Criminal Conspiracy in Pakistan is an action where 2 or more people plan to commit a crime. This is covered in the Pakistan Penal Code under Section 120 (subsections A and B). This can be used against people planning an illegal act or planning an act through illegal means.
This crime is unique in its approach as it can be charged against a group of individuals even if the actual crime planned wasn’t committed. In this article, we will be breaking down Criminal Conspiracy in Pakistan and their relevance in Criminal proceedings in Pakistan.
The most important ingredient of the offense of conspiracy is the agreement between two or more persons to do an illegal act1989 PSC 533
What is Criminal Conspiracy?
When we talk about Criminal Conspiracy in Pakistan, we are talking about the planning and intent to commit a crime. So, by its very definition, as we have established, a plan cannot consist of just one person.
A crime in Pakistan is constituted by 2 factors; the intention (known as Mens Rea) and the action (known as Actus Rea). Similarly, with criminal conspiracy, the intention needs to follow some form of action (towards executing the plan) before we can press charges for Criminal conspiracy in Pakistan.
To constitute criminal conspiracy there must be an agreement of two or more persons to do an act which is illegal or which is to be done by illegal means1998 PCrlj 1486
What actions amount to Criminal Conspiracy?
So now we have the plan and the parties who made the plan. Is there an agreement? That is the question that the courts will decide when considering Criminal Conspiracy in Pakistan.
An agreement to execute the plan is when a plan is made and actions are agreed upon, with designations given to certain people. Once people have been deputed certain roles (according to the plan) and they are all in agreement with it, then it would be considered by the court that an agreement was made.
Mere knowledge, acquiscence or approval of an act without cooperation is not sufficient [for Criminal Conspiracy in Pakistan]1992 PCrLJ 2086
What is the penalty for Criminal Intent in Pakistan?
Section 120 A defines Criminal Conspiracy in Pakistan, but the next section (120 B) defines the punishment. If the offense that was planned attracted a sentence of life imprisonment or rigorous imprisonment for a term of 2 years, then the punishment is the same as abetment.
It goes further to state that anyone who assisted in the plan but was not a criminal conspirator would be sentenced to a maximum period of 6 months, or a fine, or both. This is why it is important to ensure the case goes your way.
One of the accused [in criminal conspiracy in Pakistan] held guilty while the remaining acquitted. IllegalPLD 1956 SC (Ind) 215
How is Criminal Conspiracy in Pakistan proven?
First, the motive of the crime needs to be proved, which is usually done by a criminal lawyer. This can be proved by a witness statement, documentary evidence, messages on modern devices, or circumstantial evidence.
Once the motive and plan have been established and proved, the parties (the Criminal Conspirators) need to now take some form of action toward executing that plan (even if the crime itself hasn’t been committed).
Conspiracy between husband and wife does not warrant prosecutionPLD 1957 PC 92
What can dismiss a case for Criminal Intent in Pakistan?
If you are wondering whether you can say “Someone told me to do it” and get away with it, the answer is no. Although the person giving the instructions is also a conspirator, an agitator, and an abettor, he or she will also be vicariously liable, but the person who committed the act will also be charged for the offense.
The case of criminal conspiracy in Pakistan can be dismissed if the actions [presented to the court] taken to execute the alleged plan were not linked to the alleged motive (and can be proven so as well). There are many factors that can be questioned or challenged to dismiss such a case, that’s why you should contact one of our criminal lawyers in Pakistan if you need further advice.
Compliance and superiors direction is no defense1989 PSC 995
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