Attempt to Commit Offence
Section 511 of the Code deals with the punishment for attempt to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or a shorter term. It provides whoever attempts to commit an offence punishable by this code with imprisonment for life or imprisonment, or to cause such an offence to be committed and in such attempt does an act towards the commission of the offence, shall, where no express provision is made by this code for the punishment of such attempt, be punished with of either description for a term which may extend to one half of the longest term of imprisonment provided for that offence or with fine daman as is provided for the offence or with both.
What is attempt
To constitute attempt there must be evidence of some overt act linked with the intended offence and an attempt is complete if the accuse does an act which is a step towards the commission of the specified crime. Attempt is some external tangible act showing progress towards the actual commission of offence. An act cannot be sufficient proximate and must be too remote if acts complained of themselves do not raise a presumption of mens rea. A criminal attempt bears criminal intent upon its face and the thing speaks for itself. If an act would lead inevitably to the commission of the offence, unless something which the doer of the act neither foresaw nor intended happens to prevent this, it is an attempt to commit an offence.
Ingredients of attempt:
An attempt to commit crime consists of:-
- The intent to commit the crime
- Performance of some act towards the commission of the crime and
- Failure to consummate its commission beyond the control of the offender.
The test for determining whether the act constitute attempt or preparation is whether the overt acts already done are such that if the offender changes his mind and does not proceed further in its progress the act already done would be completely harmless. But where the thing is such as if not prevented by the extraneous cause would fructify into commission of an offence, it would amount to an attempt to commit an offence. So long as the act rests on a bare intention, it is not punishable, but if the accused has gone so far, that the crime would have been completed but for extraneous intervention, which frustrated its consummation the offence of attempt would be complete. Attempt actually is a part execution of criminal design amounting to more than preparation and short of actual commission. It is direct movement towards the commission of offence after preparation has been made.