Question: Define Criminal Conspiracy. What are its ingredients? [M.P.C.J. 2009, U.P.CJ. 1997] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Define Criminal Conspiracy. What are its ingredients?] Answer Section 120A of IPC provides a definition of criminal conspiracy as: When two or more persons agree to do or cause to be done,— (1) an illegal… Read More »

Question: Define Criminal Conspiracy. What are its ingredients? [M.P.C.J. 2009, U.P.CJ. 1997] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Define Criminal Conspiracy. What are its ingredients?] Answer Section 120A of IPC provides a definition of criminal conspiracy as: When two or more persons agree to do or cause to be done,— (1) an illegal act, or (2) an act which is not illegal by illegal means, such an agreement is designated a criminal conspiracy: Provided that...

Question: Define Criminal Conspiracy. What are its ingredients? [M.P.C.J. 2009, U.P.CJ. 1997]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Define Criminal Conspiracy. What are its ingredients?]

Answer

Section 120A of IPC provides a definition of criminal conspiracy as:

When two or more persons agree to do or cause to be done,—

(1) an illegal act, or

(2) an act which is not illegal by illegal means, such an agreement is designated a criminal conspiracy:

Provided that no agreement except an agreement to commit an offence shall amount to a criminal conspiracy unless some act besides the agreement is done by one or more parties to such agreement in pursuance thereof.

Explanation to section 120A: It is immaterial whether the illegal act is the ultimate object of such agreement, or is merely incidental to that object.

The main ingredients of section 120A, IPC, are:

(1) There should be two or more persons.

(2) There should be an agreement between themselves.

(3) The agreement must be to do or cause to be done:

  1. an illegal act ; or
  2. a legal act by illegal means.

The proviso to the section amplifies the scope of the liability as follows:

(1) In the case of a conspiracy to commit an offence, the mere agreement is sufficient to impose liability without the requirement that some overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy should have been committed.

(2) However, in the case of a conspiracy to do a legal act by illegal means, there ought to be some overt act that should have been committed by one or more parties to the agreement, apart from the agreement itself.

In Mohd Khalid v. State of West Bengal [(2002) 7 SCC 334] and Devender Pal Singh v. State (NCT of Delhi) [AIR 2002 SC 1661 ] the Supreme Court of India, after referring to the law relating to conspiracy in the USA and the UK, summarised the broad essentials of criminal conspiracy in India thus:

  1. an object to be accomplished;
  2. a plan or scheme embodying means to accomplish that object;
  3. an agreement or understanding between two or more of the accused persons whereby they become definitely committed to co-operating for the accomplishment of the object by the means embodied in the agreement, or by any effectual means, and;
  4. an overt act, in pursuance of the agreement, in case of a non-offence act.

Thus, it is to note that the law of criminal conspiracy, as outlined in the IPC, takes the following two forms. They are:

  1. where an overt act is not necessary and an agreement per se is made punishable; and
  2. where overact is necessary.

In the former, a mere agreement to commit an offence (without proof of any overt act in pursuance thereof) amounts to criminal conspiracy. In the latter form, a mere agreement to do or cause to be done an illegal act (other than an offence) or a legal act by illegal means does not amount to a criminal conspiracy unless a party to the agreement commits some overt act in pursuance of the agreement.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. IPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. IPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. IPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. IPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. IPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
Updated On 2021-07-11T08:42:24+05:30
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