WAGING WAR UNDER SECTION 121 INDIAN PENAL CODE
BY NUPUR GARG
Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India. - Whoever wages war against the Government of India, or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to fine.
This section deals with various ways which has the potential to waging war against the government, the expression waging war here refers to a deliberate and organized attack upon the government forces and government institutions; the term whoever applies to Indian citizens as well as foreigners.
In other words, making an attempt to conduct an offence of public nature with the aim to fulfill any criminal purpose against the state, in this aspect, the intention or the purpose behind the act is taken in consideration and not the murder or use of force, as such acts disturb the public tranquility, public order and national integration. Whomsoever tries/attempts to of waging war against the Government of India shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life while also being liable for a fine.
In the case of waging war intention and purpose are considered to be the most important factors to be examined behind such aggression against the Government. In such a war, murder and force are irrelevant.
Conspiracy to Wage War
Section 121A was added to IPC in 1870. It states that it is not necessary for any act or illegal omission to take place explicitly in order to constitute a conspiracy.
This section deals with two types of conspiracies:
Conspiring to commit an offence punishable under Section 121 of the Code, within or without India.
Conspiring to overawe, that is, intimidated by means of criminal force or a mere show of criminal force against the Government.
The punishment under this Section includes imprisonment for ten years or life imprisonment along with a fine. Such punishment can be given by the Central Government as well as the State Government.
The above section is not to be confused with Section 124A of IPC i.e., Sedition. It refers to:
Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government shall be punishable with Life Imprisonment.
Both the offences are cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable. Theses offences can be tried in a Court of Session. It is said to be an offence committed under sedition, if anyone abets or attempts to incite hatred or contempt in other people against the government which is established under law, in a case under Section 121 of IPC if the charge doesn't set out the speeches to be seditious, then this doesn't spoil or affect the proceedings. Thus, it can be concluded that there is a difference between sedition and abetting war.
Abetment is defined under section 107 of IPC; Under the general law a distinction has been made between abetment which has succeeded and abetment which has failed. But as far as the legislature is concerned it treats both in the same manner because the crime is treated of highest offence against the state.
In conclusion, it is immaterial who is waging war against the State. Section 121, IPC uses the term “whoever” to include national as well as foreign individuals and institutions. Therefore, anyone waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war against the Republic will attract stringent punishment.