Sec. 388 explains about extortion by threat of accusation of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life, etc. Sec. 389 explains the provisions about putting person in fear of accusation of offence in order to commit extortion.
Extort, (v.t.) = To obtain possession of any property or money by force or compulsion, etc.; to wrest from another by force, menace, duress, to obtain money or other valuable thing either by compulsion, by actual force, or by the force of motives applied to the will, and often more overpowering and irresistible than physical force. This term which signifies the adoption of illegal means?
Extortion, (n.) = this term is derived from Latin term “extorsio”. In its widest sense means, any oppression under pretence or colour of right. In a popular sense it is used as equivalent to black mailing or obtaining money by threats.
Section 383 defines “Extortion”. This Section contains four illustrations.
Sec. 383. Extortion:
Whoever intentionally puts any person in fear of any injury to that person, or to any other, and thereby dishonestly induces the person so put in fear to deliver to any person any property or valuable security, or anything signed or sealed which may be converted into a valuable security, commits “extortion”.
A threatens to publish a defamatory libel concerning Z unless Z gives him money. He thus induces Z to give him money. A has committed extortion.
A threatens Z that he will keep Z’s child in wrongful confinement; unless Z will sign and deliver to A promissory note binding Z to pay certain moneys to A. Z signs and delivers the note. A has committed extortion.
A threatens to send club-men to plough up Z’s field, unless Z will sign and deliver to B a bond binding Z under a penalty to deliver certain produce to B, and thereby induces Z to sign and deliver the bond. A has committed extortion.
A, by putting Z in fear of grievous hurt, dishonestly induces Z to sign or affix his seal to a blank paper and delivers it to A. Z signs and delivers the paper to A. Here, as the paper so signed may be converted into a valuable security. A has committed extortion.
1. The accused must put any person in fear of injury to that person or any other person.
2. The putting of a person in such fear must be intentional.
3. The accused must thereby induce the person so put in fear to deliver to any person any property.
4. Such inducement must be done dishonestly.
5. Extortion is an aggravated form of theft.
B. “In all robbery, there is either theft or extortion”:
In the offences of theft and extortion, one’s property is taken away by the accused either by dishonestly or putting the owner in fear. Extortion is an aggravated form of theft.
Robbery is an aggravated form of theft and extortion. Dacoity is an aggravated form of Robbery. In all these offences, viz., theft, extortion, robbery and dacoity, the accused wants to grab away the movable property.
Sec. 390 explains “when theft is robbery”. It says that theft is “robbery” if, in order to the committing of the theft, or in committing the theft, or in carrying away or attempting to carry away property obtained by theft, the offender, for that end, voluntarily causes or attempts to cause to any person death or hurt or wrongful restraint, or fear of instant death or of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint.
Sec. 390 also explains “when extortion is robbery”. It says that- extortion is “robbery” if the offender, at the time of committing the extortion, is in the presence of the person put in fear, and commits the extortion by putting that person in fear of instant death, or of instant hurt, or of instant wrongful restraint to that person, or to some other person, and, by so putting in fear, induces the person so put in fear then and there to deliver up the thing extorted.
In robbery, instant fear of injury or death is created in the mind of the owner of the property. In extortion, fear of injury or death or damage to the property is created by the accused in the mind of the owner of the property, but not instant.
In extortion, the accused gives time to the owner to achieve his demand. In robbery, the accused does not give time to the owner. Punishment is also severe in case of robbery than extortion. Similar differences are found between dacoity and extortion.