Important Points:

A. Section 2 explains about intra-territorial jurisdiction of the Indian Criminal Courts. Every person shall be punished, who commits an offence, within India. The words “Every person” clearly say that subject to the General Exceptions (Chapter-IV), every person, irrespective of his caste, region, religion, etc., shall be punished, if he is proved guilty under the provisions of this Code.

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B. Foreigner:

A foreigner, who is a guilty of any offence under this Code, shall be punishable under this Code, if he has committed any offence in India, although the alleged offence might have not been an offence in his mother land.

C. Corporations:

The corporations cannot be imposed corporal punishments for the offences which can be committed by human beings only, viz., murder, treason, perjury, etc.

D. Persons exempted from the I.PC.

Section 2 mentions “every person” within India. However, there are certain persons exempted from the jurisdiction of Criminal Courts. These persons are given certain rights, privileges, etc. This is the same position in other countries also. Such persons are:

(a) Foreign Sovereigns:

Foreign Sovereigns are the persons completely exempted from the jurisdiction of the Indian Criminal Courts.

(b) Ambassadors:

Certain immunities and privileges have been granted to Ambassadors of other countries by the United Nations Organization. Accordingly every country has passed separate Acts giving immunities and privileges to the Ambassadors.

The Diplomatic Privileges Act, 1964 of England, the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947 (Act No. XLV of 1947) of India, etc., are examples. Therefore, Ambassadors are exempted from the jurisdiction of the Indian Criminal Courts.

(c) Alien Enemies:

The military persons of alien enemies do not come under the jurisdiction of ordinary Criminal Courts, for the acts done connecting with the war. However, if they commit theft, robbery, rape, etc., unconnected with war, they shall be tried by the Indian Criminal Courts.

(d) Warships:

The warships entered into the Indian Sea waters cannot be tried under the ordinary Indian Criminal Courts. The Public International Law applies to such men-of-war.

(e) President and Governors:

The President of India and the Governors of the States are exempted from the jurisdiction of the Criminal Courts, by Article 361 of the Indian Constitution.

(f) Foreign army:

The Foreign army personnel entered into the Indian territories with the permission of the Indian Government is exempted from the jurisdiction of the criminal courts.

E. “within India”:

This phrase in Sec. 2 denotes that whoever commits any offence within India shall be punishable. It shows the “intra-territorial jurisdiction”. According to Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part-III, Sec. 2, dated 30-9-1967, the territorial waters of India extends to territorial sea- waters upto a distance of twelve nautical miles measured from the appropriate base line.

F. Kastya Rama vs. State (1871) 8 BHC)

Brief Facts:

The fishers of village-A lawfully fixed fishing stakes in the sea within three miles from the shores. The fishers of village-B, annoyed with their act, removed all the fishing stakes. On prosecution, the accused pleaded that their act could not come within the purview of the Indian Penal Code.


The Bombay High Court held that the act of fishers of village-B was within the purview of the Indian Penal Code, and particularly their act would be “Mischief” defined in the Code, and the place of offence was within three miles from the shores, and were covered within the territory of India.

G. High seas:

High seas are open to all, and represent the entire sea-space beyond the three miles limit of the shore. This expression includes all ocean seas, bays, channels, rivers, creeks and waters below low water-mark, and where great ships could go, with the exception only of such parts of such ocean and as were within the territory of some country.

In other matters than crimes connected with admiralty jurisdiction it may be important at times to discriminate between the sea and the high sea, but in crimes the seas or the high seas or the ocean means much the same.

Territory of a State comprises its ports and harbours, the mouths of its rivers, and its land-locked bays. By the usage of nations, the territorial jurisdictions extend also to marine league sea-wards. This belt of sea is known as “Territorial Waters”. (Encyclopaedia of the Laws of England)

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