A asked to B to help him in committing the murder of C. B agrees but nothing is subsequently done in pursuance of such an agreement. Can A and B be charged with the offence of conspiracy?

By | July 19, 2021
IPC Mains Questions Series Part

Question: A asked B to help him in committing the murder of C. B agrees but nothing is subsequently done in pursuance of such an agreement. Can A and B be charged with the offence of conspiracy? [H.R.J.S. 2003]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A asked to B to help him in committing the murder of C. B agrees but nothing is subsequently done in pursuance of such an agreement. Can A and B be charged with the offence of conspiracy?]

Answer

Section 120A of the Indian Penal Code has defined “Criminal Conspiracy” as: “When two or more persons agree to do or cause to be done:

(i) an illegal act,

(ii) 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: It is immaterial whether the illegal act is the ultimate object of such agreement or is merely incidental to that object.” So the essence of the offence of conspiracy is the fact of combination by agreement. The agreement may be expressed or implied. The conspiracy arises and the offence is committed as soon as the agreement is made. The actus reus in a conspiracy is the agreement to execute the illegal conduct not the execution of it.

Following are the ingredients of the offence of conspiracy:

(1) There must be an agreement between two or more persons who are alleged to conspire.

(2) The agreement should be to do, or cause to be done:

  1. an illegal act
  2. an act that is though not illegal by illegal means.

In view of the proviso, the distinction is drawn between an agreement to commit an offence and an agreement of which either object or means employed are illegal but does not constitute the offence. In case of an agreement to commit an offence mere Agreement is sufficient. But in case of an agreement to do an act that would not amount to an offence, some overt act besides the agreement must be proved to establish the charge of criminal conspiracy.

Therefore in the problem asked above, A and B reached an agreement to commit the murder of C, which is an offence, so in this case, it is sufficient to prove that A and B made an agreement to commit the offence of murder of C, even though no overt act was subsequently done by either A or B. Offence of criminal conspiracy is committed.


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