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Report No. 43

7.48. Section 3(2), first half, (Evidence of purpose prejudicial to national security) to be extended.-

Section 3(2) contains a special rule of evidence which relaxes the high standard of proof required for conviction on a criminal charge.

The first part of this sub-section states that on a prosecution for an offence punishable under section 3(1), it shall not be necessary to show that the accused person was guilty of any particular act tending to show a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, and, notwithstanding that no such act is proved against him, he may be convicted, if, from the circumstances of the case or his conduct or his known character as proved, it appears that his purpose was a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State.

We consider that this part of section 3(2) should be extended to a few other offences also.1 In all those offences, the essential ingredient is the mental element, namely, the existence of a purpose prejudicial to the national security. Such a purpose cannot be ordinarily proved by direct evidence and has to be inferred from the facts and circumstances of such case and the antecedents of the accused. Hence the rule of evidence applicable for proof of the offence of spying may, with equal justification, be applied for those offences also.

Our recommendation will necessarily involve the omission of sub-section (4) of section 6, because according to our suggestion, the aforesaid special rule of evidence will be applicable2 to the whole of section 6.

1. (a) Para-military groups;

(b) Treasonable relations with foreign State etc. or institution etc.;

(c) Treasonable deception;

(d) Sabotage;

(e) Spying;

(f) Divulging official secrets;

(g) Using false official uniform etc.

2. At present, section 6(4) applies the provisions of section 3(2) only where the offence relates to specified matters.

Offences Against the National Security Back

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