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Contempt of the Lawful Authority of Public Servant

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Public Servant

CHAPTER X – OF CONTEMPTS OF THE LAWFUL AUTHORITY OF PUBLIC SERVANTS

172. Absconding to avoid service of summons or other proceeding.

172. Absconding to avoid service of summons or other proceeding.- Whoever absconds in order to avoid being served with a summons, notice or order proceeding from any public servant legally competent, as such public servant, to issue such summons, notice or order, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both; or, if the summons or notice or order is to attend in person or by agent, or to produce a document in a Court of Justice, with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

173. Preventing service of summons or other proceeding, or preventing publication thereof.

173. Preventing service of summons or other proceeding, or preventing publication thereof.–Whoever in any manner intentionally prevents the serving on himself, or on any other person, of any summons, notice or order proceeding from any public servant legally competent, such public servant, to issue such summons, notice or order, or intentionally prevents the lawful affixing to any place of any such summons, notice or order, or intentionally removes any such summons, notice or order from any place to which it is lawfully affixed, or intentionally prevents the lawful making of any proclamation, under the authority of any public servant legally competent, as such public servant, to direct such proclamation to be made, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both; or, if the summons, notice, order or proclamation is to attend in person or by agent, or to produce a document in a Court of Justice, with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

174. Non-attendance in obedience to an order from public servant.

174. Non-attendance in obedience to an order from public servant.–Whoever, being legally bound to attend in person or by an agent at a certain place and time in obedience to a summons, notice, order, or proclamation proceeding from any public servant legally competent, as such public servant, to issue the same, intentionally omits to attend at that place or time, or departs from the place where he is bound to attend before the time at which it is lawful for him to depart, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both; or, if the summons, notice, order or proclamation is to attend in person or by agent in a Court of Justice, with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Illustrations

(a) A, being legally bound to appear before the 1*[High Court] at Calcutta, in obedience to a subpoena issuing from that Court, intentionally omits to appear. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

(b) A, being legally bound to appear before a 2*[District Judge], as a witness, in obedience to a summons issued by that 2*[District Judge] intentionally omits to appear. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

175. Omission to produce document to public servant by person legally bound to produce it.

175. Omission to produce document to public servant by person legally bound to produce it.–Whoever, being legally bound to produce or deliver up any document to any public servant, as such, intentionally omits so to produce or deliver up the same, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both;

1. Subs. by the A.O. 1950, for “Supreme Court”.

2. Subs. ibid., for “Zila Judge”.

or, if the document is to be produced or delivered up to a Court of Justice, with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Illustration

A, being legally bound to produce a document before a 1*[District court], intentionally omits to produce the same. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

176. Omission to give notice or information to public servant by person legally bound to give it.

176. Omission to give notice or information to public servant by person legally bound to give it.–Whoever, being legally bound to give any notice or to furnish information on any subject to any public servant, as such, intentionally omits to give such notice or to furnish such information in the manner and at the time required by law, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both; or, if the notice or information required to be given respects the commission of an offence, or is required for the purpose of preventing the commission of an offence, or in order to the apprehension of an offender, with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both; 2*[or, if the notice or information required to be given is required by an order passed under sub-section (1) of section 565 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898), with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.]

177. Furnishing false information.

177. Furnishing false information.–Whoever, being legally bound to furnish information on any subject to any public servant, as such, furnishes, as true, information on the subject which he knows or has reason to believe to be false shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both; or, if the information which he is legally bound to give respects the commission of an offence, or is required for the purpose of preventing the commission of an offence, or in order to the apprehension of an offender, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Illustrations

(a) A, a landholder, knowing of the commission of a murder within the limits of his estate, wilfully misinforms the Magistrate of the district that the death has occurred by accident in consequence of the bite of a snake. A is guilty of the offence defined in this section.

(b) A, a village watchman, knowing that a considerable body of strangers has passed through his village in order to commit a dacoity in the house of Z, a wealthy merchant residing in a neighbouring place, and being bound under clause 5, section VII, 3*Regulation III, 1821, of the Bengal Code, to give early and punctual information of the above fact to the officer of the nearest police station, wilfully misinforms the police officer that a body of suspicious characters passed through the village with a view to commit dacoity in a certain distant place in a different direction. Here A is guilty of the offence defined in the latter part of this section.

1. Subs. by the A.O. 1950, for “Zila Court”.

2. Ins. by Act 22 of 1939, s. 2.

3. Rep. by Act 17 of 1862.

1*[Explanation.-In section 176 and in this section the word “offence” includes any act committed at any place out of 2*[India], which, if committed in 2*[India], would be punishable under any of the following sections, namely, 302, 304, 382, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 435, 436, 449, 450, 457, 458, 459 and 460; and the word “offender” includes any person who is alleged to have been guilty of any such act.]

178. Refusing oath or affirmation when duly required by public servant to make it.

178. Refusing oath or affirmation when duly required by public servant to make it.–Whoever refuses to bind himself by an oath 3*[or affirmation] to state the truth, when required so to bind himself by a public servant legally competent to require that he shall so bind himself, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

179. Refusing to answer public servant authorized to question.

179. Refusing to answer public servant authorized to question.– Whoever, being legally bound to state the truth on any subject to any public servant, refuses to answer any question demanded of him touching that subject by such public servant in the exercise of the legal powers of such public servant, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

180. Refusing to sign statement.

180. Refusing to sign statement.–Whoever refuses to sign any statement made by him, when required to sign that statement by a public servant legally competent to require that he shall sign that statement, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

181. False statement on oath or affirmation to public servant or person authorized to administer an oath or affirmation.

181. False statement on oath or affirmation to public servant or person authorized to administer an oath or affirmation.–Whoever, being legally bound by an oath 3*[or affirmation] to state the truth on any subject to any public servant or other person authorized by law to administer such oath 3*[or affirmation], makes, to such public servant or other person as aforesaid, touching that subject, any statement which is false, and which he either knows or believes to be false or does not believe to be true, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, and shall also be liable to fine.

182. False information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person.

4*[182. False information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person.–Whoever gives to any public servant any information which he knows or believes to be false, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause such public servant-

(a) to do or omit anything which such public servant ought not to do or omit if the true state of facts respecting which such information is given were known by him, or

(b) to use the lawful power of such public servant to the injury or annoyance of any person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

1. Ins. by Act 3 of 1894, s. 5

2. Subs. by Act 3 of 1951, s. 3 and sch. for “the States”.

3. Ins. by Act 10 of 1873, s. 15.

4. Subs. by Act 3 of 1895, s. 1, for the original s. 182. 141 Illustrations

(a) A informs a Magistrate that Z, a police-officer, subordinate to such Magistrate, has been guilty of neglect of duty or misconduct, knowing such information to be false, and knowing it to be likely that the information will cause the Magistrate to dismiss Z. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

(b) A falsely informs a public servant that Z has contraband salt in a secret place, knowing such information to be false, and knowing that it is likely that the consequence of the information will be a search of Z’s premises, attended with annoyance to Z. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

(c) A falsely informs a policeman that he has been assaulted and robbed in the neighbourhood of a particular village. He does not mention the name of any person as one of his assailants, but knows it to be likely that in consequence of this information the police will make enquiries and institute searches in the village to the annoyance of the villagers or some of them. A has committed an offence under this section.]

183. Resistance to the taking of property by the lawful authority of a public servant.

183. Resistance to the taking of property by the lawful authority of a public servant.–Whoever offers any resistance to the taking of any property by the lawful authority of any public servant, knowing or having reason to believe that he is such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

184. Obstructing sale of property offered for sale by authority of public servant.

184. Obstructing sale of property offered for sale by authority of public servant.–Whoever intentionally obstructs any sale of property offered for sale by the lawful authority of any public servant, as such, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

185. Illegal purchase or bid for property offered for sale by authority of public servant.

185. Illegal purchase or bid for property offered for sale by authority of public servant.–Whoever, at any sale of property held by the lawful authority of a public servant, as such, purchases or bids for any property on account of any person, whether himself or any other, whom he knows to be under a legal incapacity to purchase that property at that sale, or bids for such property not intending to perform the obligations under which he lays himself by such bidding, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both.

186. Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions.

186. Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions.–Whoever voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of his public functions, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

187. Omission to assist public servant when bound by law to give assistance.

187. Omission to assist public servant when bound by law to give assistance.–Whoever, being bound by law to render or furnish assistance to any public servant in the execution of his public duty, intentionally omits to give such assistance, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both; and if such assistance be demanded of him by a public servant legally competent to make such demand for the purposes of executing any process lawfully issued by a Court of Justice, or of preventing the commission of an offence, or suppressing a riot, or affray, or of apprehending a person charged with or guilty of an offence, or of having escaped from lawful custody, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

188. Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.

188. Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.– Whoever, knowing that, by an order promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order, he is directed to abstain from a certain act, or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management. disobeys such direction, shall, if such disobedience causes or tends to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any persons lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both: and if such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Explanation.-It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm.

Illustration

An order is promulgated by a public servant lawfully empowered to promulgated such order, directing that a religious procession shall not pass down a certain street. A knowingly disobeys the order, and thereby causes danger of riot. A has committed the offence defined in this section.

189. Threat of injury to public servant.

189. Threat of injury to public servant.–Whoever holds out any threat of injury to any public servant, or to any person in whom he believes that public servant to be interested, for the purpose of inducing that public servant to do any act, or to forbear or delay to do any act, connected with the exercise of the public functions of such public servant, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

190. Threat of injury to induce person to refrain from applying for protection to public servant.

190. Threat of injury to induce person to refrain from applying for protection to public servant.–Whoever holds out any threat of injury to any person for the purpose of inducing that person to refrain or desist from making a legal application for protection against any injury to any public servant legally empowered as such to give such protection, or to cause such protection to be given, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.

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