Theft And Extortion
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- Define and distinguish between theft and extortion?
Q Define and distinguish between theft and extortion? What punishment is provided for these offences.
Extortion is the offence carried out by overpowering the will of the owner, while theft is the offence which is committed without the consent of the owner. The offence of extortion occupies a middle place between theft and robbery.
2. Relevant Provisions:
Following are the relevant provisions of P.P.C regarding the concerned topic.
Section 378 and 379 for theft
Section 383 and 379 for Extortion
3. Theft U/Sec 378:
Whoever, intending to take dishonestly any moveable property out of the possession of any person without that person ‘s consent, moves that property in order to such taking, is said to commit theft.
(i) Ingredients Of Theft:
In order to constitute theft, following factors are essential.
(i) Dishonest intention to take property
(ii) Property must be moveable
(iii) That should be in possession of other person
(iv) There must be removal or moving of that property
(v) Without consent of the owner
(Explanation of these ingredients have been give in the question difference between theft and criminal breath of trust)
(II) punishment U/Sec 379:
Whoever commits theft shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to there years or with fine or both.
2000 MLD 651
It was held that person found guilty of offence of theft u/s 397 can not Simultaneously be convicted u/s 411 of P.P.C
4. Extortion U/sec 383:
Whoever intentionally puts any person in fear of any injury to that person or to any other and thereby dishonestly induces the person so put deliver to any person any property or valuable security or anything signed or sealed which may be converted into a valuable security, commits extortion.
Following are the ingredients of extortion
(i) Fear of Injury
There must be intentionally putting a person in fear of injury to himself or another. Injury implies illegal harm, and it maybe of any kind.
‘A’ threatens ‘B’ that he will keep ‘A’s child in wrongful confinement unless ‘A’ gives him certain amount of money. ‘A’ has committed extortion.
(ii) Dishonest Inducement:
The element of dishonesty is the essence of the offence of extortion. There can be no extortion unless a person is by threat of injury dishonestly induces to security, or anything signed or sealed which may be converted into valuable security.
‘A’ by putting ;Z’ in fear of grevious hurt, dishonestly induces ‘Z’ to sing or affix his seal to a bland paper and deliver it to ‘A’. ‘Z’ sings and delivers the paper to ‘A’ Here as the paper so signed may be converted into a valuable security ‘A’ has committed extortion.
a. To Any Person:
It is not necessary that the threat should be used and the property received by one and the same individual. A threat may be made by some and the property received by other persons, and they all will be guilty of extortion.
(II) Punishment U/Sec 384:
Whoever commits extortion shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both.
5. Difference Between Theft And Extortion:
(I) As To Consent:
In extortion, consent is obtained by putting the person in possession of property in fear of property in fear of injury to himself or any other person.
In theft, the offender’s intention is to take the property without the owner’s consent.
There is no element of force in theft.
In Extortion , both moveable and immoveable property may be the subject of the offence. In theft it is limited only to moveable property.
(III) Element Of Force:
There is element of force in the offence of extortion as the property is obtained by putting a person in fear of injury to that person or any other.
There is no element of force in theft.
Extortion is wider in scope as it coved any kind of property, valuable security or anything that may be converted into valuable security.
Theft covers only the cases of moveable property.
(V) Taking Of Property:
In extortion, threat may be by one person and the property may be received by anther person.
In theft, property must be move by person in order to such taking.
In extortion, the property is delivered.
In theft, there is dishonest removal of property.
To Conclude, I can say, that the offence of theft and extortion are offence against property. Extortion is the offence which occupies a middle place between theft and robbery as the element of force is present in this offence, which is missing in the offence of theft.
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