Sections 383-389 of the Indian Penal Code defines various laws related to extortion. Section 383 of the IPC defines extortion. Section 384 of IPC specifies the penalty for extortion, while Section 385 specifies the punishment for an attempt to extortion. Section 386 to 389 contains much harsher punishments for aggravated forms of extortion.
Section 383 of the Indian Penal Code defines extortion as an intentional act to put another person in fear of injury or any other harm to get his property or other valuable items.
For example, X threatens Y to kill his daughter if Y does not pay 10 million rupees to X, this will be considered a case of extortion.
The main motive of committing extortion is getting the property or any other valuable item by causing a wrongful loss to one person and wrongful gain to another person.
There are essential elements for extortion. They are
-To deliver property or other valuable items: the real transfer of property or any other valuable security must have taken place for this section to apply.
-Intentionally putting a person in fear: a person committing the crime must have the intention to cause wrongful loss of another person by threatening him.
-The motive of the offense should be towards the advancement of the crime of extortion.
Chalasani Satya Bhaskar vs The State Of Telangana
Sri T.Pradyumna Kumar Reddy, learned counsel for the petitioner, in the course of hearing reiterated the same and drawn attention of the Court including to the reply to the counter of the 2nd respondent to the revision petition averments and drawn attention of the Court to the two expressions, particularly on the scope of Section 383 and 384 IPC, the expression of the Apex Court in ISAAC ISANGA MUSUMBA AND OTHERS V. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA AND OTHERS1
Section 384 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 contains punishment for extortion and specifies that anyone who commits extortion shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 3 years, or with a fine, or with both. Section 384 is a cognizable and non-bailable offense.
In Biram Lal and Ors. vs. State it was stated that section 383 IPC defines ‘extortion’ whereas Section 384IPC is the penal section for extortion whereas Section 385 PC is for attempt to commit extortion. In order to complete the act of extortion the person who was put in fear, must have been induced to deliver the property. If the act of inducement caused by the wrong doer should bring forth its result at least by the victim consenting to deliver property even if actual delivery does not take place due to any fortuitous circumstances which would constitute extortion, but if it falls to produce the requisite effect, the act would remain only at the stage of attempt to commit extortion.
Section 385 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 states the punishment for an attempt of extortion. Putting a person under the fear of injury or death or any kind of other threat is inhumane and is punishable under this section. Section 385 of the Indian Penal Code also specifies that anyone, to commit extortion, puts another person in fear, or attempts to put any person in fear of injury or death shall be punished with imprisonment extending to two years, or with fine or with both. Section 385 is a cognizable and bailable offense.
Section 386 states a more aggravated form of extortion where the victim gets intentionally put under the threat of death or serious injury while committing extortion. It states that anyone who commits extortion by putting any person in fear of death or grievous hurt shall be punished with imprisonment extending to ten years and shall also be liable to fine. Section 386 is cognizable and non-bailable offense.
In Adya Prasad And Ors. vs Rajindra Mahto it was stated that after having scrutinised these evidence, passed his order dated 15-1-1971 holding that a charge under Section 384 and not under Section 386, Indian Penal Code, was made out against the accused persons. He further held that since an offence under Section 384, Indian Penal Code was triable by that court, hence the case will proceed as warrant trial before him and charges under Sections 384, 452 and 323, Indian Penal Code will be framed against the accused persons.
It states the punishment for an attempt to extortion by putting a person in the fear of death or of a grievous hurt. Here the actual completion of extortion is not necessary. It reads as—Whoever, to commit extortion puts or attempts to put any person in fear of death or of grievous hurt shall be punished with imprisonment extending to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine. Section 387 is cognizable and non-bailable offense and is triable by a magistrate of the first class.
It states punishment for an extortion made by the threat of accusation where the punishment of the offense is the death penalty or imprisonment for life. Completion of extortion is necessary for punishment under this section. It reads as–Whoever commits extortion by putting any person in fear of an accusation against that person or any other, of having committed or attempted to commit any offense punishable with death, or with imprisonment for life, or of having attempted to induce any another person to commit such offense shall be punished with imprisonment extending to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, and if the offense is punishable under section 377 of IPC, may be punished with life imprisonment. Section 388 is a cognizable and bailable offense.
In Gunjan Sinha Jain vs Registrar General it was stated that the offence punishable under section 388 IPC is not compoundable at all. At least one of the four offences can be compounded only with the permission of the court. But, none of the given options provides an answer to the question. This is so because the first three options are all compoundable without the permission of the court and the fourth option (section 388 IPC) is not compoundable at all, with or without the permission of the court.
It states the punishment for an attempt to an extortion by putting a person in fear of the accusation of offense. Completion of extortion is not necessary for this section to apply. It states that anyone to commit extortion, puts or attempts to put a person in fear of an accusation, of having committed or attempted to commit, an offense punishable with death or life imprisonment shall be punished with imprisonment extending to ten years, and shall also be liable to a fine, if the offense is punishable under Section 377 of IPC, maybe punished with life imprisonment.
Section 389 is a cognizable and bailable offence. The burden of proof for the offense of extortion is on the prosecution. The prosecution has to prove the commitment of the offense or an attempt to commit the offense under the above sections of the Indian Penal Code.
In Prateek vs State it was submitted that the ingredients thereof are clearly spelt out in the first information report. Referring to section 389 IPC, it was submitted that the moment fear comes, the offence comes into existence. It was submitted that the allegation of false accusation is very much there in the present case, under the circumstances, the provisions of section 389 IPC are clearly applicable. It was further submitted that the facts of the present case are gross, inasmuch as, the first informant was taken to the police station without issuing any summons, without following the provisions of the Code and was kept at the police station and was forced to sign the documents in question.