Crime & Punishment
When two or more persons agree to do, or cause to be done (i) an illegal act or (ii)an act which is not illegal by illegal means, such an agreement is designated a criminal conspiracy: provided that no agreement except an agreement to commit an offence shall amount to a criminal conspiracy unless some act besides the agreement is done by one or more parties to such agreement in pursuance thereof.
Explanation-It is immaterial whether the illegal act is the ultimate object of such agreement, or is merely incidental to that object. (Section 120-A of the penal code 1860)
The ingredients of the offence of criminal conspiracy are:
(1) that there must be an agreement between the persons who are alleged to conspire;
(2) that the agreement should be (i) for doing an illegal act, (ii)for doing by illegal means an act which may not itself be illegal.
The gist of the offence of criminal conspiracy is the bare engagement of association to break the law, whether any act be done in pursuance thereof by the conspirators or not.
Punishment for criminal conspiracy.-
Section 120-B deals with the punishment for criminal conspiracy. (1) Whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, [imprisonment for life] or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards, shall, where no express provision is made in this Code for the punishment of such a conspiracy, be punished in the same manner as if he had abetted such offence. (2) Where is a party to a criminal conspiracy other than a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable as aforesaid shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding six month, or which fine or with both.
Source: Penal code by L Kabir.