Offence against the State under IPC with important provision and case law

Author: Sneha Saha


Offences are been committed since the early period which is dedicated against the state and in correspondence to this, there have been laws that have been sanctioned to defend and safeguard the State. And the crime which we are talking about is the waging war, sedition, rebellion and many more. The state has illustrated what forms an offense that is against causing harm to the integrity and sovereignty of the state. Any kind of crime is to be treated as an offense against the state and government if the action causes any kind of disturbance to public peace, public order, and integration. Under Part VI of the Indian Penal Code 1860 including Sections 121-130 that is the offenses against the State. States have established laws to secure themselves and shield their inclinations on the assumption that each resident owes loyalty to the State and needs to submit to its sway.

Offences against the state include

Waging war / Attempting

The state has the primary duty to protect the citizens from any kind of attack from the outside and during the war, it becomes more important to preserve the state from any kind of harm. Waging a war implies an endeavour to satisfy any reason for public nature by the method for viciousness. Such a conflict happens when a few groups rise and assemble against the State to accomplish any object of public nature forcibly and savagery.

The main factors of waging a war are –


In the case of waging war, the main element which is required to have is the purpose and intention to be inspected behind such animosity against the Government.

Sedition and Abetting War

Section 124A of IPC defines sedition. It is a cognizable and non-bailable offense. This offence implies that the expectation is to bring scorn or hatred or energize antagonism against the Government of India.

Abetting war is an offence where it is seen that there is the instigation of waging a war.


Section 121A of the Indian Penal Code states the conspiracy to wage a war. It expresses that it isn’t required for any demonstration or unlawful exclusion to happen unequivocally to establish a conspiracy. If a person conspires to commit an offence is culpable under Section 121 of the Code, inside or outside India. And also, by intimidating through criminal power or simply demonstrating the criminal power against the Government.


Section 122 of the IPC manages the planning of the war. Preparation is quite different from an attempt to commit an offense. Mainly it can be called preparation if a war has been waged against the Government of India, accused must participate in collecting arms, ammunition, and men, also preparation must be done in case of waging war such as the collection.

Concealment to Design to Wage War

Section 123 of the Indian Penal Code deals with the concealment of design to wage war. Concealment of design to wage war means that if a person by an act or any illegal omission tries to hide the fact of the existence of a design to wage war against the Government of India. Also, the person has the intention to facilitate the war. The person knows the concealment of design.

Waging War against any Asiatic Power

Section 125 deals with the pursuit of war against any Asiatic force. This section mainly includes about waging war against any Asiatic Power in coalition with the Government of India. Here, the charged ought to have waged a war against the State or endeavoured to wage war, or abetted the waging of war. There should be an Asiatic State alongside international power. A state ought to be other than India. Such a state ought to be in alliance with or at pace with the Government of India.

Committing depredation in Friendly Countries

Section 126 says about the accused person who commits depredation or makes any kind of preparation to commit depredation on any part of the territories of any power that is in alliance with or at a peace with the government of India.

Receiving Property Taken by Depredation or War

Section 127 defines receiving a property that is taken by depredation or war. It means the accused person has probably got any property. And more likely received the property by taking up arms with a Power content with the Government of India or by committing depredation on any part of its territory.  [1]

Assault on a Higher Official

Section 124 defines assault on the President, Governor, and other officers from the government. Section 121A makes connivance to show criminal power to the Government of India or any State Government culpable and it explicitly manages the executive powers like the President and the Governor. The rule which is specified here is on is that State is ought to be liberated from dread from any kind of fear and injury while performing its legal obligations. This assurance is not to be viewed as supreme and broadens just as long as they carry out their authority functions

Escape of a State Prisoner

Section 128 to 130 defines the State prisoner. State prisoners are those accused who are been arrested to keep up with harmony and serenity with other friendly countries and for the security of the Indian State. Section 128 and 129 make it an offense for an officer to deliberately permit a prisoner of State or the war to get away. It is culpable with life imprisonment as long as 10 years and a fine. Section 130 applies to all people who help and help a state prisoner to get away, not simply a public worker.


Sedition was presented in India through segment 124A. Sedition to be essentially put implies defamation or libel of the setup power of law; the Government. Sedition in the customary sense implies a working up of insubordination to the Government. Sedition is in this manner wrongdoing against society oftentimes promoting injustice. The fundamental elements of Section 124A are, there is a bringing or endeavouring to bring into disdain or exciting or attempting to energize estrangement against the Government of India, such acts or endeavour might be done by words, either spoken or composed or by signs or by the apparent portrayal and this act should be deliberate.

Case Laws

Mir Hasan Khan v. state of Bihar 1950[2], in this case, it was held that under section 121 it should be demonstrated that the individual has wanted to possess any kind of an armoury and has utilized the rifles and ammunitions against the State troops, yet in addition that the seizure of the ordnance was a vital part of an arranged activity.

Tara Singh v. Territory of Punjab 1950,[3] in this case, it was held that under section 124A was struck down as illegal being in opposition to the right to speak freely of speech and expression ensured under Article 19(1)(a). It hence held that Section 124A is ultra-vires of the constitution as it tries to rebuff simply awful sentiments against the Government. There have been different ideas to change section124A to suit the fundamental structure of the constitution which ensures the right to freedom of speech.

Alok Aggarwal vs. Union of India 1993 SCC(Cn) 961, [4] in this case, is about the issue which was regarding if an offence has occurred in foreign territory will the court have jurisdiction in it. So, it was held that criminal conspiracy is an offence wherein every one of the people is running under a similar standard. Regardless of whether an individual gets out of the standard yet keeps on performing acts in furtherance of a same he isn’t supposed to be outside the pennant. Just because a person is NRI it cannot be said that an offence happened outside the country and that person was absent from the place of an offence. Cheating, forging, conspiracy if done in any part of the country it falls under the territory. So, the court will have the jurisdiction to try the same. [5]


Offenses against the State are an essential part of controlling and keeping everything under control. Individuals of the State reserve an option to reprimand the approaches of the Government. And people should not abuse their freedom to make hurt individuals around them or the Government. Waging war against India and high authorities is a culpable offense. It very well may be presumed that the State needs to confine the opportunity of individuals of the country for the advancement of the State.

[1] IPC: Offences Against the State, A Lawyers Reference, (last visited Jul 24, 2021).

[2] Mir Hasan Khan and Ors. vs The State on 21 December, 1950, AIR 1951 Pat 60

[3] Tara Singh Gopi Chand vs The State on 28 November, 1950, AIR 1951 CriLJ 449

[4] Ajay Agarwal vs Union of India and Ors on 5 May, 1993, AIR 1637, 1993 SCR (3) 543