Section 128 IPC – Public Servant Voluntarily Allowing Prisoner of State or War to Escape

In the realm of Indian law, Section 128 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) holds a significant place. It deals with the rather intriguing situation where a public servant, entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding prisoners of the state or war, voluntarily allows such prisoners to escape.

section 128 ipc

This article dives into the depths of Section 128 IPC, dissecting its various aspects, historical significance, contemporary relevance, and the legal implications it carries.


Section 128 of the IPC revolves around the conduct of a public servant, emphasizing the importance of their role in protecting prisoners. This legal provision acts as a safeguard to ensure that public servants act in the best interests of society and the nation.

Understanding Section 128 IPC

To understand Section 128 IPC better, it’s crucial to break it down into its core elements:

Voluntarily Allowing Prisoner to Escape

This clause underscores the willful act of letting a prisoner escape. The voluntary nature of this act makes it a criminal offense.

See also  Sedition: Understanding Section 124A IPC in India

Public Servant’s Role

The public servant, in this context, refers to government employees, military personnel, or any person holding an official position who is entrusted with the custody of prisoners.

Prisoner of State or War

The section covers two categories of prisoners: those related to the state or involved in war-related conflicts. Their escape can have significant consequences.

Historical Significance

Section 128 of the IPC can be traced back to the colonial era. It reflects the concern of the British government to prevent any mishandling of prisoners, especially during times of political unrest.

Relevance in Modern Times

Although Section 128 IPC originated during a different era, it continues to be relevant today. The prevention of prisoner escape remains a critical aspect of maintaining law and order.

Cases and Precedents

Several cases over the years have helped interpret and apply Section 128 IPC. These cases provide valuable insights into its implementation.

Legal Implications

Violating Section 128 IPC can result in serious legal consequences for the public servant involved. This includes criminal charges and potential imprisonment.

Criticisms and Controversies

As with any legal provision, Section 128 IPC is not without criticism. Some argue that it may be misused or applied unfairly.

Enforcement and Penalties

Enforcing Section 128 IPC is vital to ensure the protection of prisoners. The penalties for its violation serve as a deterrent.

Role of Human Rights

The application of Section 128 IPC should be in accordance with human rights standards, ensuring the fair and just treatment of prisoners.

International Perspective

This section looks at how similar provisions are addressed in international law and their implications on global relations.

See also  Section 125 IPC: Waging War against any Asiatic Power in alliance with the Government of India


Section 128 of the IPC stands as a testament to the importance of safeguarding prisoners, be it in times of conflict or under state custody. It serves as a reminder of the legal obligations of public servants and the consequences they may face if they allow prisoners to escape.


Yes, several recent cases have highlighted the significance of Section 128 IPC, especially in cases involving political prisoners.

International law emphasizes the importance of respecting the rights of prisoners, even during times of conflict.

While there is potential for misuse, the legal system aims to prevent such abuse and ensures due process.

A public servant should diligently fulfill their duties, ensuring the security and proper treatment of prisoners under their care.

See also  Section 24 IPC: Understanding the Concept of "Dishonestly"