Abetment under IPC
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This article is written by Hema Modi, a second year student of Pravin Gandhi College of Law, Mumbai. It provides an in depth knowledge and critical evaluation of abetment in the Indian Penal Code covered under Section 107 to 120, along with landmark judgements in relation to it.

Table of Contents


To understand ‘Abetment’, we must first understand the meaning of the term “abet”. The literal meaning of the term ‘abet’ is ‘to encourage or assist someone to do something wrong, especially in committing a crime’.

Section 107 of Indian Penal Code defines abetment as: 

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“A person is said to abet the doing of a thing, who: 

  1. Instigates any person to do that thing,
  2. Engages with one or more other person or persons in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing,
  3. Intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing.

Explanation: if any person provokes, allures, persuade, threatens, conspires, commands or intentionally helps any person in doing an illegal act or those acts which are recognised as crime is said to abet that person.”

In the case of Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab, the Supreme Court has defined the meaning of the word ‘abet’ in its judgement.

Parties to a Crime

The parties to a crime are the defendants or accused culprits who have committed the crime. In law, different roles are played by different people in the commission of a crime. They are:

  1. Principal offender – the main perpetrator of an offence.
  2. Joint principals – the persons sharing the same actus reus, i.e., action to commit a crime.
  3. Innocent agent – the person who is unknowingly involved by the principal.
  4. Secondary parties – the person who acts as accessories or accomplishers to the crime.

In abetment, the person who had mens rea, but was not involved in actus reus is punishable. The offence of abetment depends upon the intention of the person who abets, and not upon the act which is actually done by the person whom he abets.

Law Relating to Abetment

Chapter V of the Indian Penal Code provides for the law which governs the liability of all those people who are considered to be the abettor in the commission of an offence.

Abetment and Abettor

The abettor, as defined under Section 108 of IPC, is the person who abets in the: 

  1. Commission of an offence.
  2. Commission of such an offence if done by a person not suffering from any mental or physical incapacity.

However, under this section, an abettor can escape from liability if there is an express withdrawal or revocation of the task given by him. Moreover, a person cannot be charged on the ground of having given evidence in support of any charge or crime.

In order to charge any person under abetment, it is not necessary that the act has to be committed. Even if the act is incomplete or interrupted, the offence of abetment is said to be committed.

Moreover, the offence of abetment depends upon the intention of the person and not upon the knowledge or intention of the person whom he has employed to act for him. 

Abetment of an act of abetment is also an offence under this section and hence is punishable. For example: if A abets B to abet Asst. Surgeon to make a false report of an autopsy. For this act, both A and B shall be held liable for abetment not depending upon the success of such an act.

Principle and Scope of the Provision

There are lots of crimes provided by the Indian Penal Code which are illegal and punishable in India. Some of the offences attract joint liability of two or more people and in some cases, there are persons who may not be directly involved in committing the offence but through other means like instigation, assistance and cooperation enable others to commit a crime. These persons are said to facilitate the offence. However, they are not free under the law. They are liable and guilty of facilitating the crime or an offence in the same manner as the person who committed that offence.

Chapter V of the Indian Penal Code covers the different ways in which such assistance or abetment can be provided so as to make those persons liable under criminal law. 

The definition of abetment as provided is general in nature as it contains the abetment of a ‘thing’ which consists of commission or non-commission of an offence also.

Important Element: Mens Rea

For proceeding against a person for the offence of abetment, the proving element of mens rea lies to the prosecution i.e., if the prosecution has to prove the intentions of the person to charge him/her for abetment. Negligence, carelessness or facilitation cannot punish the guilty as per this provision. The abettor has to ‘intentionally’ aid in the commission of the crime.

The mere proof that the crime charged could not have been committed without the involvement or the interposition of the abettor is not enough to charge the accused abettor. 

The main ingredients of abetment i.e., instigation or intentionally aiding any person to commit an illegal act, engaging with someone with the intention to do any illegal act must be proved for accusing any person.

This shows that mens rea i.e., intention to commit an act is an important element than actus reus to accuse the guilty.

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Abetment by Instigation

‘Instigation’ means to suggest or stimulate a person to do act by means of language, made directly or indirectly, in the form of express solicitation or encouragement or mere gesture indicating beating, etc. The fact of the case helps us to decide the element of instigation. However, a word uttered in a fit of anger or emotion, not intending the further consequences to follow, is not an ‘instigation’.

The element of intention plays an important role in determining whether a person is guilty or not. He must have intentionally done something which amounted to instigation for another to do an illegal act.

Advice per se does not necessarily amount to instigation. Advice amounts to instigation only if it was meant to actively suggest or stimulate the commission of an offence. 

A mere acquiescence or permission does not amount to be guilty of abetment by instigation. It implies the knowledge of the criminality of an act i.e., the abettor must have full knowledge of the act of which he is instigating. The words which were spoken and amounted to permission will depend on the position of the speaker and the occasion on which they are spoken to charge that person for abetment by instigation.

Also, mere presence on the scene as a silent passive spectator does not amount to abetment.

The only condition required to be fulfilled to prove any person to be guilty under this section is by the relevance to the thing that was done and not to the thing that was likely to have been done by the person.

Abetment by instigation is of two types. They are:

  1. Direct instigation – an act which is done on the direct command and active simulation of another person. 
  2. Instigation by letter – an act committed by instigation through posts or letters. The offence of instigation completes as soon as the addressee i.e., the person who is being abetted comes to know of such a thing.

Sanju v. State of M.P (2002) 

This case is one of the landmark cases of Abetment to suicide.

FACTS: there was a fight between the husband and wife. In the heated arguments, the husband told the wife to “go and die”. After two days, the wife committed suicide and there was a dying declaration of the deceased. 

JUDGEMENT: mere pronouncing of the phrase “go and die” does not amount to abetment in any form. The element of mens rea has to be present necessarily. Moreover, the suicide was committed two days after the quarrel and hence this shows that the suicide was not the direct result of the fight. Hence, this shows that the husband cannot be held liable for the suicide of his wife under the section of abetment.

Instigation in Dowry Death Cases

A person can be held liable under abetment for the cases of dowry death. According to the report of Indian National CrimeRecords Bureau, in every 90 minutes, there is a death of a woman due to dowry related matters. There are the following ways in which a person can be held liable for abetment.

  1. CASE 1: husband/any relative can be held liable as an abettor for instigating his wife to commit suicide.
  2. CASE 2: The relative of the husband/any person can be held liable for instigating her husband to kill her.

Case 1: Husband/any relative can be held liable as an abettor for instigating his wife to commit suicide

There are cases where the husband/any relatives either directly or indirectly i.e., either by expressed languages or by gestures for dowry or other related matter which instigates the woman to commit suicide.

Illustration 1: There was a woman named Sumana and her husband. Sumana’s husband was not able to repay his loan for a long time. In frustration, he brought poison and said: “consumed it and die”. In that emotional mood, Sumana consumed it and died. It was held that the husband was liable to commit an offence under this section of abetment.

Illustration 2: There was a woman who had a mother-in-law. She used to instigate her through her gestures (not by expressed words), to commit suicide for the dowry which was not up to her demand. Due to repeated cruel actions, the woman suffered mentally which led her to commit suicide. Here, mother-in-law is liable to abetment by instigation.

A similar situation arose in the case of Protima Dutta v. State of West Bengal, where any such gestures or conduct by her mother-in-law led to committing of suicide by the woman.

CASE 2: The relative of the husband/any person can be held liable for instigating her husband/any person to commit any offence against her

Another case where the relative of the husband or any person like the girlfriend, etc. can be held liable to be an abettor for instigating that husband to kill her wife. It happens when there is jealousy, selfishness, etc. 

Illustration: There was a husband who was living separately with another woman leaving his wife at her in laws place from where she was not allowed to go anywhere outside the house. Upon the instigation both by his girlfriend for second marriage and by his parents for the dowry money, he murdered his wife. Here, both his girlfriend and the family members of him were held liable under the abetment section for instigation.

Abetment by Conspiracy

Conspiracy consists of a combination and agreement by persons, to do some illegal act or effect a legal purpose by illegal means.  For constituting an act of abetment by conspiracy, there must be two or more people involved in the conspiracy and an illegal act must take place in pursuance of that conspiracy. It is not necessary that the one who conspires be engaged in the action to be carried out. It is sufficient if he/she engages in the conspiracy and have a common object to do that thing and the act committed is considered to be the action of all. 

NOTE: Abetment to conspiracy under the clause of Section 107 differs from conspiracy under Section 120A of Indian Penal Code. For an offence under this section, a mere combination of persons or agreement is not enough; an act or illegal omission must take place in pursuance of the conspiracy. On the other hand, under Section 120A, a mere agreement is enough if the agreement is to commit an offence.

Noor Mohammad Momin v. State of Maharashtra AIR 1971 SC 885

In this appealed case, Noor Mohammad Mohim is accused under section 109 of the Indian Penal Code for abetting other three accused for committing the murder of Mohd Nahya for the passage and the right to tap water. The question before the court was the accused i,e, Noor Mohammad Mohim shall not be liable under Section 109 of IPC. 

In this landmark case, the Supreme Court of India held that the ambit of Section 120A i.e., criminal conspiracy is wider than the section under abetment. It covers wider amplitude of illegal commission or omission of an act. Moreover, it was also held that the presence of abettor-accused is not always necessary for abetment by conspiracy in this case.

Abetment by Intentional Aiding

The third clause under Section 107 is abetment by intentional aiding to do an illegal act or omission of a legal act. In this, the abettor generally facilitates or helps in committing the crime. There is an intention to aid the offender and some act should be done in order to assist him/her.

The element of knowledge plays an important role in abetment by intentional aiding. Mere assistance to the offender without the knowledge of facilitation of committing crime is not abetment.

For better understanding, a person may be invited casually and for a friendly purpose, and if he unintentionally helps his aide to facilitate the commission of crime, it cannot be said that the person has abetted the murder or the crime. 

Here, ‘intentionally aids’ means the ‘active complicity’ in the commission of the act which is the most important ingredient of the abetment by intentional aiding.

Abetment in marriage

The clause ‘Intentionally Aids’ has a wide interpretation which covers the cruelty done to a married woman in committing suicide or other crime. 

In the case of Deena Lal v. State of Rajasthan, a procession followed widow to the funeral pyre of her husband to help her in committing sati. Since sati is abolished and its practise is punishable, the police party tried to stop her from committing that. But the procession barricaded them to restrain them from rescuing her. The people in the procession was held liable for abetting.

Abetment by Illegal Omission

‘Illegal omission’ is used in the definition of ‘abetment’ under Section 107. The clause 3 i.e., abetment by intentional aiding envisages an illegal omission like what has been done by the accused was not to be done by him under the law. For instance, a man cannot be held liable for abetment to suicide if he did not try to stop her wife from committing suicide when she threatened him about that. This is because not stopping her from doing the act is not an illegal omission. On the other hand, if a driver allowed a child to drive knowing that the child did not know driving, therefore will result in an accident and hence an illegal omission took place.

However, mere negligence does not lead to abetment. For example, an officer handed over the keys of the office to the security rather than the manager which was contrary to the rules of the office and the security was charged for stealing from the office. Here, the officer cannot be charged with the offence of abetment for illegal omission because he was not aware of the rules and his intention was not present for committing the offence.

Facilitating the Commission of a Crime

A person is said to be abetting when he/she facilitates another person by way of assistance or supply of materials or something else. For an example, a constable dragged a married girl who was of 19 years of age and her husband from their house and raped her. Another constable who kept watch on her husband outside the room shall be held for abetment because he facilitated the head constable to commit an offence of rape by restraining her husband from rescuing her. This was held in the case of Ram Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh.

Effect of Acquittal of Person Committing the Offence on Abettor

A special and exceptional case to the abetment by intentional aid is the acquittal of a person who was abetted for committing an offence which leads to the acquittal of an abettor. In simple words, this means that since in abetment by ‘intentional aid’, the most important ingredients to constitute such an offence are the intention to commit that offence and the further act in consequence of that intention. Therefore, if the principal offender(one who has committed the offence or crime) has been acquitted for the alleged crime, then the abettor cannot be held liable under Section 107 for abetment because if the perpetrator commits no crime, then the person who aids, apparently cannot be punished for that.

This principle was laid in the case of Jamuna Singh v. State of Bihar. In this case, the person who allegedly set the hut on fire was acquitted because of the non establishment of substantive evidence. Consequently, the Supreme court held that no person can ever be convicted for the abetment if the person allegedly responsible for the offence committed has been acquitted because the measure of guilt of abettors depends upon the nature of the act committed and the manner in which it was executed. 

When Substantive Offence is not Established

When the substantive offence is not established and the principal offender is acquitted, then the abettor cannot be held guilty. In simple words, when the substantive charge fails, the charge of abetment also fails. The liability of an abettor is coextensive with the principal offender. If there is abetment by instigation or abetment by conspiracy, then even though the act was committed or not, the abettor will be liable for abetment. But only in the case of abetment by intentional aid, if the act is not completed by the principal offender, the abettor cannot be held liable.

Scope and Ingredients of Section 108

Abetment of Illegal Omission is an Offence

According to explanation 1 of Section 108, the abetment of the illegal omission of an act may amount to an offence although the abettor may not himself be bound to do that act.

For example, if a public servant is guilty of an illegal omission of duty made punishable by the code, and a private person instigates him, then he abets the offence of which such public servant is guilty, though the abettor could not himself have been guilty of that offence.

Abetted Act Need not be Committed: Effect of Abetment is Immaterial

To constitute the offence of abetment, it is not necessary that the act abetted must be committed. The offence of abetment is complete notwithstanding that the person fails in doing the act or there is some interruption in the commission of that act. The offence of abetment by instigation depends upon the intention of the person who abets and not upon the act which is actually done by that person.

Person Abetted Need not be Capable of Committing an Offence

It is not necessary that the person abetted should be capable according to law of committing an offence, or that he should have the same guilty intention or knowledge as that of an abettor. 

Illustration: A with the guilty intention, abet a child or a lunatic who is incapable under law to commit an offence. Here, even though the act committed or not, will be held liable for abetment.

Abetment of an Abetment is an Offence

The abetment of an abetment of an offence is no more and not less than the abetment of that particular offence and hence it is also punishable. According to this clause, a person may make himself an abettor by the intervention of a third person, without any direct communication between himself and the person employed to do that thing. For example, A telephoned B and asked for two boys for immoral purposes. No particular boys were named or indicated. It was held that A was inciting B to help him or facilitate him with boys to do an illegal act. Hence both A and B will be liable here.

Abettor Need not Concert in Abetment by Conspiracy In the conspiracy 

It is not necessary for the commission of the offence of abetment by conspiracy that the abettor should concert or accord the offence with the person who commits it. It is sufficient if he engages in the conspiracy in pursuance of which the offence is committed.

A person who has been convicted of an offence as a principal offender cannot be punished for abetting it under this.

Liability of an Abettor

Section 111 of the Indian Penal Code provides for the liability of an abettor. According to this section, an abettor is liable for the acts done in the same manner and to the same extent as the principal offender shall be. The only exception is when the act done is the probable consequence of the abetment and was committed under the influence of the instigation, conspiracy or intentional aid.

The probable consequence of an act is one which is likely or which can be reasonably expected to follow from such abetment. Moreover, the proof of the probable consequence is very essential. If what abettor had said is not proven, then the abettor cannot be held guilty for the act done.

However, suppose A instigates B to resist by force a distress made by a public servant. B, in its consequence of resisting voluntarily causing grievous hurt to the public servant. Then, here A and B will be liable for punishment of both offences if A knew it was likely to be followed by B.

Further, if an act is done upon abetment which is different from the one abetted and the effect of that act is different, then the abettor will be held liable for that act in the same manner and to the same extent because the intention remains the same and the abettor was well aware of the probability of that act.

Effect of Acquittal of principal offender on abettor

It is not necessary that in every case, the principal offender is put up at the same trial and must be convicted of the offence charged before the abettor can be convicted of the abetment of that offence. Generally, it is true that there can be no conviction for abetment until the act has been committed. However, this proposition is not universal and absolute. There may be a case where the proof is insufficient for the conviction of the offender but sufficient for the conviction of abettor. Here, the court may acquit the offender on the basis of benefit of doubt and convict the abettor on the relevant evidence and the fact.

Overview of the Provisions of Sections 109 to 120, Indian Penal Code 1860 

Scope of Section 109

Section 109 lays down that if IPC has not separately provided for the punishment of abetment as such, then it is punishable with the punishment provided for the original offence. Since law does not provide any specific form or gesture to be followed for instigation, therefore the question whether there is instigation or not is to be decided upon by the facts of the case. For the second clause of abetment, there must be some act or illegal omission in pursuance to that conspiracy and under the scope of section 109, the act which comes under criminal conspiracy, makes the person guilty under section 120B and for cases other than criminal conspiracy, a person is charged with abetment which is generally proved offence. For the intention to aid, the act which is done shall be taken into consideration and accordingly punishment will be given to the offender as well as an abettor.

Distinction between Sections 34, 109 and 120B, Indian Penal Code 1860

According to Section 34 of the IPC, when a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of common intention of all, each of such person is liable for the act in the same way as if it were done by him alone.

According to Section 109 which provides for the punishment for the offence for which there is no express provision made and the act is in consequence of the abetment by conspiracy.

Section 120B of IPC provides for the criminal conspiracy consisting of two or more persons having the intention to commit the act which is illegal in nature.

There is a thin line of difference between the conspiracy as defined under Section 120 and common intention as defined under Section 34 of the IPC. Under Section 120, bare engagement and association to break the law is enough for the liability even though the act has been committed or not but under the Section 34, the commission of a criminal act in furtherance of common intention of all the offenders is necessary. This shows that the amplitude of substantive offence is wider in the case of criminal conspiracy than the abetment or incitement.

Moreover, Section 109 can also be attracted here, which says that for abetment by conspiracy, some act or illegal omission must take place to make a person guilty under this section.

However, when Section 120 and 109 are read together, it makes us clear that when the act abetted is committed in consequence of the abetment, the accused shall be punished with the punishment provided for the offence abetted.

For better understanding, if an accused is found guilty and convicted for the offence of murder, then the only punishment is imprisonment for life or death. So when it is read with Section 34 and sentenced to imprisonment for life, then there is no need to record the punishment under Section 120.

In a case of Sayed Mohd. V. State, the accused was charged under both Section 34 and Section 120, but on appeal, it was held that Section 120B, being, wider than Section 34, so if charges are framed under 120B, then charges under Section 34 becomes redundant.

Whether Different Sentence to Principal Offender and Abettor is Justified

A person who has been convicted of an offence as principal offender, cannot be punished for abetting it. This is because the one who has been abetted may be under the influence of the abettor or may be incapable because of the age, mental illness or incapacity and therefore if he/she commits that offence, the law cannot recognise them. Moreover, since the two most important element of commission of crime is mens rea and actus reus. Since the person abetted has no mens rea, he cannot be equally liable or guilty for the offence he/she has committed.

On the other hand, an abettor is one who is of sound mind and has requisite mens rea for the commission of that act. From his/her act of abetment, it can be concluded that he intentionally wanted that act to be committed, without directly getting involved in it. Although the second element i.e., actus reus is not fulfilled in such cases, yet they should be punished severely because abetment by instigation, conspiracy or intentional aid is the act which is done by the abettor which makes him guilty under criminal law. 

Moreover, a person who commits the actus reus of murder with malice aforethought, or who with the appropriate mens rea aids or assists another to do so, may have the defence of diminishing responsibility which might reduce his liability. But the principal who does an act of offence under provocation would be entitled to a heavier verdict than someone who aids or abets him without provocation.

Principle Underlying Section 110 and Scope of the Provision

Section 110 of IPC under Abetment deals with the punishment for abetment if the person abetted does an act which has different intention from that of an abettor. It provides that though the person abetted commits the offence with different intention or knowledge, yet the abettor will be punished with the punishment for the offence abetted. This shows that the liability of the person abetted is not affected by this section.

Moreover, this section is usually read with clause 3 of Section 108 which says that the incapability of the person under the law is no excuse for the abettor. It is not necessary that the person abetted should have the same guilty intention of that of an abettor.

The principle underlying this section is very clear that the abettor cannot escape the liability of punishment even though there is a different intention of the person abetted while doing that act.

Scope and Applicability of Principle of Probable Consequence

The Principle of Probable Consequence has been contemplated under Section 111 of Indian Penal Code which is the main part of this section. According to this section, when an act is abetted and a different act is done, the abettor is liable for the act done in the same manner and to the same extent as if he had directly abetted it. The only condition required here is the probable consequence of the abetment.

A probable consequence is one which is likely or reasonably expected to follow from such an act. The concept of probable consequence arises when the act abetted is different from the actus reus. In this case, the abettor will not be liable for the act he abetted but shall be liable for the act which has been committed by the principal offender knowing the probable consequence of his abetment. 

The proof of probable consequence is very important. For instance, an act abetted was of thrashing and the act committed was of stabbing, then since the act of stabbing is different from the act of thrashing, therefore, the proof must show that the act of stabbing was under the influence of the instigation, and there was a probable consequence of abetment by instigation to commit the act of thrashing.

Principle Underlying Section 112

Section 112 is an extension of Section 111 of Indian Penal Code. According to Section 111, if the act committed is different from the act abetted but it is a probable consequence of abetment and is done under the influence of instigation or aid or pursuance of an abettor, the abettor is liable or guilty to be punished in the same manner as the act done. 

Further Section 112 explains that if the act abetted is done along with another act which is the probable consequence of abetment, then the abettor is liable to be punished for each of the offences.

The principle underlying both the sections is that every man is presumed to have the intention of the natural consequences of his/her own act and hence should be punishable for the act.

Principle Underlying Section 113

According to Section 113, if the effect caused by the act abetted is different from the effect intended by the abettor. But if the effect caused was known to the abettor, the abettor is liable for the effect caused, provided that he/she knew that the act abetted was likely to cause that effect.

The only difference between Section 111 and Section 113 is that in Section 111, the act abetted was different from the act committed and in Section 113, the act abetted was same as the act committed but its effect was different.

Scope of Section 114

Section 114 deals with the case, where there has been a crime of abetment and the actual commission of the crime in the presence of abettor. Under this section, it becomes necessary for the prosecution to prove abetment and the presence of the abettor at the time the act abetted was committed. However, the mere presence of a person will not render him liable for the offence committed. He must be sufficiently near to give assistance, and there must be a participation in the act. Here, the abetment has to be complete although the abettor’s presence at that place. 

This section, in English Law, is called as ‘principals in the second degree’. For instance, a blow is struck by A, in the presence of, and order of, B, here, both are principals and liable for the offence.

Active abetment at the time of committing the offence is covered by Section 109, and Section 114 is intended for an abetment prior to the actual commission of the crime any time before the first steps have been taken to commit it.

Quantum of Punishment: Distinction between Sections 115 and 116, Indian Penal Code 1860

Section 115 provides for the punishment of abetment for the offence which is punishable with death or imprisonment for life:

OFFENCE UNDER Section 115  


Offence not committed in consequence of abetment

7 years + fine

Offence committed in consequence of abetment

14 years + fine

Section 116 provides for the punishment of abetment for the offence which is punishable with imprisonment for life:



Offence is not committed in consequence of abetment

One-fourth of offence/ fine/ both

Offence is committed by public servant

Half of offence/ fine/ both

Comparison of Provisions in Sections 115 and 116

The provision of Section 115 punishes the abetment of certain offences which are either not committed at all, or not committed in consequence of abetment, or only in part committed. It is applied only when the abetment is not punishable under any provision.

Whereas Section 116 provides for the abetment of an offence punishable with imprisonment because there is no provision relating to abetment of an offence punishable with fine only. An essential ingredient of an offence under Section 116 is that there should be no express provision in the Penal Code to punish such abetment.

Punishment for Concealing Designs or Plans to Commit Offences 

Penalties Provided in Sections 118, 119 and 120, Indian Penal Code 1860

According to Section 118, any person who intentionally facilitates or has sufficient knowledge that he/she will thereby facilitate the commission of an offence shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life. This section also covers that if any person voluntarily conceals by any act or omission or by any other hiding tool, the nature or the process by which the act will be committed, then he/she shall be liable under this section. If the act which is concealed, if committed shall be punished with imprisonment for seven years or fine and if the act if, not committed, shall be punished for three years or fine.

According to Section 119 lays emphasis on the guilty of a public servant for committing abetment. If a public servant intentionally facilitates or has sufficient knowledge that he/she will thereby facilitate the commission of an offence, which is his duty to prevent, shall be liable under this section. If the act is committed, then the public servant shall be punished with one half of the longest term of such imprisonment or with fine or both. If the act is not committed, then the public servant shall be punished with one-fourth of the longest term of such imprisonment or with fine or both.

According to Section 120, if  any person who intentionally facilitates or has sufficient knowledge that he/she will thereby facilitate the commission of an offence which has punishment of imprisonment and he/she voluntarily conceals or makes false representation, then if the act is committed, shall be liable for one fourth of the longest term of punishment or fine or both and if the offence is not committed, then he/she shall be liable for one-eighth of the longest term of punishment or with fine or with both.


Abetment as a provision has been sufficient both from the view of the offence as well as the penalty for the offenders of abetment. However, with the development of technology and looking at the current scenario, the legislation of India has tried to bring the required changes in this provision. Through the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008, the section has been amended so as to give a wider meaning to the act and omission by the use of encryption or any electronic method. 

Therefore, we can say that abetment as an offence is a just and fair law which enhances the principles of natural justice in the legal system.

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