NEW DELHI :- The Indian Penal Code was created in 1860. The Indian Penal Code contained a chapter of abetment but this chapter itself was considered inadequate in punishing the criminal conspiracy , so after a long time the Indian Penal Code Amendment Act No. 8 in 1913 A new chapter 5 (a) was added in front of chapter 5 of the Penal Code by Section 3 of the chapter, on the basis of this chapter, the subject related to criminal conspiracy was included.

Chapter 5 (A) covers two sections.
Section 120 (A) defines criminal conspiracy and
Section 120 (B) provides for punishment of criminal conspiracy.

Abetment and Criminal conspiracy is considered an incomplete crime. The crime of abetment and criminal conspiracy indicates the condition before the act is committed.

Definition of Criminal Conspiracy
Section 120 (A)  When two or more persons commit an unlawful act or an act which is not illegal but agrees to do or do it by illegal means, it is called a criminal conspiracy.

If someone is committed an illegal act by two or more persons but is not a crime and it is agreed to do such an act, then such an act will also be considered as a criminal conspiracy. It is considered necessary to appear in a criminal conspiracy.

Essential elements of criminal conspiracy Section 120 (A)

  • Two or more people
  • Agreement or consent between individuals
  • Consent to do illegal work or to do legal work by illegal means.
  • Act upon or the appearance of work.

Normally, direct evidence of criminal conspiracy is not available, due to which the involvement of a person in such criminal activities proves helpful in gathering evidence of his consent.

Hiralal Harilal Bhagwati v. CBI New Delhi 2003 Cr.LJ 3041 C.S.O.

While adjudicating this case, the Supreme Court has to bring the crime of criminal conspiracy within the ambit of the punishment to prove that there was an agreement between the parties to commit an illegal act.

State of Tamil Nadu vs Nalani 1999 Cr.LJ.24 Supreme Court Rajiv Gandhi murder case

Proved guilty under Section 120 (B) and Section 302 of criminal conspiracy

Provision of penalty for criminal conspiracy Section 120 (B),

If the offense is more than 2 years, the punishment for conspiracy to commit the crime is punishable for the abetment of the offense.

Offenses not exceeding two or 2 years imprisonment shall not be punished for a term not exceeding 6 months’ imprisonment,
Can also be punished with imprisonment or fine or both

Both Rahul and Ramesh together conspire to murder Rohit,
if they do so, they will be guilty under the first clause , but both together only for to do harm, then under the second clause , which is imprisonment for 6 years or fine or Both will be punished.

Difference between Criminal Conspiracy and Abetment

Criminal conspiracy is defined in section 120 (a), while abetment is defined in section 107.

Criminal conspiracy is one type of conspiracy, while abetment is a do help, provoke, conspiracy to aid.

Consent in criminal conspiracy, while consent is not necessary in abetment.