Indian Penal Code (IPC)
Section 396. Dacoity with murder
If any one of five or more persons, who are conjointly committing dacoity, commits murder in so committing dacoity, every one of those persons shall be punished with death, or 1[imprisonment for life], or rigorous imprisonment for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Death, imprisonment for life, or rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.
When prosecution failed to establish any nexus between death and commission of dacoity charge under section 396 will fail; Wakil Singh v. State of Bihar, (1981) BLJ 462.
In circumstantial evidences utter importance is of linking of chain, as soon as the chain of link is broken, the value of circumstantial evidence gets reduced; State v. Lakshmisher Das, 1999 Cr LJ 2839 (Kant).
On considering special facts of the case, i.e., the age of accused persons and their status in life as also their antecedents, sentence of 10 years in place of sentence of life imprisonment would meet the ends of justice; K.M. Ibrahim alias Bava v. State of Karnataka, 2000 Cr LJ 197 (Karn).
When it is evidentially proved that accused were participating in loot and murder during transaction of offence, each of them is liable to be punished under section 396; Kunwar Lal v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 1999 Cr LJ 3632 (MP).
1. Subs. by Act 26 of 1955, sec. 117 and Sch., for “transportation for life” (w.e.f. 1-1-1956).