Genesis of the Institute of Complicity in the Indian Criminal Law in XIX Century

Abstract


The Article deals with the history of doctrinal and legal formation of the institute of complicity in the Indian criminal law during colonial period. The mixed nature of the law system assumes some approaches to the criminal conspiracy as from the orthodox tradition (Sanskrit texts, and the treatises of Hinduism), and on the subsystem of the Islamic law. The Article provides the historical analysis of preparatory materials to the Indian Penal Code of 1860 (IPC), the opinions of the leading scientists-criminologists and main judgments. The authors express own opinion on a perspective of group criminality and its influence on the history of the Indian criminal law. Some crime statistics and collecting crime data during the colonial period in India are descript of a criminogenic situation as empirical materials. The prevalence of joint criminal activity and organized groups of local inhabitants was a result of traditional exclusive hierarchy and collective ideology in British India. Religious criminal sect of thugs (a gang of professional murderers and robbers) made the most dangerous category of “criminal tribes” in the colonial period. The organized criminal activity of the thugs was the reason of theoretical search of new criminal policy methods and ways of judicial prosecution in colonial India. As a result, authors have allocated some main figures of British officials who developed the concept of complicity and practically approve “joint participation” in the Indian Penal Code of 1860 during the expanded professional criminality connected with hunger, rebellions, ritual robberies and sacrifices. The Article identifications of some features of the crime partnership in the Indian Penal Code of 1860 (innovative provisions of Macaulay's project), in comparison with the complicity in the common law tradition. The consolidated provisions of abetment in the Indian Penal Code regulated various forms of complicity, grounds for prosecution (liability of abettor), distinction mens rea and actus reus of accomplices, abetting commission of offence by the public or by more than ten persons, abetment if offence be not committed, concealing design to commit offence, etc. In the conclusion authors believe that at the present stage in the Indian Penal Code washing out of initially narrow interpretation of complicity in the crime (abetment of offence) and of judicial interpretation of it’s various forms and questions of punishment of accomplices is observed.


About the authors

Nina A Krasheninnikova

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: history@law.msu.ru
1/13-14, Leninskie Gory st., GSP-1, Moscow, Russia, 119991

Doctor of Legal Sciences, Professor, Professor, History of State and Law Department, Faculty of Law, Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Elena N Trikoz

RUDN University

Email: trikoz_en@pfur.ru
6, Miklukho-Maklaya st., Moscow, Russia, 117198

Candidate of Legal Sciences, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, History of Law and State Department, Law Institute, RUDN University

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