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Official Secrets Act, 1923


6. Unauthorized use of uniforms; falsification of reports, forgery, personation, and false documents

(1) If any person for the purpose of gaining admission or of assisting any other person to gain admission to a prohibited place or for any other purpose prejudicial to the safety of the State

(a) uses or wears, without lawful authority, any naval, military, air force, police or other official uniform, or any uniform so nearly resembling the same as to be calculated to deceive, or falsely represents himself to be a person who is or has been entitled to use or wear any such uniform; or

(b) orally, or in writing in any declaration or application, or in any document signed by him or on his behalf, knowingly makes or connives at the making of any false statement or any omission; or

(c) forges, alters, or tampers with any passport or any naval, military, air force, police, or official pass, permit, certificate, license, or other document of a similar character (hereinafter in this section referred to as an official document) or knowingly uses or has in his possession any such forged, altered, or irregular official document; or

(d) personates, of  falsely represents himself to be, a person holding, or in the employment of a person holding , office under Government, or to be or not to be a person to whom an official document or secret official code or pass word has been duly issued or communicated, or with intent to obtain an official document, secret official code or pass word, whether for himself or any other person, knowingly makes any false statement; or

(e) uses, or has in his possession or under his control, without the authority of the department of the Government or the authority concerned, any die, seal or stamp of or belonging to, or used, made or provided by, any department of the Government, or by any diplomatic, naval, military, or air force authority appointed by or acting under the authority of Government, or any die, seal or stamp so nearly resembling any such die, seal or stamp as to be calculated to deceive, or counterfeits any such die, seal or stamp, or knowingly uses, or has in his possession or under his control, any such counterfeited die, seal or stamp;

he shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

(2) If any person for any purpose prejudicial to the safety of the State-

(a) retains any official document, whether or not completed or issued for use, when he has no right to retain it, or when it is contrary to his duty to retain it, or willfully fails to comply with any direction issued by any department of the Government or any person authorized by such department with regard to the return or disposal thereof; or

(b) allows any other person to have possession of any official document issued for his use alone, or communicates any secret official code or pass word so issued, or, without lawful authority or excuse, has in his possession any official document or secret official code or pass word issued for the use of some person other than himself, or, on obtaining possession of any official document by finding or otherwise, willfully fails to restore it to the person or authority by whom or for whose use it was issued, or to a police officer; or

(c) without lawful authority or excuse, manufactures or sells, or has in his possession for sale, any such die, seal or stamp as aforesaid;

he shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 15[three years], or with fine, or with both.

(4) The provisions of sub-section (2) of section 3 shall apply, for the purpose of proving a purpose prejudicial to the safety of the State, to any prosecution for an offence under this section relating to the naval, military or air force affairs of Government, or to any secret official code in like manner as they apply, for the purpose of proving a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, to prosecutions for offences punishable under that section 16[***].



Official Secrets Act, 1923 Back




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