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Report No. 38

62. Section 20 and communications with the enemy and official secrets.-

We have received a suggestion1 to add, in section 20, the following, namely:-

(i) communication with the enemy, etc., and

(ii) communication in the nature of disclosure of official secrets.

As regards communications of the first type, section 26, Post Office Act, is the appropriate section, and section 20 need not be amended for the purpose.

As regards communications of the second type, penal provisions of the Official Secrets Act2 appear to be sufficient. That Act, it is true, does not empower the interception of communications.3 If the suggested addition (in section 20) is intended to attract the provisions of section 23 (under which the articles can be destroyed), then the power is likely to be abused. The suggestion has not, therefore, been accepted4.

1. S. No. 108 (Suggestion of a Deputy Inspector General of Police).

2. The Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), sections 3(1)(c), 5(1)(a), 5(2), 6(3), etc.

3. The power under section 11 Official Secrets Act, 1923, is of a limited nature.

4. As to general power of interception, see section 26, Post Office Act.

Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Back

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