Understanding the Definition of 'Heinous Crimes' in India


The Constitution of India does not define the term "heinous crimes." However, the Indian Penal Code (IPC) does define certain crimes as "heinous offences." Section 2(33) of the IPC defines a "heinous offence" as any offence for which the minimum punishment is imprisonment for seven years or more.

Some examples of heinous offences under the IPC include:

  • Murder (Section 302)
  • Rape (Section 376)
  • Kidnapping for ransom (Section 364A)
  • Dowry death (Section 304B)
  • Gang rape (Section 376D)
  • Acid attacks (Section 326A)
  • Child sexual abuse (Section 377)
  • Terrorism-related offences (Chapter VI of the IPC)

In addition to the IPC, other laws in India also define certain crimes as heinous offences. For example, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 defines certain serious offences against children as heinous offences.

The term "heinous crime" is often used in the context of sentencing. For example, courts may be more likely to impose a harsher sentence on a person who has committed a heinous crime. Heinous crimes are also often given priority by law enforcement and the courts.

The government of India has also taken a number of steps to address heinous crimes. For example, the government has established special courts for the trial of heinous crimes, and it has increased the punishment for certain heinous crimes.

The definition of "heinous crimes" is important because it helps to identify the most serious crimes in society and to ensure that they are punished appropriately. By defining heinous crimes and taking steps to address them, the government of India is working to protect its citizens from the most dangerous criminals.

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