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Report No. 91

Chapter 3

Dowry Deaths and The Substantive Criminal Law

3.1. The eighth factor-reporting.-

The eighth and the last factor mentioned above is concerned with reporting-or rather with failure to report-by those who are near and dear to the woman. Already, in law, there is a provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure requiring every person aware of the commission of certain serious offences to inform the nearest Police officer or Magistrate.1 The offences are specified in the provision and (so far as is material) cover murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.2 But its language is not wide enough to cover deaths that are apparently accidental. By virtue of this provision, a person is bound to report the matter only if he is aware of the commission of murder or culpable homicide amounting to murder. If the death does not proclaim itself as one caused by murder or culpable homicide, no obligation to report arises.

1. Section 39(v), Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

2. Sections 302, 303 and 304, Indian Penal Code.

Dowry Deaths and Law Reform - Amending the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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