“Snatching” To Be a Criminal Offence Under New Criminal Law | Section 304 BNS

"Snatching" To Be a Criminal Offence Under New Criminal Law | Section 304 BNS 1

Haryana Police apprehend suspects involved in fraudulent truck sale.

 The new criminal law which is replacing the 163-year-old Indian Penal Code (IPC), Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023 (BNS), has received Presidential assent, however, the enforcement date is still awaited. The new law introduces “snatching” as a distinct offence under Section 304 of BNS. The “Snatching” was only a distinct offence in Gujarat under Section 379A of IPC which was a state amendment. It is to be noted that the Act of snatching is not a separate offence under the IPC.

Section 304 (1) of BNS, 2023[1] states that Theft is “snatching” when the offender:

  1. Suddenly or
  2. Quickly or
  3. Forcibly seizes or
  4. Secures or
  5. Grabs or
  6. Takes away

From any person or from his possession any moveable property.

Punishment Section 304(2) of BNS[2]: Imprisonment up to 3 years and fine but a bailable offence.

Illustration: ‘A’ standing at the railway station sees that ‘Z’ has the latest model of mobile phone. ‘A’ with dishonest intention without the consent of ‘Z’ forcibly seizes the mobile phone and runs away. ‘A’ has committed the offence of ‘Snatching’.

Further, it is to be noted that for an offence to be qualified as a “Snatching”, the offence shall first meet all the elements of the Theft which means dishonest intention, without the consent of the person, and move the property.


[1] Bare Act| Section 301 – 305 of BNS| Theft, Snatching. Link: https://www.myjudix.com/post/bare-act-section-301-305-of-the-bharatiya-nyaya-sanhita-bns-theft-snatching-section-302

[2] Ibis 1.

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