Indian Penal Code (IPC) - List of IPC Section in India

By K Balaji|Updated : September 8th, 2022

IPC Sections List is an integral part of the Indian polity and judiciary system. What constitutes a wrong and how it is punished are both outlined in the “Indian Penal Code.” This Code is exhaustive on the subjects it declares the law to cover and codifies the entirety of the law on the subject.

This makes it an extremely important topic for the general studies paper in the UPSC Prelims as well as the UPSC Mains examination. It is important to understand all the important sections of the IPC thoroughly for the UPSC exam perspective.

Table of Content

What is IPC?

The IPC full form is the Indian Penal Code and was established in the year 1860. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) was enacted in 1860 in response to the suggestions of India's first law commission, which was founded in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833 and was chaired by Lord Macaulay. The Code took effect on January 1, 1862, during British command over India, and applied to all of then-British India, excluding the princely states, which maintained their own courts and judicial systems until about the 1940s.

The Code was enacted by Independent India after the partition. It applies to all citizens of India. The IPC has been reformed repeatedly since then and is now accompanied by a number of other criminal provisions. The IPC is presently divided into 23 chapters with a total of 511 sections. We will discuss the IPC's important sections in the coming segment.

Understanding IPC

The Indian Penal Code defines what a crime is and what the punishments are for committing one.

  • This Code consolidates the entire structure of law on the subject and proclaims the law meticulously across all aspects.
  • The Indian Penal Code is a substantive law body.
  • Substantive law is a system of law that establishes civil law obligations and rights as well as criminal law offenses and penalties.
  • As an outcome, the Indian Penal Code is the law that defines punishable misdemeanors, as well as their penalties or forms of punishment or both.
  • This code divides punishments into five categories: death, life imprisonment, general imprisonment, forfeiture of property, and fine.
  • Mohammedan Criminal Law was implemented for both Muslims and Hindus in India before the implementation of the Indian Penal Code.

Important IPC Sections List

Below we have covered IPC Important sections:

  • Section 1 – Title and extent of operation of the Code.
  • Section 2 – Punishment of offenses committed within India.
  • Section 3 – Punishment of offenses committed beyond but which by law may be tried within India.
  • Section 4 – Extension of Code to extra-territorial offenses.
  • Section 8 – Gender.
  • Section 11 – Person.
  • Section 19 to 26 – “Judge”, “Court of Justice”, “Public Servant”, “Movable property”, “Wrongful gain”, “Wrongful loss”, “Gaining wrongfully, losing wrongfully”, “Dishonestly”, “Fraudulently”, “Reason to believe”.
  • Section 34 – Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.
  • Section 35 – When such an act is criminal by reason of its being done with a criminal knowledge or intention.
  • Section 36 – Effect caused partly by act and partly by omission.
  • Section 37 – Cooperation by doing one of several acts constituting an offense.
  • Section 38 – Persons concerned in criminal act may be guilty of different offenses.
  • Section 39 – “Voluntarily”.
  • Section 40 – “Offence”.
  • Section 52 – “Good faith”.
  • Section 52A – “Harbour”.
  • Section 53 – Punishment.
  • Section 73 – Solitary confinement.
  • Section 74 – Limit of solitary confinement.
  • Section 76 to 106 – CHAPTER IV (76-106) – General Exceptions
  • Section 107 to 120 – CHAPTER V (107-120) – Abetment
  • Section 120A – Definition of criminal conspiracy.
  • Section 120B – Punishment of criminal conspiracy.
  • Section 121 – Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India.
  • Section 124A – Sedition.
  • Section 141 – Unlawful assembly.
  • Section 142 – Being a member of unlawful assembly.
  • Section 143 – Punishment.
  • Section 144 – Joining unlawful assembly armed with a deadly weapon.
  • Section 145 – Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse.
  • Section 146 – Rioting.
  • Section 147 – Punishment for rioting.
  • Section 148 – Rioting, armed with deadly weapons.
  • Section 149 – Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of the offense committed in prosecution of the common object.
  • Section 159 – Affray. (6 Differences between Rioting and Affray)
  • Section 179 – Refusing to answer a public servant authorized to question.
  • Section 182 – False information, with intent to cause a public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person.
  • Section 191 – Giving false evidence.
  • Section 268 – Public nuisance.
  • Section 292 – Sale, etc, of obscene books, etc.
  • Section 293 – Sale, etc, of obscene objects to young people.
  • Section 294 – Obscene acts and songs.
  • Section 295 – Injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class.
  • Section 295A – Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.
  • Section 296 – Disturbing religious assembly.
  • Section 299 – Culpable homicide to Section 309 – Attempt to commit suicide.
  • Section 319 – Hurt to Section 338 – Causing grievous hurt by act endangering the life or personal safety of others.
  • Section 339 – Wrongful restraint.
  • Section 340 – Wrongful confinement.
  • Section 349 – Force.
  • Section 350 – Criminal force.
  • Section 351 – Assault.
  • Section 354 – Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty.
  • Section 354A – Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment.
  • Section 354B – Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe.
  • Section 354C – Voyeurism.
  • Section 354D – Stalking.
  • Section 359 – Kidnapping.
  • Section 360 – Kidnapping from India.
  • Section 361 – Kidnapping from lawful guardianship.
  • Section 362 – Abduction.
  • Section 375 – Rape.
  • Section 376 – Punishment for rape.
  • Section 376D – Gang rape.
  • Section 376DA – Punishment for gang rape on woman under sixteen years of age.
  • Section 376DB – Punishment for gang rape on woman under twelve years of age.
  • Section 376E – Punishment for repeat offenders.
  • Section 377 – Unnatural offenses.
  • Section 378 – Theft.
  • Section 383 – Extortion.
  • Section 390 – Robbery.
  • Section 391 – Dacoity.
  • Section 396 – Dacoity with murder.
  • Section 399 – Making preparation to commit dacoity.
  • Section 403 – Dishonest misappropriation of property.
  • Section 405 – Criminal breach of trust.
  • Section 410 – Stolen Property.
  • Section 413 – Habitually dealing in stolen property.
  • Section 414 – Assisting in the concealment of stolen property.
  • Section 415 – Cheating.
  • Section 420 – Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.
  • Section 425 – Mischief.
  • Section 441 – Criminal Trespass to Section 446 – House-breaking by night.
  • Section 493 – Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage.
  • Section 494 – Marrying again during the lifetime of husband or wife.
  • Section 495 – Same offense with concealment of former marriage from person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted.
  • Section 496 – Marriage ceremony fraudulently gone through without lawful marriage.
  • Section 497 – Adultery.
  • Section 498 – Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman.
  • Section 498A – Cruelty by husband or relatives of the husband.
  • Section 499 – Defamation.
  • Section 503 – Criminal intimidation.
  • Section 506 – Punishment for criminal intimidation.
  • Section 509 – Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.
  • Section 511 – Attempts to commit offenses.

Importance of IPC

The Indian Penal Code is applicable to all Indian citizens who commit felonies or behave improperly on the Indian territory.

  • It serves as a guide text for all judgments and penalizing guidelines in circumstances of violence or improper conduct.
  • The memorandum is applicable to both ships and aircraft functioning in Indian waters or airfields.
  • The Indian Penal Code's most essential feature is the impartiality of the judgments it encourages. There are no exceptions in the Indian Penal Code for any person in any rank.
  • The Indian Penal Code includes all pertinent criminal violations trying to deal with state felonies, public offenses, armed forces offenses, kidnapping, murder, and rape.
  • It covers religious offenses and property offenses and has a section dedicated to marriage offenses, inhumane treatment from a husband or relatives, defamation, and so forth.

Reforms Needed Under the IPC Sections

Blasphemy should have no place in a liberal democracy, which is why Section 295A, which was added in 1927, must be repealed.

  • In 1913, the criminal conspiracy was made a substantive offense. The offense is objectionable because the colonists introduced it to the code to deal with political fabrications.
  • The criterion of constructive liability is stretched to unreasonably severe extents in Section 149 on unlawful assembly.
  • The clear difference between "culpable homicide" and "murder" is often criticized as the "weakest part of the code" because the interpretations are ambiguous.
  • The code's sexual offenses expose patriarchal values and Victorian moral standards. However, the antiquated crime of infidelity grants the husband exclusive proprietary rights over his wife's sexuality, it provides no legal protection for the wife to secure an equivalent monopoly over the husband's sexuality.
  • The sedition law, enacted in 1898, needs to be reviewed.

IPC Section UPSC

IPC section is one of the important topics of the Indian polity. Hence it reserves a significant spot in the Indian polity and therefore is an important topic in the UPSC Prelims and also the UPSC Mains Syllabus. It is important to go through the topic using UPSC study material and also keep track of the Current Affairs so as well to not skip out on any updates or latest news regarding the IPC. It is also important to read the UPSC Previous Year Question Papers papers to understand the types of questions frequently asked. It is also recommended to go through the Polity Books for UPSC.

>> Download IPC Sections List Notes PDF

UPSC Sample Questions on IPC Sections List

Question: Which one of the following is true?

The IPC contains:

  1. 511 sections divided into 23 chapters.
  2. 500 sections divided into 38 chapters.
  3. 493 sections divided into 11 chapters.
  4. 511 sections divided into 24 chapters.

Choose the correct option.

Answer: (A) 511 sections divided into 23 chapters.

Other Important UPSC Notes
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Wetlands in IndiaSpecial Economic Zone In India
National Commission for WomenZero Coupon Bond
Black CarbonPermanent Settlement
Aspirational District ProgrammeCitizenship Amendment Act (CAA 2019)

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FAQs on IPC Sections List

  • The full form of IPC is “Indian Penal Code” and was established in the year 1860. IPC is the main criminal code for the country, and it includes all criminal offenses.

  • The Indian Penal Code (IPC) was implemented in 1860 as a result of the recommendations of India's first law commission, which was established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833 and chaired by Lord Macaulay. The Indian Penal Code defines what constitutes a crime and the penalties for committing one. This Code unifies the entire legal structure on the subject and diligently proclaims the law in all aspects.

  • Following are 4 IPC sections:

    • Section 2 – Punishment of offenses committed within India.
    • Section 124A – Sedition.
    • Section 141 – Unlawful assembly.
    • Section 142 – Being a member of unlawful assembly.
  • Following is a reform suggested in the IPC sections:

    “Blasphemy has no position in a liberal democracy, which is why the 1927 amendment, Section 295A, must be repealed.”

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