Updated: Mar 27
Author: Ashish Kumar
Ex-Student, B.A.LL.B., (batch of 2020) FIMT School of Law, GGIPU
To the eye it is fair enough, here; but seen in its integrity, under the sky, and by the daylight, it is a crumbling tower of waste, mismanagement, extortion, debt, mortgage, oppression, hunger, nakedness, and suffering. – By Charles Dickens.
Extortion is the wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or intimidation to achieve money or property from a private or entity. Extortion generally involves a threat being made to the victim’s person or property, or to their family or friends. While the threat of violence or property damage is commonplace in extortion, it also can involve reputational harm or unfavorable government action.
In order for extortion to occur, there must be a threat of harm that may come to someone if they are doing not provide some payment or service. As we are going to see, the meaning of extortion can differ from place to put, and there are areas where its definition and application is under consideration.
According to law, extortion is the act of trying to urge money, goods, property, or anything of import from another person by threatening or using violence, fear, humiliation, or the other unlawful threat. Each state has its own individual definition; some states have stricter definitions, while others are more lenient, but they sometimes require that the act of extortion is completed by threat to inflict bodily harm, accuse someone of a criminal offense, expose a secret that may harm someone's image, take or withhold action as a political candidate, refuse to testify or cooperate in an investigation, start a boycott or strike, or harm the one that money is demanded from in a very way that doesn't benefit that individual. Common kinds of extortion include blackmail, protection schemes, and certain styles of hacking.
Extortion isn't a black and white action, and plenty of state laws differ on key aspects of an act of extortion. as an example, may be a frivolous lawsuit a kind of extortion? The person filing such baseless charges is searching for their target to settle and pay them off, but in keeping with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, this is often not extortion because the actor is using civil forums to file their grievance. In other cases, a manager of a store may press charges against someone they genuinely believe stole from them and may be found guilty of extortion if the charge was in error. Extortion usually involves a requirement for something with the threat that, if that demand isn't met, physical harm or public shame is going to be inflicted.
As per Section 383 IPC, extortion is an act to place someone in fear of injury or the other harm to get his property or the other valuable item. Section 383 IPC reads as follows:
“Whoever intentionally puts anyone in fear of any injury thereto person, or to the other, and thereby dishonestly induces the person so put in fear to deliver to any individual any property or valuable security, or anything signed or sealed which can be converted into a valuable security, commits “extortion”.”
The definition of extortion will be understood with the assistance of the subsequent illustration:
A threatens B that he will kill his wife if B are going to be didn't pay Rs.1 Crore on his birthday. This can be a clear-cut case of extortion against A.
The main essence of Section 383 is obtaining the delivery of property or any item important in consequence of dishonest inducement. To be more precise, an intention to cause wrongful loss to at least one and wrongful gain to other is an important ingredient of extortion.
1. Intentionally putting an individual in fear of injury: It may be a must that the person must have an intention to cause a wrongful gain to at least one and wrongful loss to a different during a manner where another person is anaesthetize threat. the particular delivery of the property is important to constitute extortion.
2. The aim of which is to dishonestly induce the person put in fear: The objective of the 0ffence should are towards the furtherance of the crime of Extortion.
3. To deliver property or valuable security: The actual transaction must have happened to own the section get play in its entirety. If at all, for any reason.
Facts to be proved
1. The Person accused, by his conduct, had threatened the victim, by putting him in fear that
2. If the victim did not deliver –
· a property, or
· a valuable security, or
· a instrument signed or sealed, which is within the nature of a valuable security,
3. To an individual,
4. The said victim, or the other Person, would be subjected to harm to reputation, or harm to property, or bodily harm, or a mental alarm had caused to the said victim by such inducement.
Types of Extortion
The first a part of building a powerful criminal defense case knows the fees. Most terms for criminal activities are general categories comprising various ways people can commit that crime. This applies to extortion, as well. The overarching definition of extortion is to force or threaten someone so as to receive money or property from the person. The subsequent are a number of the various criminal actions that constitute extortion.
A threat is an announcement indicating that you just will cause harm to or create another quite negative consequences for somebody, especially to pressure them to try to to something or to not do something. Many threats involve a promise to physically harm someone in retaliation for what they need done or might do. A robber who says he’ll shoot the bank teller if they don’t render the cash is making a threat. Telling a bully that you’ll punch them if they don’t stop bothering your blood brother is a threat. A death threat involves telling someone that they'll be killed. Some threats are simply meant to intimidate, and don’t involve pressuring someone to try and do something. The word threat can also ask someone or something that will potentially cause harm or damage. A hurricane is a threat to people and buildings in its path. A disease is a threat to your health. A security threat is someone or something which may make a situation unsafe. An individual who is also ready to beat someone in a very competition may well be called a threat, like in sports or politics.
The foundation of extortion is making threats, such as:
1. Violence to the person
2. Damage to the person’s property
3. Arrest or imprisonment
4. Testimony against the person
5. Refusal to testify within the person’s defense
6. Denial of services or money
A similar variety is giving protection, meaning that the person pays a fee in exchange for cover against vandalism, theft or other harm. The person’s relations and friends can also be the recipient of those threats.
Blackmail is an act of coercion using the threat of revealing or publicizing either substantially true or false information about an individual or people unless certain demands are met. It often damaging information, and should be revealed to members of the family or associates instead of to the overall public. It should involve using threats of physical, mental or emotional harm, or of legal action, against the victim or someone near the victim. It’s normally dole out for private gain, most typically of position, money, or property. Blackmail may additionally be considered a form of extortion. Although the 2 are generally synonymous, extortion is that the taking of private property by threat of future harm. Blackmail is that the use of threat to forestall another from engaging during a lawful occupation and writing libelous letters or letters that provoke a breach of the peace, further as use of intimidation for purposes of collecting an unpaid debt.
3. Cyber extortion
Cyber extortion could be a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack not to mention a requirement for money or another response reciprocally for stopping or remediating the attack. Ransom ware attacks, during which blackmailers encrypt victim systems and offer to decrypt the systems after the victim sends funds, usually within the form of crypto-currencies like bit-coin, are currently among the foremost common type of cyber extortion. However, other sorts of cyber blackmail can include distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that the blackmailers offer to suspend on receipt of payment or the threat of exposing confidential corporate data that has been stolen from a corporation.
Cyber extortion attacks start with a hacker gaining access to an organization's systems and seeking points of weakness or targets valuable. While ransom ware attacks will be automated through malware spread by email, infected websites or ad networks, these attacks tend to spread indiscriminately, and that they may lead to only a tiny low percentage of victims paying the extortionists. More targeted attacks can produce fewer casualties while providing more lucrative targets for the extortion attempt.
Section 384 contains the punishment for extortion. Section 384 is a cognizable offence wherein police may arrest without warrant and therefore the same is triable by any Magistrate. However, ordinarily, the warrant is required to be issued within the first instance. it's a non- bailable offence and can't be compounded. Section 384 IPC reads as under: “Whoever commits extortion shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which can reach three years, or with fine, or with both.”
Punishment for Attempt of Extortion
Section 385 IPC deals with the punishment for a shot of extortion. It must be understood that even putting an individual under the fear of injury of any kind is enough to draw in punishment under this section. It cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable offence and is triable by a Magistrate. Section 385 reads as follows:
“Whoever, so as to the committing of extortion, puts a person in fear, or attempts to place someone in fear, of any injury, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which can reach two years, or with fine, or with both.”
More aggravated sorts of extortion:
As discussed, Section 383 – 385 IPC deals with the definition and followed by punishment for extortion and its attempt. The more serious types of extortion are categorized under Sections 386- 389 IPC, wherein, the victim of the offence is anesthetize the fear of grievous injury or threat to the lifetime of self or of somebody else. Even the attempt of extortion by putting someone in fear of death or grievous injury is forbidden more seriously under these sections.
The Sections 386-389 are discussed hereunder:
a) Section 386 IPC: The offence under this section is more serious variety of extortion. Here, the victim is anaesthetizing the fear of death or grievous hurt and also the extortion is truly committed. It must be mentioned that the offence under this section is cognizable, non-bailable and can't be compounded. Section 386 reads as under:
“386. Extortion by putting an individual in fear of death or grievous hurt.—whoever commits extortion by putting someone in fear of death or of grievous hurt thereto person or to the other, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which can touch ten years, and shall even be prone to fine.
b) Section 387 IPC: Under this section, merely a trial to extort by putting someone in fear of death or grievous hurt is enough, the particular commission of extortion isn't necessary. The offence under the said section is cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable and is triable by Magistrate of the primary class. The said section reads as follows: “387. Putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, so as to commit extortion. — Whoever, so as to the committing of extortion, puts or attempts to place any individual in fear of death or of grievous hurt thereto person or to the other, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which can reach seven years, and shall even be susceptible to fine.”
c) Section 388 IPC: Under this section, the extortion is created by way of threat of accusation to an individual where punishment of the offence carries execution or imprisonment for all times. The essence is an actual commission of extortion by such threat. The offence under this section is cognizable, bailable and can't be compounded and is triable by the Magistrate of the primary class.
“388. Extortion by threat of accusation of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment always, etc.—Whoever commits extortion by putting anyone in fear of an accusation against that person or the other, of getting committed or attempted to commit any offence punishable with death, or with 1 [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment for a term which can touch ten years, or of getting attempted to induce the other person to commit such offence, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which can touch ten years, and shall even be susceptible to fine; and, if the offence be one punishable under Section 377 of this Code, is also punished with 1 imprisonment for life.”
d) Section 389 IPC: This section deals with an endeavor to extort by putting the person in fear of accusation of offence. There’s no actual commission of extortion. The offence under this section is cognizable, bailable and can't be compounded and is triable by the Magistrate of the primary class.
“389. Putting person in fear or accusation of offence, so as to commit extortion.—Whoever, so as to the committing of extortion, puts or attempts to place somebody in fear of an accusation, against that person or the other, of getting committed, or attempted to commit, an offence punishable with death or with 1 [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment for a term which can touch ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which can be ten years, and shall even be at risk of fine; and, if the offence be punishable under Section 377 of this Code, could also be punished with 1 imprisonment for life.
In Dhananjay v. State of Bihar, it absolutely was held that ingredients that will constitute an offence are (1) the accused must put somebody in fear of injury to it person or the other person (2) the putting of person in such fear must be intentional (3) the accused must thereby induce the person so put in fear to deliver to any individual any property, valuable security or anything signed or sealed with is also converted into a valuable security (4) such inducement must be done dishonestly.
To constitute the offence of extortion, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove the particular commission or an effort to commit the offence under these above-discussed sections. The ingredients of extortion are discussed in several cases to stay a check is an offence is really committed or not. a number of the case laws are discussed hereunder:
In Gursharan V. State of Punjab, it had been held that one in every of the ingredients of the offence is that the offender “induces the person so put in fear then and there to deliver up the thing extorted. Whether or not the quantity demanded is paid after few days, it amounts to extortion.
In R.S. Nayak vs. A.R Antulay, the accused was Chief Minister at the relevant time and therefore the Sugar Co-operatives had a number of the grievances pending consideration before the govt. The pressure was caused on the Sugar Co-operatives to create the donations with a promise that their grievances shall be considered. Held that the ingredients of the offence of extortion not made out. There was no evidence in any respect that the management of the Sugar Co-operatives had been put in any fear and also the contributions had been paid in response to threats.
In Biram Lal vs. State, it absolutely was held that so as to complete the act of extortion the one who was put in fear, must are induced to deliver the property. If the act of inducement caused by the wrongdoer should give birth to its result a minimum of by the victim consenting to deliver property whether or not actual delivery doesn’t happen because of any fortuitous circumstances which might constitute extortion, but if it fails to provide the requisite effect, the act would remain only at the stage of an endeavor to commit extortion. Within the instant case, whether or not the offence of extortion is held to be not made out for want of delivery of the property a minimum of, the offence of try and commit extortion is clearly made out.
Even the primary two incidents in respect of which cases are registered at D. N. Nagar station have a potentiality to disturb public order, as they're extortion cases. That acts of extortion disturb public order can now not be disputed. In Arun Mohammed Qureshi v. Commissioner of Police, Bombay, the deteneu was Indulging in crimes like robbery, extortion and criminal intimidation. The Supreme Court held that the deteneu was a desperate character and had been indulging in crimes of significant nature disturbing maintenance of public order. In Prabhakar Shetty v. S. Ramamurthy, and in Sunil Patil v. Satish Sahney & Ors., this Court has taken the same view. We are, therefore, of the view that the primary two cases of extortion also disturb the even tempo of the community.
At the end, it is concluded that the extortion is an offence punishable under Indian Penal Code. In order for extortion to occur, there must be a threat of harm that may come to someone if they are doing not provide some payment or service. As we are going to see, the meaning of extortion can differ from place to put, and there are areas where its definition and application is under consideration. It is defined under section 383 of Indian Penal Code. Section 384 contains the punishment for extortion. Extortion or Section 384 is a cognizable offence wherein police may arrest without warrant and therefore the same is triable by any Magistrate. It is a non-bailable offence and cannot be compounded.
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