SECTION 511 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment

IPC Section-511

Description of IPC Section 511

According to section 511 of Indian penal code, Whoever attempts to commit an offence punishable by this Code with imprisonment for life or imprisonment, or to cause such an offence to be committed, and in such attempt does any act towards the commission of the offence, shall, where no express provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such attempt, be punished with imprisonment of any description provided for the offence, for a term which may extend to one-half of the imprisonment for life or, as the case may be, one-half of the longest term of imprisonment provided for that offence, or with such fine as is provided for the offence, or with both.


Offence : Attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment, and in such attempt doing any act towards the commission of the offence

Punishment : Imprisonment for Life or Imprisonment not exceeding, half of the longest term provided for the Offence, or Fine, or Both

Cognizance : Same As for Offence attempted

Bail : Same As for Offence attempted

Triable : Same As for Offence attempted

What does Section 511 entail?

The law does not only punish those who commit wrongful acts but also those who take action towards such wrongful acts. Attempt is a word that means trying to do something. However, in law the word can also mean preliminary crime or when the crime has not been completely done. There is also a thin line that actually differentiates preparation from an attempt in law.

Section 511 of the IPC talks about punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment. For Example: A makes an attempt to steal some jewels by breaking open a box, and finds after so opening the box, that there is no jewel in it. He has done an act towards the commission of theft, and therefore is guilty under this section.

A person commits an attempt towards a particular crime when any person does the following:

  1. The person has an intention to commit the crime

  2. Does preparation for the commission of the crime

  3. If the person any act towards the commission such crime

    Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue

When does an Attempt become a Crime?

Attempt becomes a crime when it reaches to a point of almost committing a crime. It is the stage when the preparation is done and the offender does anything towards the commission with the intention to commit the crime. The two ingredients are as follows:

  1. A guilty mind

  2. Any act done towards the commission of the crime

Some important pointers to keep in mind under Section 511 are discussed below:

  1. An act which is done with the intention and preparation and the commission of an act was proposed in such a manner which was impossible to work then it will not be an attempt. To make it more clear with an illustration, if a person believes in some voodoo magic and he puts a spell on another person or curses him. He will not be convicted of an attempt to cause hurt, because what he does is not an act towards the commission of that offence, but an act towards the commission of something which cannot according to law result in hurt to another.

  2. A person is said to commit an offence of attempt also in the case in which he voluntarily abstains from committing the actual crime.

  3. An attempt is made a punishable offence because every attempt even if it fails, creates or cause alarm, which of itself is an injury and is the same as if the crime had been successful. However, the injury here is not as serious as in the case of actual crime, the punishment is one half of that for the actual crime.

    Consult: Top Criminal Lawyers in India

What is the Trial Procedure for Section 511?

The trial procedure for a case instituted under Section 323 of IPC is similar to that of any other criminal case. The procedure is as follows:

  • FIR (First Information Report): Under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, an FIR or First Information Report is registered. An FIR is a piece of information given by someone who is usually the aggrieved party to the police relating the act of an offence.

  • Investigation by the police: The next step after the filing of FIR is the investigation. After examining facts and circumstances and collecting evidence a conclusion a police report is filed to the magistrate.

  • Charges imposed: If after considering the police report and other important documents the accused is not discharged, then the court frames charges. This means that the accused enters a trial. It is important to note that in a warrant case the charges should be in writing.

  • Plea of guilty: After framing the charges the accused is given an opportunity to plead guilty. The court must note that such a plea is made voluntarily and not under undue pressure.

  • Prosecution evidence: After the accused pleads guilty, the court requires the prosecution to produce evidence to prove the guilt of the accused. The prosecution is required to support their arguments with evidence. A lot of witnesses are also examined in the process. The court has the power to issue summons to any person as a witness or order anyone to produce any document.

  • Statement given by the accused: The accused is given an opportunity to be heard and explain his end of arguments.

  • Burden of proof: The burden of proof is on the prosecution. They have to prove to the court that the accused has indeed attempted to commit the particular crime.

  • Judgement: The final decision of the court given with reasons in the acquittal or conviction of the accused is known as judgement. In a scenario where the accused is acquitted, the prosecution is given time to appeal against the order of the court. On the other hand, when the accused is convicted, then both sides are invited to present arguments on the punishment which is to be awarded. This is usually done when the accused has committed an offence that amounts to life imprisonment or capital punishment.

    Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue

How to get Bail in a Section 511 case?

This entirely depends if the crime the offender wanted to commit and made an attempt towards is bailable or not. If the crime is a bailable offence then a bail can be granted. The first step is to hire a competent criminal lawyer who can aid you with the process of getting bail. The next step would be filing for bail. The accused has to file an application for bail, that is Form no. 45 which is provided in the second schedule. The next step would be the bail hearing. This is the hearing where the judge will hear all the reasons to grant the bail and announce the decision. This is a very crucial step and there is a much more need for a good criminal lawyer representation for you as the way you present your arguments can help you get the bail or your bail may be rejected by the court. All the facts and evidence should be presented before the court. Some of the considerations that are looked into before granting bail to the accused are the following:

  • The character of the accused

  • The nature of the crime for which he has been accused

  • His employment situation and financial status

  • His background history

  • Whether the accused has been convicted before and if yes, then his regularity in the scheduled appearances by the judge,

  • His family background and history,

  • For the number of years, he has been a resident of the community where he currently lives.

Consult: Top Criminal Lawyers in India

What are your Prospects of Getting a Government Job when Charged under Section 511?

It is a pre conceived notion that any sort of criminal case once initiated against you then the chance of getting employed in a government job becomes slim to none. However, that is far from reality. If your case is under trial then you would have to wait for the judgement to be delivered. It also differs from department to department and the process of selection. If you are acquitted then you would be eligible to apply for any government job. On the other hand, if you are convicted and have appealed it in a higher court then you may be required to mention that the conviction is appealed and sub-judice.

Please be wary of lying about your circumstances as there may be background checks on the employer as a part of the recruiting process. Lying about your circumstances can lead to automatic disqualification. Also just being implicated does not mean being convicted and a person is innocent until proven otherwise.

Important Judgements related to Section 511

1. Malkait Singh V. State of Punjab

The accused were a truck driver and cleaner who were caught hold near a barrier check post in Punjab which was few miles away from the inter-state border of Punjab and they were accused of carrying 75 bags of paddy illegally being smuggled along with evidence of a letter written by consigner in Punjab to consignee in Delhi. The accused were charged for acts i.e attempt to smuggle paddy which was in violation of the Punjab Paddy (Export Control) Order 1959. The Supreme Court held that it is mere preparation of an act and not an act of attempt as the paddy being carried in a truck was such an act which had ample scope for the accused to change their mind or to be obstructed. In this case, the judges observed that the accused might have been stopped or rejected to proceed further at any point in between the inter-state border. Hence, was not punishable.

2. R v. Taylor

The accused who had the intention and made preparation to set the haystack ablaze. Took a matchstick and lit it but then put it off for the reason of being watched. When the accused was caught for his act. He contended that he was merely preparing for such an act but did not attempt as the matchstick was put off and it was still in his control whether to fire it or not.The court rejected the contention and held that as the act of firing the matchstick was the overt act which was towards the accomplishment of the crime and was considered an attempt to arson. The mere fact that the match stick was put off due to the fear of being watched was irrelevant.

3. R v. Raisat Ali

In this case, a prisoner was ordered for making of 100 forms which are similar to the former receipt forms used by Bengal Coal Company to some Burdwan Press. First proof was altered and correct while the second proof was suggested for corrections and alterations similar to that of the forms of company. Police caught hold of them and charged them for attempted forgery.

The court held that the act was not an attempt as the forms did not have the name of the company nor its seal. This shows that the act was not considered by the court to be proximate to the act of forgery i.e., when there are the name and seal of the company, then it was ready or able to cheat people with forged forms. Hence this case too helped in better understanding what is the difference between attempt and preparation.

Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue


  1. “My daughter was married to a man who had a very short temper. He would hit her and perform domestic violence on her. One day, he came running at my daughter and tried to stab her with a knife before he ultimately decided not to. We consulted with a criminal lawyer immediately and not only filed a case of domestic violence but also an attempt to culpable homicide amounting to murder. He was found guilty and was imprisoned for a term of 8 years."

  2. “I was returning late from work when I was mugged by a man. He had a gun and wanted to seize my carryon bag as he pointed the gun at me and threatened me to shoot if I did not comply by his wish. I reported an FIR immediately and later on found the person who was charged with an attempt to culpable homicide amongst other charges. He was found guilty and imprisoned for 2 years.”

  3. “I was sitting at a café with my sister and I had kept my bag slinging from my chair. The café was definitely crowded as it was busy happy hours. There were tables placed very closely to one another. I was mindlessly talking with my sister when she noticed that a man sitting right behind me tried to open up my bag stealthily and pick up my purse. I immediately caught hold of him before he could run away and filed an FIR against him. We charged him with an attempt to theft amongst other charges.”

  4. “My husband was an abusive person who tortured my children and me mentally and physically. One day, I found him in a very angry mood as he was screaming badly at our son. He was in one of his angry fits when he got hold of my son, dragged him to our balcony and held him outside the ledge as he asked him to apologize repeatedly. I was shocked to the core and did not react badly in the moment as I could have lost my child. Thankfully he did not drop my son. I not only filed for a divorce but we charged him with an attempt to culpable homicide amounting to murder.”

  5. “My sister was one night returning home from work late night. It was a winter night so there were not many people in the street. She was quite close to the neighbourhood and as she was walking down the block, our neighbour met up with her. He got to talking and got very angry when my sister wanted to get back home after exchanging some pleasantries. He pulled her by the arm and dragged her to an alley where he tried to force himself on her. She started screaming out loud and thankfully the neighbours heard it and came down rushing to help her. She was in complete shock after that but we took action against him and charged him with sexual harassment and an attempt to rape. He was found guilty and was sentenced to jail for two years.”

    Consult: Top Criminal Lawyers in India

Why is it important to Hire a Lawyer for Section 511?

Being charged under Section 511 can be very tricky. A person facing criminal charges risks severe penalties and consequences, such as jail time, having a criminal record, loss of relationships and future job prospects, among other things. That is why having a lawyer is extremely crucial in a criminal case. When you are accused of a crime and facing a criminal charge, you don’t want to go into court unprepared. Most individuals end up losing their case because they are unaware of their right, legal technicalities, and proper court procedures. There is a long list of procedures to be followed when you have to go to court. So, you must seek legal assistance from a criminal lawyer when the stakes are higher than a simple fine. A criminal lawyer also knows the technicalities and court procedures that can help you prove the accused guilty if you are the prosecutor. A criminal lawyer is an expert who can help you better your arguments and present solid evidence to the court.

FAQ's on IPC Section 511

What offence is defined under IPC 511?

IPC 511 Offence: Attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment, and in such attempt doing any act towards the commission of the offence.

What is the punishment for IPC 511 Case?

The punishment for IPC 511 is Imprisonment for Life or Imprisonment not exceeding, half of the longest term provided for the Offence, or Fine, or Both.

Is IPC 511 cognizable offence or non-cognizable offence?

IPC 511 is a Same As for Offence attempted.

How to file/defend your case for IPC 511 offence?

Use LawRato for filing/defending your case under IPC 511 with the help of best criminal lawyers near you.

Is IPC 511 bailable or non-bailable offence?

IPC 511 is a Same As for Offence attempted offence.

In what court can IPC 511 be tried?

IPC 511 is tried in the court of Same As for Offence attempted.

Related Topics