Criminal intimidation is a crime that happens when someone threatens another with harm to their body, property, or reputation and, in order to prevent such harm, coerces them into performing an act they are not legally required to perform or refrain from performing. The victim himself or any other person in whom he is interested must be the target of the malicious intent. Section 506 of the IPC deals with punishment for criminal intimidation.
Definition of 506 of IPC
According to section 506 of IPC, Whoever commits the offence of criminal intimidation shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, with a fine, or with both;
If the threat is to cause death or grievous hurt, and if the threat is to cause death or grievous hurt, or to cause the destruction of any property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or to impute unchastity to a woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.
Ingredients of Section 506 of IPC
The four most important ingredients of Section 506 of IPC are causing hurt:
1. To his reputation, possession
2. Any person who is associated with him.
3. Such action must be carried out with an intention in mind and solid reasoning.
4. The individual should be coerced into performing any action, whether criminal or lawful, but against his will or to prevent him from engaging in a certain activity.
In circumstances of criminal intimidation, the threat is motivated by the desire to harm the person’s or property’s reputation. He is forced to perform or refrain from performing any act to which he is legally obligated. Criminal intimidation is punishable under Section 506 of IPC. It expressly states that in situations of simple criminal intimidation, the sentence may be up to two years in prison or a fine.
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Scope and exception of Section 506 of IPC
The phrase “alarm,” which is restricted to the criminal offence when the result is to create extreme anguish, has taken the place of the terms “distress” and “fear” in the current section 506 explanation, making it essentially new. The adjectives formerly employed were less frightful and did not correctly reflect the degree of threat that a victim truly experienced.
The offence under Section 506 of IPC part II cannot be properly compounded, according to Section 320 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Nonetheless, a withdrawal from prosecution may be authorized in a reasonable case.
Nature of Offence Under Section 506 of IPC
When an offence comes under the first part of Section 506 of IPC, it is non-cognizable, bailable, and compoundable by the person who was intimidated, while it is non-compoundable when it falls under the second part of Section 506 of IPC.
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Registration of Compliant under Section 506 of IPC
To file a case under Section 506 of IPC at the local police station and let the cops look into it by completing any necessary investigations. When all of the requirements are completed and the magistrate is satisfied, he will summon the accused. The judicial procedures will then commence.
To defend the case, it is necessary to realize that the simple display of mishandling an individual in foul language does not satisfy the criteria of the charge of Criminal intimidation under Section 506 of IPC and hence may be used as a defence. This can be easily understood with the help of legal advice from an online lawyer with criminal law knowledge.
Cases under Section 506 0f IPC
1. In State vs. Romesh Chandra (1960), The Supreme Court highlighted that the simple use of angry words falls short of the legal bar for criminal intimidation. The defendant was accused of breaking into the plaintiff’s house and assaulting him while brandishing a pistol. The defendant fled the scene when the neighbours arrived. The bench determined that none of the claims described above, at least on the surface, constitute an offence under Section 506 of IPC.
2. In Kanshi Ram vs. State, the accused said, “Maro Salon Ko.” The complainant, however, never specified in his statement that the alleged threat had worried him. As a consequence, the petitioner’s claimed threat did not constitute an offence under Section 506 of the IPC. As a result, no charges under Section 506 of IPC could be brought against the petitioner based on the above-mentioned circumstances.
3. In the case of Rajinder Datt vs State of Haryana, it was determined that the accused’s simple declaration during the attack that he would murder the injured would not trigger Section 506 of IPC. This is especially true when the injuries are not severe and do not affect any important parts of the injured’s body.
4. In Keshav Baliram Naik vs State of Maharashtra, the accused was accused of touching the prosecutrix’s hand while she was sleeping, removing the quilt, and putting his hand in her clothes. He threatened to murder her if she revealed his identity. However, the prosecutrix yelled, causing her parents to awaken. The defendants were found guilty under Section 506 of IPC by the High Court.
5. In the case of Manik Taneja vs. the State of Karnataka (2015) the appellant was involved in an accident in which she collided with an auto-rickshaw, injuring the passenger of the vehicle. She later revealed that the policemen misbehaved with her and threatened her with accusations of hasty and careless driving. She was enraged by this and wrote comments on the Bangalore Traffic Police Facebook page accusing the police inspector of harassment and aggressive behaviour.
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The above explanation shows that the primary objective of criminal intimidation is to convince the person threatened to do or refrain from doing anything that the person was not lawfully obligated to do or omit.
As a result, it is a criminal offence, and the person faces criminal charges under Section 506 of IPC and repercussions, including jail time, a criminal record, and potential work opportunities.
Therefore, punishment for criminal intimidation will only be attractive when the accused does not adhere to this standard of accepted behaviour in society.