In the commission of a crime there are four stages:

  • Intention
  • Preparation
  • Implementation  
  • Accomplishment

1. Criminal intention: This is the first stage in a crime commission. A crime is not) punishable unless other people are made aware of it either through speech or conduct. E.g.: It is punishable to wage war against the government. In this case, it is punishable by mere intention to commit. Likewise, even though no preparation exists, mere assembly of persons to commit dacoity is punished.

2. Preparation The prosecution is difficult to show that preparation for the offense is necessary. E.g.: In case a person purchases a pistol and loads it with bullets, it is not possible to prove that the person is carrying the pistol to kill some other.

Mere preparation for an offense in the Indian Law shall be punishable for the following offenses. Waging War     Preparation to commit a dacoity Preparation for counterfeiting coins and Government stamps Possessing counterfeit coins, false weight or measurement and forged documents.

3. Attempt :It is also known as the ‘Preliminary Crime’. Section XXIII of the IPC, 1860 deals with ‘of Attempt to Commit Offences’ and provides the punishment for attempt.

Essentials of Attempt     

Guilty intention to commit an offence

 Some act done towards committing the offence    

The act must fall short of the completed offence

Prescribed Punishments in the Indian Penal Code      

Completed offences and attempts have been dealt in the same Section and same punishment is prescribed.E.g: Waging War and Attempting to Wage War (Sec. 121)     In certain cases, punishments for attempt to offences and completed offences are dealt separately. E.g.: Punishment for murder is dealt in Section 302, while attempt to murder is dealt in Sec. 307. In other cases, of attempt, are covered under Section 511 which prescribes the longest term of imprisonment or with fine or both.

4. Accomplishment: This is the final stage in the crime commission. Only if he succeeds in his action is the accused guilty of the offense. Otherwise, he is guilty of attempt only.

Example Cases—– R vs. Scofield (1784), R vs. Linneker (1906)    , Abhyanand Mishra vs. State of Bihar, AIR 1961 SC 1698.


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