November 17, 2023

There are a number of crimes under criminal statutes that incorporate intimidation, threats, and forced labor. Because of their similarities, extortion, as well as criminal intimidation, are two such crimes that frequently generate questions. Both crimes are diverse in their components, motives, and consequences, notwithstanding the fact that they both involve threats or coercion.

Extortion: About

  • It is stated under Section 383 of the Indian Penal Code. When the accused dishonestly encourages the complainant to submit whatever they can for valuable security, including anything signed or sealed that could be turned into valuable security, by purposefully instilling the complainant in fear of harm to them or to anyone else.

Important Ingredients:

  • Purposefully making someone dread harm or injury.
  • Dishonestly enticing someone.
  • Delivery of valuable security.

Criminal Intimidation: About

  • It is stated under Section 503 of the Indian Penal Code. When the accused threatens to harm his person, reputation, or property, as well as the person or reputation of anyone else in whom the complainant has an interest. The complainant performs an act for which he is not legally obligated or refrains from performing an act for which he is entitled in order to avoid carrying out the threat.

Important Ingredients:

  • A person should be in danger of becoming hurt.
  • The threat has to be made intentionally.

Extortion vs Criminal Intimidation: Key Differences

According to the expert faculties at RJS Coaching in Jaipur, there are major key differences between extortion and criminal intimidation. They are:

When someone makes a threat to destroy anything, their property, or their reputation if a demand is not fulfilled is known as extortion.When someone intimidates someone by threatening to hurt them physically or cause damage to their belongings or reputation it is known as criminal intimidation.
It is mentioned under Section 383 of the IPC.It is mentioned under Section 503 of the IPC.
It involves material gain.It does not necessarily involve any material gain.
It is a serious offense under IPC.It is a less serious offense under IPC.
It is a cognizable offense under IPC.It is a non-cognizable offense under IPC.
It is a non-bailable offense under IPC.It is a bailable offense under IPC.
It has a direct impact on the victim’s reputation and well-being.It has an indirect impact on the victim’s reputation and well-being.
Key ingredients: Theft through coercion Threats or coercion Illegal actKey ingredients: Intimidating gestures Willingness to incite terror Fear of injury
Example: Demanding payment from someone famous in order to prevent the publication of personal images or confidential information.Example: A threatens to set fire to B’s house in an effort to get B to stop pursuing a civil lawsuit. The criminal intimidation of A is proven.

Role of the Judiciary: Landmark Rulings on Extortion and Criminal Intimidation

There are various landmark rulings that are discussed by various RJS Coaching in Jaipur from the judiciary point of view. They are:


  • In the case of Romesh Chandra Arora v the State, the accused forced the girl and boy into taking off their clothes in order to take a picture of them in their undies, then threatened to publish the image to demand payment in full. The accused claimed that blackmailing females was his profession and that he had threatened the victims by showing the photos to the girls’ families in order to extract money. There was a Code penalty for him. The accused was found guilty because he had threatened to harm the girls’ reputations and demanded money from them.
  • In the case of Dhananjay Kumar Singh v State of Bihar, the Court decided that whereas a thief’s goal in theft is always to take goods or jewels without the owner’s consent, in extortion, the owner must be terrified into providing his assent in order for the consent to be obtained.

Criminal Intimidation:

  • In the case of Doraswamy Iyer v King-Emperor, according to the Madras High Court, a threat must be credible in order to be carried out or to hurt the victim. It was noted that Section 503 of the IPC would not consider the danger of divine punishment.
  • In the case of Vasant Waman Pradhan v Dattatraya Vithal Salvi, according to the Bombay High Court, the fundamental element of criminal intimidation is mens rea. Mens rea is the term for sincere intent to do anything. The circumstances and facts surrounding the incident must be taken into consideration when determining the intention.

The nature of the offense is the primary distinction between extortion and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code according to various experts from RJS Coaching in Jaipur. While extortion is the act of gaining property or money by compulsion or threats, criminal intimidation concentrates on instilling dread or uncertainty in the victim.

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