The Indian Penal Code


The Indian Penal Code, 1860 was a comprehensive criminal code of India introduced during the British rule. It was replaced in 2023 by the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita (BNS) which received the President of India’s assent on December 25, 2023 and is expected to come into force on July 1, 2024.

The Law Commission, established under the Charter Act of 1833 enacted by the British Parliament, made recommendations for the drafting of the code under the chairmanship of Thomas Babington Macaulay. It came into force on January 1, 1962. The Indian Penal Code has been amended several times since then.

The Code consists of 23 chapters covering 511 sections: Introduction (Chapter I); General Explanations (Chapter II); Of Punishments (Chapter III); General Exceptions (Chapter IV); Of Abetment (Chapter V); Criminal Conspiracy (Chapter VA); Of Offences Against the State (Chapter VI); Of Offences Relating to the Army, Navy and Air Force (Chapter VII); Of Offences Against the Public Tranquility (Chapter VIII); Of Offences By or Relating to Public Servants (Chapter IX); Of Offences Relating to Elections (Chapter IXA); Of Contempts of the Lawful Authority of Public Servants (Chapter X); Of False Evidence and Offences Against Public Justice (Chapter XI); Of Offences Relating to Coin and Government Stamps (Chapter XII); Of Offences Relating to Weights and Measures (Chapter XIII); Of Offences Affecting the Public Health, Safety, Convenience, Decency and Morals (Chapter XIV); Of Offences Relating to Religion (Chapter XV); Of Offences Affecting the Human Body (Chapter XVI); Of Offences Against Property (Chapter XVII); Of Offences Relating to Documents and to Property Marks (chapter XVIII); Of the Criminal Breach of Contracts of Service (Chapter XIX); Of Offences Relating to Marriage (Chapter XX); Of Cruelty By Husband or Relatives of Husband (Chapter XXA); Of Defamation (Chapter XXI); Of Criminal Intimidation, Insult and Annoyance (Chapter XXII); and Of Attempts to Commit Offences (Chapter XXIII).


Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India


Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India