OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE
Contents of Article
All crimes are treated as offences against the State, or government, insofar as these acts/actions disturb the public tranquility, national integration and public order. But there are some criminal activities that are directed against the existence of the state itself viz. treason, sedition and rebellion.
Thus cases reported under sections 121, 121A, 122, 123, 124A, 153A and 153B of Indian Penal Code (IPC) have been categorized as ‘Offences against the State. As these offences are detrimental to State security and it disturb tranquility in the society and prejudicial to national integration.
The Purpose of these codes is to ensure safety. The existence of the state can be safeguarded by giving strict punishments like Life imprisonment and Death penalty when someone goes or wages a war against the state.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS RELATED TO OFFENCES AGAISNT THE STATE ARE AS FOLLOWS:
WAGING WAR/ ATTEMPTING
Section 121 deals with 3 aspects viz. Abetment, attempt and actual war. The section is unique in itself as it places all the three aspects at par as regards the punishment. Under the general law a distinction has been made between abetment which has succeeded and abetment which has failed.
The phrase ‘waging war’ must be understood in the general sense and can only mean waging war in the manner usual in war. It doesn’t include overt acts like collection of men, arms and ammunition. Also, in the international sense, the inter-country war involving military operations between two or more countries is not included under this type of war.
Section 121 has clearly stated that the term “WAR” here doesn’t actually means the warfare but the one who joins such war and organizes it has taken a step against the government and is liable for the necessary punishment.
IMPORTANT FACTORS OF WAGING THE WAR:
Intention is considered as one of the most important factors which is to be taken into consideration when someone wages a war and murder and force are the secondary factors which are irrelevant.
Both the offences are cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable. Theses offences can be tried in a Court of Session.
Section 124 A of IPC deals with sedition. This offence means that the intention is to bring hatred or contempt or excite disaffection (including disloyalty and a feeling of enmity) against the Government of India.
For instance, in Najot Sandhu’s case, the appellant was a part of the criminal conspiracy and was deemed to have abetted the offence. He took an active part in a series of steps taken for the purpose of the conspiracy. Therefore, the judgment given by the High Court was upheld and the appellant was convicted under Section 121 of IPC.
ABETTING WAGING OF WAR AGAINST GOVERNMENT:
WAGING, OR ATTEMPTING TO WAGE A WAR, OR ABETTING WAGING OF WAR AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA:
Whoever wages a war against the government of India, or attempts to wage such a war, or abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable for fine.
A joins an insurrection against the government of India. A has committed the offense define in this section
CONSPIRACY TO WAGE WAR:
Section 121A was added to IPC in 1870. It states that it is not necessary for any act or illegal omission to take place explicitly in order to constitute a conspiracy.
This section deals with two types of conspiracies:
- Conspiring to commit an offence punishable under Section 121 of the Code, within or without India.
- Conspiring to overawe, that is, intimidated by means of criminal force or a mere show of criminal force against the Government.
PREPARATION TO WAGE WAR:
Section 122 of the IPC deals with the preparation of war. There is a difference between an attempt and preparation for committing the offence.
The essentials of this Section are:
- There must be an intention to wage war or make preparations to wage war for such collection.
- The accused must participate in such collection.
- The war must be waged against the Government of India.
CONCEALMENT TO DESIGN WAGE WAR:
Section 123 of the IPC deals with the concealment of design to wage war.
The essentials of this Section are:
- There must be an existence of a design which is prepared to wage war against the Government of India.
- The concealment should be done with the intention of facilitating the war against the Government of India.
- The person should know about the concealment of the design.
ASSAULT ON HIGH OFFICIALS:
Section 124 of the IPC deals with the assault on high officials, that is, the President, Governor, etc. Such assault should be done with the intention of inducing or compelling the high officials to exercise or refrain from exercising their lawful powers.
The ingredients of this Section are:
- The accused should have assaulted the President or the Governor of any State; or
- The accused should have wrongfully restrained the President or the Governor; or
- The accused attempted to assault or wrongfully restrain the President or the Governor; or
- The accused attempts to instigate or influence the President or the Governor with force or show of force with an intention to compel them from exercising or refraining from exercising their powers.
Alok Aggarwal vs. Union of India 1993 SCC (Cri) 961 (Abetment).
The main issue was – Whether the Court has Jurisdiction to try an offence which occurred in a foreign territory?
And, The Judgment of the case was-
Criminal conspiracy is an offence wherein all the individuals are running under the same banner. Even if a person steps out of the banner but continues to perform acts in furtherance of the same, he is not said to be outside the banner. An offence cannot be said to have happened outside the country just because the he was an NRI and was not present at the place of offence.
If the act of forging, cheating or other acts in the conspiracy have been carried out in Chandigarh then the offence also falls within the territory of India. Thus the courts have jurisdiction to try the same and are empowered to try the offence. Hence, the appeal was dismissed.