The word “Rob” means “to plunder” or to “steal from” or “to deprive” or “to loot” or “to carry off  as spoil” or” to pillage”. It means “felonious taking from the person of another of money or goods against his/her will by force or inflicting fear”. Thus, the term “robbery” means “felonious taking in cash or kind from another forcibly or by inflicting fear”. Robbery is either an aggravated form of theft or an aggravated form of extortion.

Robbery in common language means to deprive a person of his or her property. In all robbery, there is either theft or extortion. Section 390 of IPC explains when theft is robbery and when extortion is robbery.

Illustration:- A holds Z down and fraudulently takes Z’s money and jewels from Z’s clothes without Z’s consent. Her A has committed theft, and in order to committing of that theft has voluntarily caused wrongful restraint to Z.A has therefore committed robbery.

A meets Z on the high road, shows a pistol and demands Z’s purse. Z, in consequence, surrenders his purse. Here A has extorted the purse from Z by putting him in fear of instant hurt, and being at the time of committing extortion in his presence. A has therefore committed robbery.

Basic Elements of Robbery

  1. The taking, with the intent to steal,
  2. The personal property of another,
  3. From his or her person or in their presence,
  4. Against his or her will,
  5. By violence, intimation or the threat of force.

According to Section 392 of Indian Penal Code prescribes the punishment for robbery, which may extend to ten years of rigorous imprisonment and also fine. When robbery is committed between sunset and sunrise, the imprisonment may be extended to fourteen years.

                    The offence under this section is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and is triable by Magistrate of first class.

According to Section 393 of the Indian Penal Code prescribes punishment for attempt to commit robbery, which may extend to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and also fine.

                    The offence under this section is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable and is triable by Magistrate of first class.

Section 394 of the Indian Penal Code prescribes punishment for voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery.

1) The accused committed or attempted to commit robbery.

2) Hurt was caused to the victims voluntarily while committing or attempting to commit robbery.

3) The accused were jointly concerned with any other person in committing or attempting to commit robbery.

4) The punishment may extend to imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years and fine.

5) The offence under this section is cognizable, ,non-bailable, non-compoundable and is triable by Magistrate of first class.

WHEN THEFT IS ROBBERY

Section 390 of Indian Penal Code explains when theft is robbery.

1) In order to the committing of theft, or

2) In committing theft, or

3) In carrying away, or attempting to carry away property obtained by theft, the offender, for that end, voluntarily causes or attempts to cause to any person, death or hurt or wrongful restraint, or fear of instant death or hurt or wrongful restraint.

         The essence of the offence of robbery is the presence of imminent fear or violence. The expression “for that end” indicates that death, hurt or wrongful restraint is caused “in order to the committing of theft or in carrying away property obtained by theft”. Thus, violence may be caused either before or during or after committing of theft but it must be caused for any of the ends stated above.

          If force is caused for any other purpose, it will not convert theft into robbery. Thus, if a thief being pursued by the owner abandons the property and finding himself still chased throws stones to avoid capture, it would be a case of theft and not of robbery. Because the offender throws stones to effect his escape and not to take away the stolen property. But, where C and D were stealing mangoes from a tree, and were surprised by B, where upon C knocked down B, the offence of robbery was held to have committed.

       The hurt caused by the offender must be voluntarily caused. Thus, accidental injury will not convert theft into robbery. In a case the accused is snatching a nose ring of a women wounded her in the nostril and caused her blood to flow, he was guilty of robbery.

WHEN EXTORTION IS ROBBERY

Section 390 of the Indian Penal Code explains when extortion is robbery.

1) When a person commits extortion by putting the other person in fear of instant death/hurt/wrongful restraint to that person or to some other person, and

2) Such a person by so putting another in fear, induces the latter to deliver up the thing extorted, and

3) The offender, at the time of committing the extortion is in the presence of the person put in fear.

           For extortion to become robbery, it is necessary that the offender must be present “before the person” (sufficiently near) put in fear of injury, and thus, by reason of his presence is capable enough to carry his threat into effect simultaneously. Where the police officer obtains from a person certain ornament by putting him under the fear that he will immediately be put into prison and will not be released for months, the police officer is guilty of robbery.

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