Try: An Incohate Crime?

Attempt: An Incohate Crime? written by Prapti Kothari student at the Institute of Law at Nirma University



The applicant divorced by mutual consent and then lived in her father’s house. The complainant was the complainant’s neighbor and had good relations with the complainant’s father. The applicant, who was a married man with a family, gave gifts to the applicant and indulged in sexual intercourse with the promise to marry the applicant. The applicant became pregnant and asked him to fulfill the vow, but he relented, saying that she should be taking medication to enable a miscarriage.
One night the applicant gave her a paper package with powdered copper sulfate and a half-full bottle of red liquid to induce a miscarriage. The applicant spat it out, finding the powder salty and powerful, and did not even try the liquid. The next evening the defendant came back to find that she had not taken the powder or liquid. He urged her to take it, but she refused. The complainant then forced the complainant to consume the same. However, the complainant began to scream and so the complainant fled.


Was the complainant liable for the “attempt” to cause the complainant a miscarriage?


The applicant alleged that the applicant was an accomplice herself and that her evidence was unsubstantiated, that she wished to empty the uterus to destroy the fetus, but was afraid of the effects of the procedure on herself.
In terms of medical evidence, copper sulfate has no direct effect on the uterus and is not harmful unless ingested in extremely large amounts, and therefore neither the liquid nor the powder can cause a miscarriage. The complainant cannot be accused of attempting to do so. The complainant administered a harmless drug to trigger a miscarriage according to current knowledge. So it would not be an act of causing a miscarriage in the act of committing the crime.

In addition, the defendant in R v. McPherson (1857) dismissed the attempt because of the uncertainty of an incident due to external interference. It was just a preparatory case and should not be viewed as an “attempt”. In RV Cheeseman (1862) it was found that preparation and trial were two distinct phases and an external interruption is not complete. In addition, in Empress v. Mt. Rupsir Panku (1895) it was decided that the law to commit crimes should be an act strong enough to produce the intended result. If the act does not have the necessary potential, it is not enough to be an attempt.


The applicant alleged that the applicant attempted to cause a miscarriage with the intent of destroying the fetus by bringing the applicant advertising, the copper sulfate powder and the red colored liquid related to her abortion and forcing her to consume the crime Miscarriage, which is part of a series of acts which would have formed the actual commission had it not been interrupted by the complainant. Had the complainant not been prevented, this would have led to the complete completion of the attempted act. Thus, the intent followed by preparation followed by an act to commit the offense is “sufficient” to constitute an attempt at the offense.
The conclusion in the cases of McPherson (1857) and Collins (1864) 33 LJM C 177 is completely inconsistent with the examples in Section 511. Anyone who believes that there is a certain factual situation, commits or fails to perform an act in which that state of affairs indeed existed, it would be an effort to commit a criminal offense attempting to commit that crime, even if its execution in the proposed Manner at the time of the act or omission was unlikely as that fact would not exist sufficient to constitute an attempt at the crime.


This case is an eye opener because in common parlance the word “attempt” is used to describe an attempt to do something. If we subscribe to this definition, this case would be an open and closed case. In legal terms, however, under Section 511 of the Indian Penal Code, the word attempt does not just mean to do something, it must be preceded by intention and preparation without interruption. Not only is the commission of the crime important here, but this commission should be carried out without interruption or intervention.
Furthermore, intention alone or mens rea alone or intention followed by preparation is insufficient to represent an attempt. However, the intention, followed by preparation, followed by an “act to enforce the crime” is sufficient. Readers should also shed light on the word “adequate” which played a very important role in this case. If the amount of powder or liquid had not been insufficient, the appellant would not have been acquitted. Since the amounts of the liquid or powder were insufficient and harmless unless ingested in extremely large amounts, they were unable to cause a miscarriage that released the defendant from the sentence.
Any act can be charged as an attempt to commit a crime if it is a step in the implementation of the criminal intent and is an act that is actively related to or closely related to the commission of the crime, through which the Person is thinking. There must be an intentional act knowingly committed against the execution of a crime, one or more of a series of acts that would give rise to the crime if the perpetrator were not tampered with, or if physical failure were not stopped or unable to to carry out his criminal intent for another reason.
In this case, the focus was on whether the acts dependent on the attempt were carried out with the intention of committing the entire offense and as one or more of a series of acts or omissions that are some of the essential steps in completing the offense, though completion by advocating reasons beyond the will of the accused or because the accused has failed to serve his criminal purpose for any reason other than mere doubt of his own free will.


Based on the facts mentioned in this case, the complainant cannot be accused of attempting to cause a miscarriage for the reasons already mentioned by law.
What the complainant did was not an “act to commit the crime” to cause a miscarriage. Without being harmful, neither the liquid nor the powder, they could not have caused a miscarriage. The complainant’s failure was not due to an independent reason. The conviction and judgment were therefore overturned and the applicant acquitted.

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