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Report No. 42

Chapter ' II

General Explanations

6. Substitution of new Chapter for Chapter II.-

For Chapter II of the Code, the following Chapter shall be substituted, namely.-

5. General Clauses Act to apply for interpretation.- The General Clauses Act, 1897, shall apply for the interpretation of this Code as it applies for the interpretation of an Act of Parliament.

6. Sense of expression once explained.- Every expression which is explained in any part of this Code is used in every part of this Code in conformity with the explanation.

7. Definitions.- In this Code, unless the context otherwise requires.-

(a) 'animal' means any living creature other than a human being;

(b) 'capital offence' means an offence for which death is the only punishment, or one of the punishments, provided by law;

(c) 'court of justice' means a judge or body of judges when acting judicially;

(d) 'death' means the death of a human being;

(e) 'election' means an election by whatever means held under any law for the purpose of choosing members of any legislature, local authority or other public authority;

(f) 'harbouring' means giving shelter to a person, and includes supplying a person with food, drink, money, clothes, arms, ammunition or means of conveyance, or assisting a person in any manner to evade apprehension;

(g) 'India' means the territory of India, including the territorial waters of India, but excluding the State of Jammu and Kashmir;

(h) 'injury' means any harm illegally caused to a person in body, mind, reputation or property;

(i) 'judge' means any person who is empowered by law to give, in any legal proceeding, civil or criminal, a definitive judgment, or a judgment which, if not appealed against, would be definitive, or a judgment which, if confirmed by some other authority, would be definitive, or who is one of a body of persons which is empowered by law to give such a judgment, and includes a magistrate;

(j) 'life' means the life of a human being;

(k) local law' means a law applicable to a particular part of India; (1) 'man' means a male human being of any age;

(m) 'public' includes any class of the public or any community;

(n) 'public servant' means,

(i) any person who is a member of Parliament or of a State Legislature.-

(ii) any person in the service or pay of the Government, or remunerated by the Government by fees or commission for the performance of any public duty;

(iii) any person who is a member, or is in the service or pay, of a local authority;

(iv) any person in the service or pay of a corporation established by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act or of a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956;

(v) any judge, including any person empowered by law to discharge, whether by himself or as a member of a body of persons, any adjudicatory functions; any person specially authorised by a court of Justice to perform any duty in connection with the administration of justice, including a liquidator, receiver or commissioner appointed by such court;

(vii) any arbitrator or other person to whom any cause or matter has been referred for decision or report by a court of justice or by a competent public authority;

(viii) any person who holds an office in virtue of which he is empowered to prepare, publish, maintain or revise an electoral roll or to conduct an election or part of an election; or

(ix) any person who holds an office in virtue of which he is authorised or required by law to perform any public duty;

Explanation.- A person falling under any of the above clauses by virtue of any office or situation he is actually holding is a public servant, whatever legal defect there may be in his right to hold that office or situation;

(o) 'special law' means a law applicable to a particular subject;

(p) 'valuable security' means a document which is, or purports to be document whereby any legal right is created, extended, transferred, restricted, extinguished or releases, or whereby any persons acknowledges that he lies under legal liability, or has not a certain legal right;

(q) 'woman' means a female human being of any age.

8. "Counterfeit".- (1) A person is said to 'counterfeit' who causes one thing to resemble another thing, intending by means of that resemblance to practise deception, or knowing it to be likely that deception will thereby be practised. It is not essential to counterfeiting that the resemblance should be exact.

(2) When a person causes one thing to resemble another thing, and the resemblance is such that a person might be deceived thereby, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that the person causing the resemblance intended thereby to practise deception or knew it to be likely that deception would thereby be practised.

9. "Document".- (1) The word 'document' denotes any matter recorded upon any substance by means of letters, figures or marks, or by more than one of those means, intended to be used, or which may be used, as evidence of that matter.

Explanation.- It is immaterial by what means or upon what substance the letters, figures or marks are formed, or whether the evidence is intended for, or may be used in a court of justice, or not.


The following are documents.-

a map, or plan; a caricature; a writing on a metal plate, stone or tree; a film, tape or other device on which sounds or images are recorded.

(2) Whatever is expressed by means of letters, figures or marks as understood by mercantile or other usage, shall be deemed to be recorded by such letters, figures or marks within the meaning of this section, although the same may not be actually expressed.


A writes his name on the back of a bill of exchange payable to his order. The meaning of the endorsement, as understood by mercantile usage, is that the bill is to be paid to the holder. The endorsement is a document, and must be construed in the same manner as if the words 'pay to the holder' or words to that effect had been written over the signature.

10. "Dishonestly".- A person is said to do a thing 'dishonestly' if he does that thing with the intention of causing wrongful gain to one person or wrongful loss to another person.

11. "Fraudulently".- A person is said to do a thing 'fraudulently' if he does that thing with intent to deceive another and, by such deceit, either to cause injury to any person or to induce any person to act to his disadvantage.

12. "Good faith".- A thing is said to be done or believed in 'good faith' when it is done or believed honestly and with due care and attention.

13. "Illegal".- A thing is 'illegal' if it is an offence, or is prohibited by law, or furnishes ground for a civil action.

14. "Legally bound to do".- A person is 'legally bound to do' a thing when he is bound by law to do that thing, or when it is illegal in him to omit to do that thing.

15. "Possession".- When property is in the possession of a person's wife, clerk or servant, on account of that person, it is in that person's possession within the meaning of this Code.

Explanation.- A person employed temporarily or on a particular occasion in the capacity of a clerk or servant is a clerk or servant within the meaning of this section.

16. "Reason to believe".- A person is said to have 'reason to believe' a thing if he has sufficient cause to believe that thing but not otherwise.

17. "Voluntarily".- A person is said to cause an effect "voluntarily" when he causes it by means whereby he intended to cause it, or by means which, at the time of employing those means, he knew or had reason to believe to be likely to cause it.


A sets fire, by night, to an inhabited house in a large town, for the purpose of 'facilitating a robbery' and thus causes the death of a person. Here, A may not have intended to cause death, and may even be sorry that death has been caused by his act; yet, if he knew that he was likely to cause death, he has caused death voluntarily.

18. "Wrongful gain".- 'Wrongful gain' is gain by unlawful means of property to which the person gaining is not legally entitled; and a person is said to 'gain wrongfully' when such person retains wrongfully, as well as when such person acquires wrongfully.

19. "Wrongful loss".- 'Wrongful loss' is loss by unlawful means of property to which the person losing it is legally entitled; and a person is said to 'lose wrongfully' when such person is wrongfully kept out of any property as well as when such person is wrongfully deprived of that property.

20. Effect caused partly by act and partly by omission.- Wherever the causing of a certain effect, or an attempt to cause that effect, by an act or by an omission, is an offence, the causing of that effect partly by an act and partly by an omission is the same offence.


A intentionally causes Z's death, partly by illegally omitting to give Z food, and partly by beating Z. A has committed murder.

21. Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.- (1) Where two or more persons, with a common intention to commit a criminal act, do any acts in furtherance of such common intention, each of them is liable for the criminal act done as if it were done by him alone.

(2) Whenever an act which is criminal only by reason of its being done with a criminal knowledge or intention is done by two or more persons, each of such persons who joins in the act, with such knowledge or intention, is liable for the act in the same manner as if the act were done by him alone with that knowledge or intention.

22. Persons concerned in criminal act may be guilty of different offences.---Where two or more persons are engaged or concerned in the commission of a criminal act, they may be guilty of different offences by means of that act.


A attacks Z under such circumstances of grave provocation that his killing of Z would be only culpable homicide not amounting to murder. B, having ill will towards Z and intending to kill him, and not having been subject to the provocation, assists A in killing Z. Here, though A and B are both engaged in causing Z's death. B is guilty of murder, and A is guilty only of culpable homicide.

23. Co-operation by doing one of several acts constituting an offence.- When an offence is committed by means of several acts, whoever intentionally co-operates in the commission of that offence by doing any one of those acts, either singly or jointly with any other person, commits that offence.


(a) A and B agree to murder Z by severally and at different times giving him small doses of poison. A and B administer the poison according to the agreement with intent to murder Z. Z dies from the effects of the several doses of poison so administered to him. Here A and B intentionally co-operate in the commission of murder and as each of them does an act by which the death is caused, they are both guilty of the offence though their acts are separate.

(b) A and B are joint jailors, and as such, have the charge of Z, a prisoner, alternately for six hours at a time. A and B, intending to cause Z's death, knowingly co-operate in causing that effect by illegally omitting, each during the time of his attendance, to furnish Z with food supplied to them for that purpose. Z dies of hunger. Both A and B are guilty of the murder of Z.

(c) A, a jailor, has the charge of Z, a prisoner. A, intending to cause Z's death, illegally omits to supply Z with food; in consequence of which Z is much reduced in strength, but the starvation is not sufficient to cause his death. A is dismissed from his office, and B succeeds him B, without collusion or co-operation with A, illegally omits to supply Z with food, knowing that he is likely thereby to cause Z's death. Z dies of hunger. B is guilty of murder, but, as A did not co-operate with B, A is guilty only of an attempt to commit murder.

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