Critical Analysis of term Abetment
Authored by Neha bisht
Keywords: Abetment, Instigation, Aid, Offence, Punishment.
This paper deals with abetment which is in chapter 7 of the Indian Penal Code. It talks about the various sections dealing with abetment and its punishments. The ingredients which are necessary to constitute abetment. The intention of the person abetted and the abettor to be considered or not.
Abet means to support, encourage or aid an individual for committing an offence. When a crime is committed then there is the person who has committed that crime, while some people might be there just to aid that person. The degree of participation is very necessary to be known for deciding the punishment of a person. In these crimes, the wrongdoer is not directly part of the crime. Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code defines abetment of a thing.
Ingredients for abetment
Abetment is constituted in the following ways:
[i] By instigating a person to commit an offence; or
[ii] By engaging in a conspiracy to commit an offence; or
[iii] By intentionally aiding a person to commit an offence.
Ø Instigation: It means when a person incites another person to commit a wrongful act by counselling, encouraging, suggesting, commanding by means of any language either directly or indirectly. Only when a person actively suggests or support another to do the crime then only it will amount to instigation. Mere silent assent or verbal permission cannot be said to be instigation. It is not necessary for the instigator to have a guilty intention.
· Willful misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact: Explanation in this section says that where a person has the duty to disclose a fact or he willfully misrepresents a fact then it will amount to instigation.
Ø Conspiracy: When two or more persons agree to commit an illegal act or a legal act by illegal means and prepare for the same then it is called conspiracy.
Ø Aid: When a person intentionally aids the doing of that thing either by any act or illegal omission, it is said to be abetment by aid. For a person to be guilty of aiding it is necessary for the crime to take place and the person has the intention to aid the commission of an offence. The mere presence of the person while the commission of the crime and knowledge that crime is about to be committed also does not mean that he would be guilty of abetment by aid.
Section 108 of the Indian Penal Code defines abettor as a person who abets a crime, who abets either the commission of a crime, or either the commission of an act which would be an offence if committed by a person capable by law with the same intention or knowledge as that of the abettor.
Ø Explanation 1 says that if a public servant fails in performing his legal duty attracting a punishment for the same and a private person instigates him then he abets the offence of which the public servant is guilty, although the abettor, being a private person, could not himself have been guilty of the offence.
Ø Explanation 2 says that it is not necessary for the act to be committed or the expected result to follow but what is important is the intention of the abettor.
Ø Explanation 3 says that it is not necessary that the person abetted should have any guilty intention or knowledge at all or capably by the law of committing an offence. The intention of the abettor is what should be considered.
Ø Explanation 4 says that the abetment of an offence being an offence, the abetment of such abetment is also an offence.
Ø Explanation 5 says that in abetment by conspiracy, it is not necessary that everybody should know all the details but what is necessary is that he engages in a conspiracy in pursuance of which the offence is committed then he would be liable.
Ø Section 109 of the Indian Penal Code says that the abettor will be liable to form the same punishment as the principal offender in the case where-
[i] the crime was committed due to the abetment
[ii] there is no special provision for punishment of such an abetment
The abettor cannot be acquitted even if the principal offender was acquitted due to lack of proof and the same was said in the case of Pyare Lal v State of U.P.
Ø Section 110 says that in a case where the intention of the person who commits the crime is different from the abettor still, the abettor will be punished with the punishment provided for the offence abetted.
Ø Section 111 says that when the person commits a different crime from which was abetted, the abettor would be liable only if –
[i] the act done was a probable consequence of the abetment
[ii] the act was committed by instigation, aid or conspiracy
Ø Section 112 says that the abettor shall be liable for the offence committed along with the offence abetted.
Ø Section 113 is read together with Section 111 wherein Section 111, the liability is the probability of the consequence in this section it is the knowledge of the likelihood of the effect produced. It deals with when the same act as abetted is committed but the effect is different.
Ø Section 114 says that the abettor if present at the time of the commission of crime though he does not actually commit the crime would be treated as if he committed the crime. In case he is not actually present at the time then he would be liable to be punished as an abettor only.
Ø Section 115 talks about abetment of such offences which are either not committed at all, or not committed in pursuance of the abetment or not completely committed. This section is attracted in cases of abetment where punishment is death or imprisonment for life and no express provision is there for the punishment of such abetment.
Ø Section 116 talks about abetment of offences with the punishment of imprisonment are not committed and no express provision is there for the punishment of such abetment.
When a crime is committed then not only the person who commits the crime is punished but also the person who abets him to commit it by instigation, aid or conspiracy. It is necessary to find out whether the wrongdoer has committed the offence on his own or does he fall under the provisions of abetment.
 A.I.R. 1987 S.C. 852