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Report No. 156

Hijacking of the Vehicles Etc.

10.26. In the recent past the crime of vehicle hijacking has increased in various parts of the countries. To takeaway the passenger vehicle sometimes by miscreants like terrorists etc. has created the problems for the administration of Law and order.

10.27. In this connection, it is proposed that amendment is required in the I.P.C. to tackle this problem. Though the Chapter XVII of the I.P.C. "offences against the property" is already dealing with the offence against the property but not dealing with hijacking of vehicles as there is no motive to take the ownership of vehicle in case of hijacking of vehicle. In the hijacking, generally motive may be to create terror or demand ransom or counter bargaining.

But on the other hand, in Chapter XVII of the I.P.C., sole motive is to take the property for the purpose of ownership ultimately. If the criminals for the hijacking of vehicles will be booked under this Chapter as well as section 362 of the I.P.C. which is dealing with the abduction of the person either in the vehicle or outside the vehicle, then prosecution may face problem in proving "mens rea". Another problem may be to punish and identify the actual group behind the crime.

The establishment of the principle that there must be a mental, even though objective, in crime, is now a few centuries old. Tracing the evolution of this principle, Russell on Crime (11th Edn., p. 23) says: "The new conception that merely to bring about a prohibited crime should not involve a man in liability to punishment unless in addition he could be regarded as morally blameworthy, came to be enshrined in the well-known maxim "actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea".

This ancient maxim which means that an act does not make a man guilty unless there be guilty intention propounds a moral test of criminal liability which has lingered in the law for no man can be convicted of a crime at common law unless both the physical and mental elements are present in the crime.



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