“Extortion” sounds like extra something. Actually, there is nothing extra. “Extortion” means an act or instance of extorting. It is a criminal offence. In our country this happening every day. However, we know some of them. Sometimes people even do not know what extortion is. So now, we should discuss about extortions and law regarding this.
What is Extortion:
Extortion is a crime in which one person forces another person to do something against his will. Generally to give up money or other property, by threatening of violence, property damage, and damage to the person’s reputation. Extortion involves the victim’s consent to the crime; but that consent is, obtain illegally. Under Section 383 in The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Extortion. — Whoever intentionally puts any person in fear of any injury to that person, or to any other, and thereby dishonestly induces the person so put in fear to deliver to any person any property, or valuable security or anything signed or sealed which may be converted into a valuable security, commits” extortion”. That means,
(a) A threatens to publish a defamatory libel concerning Z unless Z gives him money. He thus induces Z to give him money. A has committed extortion.
(b) A threatens Z that he will keep Z’s child in wrongful confinement; unless Z will sign and deliver to A a promissory note binding Z to pay certain monies to A to Z sings and delivers the note. A has committed extortion.
(c) A threatens to send club- men to plough up Z’ s field unless Z will sign and deliver to B a bond binding Z under a penalty to deliver certain produce to B, and thereby induces Z to sign and deliver the bond. A has committed extortion.
(d) A, by putting Z in fear of grievous hurt, dishonestly induces Z to sign or affix his seal to a blank paper and deliver it to A. Z sings and delivers the paper to A. Here, as the paper so signed may convert into a valuable security A has committed extortion. Under the Common Law, extortion is a misdemeanor consisting of an unlawful taking of money by a government officer. It is an oppressive misuse of the power with which the law clothes a public officer. So, extortion is a criminal offence , which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains money, property, or services from a person(s), entity, or institution, through pressure. It is not necessary for a threat to involve physical injury. It may be sufficient to threaten to accuse another person of a crime or to expose a secret that would result in public embarrassment or laughter. The threat does not have to relate to an unlawful act. Extortion may carry out by a threat to tell the victim’s spouse that the victim is having an affair with another. Making a threat of violence that refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence is sufficient to commit the offense. Refraining from doing harm sometimes call protection or protection money. Exaction refers to not only extortion or the unlawful demanding and obtaining of something through force, but additionally, in its formal definition, means the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant. Sometimes it also considers blackmail, where a victim forces to pay someone to prevent them from releasing information that could damage their reputation or their business. When used in this sense, extortion is synonymous with blackmail, which is extortion by a private person.
Forms of Extortion:
There are actually no types of extortion. However, there are different forms of extortion. Like threats of physical harm, murder, abduction, blackmail etc. Now we discuss some of them.
Blackmail is the crime of threatening to expose damaging or embarrassing information in order to coerce money or other goods or forms of cooperation out of the victim. For blackmail to be effective, the blackmailer must have physical proof of the information he or she threatens to reveal, such as photographs or letters. Blackmail is, consider synonymous with extortion, and in this sense, it may rely on a threat of action other than exposing the victim’s secrets. According to dictionary blackmail is the act of attempting to obtain money by intimidation, as by threats to disclose discreditable information.
Some laws distinguish between blackmail and extortion, while others do not. Blackmail may define as extortion attempts in writing. Alternatively, blackmail may refer only to threats of action that is legal, such as revealing compromising photographs, while extortion relies on active threats, such as physical harm.
The victim of blackmail typically threatens with exposure of his or her private life, the consequences of which can variety from embarrassing to socially devastating to legally critical. A blackmailer may threaten to expose the victim’s affair. At its most serious, blackmail may rest on the exposure of a serious crime, which would do infinitely more damage to the victim than complying with the blackmailer. Even secret information that is not of a criminal nature, however, can make the victim of blackmail feel that he or she has no option against the crime.
A relatively new form of blackmail, more similar to extortion, known as commercial blackmail. In this crime, a business is the victim. The blackmailer threatens an action, which would be devastating to the company’s sales or reputation and typically demands a large payment. The criminal may, threat to interfere with the company’s ability to conduct Internet sales.
The most common types of association with blackmail include extortion, coercion, and commercial pressure. Extortion is the use of verbal or written threats against an individual or entity to expose private information. Coercion may include specific types of threats such as bodily injury or death unless an individual agrees to commit a criminal act. Commercial blackmail is typically associated with threats against a business.
In some cases, extortion may occur without acts of violence. Generally, extortion involves using private, personal knowledge of another that may cause irreparable damage if the information made public. A person who uses means of extortion threatens to reveal the private information unless an individual or entity fulfills an illegal request for a payoff.
Coercion occurs when an individual is forcibly intimidated to participate in an illegal activity. With coercion, the threat of physical or permanent harm use to get favors. Without the threat, the person would not participate in the illegal activity. Fear tactics — such as threats of bodily harm or death to the individual or family members use to compel the person to act against their will.
Threats of action within commercial blackmail may involve revealing business practices that could damage the business’ reputation. For example, this could include revealing trade secrets that give the business a competitive edge, such as a recipe or an internal marketing practice. Other secrets damaging to a business might be a negative business practice such as illegal dumping of toxic garbage.
The legal interpretation of each type of blackmail may vary slightly by jurisdiction, but will generally include two standards. First is the determined to use embarrassing information or threats of physical harm as advantage to gain favors. The second standard is that the blackmailer would not receive payment or an agreement to commit an unlawful act from the victim of blackmail without the making of threats.
Proving extortion, coercion, or commercial blackmail might be difficult depending on the evidence that exists. Physical evidence such as an audio or video recording could lead to a stronger case. Often, the court may consider whether the accused has a criminal history and the value of payment wanted.
Abduction or Kidnap:
Kidnapping does not mean just took away some one. Kidnapping is a crime where the victim is transported a significant distance or held in a place of isolation using force. Kidnapping acts also define a set of purposes for kidnapping including: collecting ransom, helping the contract of a crime, causing bodily injury, or terrorizing someone. Kidnapping is taken extremely seriously because it viewed as a specifically terrifying crime.
In order to charge kidnapping, the movement must be more than minor or small. Similarly, a place of isolation must be one where the victim’s ability to communicate with others is reserved or impossible. The most recognized form of kidnapping is where a victim, often a young child, take away and held so that the kidnapers can collect ransom. Kidnapping can also charge when employees/hostages in a bank robbery Locke in a vault, or when a victim Locke in a room and sexually assaulted.
When people commit kidnapping, they usually do so with intent to achieve a goal such as obtaining a ransom, forcing someone to do something, using the kidnapped person as a shield, or demanding a political concern of some kind. It can also occur in association with crimes like robbery, rape, and murder. Extreme poverty and the inability to find work may drive people to committing crimes in order to make a living, and rival political groups and gangs can use kidnapping as a tool.
Punishments of Kidnapping:
Under Section 363,364,364A, 365,366 in The Indian Penal Code, 1860 the punishments are
- 363. Whoever kidnaps any person from Bangladesh or from lawful guardianship, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
- 364. Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person in order that such person may be murdered or may be so disposed of as to be put in danger of being murdered, shall be punished with [ imprisonment] for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. Illustrations
(a) A kidnaps Z from Bangladesh, intending or knowing it to be likely that Z may sacrifice to an idol. A has committed the offence defined in this section.
(b) A forcibly carries or entices B away from his home in order that B may be murdered. A has committed the offence defined in this section.
- 364A. Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person under the age of ten, in order that such person may be murdered or subjected to grievous hurt, or slavery, or to the lust of any person or may be so disposed of as to be put in danger of being murdered or subjected to grievous hurt, or slavery, or to the lust of any person shall be punished with death or with [ imprisonment] for life or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to fourteen years and shall not be less than seven years.
- 365. Whoever kidnaps or abducts any person with intent to cause that person to be secretly and wrongfully confined, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.
- 366. Whoever kidnaps or abducts any woman with intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled, to marry any person against her will, or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and whoever, by means of criminal intimidation as defined in this Code or of abuse of authority or any other method of compulsion, induces any woman to go from any place with intent that she may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall also be punishable as aforesaid.
Punishments of Extortion:
In a case of extortion, four kinds of things need to prove before the court.
- Firstly, that the accused put the complainant in fear of some injury.
- Secondly, that such injury is either to the complainant or to some other person.
- Thirdly, that the accused did it intentionally.
- Fourthly, that the accused thereby induced the person so put in fear to deliver some property or valuable security or something signed or sealed, which was convertible into a valuable security.
After prove that, punishment should consider now. Under Section 384 to 389 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860 described different situations and fixed punishments accordingly for committing the crime of extortion. They are,
- 384. Whoever commits extortion shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
- 385. Whoever, in order to the committing of extortion, puts any person in fear, or attempts to put any person in fear, of any injury, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to [ fourteen years and shall not be less than five years], or with fine, or with both.
- 386. Whoever commits extortion by putting any person in fear of death or of grievous hurt to that person or to any other, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
- 387. Whoever, in order to the committing of extortion, puts or attempts to put any person in fear of death or of grievous hurt to that person or to any other, shall be punished with imprisonment [ for life and shall not be less than seven years], and shall also be liable to fine.
- 388. Whoever commits extortion by putting any person in fear of an accusation against that person or any other, of having committed or attempted to commit any offence punishable with death, or with [ imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, or of having attempted to induce any other person to commit such offence, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and, if the offence be one punishable under section 377 of this Code, may be punished with [ imprisonment for life.]
- 389. Whoever, in order to the committing of extortion, puts or attempts to put any person in fear of an accusation, against that person or any other, of having committed, or attempted to commit, an offence punishable with death or with [ imprisonment] for life, or with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine; and, if the offence be punishable under section 377 of this Code, may be punished with [ imprisonment] for life.
In simple word, for simple kind of extortion, the punishment is imprisonment up to 3 years with fine or with both. However, if fear of injury is involved in any extortion then the minimum punishment is 5 years imprisonment, which may extend up to 14 years, with fine, or with both. If extortion cause putting a person in fear of death or of critical hurt then punishment, may extend to imprisonment for life and shall not be less than seven years and be liable to fine. Moreover, if extortion commit by threat of charge of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life then the accused may punish either with ten years imprisonment or with imprisonment for life. If the accusation is of unusual offence then the penalty provided is severer.
In our country, most of the extortion cases are the protection money by criminals. So most of them are not go to the police station and make any cases. Here are two cases about extortion.
- 1. The police arrested E.A.M ASADUZZAMAN TIPU, The Daily Star correspondent in Nilphamari- northwest of Bangladesh, from his home on 21 March 2007, Wednesday morning. He was produced before the court on 27 March and charged with extortion. Tipu, the journalist above 50 years of age, was accused of extortion in connection with a report about urea fertilizer crisis, which was published in the daily on 17 March. After a proceeding in the speedy trial tribunal, he was finally acquitted from the case on 26 April.
- 2. JAHANGIR ALAM AKASH, reporter for the Dainik Sangbad, CSB News and DW in Rajshahi was charged of extortion and detained on 24 October around 2 in the morning. He released on bail on 19 November and confirmed that he was blindfolded and tortured in the custody and was even given electric shock. He was in the jail hospital for a week.
In our country, extortion is happening every day. However, people do not complain about this. Therefore, it is increasing every day. The main reason for this is our law and order system is not strong enough. People should know the consequences of the extortions, abduction or kidnap and blackmail and aware of them.
- The Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Block, Walter, and Gary M. Anderson. 2001. “Blackmail, Extortion, and Exchange.” New York Law School Law Review 44 (summer-fall): 541–61.
- Friedman, Lawrence M. 2002. “Name Robbers: Privacy, Blackmail, and Assorted Matters in Legal History.”Hofstra Law Review 30 (summer): 1093–1132.
- Jacoby, Neil H., Peter Nehemskis, and Richard Eells. 1977. Bribery and Extortion in World Business: A Study of Corporate Political Payments Abroad. New York: Macmillan.
- Janal, Daniel S. 1998. Risky Business: How to Protect Yourself from Being Stalked, Conned, Libeled, or Blackmailed on the Web. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
- Katz, Leo. 1996. Ill-Gotten Gains: Evasion, Blackmail, Fraud, and Kindred Puzzles of the Law. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.
- McClintock, David. 1983. Indecent Exposure: A True Story of Hollywood and Wall Street. New York: Dell.
- Extortions. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extortion
- Kidnapping. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnapping
- Blackmail. (2011). In online dictionary. Retrieved from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/blackmail
- Common law. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law
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Extortion (also called shakedown, outwrestling, and exaction) is a criminal offence, which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains money, property or services from a person(s), entity, or institution, through coercion. Refraining from doing harm is sometimes euphemistically called protection. Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence, which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence, is sufficient to commit the offense. Exaction refers not only to extortion or the unlawful demanding and obtaining of something through force, but additionally, in its formal definition, means the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant
 The Indian Penal Code, 1860
Common law (also known as case law or precedent) is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action.
Sums extracted from an entity by a criminal, gang leader, or government official to ‘protect’ the entity from other criminals, troublemakers, or regulatory agencies. Its demand is accompanied by an express or implied threat that its non-payment will bring great harm to the non-payer.
In common usage, blackmail is a crime involving threats to reveal substantially true and/or false information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates unless a demand is met. It may be defined as coercion involving threats of physical harm, threat of criminal prosecution, or threats for the purposes of taking the person’s money or property.
 In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or transportation of a person against that person’s will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority. This may be done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody dispute.
 The Indian Penal Code, 1860
 The Indian Penal Code, 1860