Question: “The abetment of an offence being an offence, the abetment of such an abetment is also an offence.” Illustrate.


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The concept of abetment is explained in Chapter V of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Section 107 defines the term "abetment of a thing" and encompasses actions like instigation, assistance, aiding, or any form of support or encouragement in the commission of an offense.

Moving forward, Section 108 of the IPC defines an abettor and delves into the responsibilities and liabilities associated with abetment. It clarifies that a person abets an offense when they either instigate the commission of an offense or participate in a conspiracy for its execution.

The fourth explanation of Section 108 explicitly states that when the abetment of an offense is itself considered an offense, abetting such an abetment is also an offense. This principle is grounded in the idea that when a person encourages another person to commit an offense, they are essentially committing an offense themselves. Similarly, if a person encourages another person to abet an offense, they are still committing an offense, as the offense of abetment is considered a substantive offense.

For a practical illustration, consider this scenario: Person A encourages Person B to murder Person Z, leading to Person A being charged with the offense of abetment of murder. Similarly, if Person A instigates Person B to further instigate Person C to commit the murder, and Person C carries out the offense due to B's instigation, Person A is liable for the offense of abetment of the abetment of murder.

In summary, the phrase emphasizes that the legal system recognizes and addresses culpability not only for the direct act of abetment but also for cases where individuals contribute to or support the abetment of an offense. This legal framework underscores individual culpability for both the primary as well as secondary act of abetment, i.e. abetment of abetment.

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