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SECTION 212 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Harbouring offender


Last Updated: 01 May, 2024
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty


Table of Contents
  1. IPC 212 in Simple Words
  2. IPC Section 212 related FAQs
Whenever an offence has been committed, whoever harbours or conceals a person whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the offender, with the intention of screening him from legal punishment;

if a capital offence — shall, if the offence is punishable with death, be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine;

if punishable with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment — and if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment which may extend to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine; and if the offence is punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year, and not to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of the description provided for the offence for a term which may extend to one-fourth part of the longest term of imprisonment provided for the offence, or with fine, or with both.

“Offence” in this section includes any act committed at any place out of India, which, if committed in India, would be punishable under any of the following sections, namely, 302, 304, 382, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 435, 436, 449, 450, 457, 458, 459 and 460;

and every such act shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to be punishable as if the accused person had been guilty of it in India.



IPC 212 in Simple Words

In simple words, Section 212 of the Indian Penal Code states that if someone harbors or conceals a person they know or believe to be the offender of a crime, with the intention of protecting them from legal punishment, they can face different punishments based on the severity of the offense, ranging from up to five years of imprisonment and fine for capital offenses to up to three years of imprisonment with or without fine for offenses punishable with life imprisonment or ten years, and one-fourth part of the longest term of imprisonment provided for less serious offenses or fine, or both. This section also includes acts committed outside India that would be punishable under certain specified sections of the Indian Penal Code, and the punishment will be as if the accused person committed those acts in India.


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Offence : Harbouring an offender, If the offence be capital


Punishment : 5 Years + Fine


Cognizance : Cognizable


Bail : Bailable


Triable : Magistrate First Class



Offence : If punishable with imprisonment for life or with imprisonment for 10 Years


Punishment : 3 Years + Fine


Cognizance : Cognizable


Bail : Bailable


Triable : Magistrate First Class



Offence : If punishable with imprisonment for 1 Year and not for 10 Years


Punishment : One-Fourth of Offence or Fine or Both


Cognizance : Cognizable


Bail : Bailable


Triable : Magistrate First Class






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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the meaning of Section 212?

Section 212(e) states that if you fall under this section, you cannot obtain an H-1B visa for temporary workers or permanent residency in the US (as well L and K visas), until you meet the two-year home residency requirement.


What is the IPC section 213?

What is IPC Section 213?