General Explanation In IPC


There is a list of general explanation in IPC which are given below:

Section 6: Definition in the code to be understood subject to the exception-

Throughout this code, every definition of an offense, every penal provision, and every illustration of every such definition or penal provision, shall be understood subject to the exceptions contained in the chapter entitled “General Exception”, though those exceptions are not repeated in such definition, penal provision, or illustration.


  • The section of general explanation, in the code, which contains the definition of the offense, does not express that a child under seven years of age cannot commit such offense, but the definitions are to be understood subject to the general exception seven years of age.

Section 7: Sense of expression once explained:

Every expression which is explained in any part of this code is used in every part of this code in conformity with the explanation.

Section 8: Gender:

The pronoun “he” and its derivation are used of any person, whether male or female.

Section 9: Number: 

Unless the contrary appears from the context, words importing the singular number include the plural number, and word importing the plural number include the singular number.

Section 10: Man:

The word “man” means the male person and world “woman” denotes female human. Emperor v/s Talia, 14 Bom LR 961- A girl of six is a ‘woman’. An assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty is punishable under section 354.

State v/s Major Singh AIR 1967 S.C.

Section 11: Person:

  • Any company or association whether incorporated or not is a person.
  • In this section, a person included a ratification person and legal both.
  • An idol is a legal person and to own property, therefore is a person under section 11.
  • Jabbar v/s State AIR 1966 Allahabad – Fully developed unborn child is a person.
  • Nagar Nigam is a person, but only fine can be imposed upon it as it cannot be sentenced by imprisonment.

ILLUSTRATION- This general explanation can be illustrated by the case study, Krishnan v/s Krishna Veni AIR 1997 S.C.

The word ‘person’ does not include the state as it is not a property owner institution.

Section 12: Public:

 The word “public” includes any class of the public or any community.            

Section 14: Servant of government:

The word “servant of government” denotes any officer or servant continued appointed or employed in India by or under the authority of government.

Section 17: Government:

The word “government” denotes the central government of the government of a state.

Section 18: India:

“India” means the territory of India excluding the state of JAMMU & KASHMIR.

Section 19: Judge:

The word “judge” denotes not only every person who is officially designated as judge, but also every person, who is empowered by law to give, in any legal proceeding, civil or criminal, a definitive judgment, or a judgment which, if not appealed against, would be definitive, or a judgment which, if confirmed by some other authority, would be definitive, or who is one of a body of persons, which body of persons, is empowered by law to give such a judgment.

Section 20: Court of Justice:

The word “court of justice” denote a judge who is empowered by law to act judicially alone, or a body of judges which is empowered by law to act judicially as a body, when such judge or body of judges is acting judicially.

Only construction of building and venue is not the court, Vardakant Misra  v/s. Registrar Orissa University AIR S.C 1974- when any judge is ding word in the administrative capacity in the court the comments against him not be considered as contempt of court.

T.R. Dhananjay v/s. Vasudevan- An importance related to contempt of court and public servant.

Section 21: Public servant:

The word “public servant” denote a person falling under any of the descriptions hereinafter following, namely:

  1. Every commissioned officer in the military, naval or Air Force of India.
  2. Every judge.
  3. Every officer of a court of justice(including a liquidator, receiver or commissioner, whose duty is as such to investigated or report or to make a document, attestation of any document or to execute any judicial process.
  4. Every juryman, assessor, or member of a panchayat.
  5. The person who is empowered to place any person in confinement.
  6. Government officer whose duty is to prevent offenses, to give information of offenses, to bring the offender to justice or to protect public health, safety.
  7. Every government officer who on behalf of government take, receive, keep or expend property, to make any survey, to the investigation, to report on any matter affecting the pecuniary interest of the government or to prevent the infraction of any law for the protection of the pecuniary interests of the government.
  8. Every officer whose duty is to take, receive, keep or to expend property, to make any survey or to levy any tax for any secular purpose of any place.
  9. Every person empowered to prepare, publish, maintain or revise electoral roll to conduct the election.
  10. (A) Every person in the service of the government or pay, fee or commission for the performance of any public duty.

In the service or pay of a local authority.

  1. Every arbitrator

ILLUSTRATION- This general explanation can be illustrated by, a municipal commissioner is a public servant.


  1. A person falling under any of the above descriptions are not necessarily be appointed by the government.
  2. Every person who is in actual possession of the situation of a public servant is a public servant.
  3. For elected member- “It is mandatory that elected member has acquired the post, following due process of election.

Besides above, a person who is appointed by the government takes a salary, the government has the full right in respect of his appointment, service, and termination of service, perform duties for public and has the power to bind public and government by his acts is also a public servant.

Every public servant is a government servant but every government servant is not a public servant. Dhanpal Singh v/s Punjab state, 1970.S.C.- An MLA is not a public servant, but when he becomes Minister, he is a public servant.

An  IAS officer is not a public servant on being posted on a post/ position(Padsthapan)

Government servant and Public servant – A person appointed by the government is called government servant. Whereas the person who has the power to bind government and public is called a public servant.

Section 22: Movable Property: 

The word denotes to include corporeal property of every description, except land and things attached to the earth.

  • Property attached to the earth having the capability of movement from one place to another.Avtar Singh v/s State AIR 1965 S.C.: Electricity is not movable property. Corporal Property – which can be felt by sense organs.

Section 23: Wrongful gain: 

Wrongful gain is gain by lawful means of property to which the person gaining is not legally entitled. “Wrongful loss” is the loss by unlawful means of property to which the person losing it is legally entitled.


This general explanation can be easily understood by the example: selling in the market wheat/ oil/ sugar of Rashan at double price is the example of wrongful gain and the loss occurred to government is a wrongful loss.

  • Wrongful- means trespassing of others legal right without any reasonable cause.
  • Unlawful means- The means which are not permissible by law.

Wrongful gains – A person is said to gain wrongfully when such person retains wrongfully as well as when such person acquires wrongfully.

Section 24: Dishonestly: 

Whoever does anything with the intention of causing wrongful gain to one person or wrongful loss to another person, is said to do that thing dishonestly”.

In this section, it is essential that the act has been done by the accused with the intention of wrongful gain or wrongful loss.

ILLUSTRATION- This general explanation can be illustrated by, while cleaning house the servant with the intention to take the wristwatch to hide it beneath the carpet.

Section 25: Fraudulently: 

A person is said to do a thing fraudulently if he does those things with the intent to defraud but not otherwise.

The expression intent to defraud means intent to deceive in such a manner as to expose any person to loss or the risk of loss means not only a deprivation of property but includes the infringement of any right possessed by a person. S.P.Nadu v/s Jagannath 1994. When anything is exposed in the manner which is not actual. In defrauding right of property life and marriage is included.

Section 26: Reason to believe: 

A person is said to have “reason to believe” a thing if he has sufficient cause to believe that thing but not otherwise. There must be sufficient cause, It does not include believe done with doubt.

Section 29: Document:

Any matter expressed upon any substance by means of letters, figures, or marks, intended to be used as evidence of the matter. The word evidence has been defined in section 2 of the Indian Evidence Act and also Section 3(18)  of the General Clauses Act 1897.

It is immaterial by what means or upon what substance the letters have been formed, the important is to prove the existence.

Example – Signs or trees, currency notes are documents.

Section 30: Valuable Security: 

The words “valuable security” denotes a document which is, or purports to be, a document whereby any legal right is created, extended, transferred, restricted, extinguished or released, or whereby any person acknowledges that he lies under legal liability, or has not a certain legal right.

ILLUSTRATION- This general explanation can be illustrated by and example of Endorsement, assignment, crossed.

A write his name on the back of a bill of exchange. As the effect of this endorsement is to transfer the right to the bill to any person who may become the lawful holder of it, the endorsement is valuable security.

  1. Income tax- assessment order is valuable security.
  2. Passport- It creates a right so it is valuable security.
  3. A certificate fraudulently prepared is not valuable security.
  4. Valuable security of valuable security is not valuable security.

Section 31: A will: The words “a will” denotes any testamentary document.

Section 32: Words referring to acts include illegal omissions: In every part of this code, except where a contrary intention appears from the context, words which refer to acts done extend also to illegal omissions.

Section 33: Act, “Omission”- The word “act” denotes as well as series of act as a single act the word “omission ” denotes as well as series of omission as a single omission.

Section 34: Act is done by several persons in furtherance of common intention– When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.

Section 35 : When such an act is criminal by reason of its being done with  criminal knowledge or intention-  Whenever an act, which is criminal only by reason of its being done with a criminal knowledge or intention, is done by several persons, each of such persons who join  in the act with such knowledge or intention is liable for the act in the same manner as if the act were done by him alone with that knowledge or intention.

Section 36 : Effect caused partly by act and partly by omission – Wherever the causing of a certain effect, or any attempt to cause that effect by an act or by  an omission, is an offense, it is to be understood that the causing of that effect partly by an act and partly by an omission is the same offense.

ILLUSTRATION- This general explanation can be illustrated by, A intentionally causes Z’s death, partly by illegally omitting to give Z food, and partly by beating Z. A has committed murder.

Section 37: Cooperation by doing one of several acts constituting an offense–  When an offense is committed by means of several acts, whoever intentionally co-operation in the commission of that offense by doing any one of those acts, either singly or jointly with any other person, commits that offense.

ILLUSTRATION- This general explanation can be illustrated by, A and B are joint jailor, and such have the charge of Z, a prisoner, alternately for six hours at a time. A and B intending to cause Z’s death, knowingly cooperate in causing that effect by illegally omitting, each during the time of his attendance, to furnish z with food supplied to them for that purpose. Z dies of hunger. Both A and B are guilty of the murder of Z.

Section 38: Persons concerned in criminal act may be guilty of different offenses– Where several persons are engaged or concerned in the commission of a criminal act, they may be guilty of the different offense by means of that act.

Section 39: “Voluntarily”- A person is said to cause an effect, “ voluntarily ”.when he cause it by means whereby he intended to cause it, or by means which, at the time of employing those means, he knew or had reason to believe to be likely to cause it.

ILLUSTRATION- This general explanation can be illustrated by, A sets fire, by night to an inhabited house in a large town, for the purpose of facilitating a robbery and thus causes the death of a person. Here, A may not have intended to cause death; and may even be sorry that death has been caused by his act; yet, if he knew that he was likely to cause death, he has caused death voluntarily.

Section 40: ‘Offence”– Any act punishable under the Indian Penal Code is an offense. The definition of “offense” as given under section 40 of Indian penal code intends to cover the punishable act also under local and special laws. Only because of this the exception given in IPC is also applicable to special and local laws.

Section 41: “Special laws”– It is a law applicable to a particular subject.

Section 42: “Local law”- A “ local laws “ is a law applicable only to a particular part of India.

Section 43: “Illegal”-

  1. Everything which is an offense.
  2. Which is prohibited by law.
  3. Which furnishes ground for a civil action.

Legally bound to do – A person is said to be legally bound to do whatever it is illegal in him to omit.

ILLUSTRATION- This general explanation can be illustrated by, Sami v/s State of Madras- Intercourse between unmarried persons if done by mutual consent is not illegal.

Section 44: “Injury”– The word “injury” denotes any harm whatever illegally caused to any person, in body, mind, reputation or property.

Section 52: “Good faith”- When any act is done with due care and attention, it is said to be done in good faith.

Section 52 A: “Harbour”- Supplying a person with shelter, food, drink, money clothes, arms, ammunition, or means of conveyance or the assisting a person by any means is called “Harbour”.

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