Criminal Conspiracy Under IPC: All You Need to Know

Criminal Conspiracy Under IPC: All You Need to Know

This Article on ‘Criminal Conspiracy Under IPC‘ is written by Suchit. A 3rd year student from NMIMS School of Law, and an intern at Legal Upanishad.


Given the complex nature of the crime itself, the origin of the criminal conspiracy perceived as a crime is relatively new. When first legally exposed in the Poulterer case in 1611, the defendants colluded with each other and accidentally launched a  robbery trial against a person named “Stone.” With the evidence presented, the grand jury is exempt from all charges of Stone. In Stone’s counterclaim, the court established the principles of what is now defined as a criminal conspiracy (Network, 2020). The court found that the existence of a conspiracy among the defendants, whether Stone was falsely charged or acquitted, is at the heart of the crime and can be considered a crime.

India is governed by English law and is often inspired by English law. The above principle is also found in the breakthrough Mulcahy vs. R. In this case, the House of Lords argued that “the conspiracy is not only the intention of two or more people, but the agreement of two or more people,” and committed illegal acts by illegal means. Following the above ruling, the Indian Penal Code was amended in 1870 to add the S.120 AIPC.

Essentials of Criminal Conspiracy

Takes 2 or more people:

One of the most important things about criminal conspiracy is that you need more than one person. Because everyone knows that one cannot plot things, it takes more than one person to plot something. In the state of H.P. vs. Krishan Lal, the criminal conspiracy was allegedly a meeting  of two or more people because they agreed to  or initiated an action by illegal  or non-illegal but  illegal means. The ingredients of criminal conspiracy are:

Question of conviction of One Person

Here, if only one of two or three offenders are captured, at least two are known to be compulsory, so what is being punished by the court for a criminal conspiracy? The question arises. If only one conviction is found, no penalties apply, but later in the case of Bimbdhar Pradhan v State of Orissa, the court ruled that only one person could be convicted on the basis of sufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy. Please note that if some minor offenses are committed in the criminal charge, they will all be convicted of the same.

Illegal activity

In order to prove a crime under this section, you must agree to do something that is against or prohibited by law. It should be noted that it is illegal to collude with someone else in a non-criminal act if committed alone. Agreement is the gist of Criminal Conspiracy. The main motivation for this section is to be able to punish the most basic stages of crime.

Meaning of illegal:

Consent to an act that may not be illegal. But whose means of doing the act is illegal, is also punished under this section (Sethi). For example, if a man wants to marry a girl; but he wants to marry her; he tries to force the girl to be kidnapped; the man’s motive is legal; but the way he does the act does not justify the means. They are to be punished.


To understand the Word over-act, you first need to analyze sections 43 and 120A. The word “illegal” applies to anything that is criminal or prohibited by law, or that causes a civil action.

Punishment of Criminal Conspiracy under IPC

The criminal conspiracy in India, punishments are mentioned under IPC. Penalties for criminal conspiracy are included in Section 120B of The Indian Penal Code.(Criminal Conspiracy IPC 120B) The penalties for Section 120A (Criminal Conspiracy IPC 120A) depend on the type of crime. If the agreement is intended to commit a serious crime, the penalties will be more stringent.

Conspiracy to a criminal offense punished by either death or life imprisonment, or imprisonment for two years or more, and if the punishment is not explicitly stipulated in the Code, the person will be punished in the same way as him (Parihar). This is because of the people who would have supported such an act. Abet means encouraging or supporting someone to commit a crime. If there is a plot between two or more persons to commit a crime other than the above, they will be punished with imprisonment for up to 6 months, fine, or both.

Landmark Judgments: Criminal Consipiracy

Nowadays, the scope of crime and conspiracy is getting bigger and bigger, and it is very important that we are always open to different interpretations. Criminal conspiracy crimes can be difficult and complex in their application by the judiciary, as the “art” of conspiracy is usually always done in secret. Since its inception, there have been several groundbreaking cases that truly demonstrate the court’s interpretation of proving a crime. The important landmark criminal conspiracy cases are:

Topan Das v. State of Orissa, AIR 1956 SC 33

It is an established law that the court in the above case cannot conspire alone, requires at least two people for the same thing, and never commits a criminal conspiracy because it cannot conspire. It was recognized as the rule of law.

B. Narsimarao v. Government. A.P

In this case, the applicant and seven others were convicted of a criminal conspiracy. But according to Ss, he was alone because of the crime compliant with Sections 5 (1) (c) and 5 (l) (d) relating to Section 5 (2) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 120B, 409 and 471, 1947. At the same time, all other conspirators district courts and higher district courts. In the end, the Supreme Court acquitted the defendant because he needed another person to contact and execute the agreement, and one person would never be held liable for the plot (India, 2020).

Andhra Pradesh vs. Subbia 1961 (2) SCJ 68

In the above case, the Supreme Court said, “If the problem goes beyond the  mere conspiracy stage and criminal activity is committed to pursue it, the accused will be prosecuted for a particular crime allegedly resulting from the conspiracy. There is a possibility. For conspiracy charges. The court found that “a conspiracy to commit a crime is a crime in itself, and a person may be prosecuted separately in connection with such a conspiracy.”

State (Delhi Administration) v. V. C. Shukla

In the above case, the court found that: According to section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, in order to prove a criminal conspiracy punished by the IPC, there must be some amount of direct or circumstantial evidence which would prove that two or more than two people have agreed to a contract to commit the crime. This is a disagreement. It stipulates what must happen, which leads to a conspirator’s final decision on the consignment of the crime. In most cases, it is difficult to obtain direct evidence of a conspiracy arrangement, but to commit a crime. The conspiracy can also be inferred from situations that suggest that the arrangement between two or more people is decisive or attractive.

LK Advani v CBI

In this case, the court was acquitted of the crime because there was no main evidence of the alleged conspiracy and the mere presence of some alleged entries and a loose paper sheet could not justify the above crime. He said he humbly acquitted the person. The criminal conspiracy further stated that in order to establish a conspiracy, there must be evidence of mutual intent to commit illegal acts.

Critical Analysis

The main purpose behind the introduction of sections 120A and 120B into the norm seems to be  to try to contain criminal thoughts before taking the form of certain criminal acts that are harmful to society as a whole. increase. Under Article 43 of the Act, “illegal” acts under the Indian Criminal Code include; consignment of criminal offenses, acts prohibited by law, or acts that give rise to civil liability. The existence of an agreement between the parties is an essential prerequisite for establishing the existence of a criminal conspiracy. This agreement can be made explicitly or implicitly. The most important factor is the consensus adidem. You need to read the entire contract and confirm the subject.

Multiple people do not have to be convicted of a criminal plot at all times. It suffices if the court is convinced that more than one person or person was actually involved in the plot. The perpetrator may participate in the plot from the beginning or at any time before the purpose of the agreement is achieved, regardless of the time of enrollment, and each party to the crime bears equal liability. The criminal conspiracy should continue as long as the contracting parties continue to act according to the purpose of the contract.


Criminal conspiracy crimes are an exception to the general rule that both willfulness and criminal activity must be involved in order to establish a crime. Here, mere guilt is enough to convict a person if an agreement for plotting and participation in criminal activity is reached.

If the contract is intended to be a legitimate act by illegal means; the act or criminal act becomes essential again. Criminal plots can be determined by the suspect’s circumstances and actions. Alternatively, a person convicted of a criminal conspiracy will be punished under Section 120B of the Indian Criminal Code of 1860. This section of criminal law is gradually and slowly going through a drastic change and losing its core which is important to ensure that due diligence is maintained in the event of the happening of a criminal conspiracy.


India, L. (2020, June 4). Criminal Law – Concept of Criminal Conspiracy . Retrieved from LexLife India :

Network, L. L. (2020, December 13). EXPLAINED: CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY UNDER SECTION 120B IPC. Retrieved from Lexforti:

Parihar, S. (n.d.). CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY – SECTION 120A AND SECTION 120B, IPC. Retrieved from Writing Law :

Sethi, S. (n.d.). Criminal Conspiracy . Retrieved from Legal Service India :

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