According to Section 378 of the Indian Penal Code, Theft is defined as whoever, intending to take dishonestly any movable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, moves that property in order to such taking is said to commit theft. There are five explanations to this definition as stated in IPC. They are –
A thing so long as is attached to the earth, not being movable property, is not the subject of theft; but is capable of theft as soon as it is severed from the Earth.
A moving effected by the same act which affects the severance may be a theft.
A person is said to cause a thing to move by removing an obstacle which prevented it from moving or by separating it from any other things, as well as by actually moving it.
A person who by any means cause an animal to move is said to move that animal, and to move everything which, in consequence of the motion so caused, is move by the animal.
The consent mentioned in the definition may be express or implied and may be either given by the person in possession or by a person having for that purpose authority either express or implied.
Hence theft can be defined as the dishonest removal of movable property out of the possession of any person without his consent.
INGREDIENTS FOR THEFT
Section 379 of the IPC talks about the necessary ingredients for theft. They include –
Dishonest intention to take property.
The property must be movable.
The property should be taken out of the possession of another person.
The property should be taken without the consent of that person.
There must be some moving of the property to accomplish its taking.
PUNISHMENT FOR THEFT
Section 379 of the IPC establishes the punishment for theft as imprisonment up to 3 years or fine or both. Other succeeding provisions contain more severe punishment for theft under extreme circumstances. Section 380 of the IPC punishes the commission of theft in a building or vessel used for dwelling or residence. The main object for this provision is to provide greater security to properties in dwelling premises. The punishment includes imprisonment up to 7 years.
ROBBERY – Section 390 of the IPC states that there is a theft in every robbery. Robbery can be rightly said as an aggravated form of theft. Robbery generally takes place when wile committing theft, the offender either attempts to actually cause fear of instant death, hurt or wrongful restraint to any person. Thus, theft becomes robbery when a person committing theft does any of the above acts.
DACOITY – Dacoity is the aggravated form of robbery which in turn is an aggravated form of theft. It is said to take place when robbery is committed by five or more people and they all share common intention.
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