Introduction of Robbery
It is necessary for maintenance of law and order in human society that law should protect human life and property. Failure to protect human life and property leads to social anarchy. That is why, strict punishments have been provided in Pakistan Penal Code against commission of Robbery
"According to Pakistan Penal Code, there is either theft or extortion in all robbery. The reality is that theft or extortion becomes robbery in specific circumstance."
When Theft became Robbery ?
When a person commits an offence in order to committing of theft or in committing theft or in carrying away or attempting to carry away property obtained by theft and such offence voluntarily cause or attempts to cause to any person death or hurt or wrongful restraint or fear of instant death or fear of instant hurt or fear of instant wrongful restraint, then theft becomes robbery.
Bashir wrongfully restraints Ahmad at Ahamad’s home, and fraudulently takes away Ahmad’s money and mobile without Ahmad’s consent. In this case, Bashir commits robbery because he wrongfully restraints Ahmad in order to commit theft.
When Extortion became Robbery?
When an offender is in presence of that person, who is put in fear, at time of commission of extortion and commits extortion by putting that person in fear of instant death, fear of instant hurt or fear of instant wrongful restraint to that person or to some other person and induces this person to deliver up that thing which is extorted, extortion becomes robbery.
Bashir meets Ahmad on his way to market. Bashir suddenly holds Ahmad at gun point and enforces Ahmad to give his mobile to him. Consequently, Ahmad hands over his mobile to Bashir. In this case, Bashir commits robbery because he extorts mobile by putting Ahmad into fear of instant hurt and he is in presence of Ahmad at time of extortion.
Even when the taking of property, an offence may be committed under this section. Thus when the accused snatched away a mare from its owner so that he may not go to the police station to lodge a report of murder. The snatching away was temporary and the mare was handed back subsequently. It was held that the necessary ingredients of section 378, P.P.C. were all satisfied. As the offence of taking was accompanied by causing of hurt or fear of instant hurt, the offence of the appellant fell under section 392, P.P.C.
Object of hurt
The definition of robbery requires that either death or hurt or wrongful confinement is caused or the victims put in fear of such result. There must be evidence and it must be actually found that there was fear of death, or hurt or wrongful confinement. In the absence of such a finding and merely because the accused were armed with lathes when they removed articles from the person of the victim, it cannot be held that the accused had committed an offence of robbery. Hurt contemplated must be a conscious and voluntary act on the part of the thief for the purpose of overpowering resistance on the part of his victim, quite distinct and separate from the act of theft itself.
Theft after death of victim
Removal of ornaments from the body of a person after causing his death does not amount to robbery. Where the accused being enraged by the abuses of the deceased murdered him and after sufficiently long time started breaking open the locks of boxes belonging to the deceased and collected stolen things, the offence could not be brought under S.390, P.P.C. But where murder and robbery are committed in the course of the same transaction by the same person, the offence would fall under section 392 and not under section 404. In that context, the word “person” cannot be so narrowly construed as to exclude dead body of a human being who was killed in the course of the same transaction in which theft was committed. The matter would be different if a thing is stolen from a dead body apart from the transaction in which death occurred.
Punishments of Robbery
Against commission of Robbery, punishments are rigorous imprisonment for a term, which should not be less than three years and should not be more than ten years, and fine. However, if robbery is committed on the highway, imprisonment can be extended to fourteen years.
Preservation of life, religion, reason, lineage and property are main objectives of law. For preservation of property, law has forbidden certain acts against property. To punish offenders, who commit offences against property and protect society form reoccurrence of these offences, law has provided severe punishments.