Indian Penal Code: Theft

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Snatching and the law in Delhi; snatching incidents, 2012-15; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, October 20, 2015

This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.

Sections 379A and 379B of the Indian Penal Code; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Oct 19 2015


Chapter XVII of the Indian Penal Code,1860

Offences Against Property

The relevant Sections of the IPC are

Section 378


Section 379

Punishment for theft

Section 380

Theft in dwelling house, etc.

Section 381

Theft by clerk or servant of property in possession of master

Section 382

Theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to the committing of the theft

Section 383


Section 384

Punishment for extortion

Section 385

Putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion

Section 386

Extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt

Section 387

Putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion

Section 388

Extortion by threat of accusation of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, etc.

Section 389

Putting person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion

Section 390


Section 391


Section 392

Punishment for robbery

Section 393

Attempt to commit robbery

Section 394

Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery

Section 395

Punishment for dacoity

Section 396

Dacoity with murder

Section 397

Robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt

Section 398

Attempt to commit robbery or dacoity when armed with deadly weapon

Section 399

Making preparation to commit dacoity

Section 400

Punishment for belonging to gang of dacoits

Section 401

Punishment for belonging to gang of thieves

Section 402

Assembling for purpose of committing dacoity

Section 403

Dishonest misappropriation of property

Section 404

Dishonest misappropriation of property possessed by deceased person at the time of his death

Section 405

Criminal breach of trust

Section 406

Punishment for criminal breach of trust

Section 407

Criminal breach of trust by carrier, etc.

Section 408

Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant

Section 409

Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent

Section 410

Stolen Property

Section 411

Dishonestly receiving stolen property

Section 412

Dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity

Section 413

Habitually dealing in stolen property

Section 414

Assisting in concealment of stolen property

Section 379- Punishment for theft

Whoever commits theft shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both

Snatching: making it a non-bailable crime, with 10 years' RI

Haryana adds clauses 379A and 379B (snatching)

The Times of India, Oct 19 2015

Manvir Saini

10 yrs' RI for snatchers in Haryana

State Adds Two New Clauses to IPC section, makes snatching a non-bailable offence

Haryana has become the first Indian state to make snatching a crime that is punishable by a maximum of 10 years' rigorous imprisonment.

The state has got the President's approval to add two new clauses to Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code to strengthen the existing law.The new clauses have come into force from October 9.

By adding clauses 379A and 379B, the state government has officially defined snatching as a non-bailable crime. Trial in snatching such cases now be conducted in sessions courts, instead of judicial magistrate courts.

Section 379 of the IPC (theft) carries a maximum punishment of three years, or a fine, or both. According to 379A (snatching), a convict will be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term that is not less than five years but which may extend to 10 years, along with a fine of Rs 25,000. Section 379B (snatching and use of force) allows a convict to be punished with rigorous imprisonment not less than 10 years, which may extend to 14 years, with a fine of Rs 25,000.

There has been a rise in number of chain and pursesnatching cases in all main cities of Haryana, including Gurgaon and Faridabad.There have been cases where victims have been injured by criminals but police were not able to add harsher sections.Even sections related to robbery could not be added as it requires the presence of mo re than two criminals.

Till June 2015, 134 cases of snatching were repor ted from Gurgaon. Around 50% of cases, according to sources, have not been solved. The Haryana assembly had cleared the bill amending the law in July last year and was sent to the President for approval.

2001-17: Haryana more successful than, say, Delhi

Snatching cases in Delhi, 2001-17- and Haryana’s model; The Times of India, September 24, 2017

See graphic:

Snatching cases in Delhi, 2001-17: and Haryana’s model

Delhi wants Haryana-type law

Sidharth Bhardwaj, Snatching under MCOCA, cops create database to widen net, July 8, 2018: The Times of India

Officers Still Want Separate Law That Makes It A More Serious Offence

To check the increasing incidents of snatching in the capital, Delhi Police has created a new database of men who runs gangs involved in this crime and are booking them under MCOCA, the law enacted by Maharashtra to deal with organised crime.

Last year, Delhi police commissioner Amulya Patnaik had directed the creation of the database of members of organised snatching gangs who were nabbed but out on bail. DCP northeast Atul Kumar Thakur said the list had been created and was being expanded.

Sections 3 and 4 of MCOCA were recently invoked against Rashid Khan, 33, aka Shibu, by the Khajuri Khas police station in northeast Delhi, while Rinku, 35, alias Chholan, was similarly booked by Gokulpuri police station in the same district. Investigating officers said the pair ticked all the provisions required to be charged under the stringent Act with both being gang leaders actively involved in snatching, robberies and heinous crimes.

Khan, who came to Delhi in 2000 and began as a cycle mechanic, is so far involved in more than 25 cases ranging from snatching to attempt to murder. After initially working with local criminals active in northeast Delhi and the adjoining areas of Uttar Pradesh, Khan, a father of six, formed his own gang with his six brothers. Cops said the gang is bigger now. Investigations have unearthed the fact that Khan has as many as eight properties in Loni, including flats in housing complexes. Police suspect the gang of also running an extortion racket, targeting builders in particular.

Rinku is reported to be involved in more than 30 crimes across Delhi-NCR, including two murders and several cases of snatching and armed robberies. The investigators discovered that he now owns at least five properties. He is believed to have recently joined forces with another active Trans-Yamuna gangster to form an organised syndicate.

TOI has highlighted in earlier reports how the current legal provisions for easy bail thwart police from cracking down on snatchers. Delhi Police currently books snatchers under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code for theft and Section 356 for assault or criminal force during theft.

Despite the creation of the database and the invocation of MCOCA, the cops in the capital continue to maintain that a better alternative is a new law — like the Sub-Sections A and B that Haryana has incorporated in the Section 379 of IPC dealing with punishment for theft — that makes snatching a more serious offence.

In 2014, Haryana made the criminal act a non-bailable offence punishable by up to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. The law in Haryana now specifically defines a snatcher as “whoever with the intention to commit theft suddenly or quickly or forcibly seizes or secures or grabs or takes away from any person or from his possession any moveable property and makes attempts to escape with such property”.

See also

Delhi: Crime

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