Stages of Crime under Indian Penal Code

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Stages of Crime under Indian Penal Code :- Our Legal World          


In general words crime is a “don’t conduct prescribed by state for living peacefully in the civilised society. The word crime is define by many jurist.

An act committed or omitted in violation of Public Law forbidding or commanding.   -Blackstone
A wrong, which is pursued, by the sovereign or his subordinates is a crime. A wrong which is pursued at the discretion of the injured party and his representative is a civil injury”. Austin
Essential of Crimes

1. The must be a person to commit the crime.

2. Guilty mind of Person

3. Act must be in furtherance of guilty intention (Actus Reus)

4. Resultant consequence of the illegal act cause an injury.

5. Object against whom act is committed

Mens Rea

The most essential element of a crime is mens rea or guilty mind. There can be no crime without an evil intention. The basic requirement of the principle mens rea is that the accused must have been aware of those elements in his at which make the crime with which he is charged.

Actus Reus

It is an illegal act or omission committed by a human being in pursuance of a guilty mind.

There is a well-known maxim in this regard, i.e. “Actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea” which means that, the guilty intention and guilty act together constitute a crime.

Also Read: Joint Liability- Section of 34 IPC


An act to be called as crime there must be an illegal injury done to person. The injury can be caused to a person in body, mind or to reputation.

Stages of Crime 

1. Intention 

The Intention is the first stage of any offense and is known as the mental or psysho stage. In this stage, the offender decides the motive and decides his course or direction towards the offense. 

2. Preparation 

Preparation is the second stage amongst the stages of crime. It means to arrange the necessary resources for the execution  of the International criminal act. Intention and preparation alone are not enough to constitute a crime. Preparation is not punishable because in many cases the prosecution fails to prove that the preparations in the question are for the execution of the particular crime. 

3. Attempt 

An attempt is a direct movement towards the execution of a crime after the preparation of the plan. This state talk about the next step towards the commission of a crime. Sir James Stephen and Prof. John F.. Kennedy have termed it as “inchoate crime”.

“The word attempt clearly conveys with it the idea that if the attempt had succeeded, the offence charged would have been committed.”– Chief Justice Cockburn

Attempt Under the Penal Code

Attempt is not defined under IPC but IPC has dealt with attempt in four different ways:

1. The Commission of an offence and the attempt to commit it are dealt with in the same section:

a) Offences against the State, such as waging war or attempting to wage war against Govt of India. (Section. 121)

b) Assaulting or attempting to assault the President of India, Governors of States etc., with intent to counsel or restrain the exercise of any lawful power (Section 124).

c) Sedition (Section 124 A), waging or attempting to wage war against any Asiatic Power in alliance with the Got (Section 125), Public servant taking gratification (Section 161), Dacoity (Section 391). Etc.

. Attempts to Commit offences and Commission of specific offences have been dealt with separately and separate punishment have been provided for attempt to commit such offences from those of the offences committed.

For ex:

Attempt to commit murder, attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and attempt to commit robbery have been dealt with in section 307, 308 and 393 IPC .

Whereas Murder, Culpable homicide and robbery are punishable under sections 302, 304 and 392 of IPC.

Attempt to Commit Suicide is made punishable under section 309

Distinction between Preparation & Attempt

  • Proximity Rule
  • Doctrine of Locus Paenitentiae(Time for repentance)
  • Impossibility Test
  • Social Danger Test
  • Equivocality Test

Also Read: Difference between Culpable homicide Section 299 and Murder 300


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