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Report No. 38

122. Section 69.-

(a) Under section 69, a person who wilfully and maliciously, etc., opens any letter or does any act preventing due delivery to another person is punishable. A private Member's Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha1 proposed to substitute the word "knowingly" for the words "wilfully and maliciously". We think that the word "knowingly" would not fit in with the general tenor' of the section. Diversion of letters with the intention of injuring another person is the gist of the offence punished by the section, and intention is the paramount consideration; knowledge has not much relevance. No change, therefore, is necessary on this point. The corresponding section in the English Act3 runs on the same lines (on this point) as our section.

(b) There is one point on which the English section2 is wider. The Indian section is confined to letters, while the English section speaks of "postal packet" which, as defined in section 87(1) of the English Act, means a letter, post-card, reply-post-card, newspaper, printed packet, sample packet, or parcel and every packet or article transmissible by post and includes a telegram. Though cases of postal articles (other than letters) being diverted would not be many, there is no harm if the section is widened to cover all postal articles.... .

1. Bill No. 31 of 1962, (Lok Sabha) introduced by Shri Satish Chandra Samant.

2. Section 56, Post Office Act, 1953.



Indian Post Office Act, 1898 Back




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