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Offences Against The State

All crimes are seen as offences against the state or the government, some of them against the state's existence, such as treason, sedition, and rebellion.

The offences against the state lie under chapter VI of Sections 121-130 in the Indian Penal Code. The purpose of these sections is to ensure the state’s safety. It can be protected by giving severe punishments in case of offences against the state, such as life in prison or capital punishment.

All states or countries have this same right of self-preservation as their main subjects. Crimes such as waging war or treason against the government lie under Section 121, assaulting high-rank officers like the president or governor lie under Section 124, and indulging in the escape of a state prisoner or a prisoner of war lies under Sections 128 to 130.

Waging war

Waging war is an attempt to fulfil any purpose of public nature through violence. It occurs when several people assemble and rise against the state to attain any object of general nature by force or violence. To commit an offence against the state, the purpose and the intention are taken into consideration and not be murdered or forced.

Sections 121 to 123 of the Indian Penal Code deal with waging war against the government. The following are considered as offences that need to be proven to constitute an offence against the government under Section 121:

  • Wage war
  • Attempted to wage a war
  • Abetted the waging of war

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The preparation of war against the government lies under Section 122 of the Indian Penal code, and the essentials are:

  • The confiscation of arms or men from the accused person
  • Getting ready to wage war against the state or government
  • A war must be started against the state

Section 123 deals with the secrecy of design to wage war, and the essentials of Section 123 are:

  • Proof of a method or design that is prepared in order to wage war against the government.
  • The act should be done in secrecy to start the war.
  • The person should be aware of the secrecy or the design of the war.

Section 124-A deals with sedition. Sedition is the attempt made by meetings, speeches, or publications to disturb the state’s peace, which does not amount to treason. As per Section 124-A, the following are the two essentials of sedition:

  • Bringing or attempting to get hatred or disaffection towards the government established by law in India.
  • Such acts or attempts can be carried out by words, science, or visible representation.

The punishment for sedition under Section 124-A is life imprisonment, to which the state can also add a fine, or imprisonment up to 3 years to which a fine can be added, or with only a fine.

Waging war against a power

Waging war against or attacking any Asiatic Power in union with the Government of India lies under Section 125 in the Indian Penal Code. In this scenario, the accused person should have waged war against the state or provoked the waging of war. The punishment for anyone violating this section is life imprisonment, or imprisonment for seven years, or a fine in some cases. The essentials of Section 125 are:

  • An Asiatic state with an international influence.
  • This state should be other than India.
  • The state should be in alliance with the Government of India.

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Assault on high-ranking officials 

Under Section 124 Indian Penal Code, assaulting high-ranking officials, such as the president or the governor, etc., should have been done in order to compel the governor or any high officials to stop them from using their lawful powers. The essentials of Section 124 are:

  • The offender should have attacked a high-ranking official of the state.
  • The offender should have restrained any high-ranking officials of the state wrongly.
  • The offender attempted to attack the high-ranking officials of the state.
  • The high-ranking officials of the state should be instigated by the accused person in order to compel them to use their lawful powers in an unlawful way. 

Escape of a state prisoner or a prisoner of war

Offences against the state in Sections 128 – 130 of the Indian Penal Code include the escape of a prisoner of war or a state prisoner. A state prisoner is a person whose imprisonment is necessary to maintain the peace and security of the state from internal disturbances and foreign hostility.

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The essentials of Section 128 are:

  • The offender should be a public servant of the state.
  • The prisoner should be a person who has committed a crime against the state or should be a war prisoner.
  • The accused person should have custody of the prisoner.
  • The accused servant should have helped the prisoner to escape.

The essentials of Section 129 are:

  • Offenders should be public servants, necessarily when committing the offence.
  • The prisoner should be in the custody of the offender.
  • The prisoner of state should be rescued or have escaped.
  • Such an escape or rescue should be due to the negligence of the accused person.

The essentials of Section 130 are:

  • The liable person should knowingly aid or attempt to help, rescue, or conceal the prisoner of state or war.
  • The person should be in prison.
  • The act should be done knowingly by the person accused.


The dissections mentioned above play an essential and crucial role in regulating and maintaining public order regarding offences against the state. The people are free and have the right to criticise the government’s policies or lists, but they cannot and should not misuse their liberty to cause any harm to the people around them or the government. Waging war against the state or government is a punishable offence, and these sections also protect the high officials, such as the president as well as the governor of every state.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the UPSC Examination Preparation.

Under which sections do the offences against the state come in IPC?

Ans. Sections 121 to 130 deal with all the offences against the state.

What is Section 121?

Ans. If a person wages war against the government, or attempts to wage such a war, or plans to wage such a w...Read full

Which offence against the state comes under Section 124A?

Ans. Sedition is the attempt made by meetings, speeches, or publications to disturb the state’...Read full

What is Section 125 of the IPC?

Ans. Section 125 of the IPC deals with waging war against or attacking any Asiatic power allied wit...Read full