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Report No. 38

Section 56A (New)

Section 56A is new. It is considered that it would be desirable to have a comprehensive provision on the lines of section 52 of the English Act, authorising severe punishments etc. in respect of any person who steals a mail bag or postal article or anything out of the postal article, or stops the mail with intent to rob or search the mail. While the subject matter of the proposed provision is (to some extent) covered by the existing provisions, either in the Post Office Act (e.g., section 52), or in the Indian Penal Code, the punishment under those provisions is not sufficiently severe. Thus, stopping a mail, even if it falls under the sections dealing with "robbery" in the Indian Penal Code1, would not attract severe punishment. The same applies to the general offence of "theft"2 under the Indian Penal Code.

Necessary change has therefore been proposed. A provision for fine has been made, to cover cases where the offender has substantially enriched himself. It is also considered, that the fine should be available as an alternative punishment to imprisonment, and the provision is framed on that basis.

1. Sections 390 to 398, Indian Penal Code.

2. Sections 378 to 382, Indian Penal Code.

Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Back

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