physically.
  • Prior to a crime being committed with that aim, criminal intention alone cannot be punished.
  • When assessing an accused person’s guilt and determining the proper charges and penalties, the idea of criminal intent is essential.

The Stage of “PREPARATION”

  • Following the intention stage, the preparation stage involves taking steps to carry through the intended offenses.
  • At this stage, the alleged individual has yet to take any actual action toward perpetrating the crime, however, they have made strategies, gathered resources, and prepared the specifics.
  • According to the exact nature of the offenses and the specific terms of the applicable legislation, certain conduct during the preparation stage may be subject to legal penalties.
  • For example: The preparation may result in charges under Section 464 and Section 489 within the IPC, respectively, if it involves document or cash forgery or counterfeiting.

The Stage of “ATTEMPT”

  • The difference between preparing for a crime and actually trying to commit one is really thin.
  • It can be characterized as an action taken in support of someone’s preparation and intention of committing a crime.
  • This is the stage in which the accused begins to physically or overtly carry out the criminal act, but the offense has not yet been fully committed.
  • In general, the penalty for the attempt is less serious than the penalty for the actual offenses, although this might vary based on the precise legal provisions and the type of offense.

The Stage of “COMMISSION”

  • The accused individual successfully completes the offenses by carrying out all the required actions to carry out the intended crime at the commission stage, which is the last stage of the criminal process.
  • It involves actually carrying out the crime in question, which might involve burglary, murder, theft, or any other type of offense.
  • It is the juncture at which the accused’s Actus Reus (physical act) and Mens Rea (mental state) converge, fulfilling the offenses.

Stages of Crime with Case Laws

The stages of crime with case laws are as follows:

  • In the case of State of MP v Narayan Singh, the Supreme Court said that there are four phases involved in committing an offense: intention, preparation, attempt, and commission. The last two phases of these offenses would result in culpability, but the first two would not. In this particular case, the responders attempted to export fertilizers from MP to Maharashtra without authorization. As a result, the conduct was interpreted as an attempt at crime rather than merely preparation.
  • In the case of Satvir Singh v State of Punjab, the principal appellant’s wife made a suicide attempt and the appellants have been accused of inciting her to do so. The issue that was on the line for the court to determine was whether the person annoying the victim of a suicide attempt would be held accountable for aiding the victim in carrying out the act. The Court provided an adverse ruling, indicating that successful abetment would only be considered punishable if the relevant offense had been committed. The motivator will not be held accountable if the offense in question has not been committed.

The criminal justice system heavily relies on the four stages of crime in criminal law i.e., intent, preparation, attempt, and commission. These stages of crime in criminal law assist in establishing the accused’s Mens Rea and Actus Reus, assessing their degree of remorse, and determining the proper charges and punishments.

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