Theft is an offence in which moveable property of a person is taken away without his consent. Such property must be taken away dishonesty. Thus in theft there would be a moveable property. It should be taken dishonestly and without the consent of the owner. Theft has been defined in Section 378 of IPC. Simultaneously the punishment for the commitment of act of theft has also been defined in Section 379 of IPC.
DEFINITION OF THEFT
Under Section 378 OF IPC“ Whoever intending to take dishonestly any moveable property out of the possession of any person without that person’s consent, moves that property in order to such taking is said to commit theft.”
INGREDIENTS OF THEFT
1.There must be a dishonest intention of a person to take the property.
2.Removal of movable property.3.Such movable property must be taken away.
4.The property must be taken away from the possession of a person. In other words there must be a possession of that property.
5.Such property must be taken away without the consent of such person.
A.Dishonest Intention:-It is also called as malafied intention which can be representation in the form of mens-rea. This mens-rea is the base of the theft. The petitioner must prove that a thing was taken away with the dishonest intention.However intention is a mental element which is difficult to prove but circumstantial evidences are considered for this purpose. The main measurement of dishonest intention is to make a wrongful loss to another person then such act is considered to be done with dishonest intention.
B.Movable Property:-The subject of theft is movable property. Immovable property cannot be stolen. A movable property is a property which is able to move easily or which is not immovable. It means the thing permanently attached to the earth is immovable property, is not the subject of theft. It becomes capable of being the subject of theft when it is severed from the earth.
C. Be taken away out of Possession of another Person:-The property must be in the possession of another person from where it is removed. There is no theft of wild animals, birds or fish while at a large but there is a theft of tamed animals.
‘A’ finds a ring lying on the road which was in the possession of any person. A by taking it commits no theft, though he may commit criminal misappropriation of property.D.It should be taken without consent of that person:-The consent may be express or implied and may be given either of the person in possession, or by any person having for that purpose express or implied authority.
PUNISHMENT FOR THE OFFENCE OF THEFT
The punishment for committing theft in Indian Penal Code under section 379 for offence of theft is an imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine or both.