Home » General Knowledge » The Indian Penal Code (IPC) – History, Structure, Important IPC Sections

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) – History, Structure, Important IPC Sections

Know about the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and its history, structure, and important sections.

Indian Penal Code

The Indian Penal Code, or IPC, is the official criminal code of the Republic of India. It is a comprehensive code intended to cover all aspects of criminal law in India.

It came into force in 1862 during British raj in India. However until the 1940s the code did not apply to Princely states as they had their own courts and legal systems. Since then the code has been amended several times.  

History of Indian Penal Code

The Indian Penal Code (IPC) was drafted by the First law Commission of India, chaired by Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833. The draft goes into several revisions and the final revision was done at the hands of Barnes Peacock, who later became the first chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court. The Code was enacted or passed into law on 6 October 1860.

The Code came into operation on 1 January 1862 during British rule in India. It applied to all of british-ruled India except the Princely States which had their own courts and judicial systems until the 1940s. The IPC is divided into 23 chapters which includes a total 511 sections.

India Penal Code: Structure

The India Penal Code (IPC) covers a wide range of offenses and the punishment for them. It is sub-divided into 23 chapters which comprises 511 sections.

ChapterSections coveredClassification of Offences
Chapter ISections 1 to 5Introduction
Chapter IISections 6 to 52General Explanations
Chapter IIISections 53 to 75Of Punishments
Chapter IVSections 76 to 106General Exceptionsof the Right of Private Defence (Sections 96 to 106)
Chapter VSections 107 to 120Of Abetment
Chapter VASections 120A to 120BCriminal Conspiracy
Chapter VISections 121 to 130Of Offences against the State
Chapter VIISections 131 to 140Of Offences relating to the Army, Navy and Air Force
Chapter VIIISections 141 to 160Of Offences against the Public Tranquillity
Chapter IXSections 161 to 171Of Offences by or relating to Public Servants
Chapter IXASections 171A to 171IOf Offences Relating to Elections
Chapter XSections 172 to 190Of Contempts of Lawful Authority of Public Servants
Chapter XISections 191 to 229Of False Evidence and Offences against Public Justice
Chapter XIISections 230 to 263Of Offences relating to coin and Government Stamps
Chapter XIIISections 264 to 267Of Offences relating to Weight and Measures
Chapter XIVSections 268 to 294Of Offences affecting the Public Health, Safety, Convenience, Decency and Morals.
Chapter XVSections 295 to 298Of Offences relating to Religion
Chapter XVISections 299 to 377Of Offences affecting the Human Body.Of Offences Affecting Life including murder, culpable homicide (Sections 299 to 311)Of the Causing of Miscarriage, of Injuries to Unborn Children, of the Exposure of Infants, and of the Concealment of Births (Sections 312 to 318)Of Hurt (Sections 319 to 338)Of Wrongful Restraint and Wrongful Confinement (Sections 339 to 348)Of Criminal Force and Assault (Sections 349 to 358)Of Kidnapping, Abduction, Slavery and Forced Labour (Sections 359 to 374)Sexual Offences including rape and Sodomy (Sections 375 to 377)
Chapter XVIISections 378 to 462Of Offences Against PropertyOf Theft (Sections 378 to 382)Of Extortion (Sections 383 to 389)Of Robbery and Dacoity (Sections 390 to 402)Of Criminal Misappropriation of Property (Sections 403 to 404)Of Criminal Breach of Trust (Sections 405 to 409)Of the Receiving of Stolen Property (Sections 410 to 414)Of Cheating (Section 415 to 420)Of Fraudulent Deeds and Disposition of Property (Sections 421 to 424)Of Mischief (Sections 425 to 440)Of Criminal Trespass (Sections 441 to 462)
Chapter XVIIISection 463 to 489 -EOffences relating to Documents and Property MarksOffences relating to Documents (Section 463 to 477-A)Offences relating to Property and Other Marks (Sections 478 to 489)Offences relating to Currency Notes and Bank Notes (Sections 489A to 489E)
Chapter XIXSections 490 to 492Of the Criminal Breach of Contracts of Service
Chapter XXSections 493 to 498Of Offences related to marriage
Chapter XXASections 498AOf Cruelty by Husband or Relatives of Husband
Chapter XXISections 499 to 502Of Defamation
Chapter XXIISections 503 to 510Of Criminal intimidation, Insult and Annoyance
Chapter XXIIISection 511Of Attempts to Commit Offences

Indian Penal Code: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is the penal code in India?

Answer: The Indian Penal Code is the official criminal code of India that aims to address all substantive aspects of criminal law.

Q2. Who is the father of IPC?

Answer: The IPC was drafted under the Charter Act of 1833 under the chairmanship of Thomas Babington Macaulay.

Q3. How many IPC are there in India?

Answer: The Indian Penal Code is divided into 23 chapters which contains 511 sections in total.

Q4. Which is the toughest IPC in India?

Answer: The death sentence is the harshest form of punishment under the Indian Penal Code.