What to do in a case of robbery- legal procedure and assistance

Overview: Whoever with a dishonest intention takes another persons’ moveable property out of his possession and without that per­son’s consent, which is coupled with voluntarily causing or attempting to cause death or hurt or fear of instant death/hurt or wrongful restraint, it is known as robbery.  


For instance ‘A’ holds ‘Z’ down and fraudulently takes Z’s money and jewels from Z’s clothes without Z’s consent. Here ‘A’ has committed theft, and in order to do so he has voluntarily caused wrongful restraint to ‘Z’. ‘A’ has therefore committed rob­bery.


Areas of Application of Law: Section 390 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.


Process: Below is the step by step recourse for a person seeking relief in a robbery case:


  1. The person who has been robbed must approach the nearest police station and filing a first information report. An FIR operates as a criminal complaint on the basis of which investigation can be carried out.
  2. The complainant must be careful and opt for an FIR and not a police complaint since robbery is a cognizable offence for which an FIR can be filed.
  3. In order to file the FIR details such as list of items robbed, their value/cost must be shared with the police. A detailed account of the robbery- time, location, the events transpired and other details that the complainant can remember have to be shared with the police.
  4. The complainant must share any and all detail of any suspect that he may think to have been involved in the robbery. Their names, address, description of face/body language, peculiarities in language, dressing style etc.
  5. The complainant must also get CCTV coverage of the area of robbery if any, and submit that to the police authorities.
  6. Based on such details the police will begin an investigation to find the culprits and items lost.
  7. After the investigation, if the police is able to capture the suspects, they will ask the complainant to be present for a test identification parade.
  8. Under this, the suspects will be made to stand in a line before the complainant and he will have to identify if any of them is the culprit according to him.
  9. The complainant will have to record (in writing) his statement/present his version to the cops under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
  10. If the police refuse to file an FIR or conduct an investigation, the complainant can take relief under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Documents required to be submitted to the police, if any: bills of items lost depicting their original value, bills showing total loss due to robbery, any documents with details of suspects such as their pictures, ID card, address, place of work etc.

Punishment/Expected Relief: The police will catch the suspect and after identification he/she will be fined and/or put behind bars (maximum of two years). 

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