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Report No. 42

Offences affecting the human body

19. Should euthanasia (or 'mercy killing' as it is popularly called) be exempted from punishment either as homicide or as abetment of suicide?

20. Should there be a provision in the Code for punishing a person who drives another person by systematic cruel treatment to commit suicide?

21. (a) Should attempt to commit suicide be punishable at all?

(b) Where a person threatens to put an end to his life or attempts to do so, with a view to compelling another person or authority to do or omit to do anything which that person or authority is not bound to do or, as the case may be, omit to do, should such act be made punishable?

22. The Code contains a few provisions for punishing sexual offences (rape, unnatural offence etc.). Are any additions to, or, alterations in, these provisions necessary?

23. (a) Should unnatural offences be punishable at all or with heavy sentences as provided in section 377?

(b) Should exception be made for cases where the offence consists of acts done in private between consenting adults?

Other offences

24. (a) Should adultery be punishable at all?

(b) If so, should the offence be limited to men only, as in section 497?

25. (a) Should defamation as at present elaborately defined in section 499 be punishable at all?

(b) Would it be preferable to limit criminal defamation to cases where a person defames another person (living or dead) intending or knowing it to be likely that such act will lead to a breach of the peace?

26. In view of Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), do you think that the criminal law ought to recognize and protect the right of privacy, and, if so, what kind of interference with that right should, in your view, be punishable?

Limitation for prosecutions

27. Do you consider that there should be a statutory period of limitation for prosecution for any offences under the Code, and, if so, for what offences?

Note

Although it is not normal drafting practice to re-number sections which are only replaced or amended, re-numbering of sections is proposed in this draft Bill up to the beginning of Chapter VII of the Code. As Chapters I to VB, as revised,1 forming the general part of the Code, will have 34 sections less than the present Chapters I to VA,2 it is desirable to have consecutive numbering of the provisions of general application included in these Chapters.

The definition of particular offences begins with section 121. Re-numbering of these subsequent sections is not proposed in the draft Bill, except where a whole Chapter or a fascicle of sections is replaced after revision, in order that familiar landmarks like sections 124A, 147, 193, 302, 420 etc. may not be disturbed.

1. Revised Chapters I to VII have 84 sections in all.

2. Existing Chapters I to VA have 118 sections in all.



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