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Report No. 43

6.8. Treachery.-

We had, during our consideration of the subject of offences against the national security, looked into the Treachery Act1, an English Act passed during the second world war. The Act, which was a temporary one, has been repealed in England. It has also been repealed in its application to India.2 But, in view of the importance of the subject, its provisions require consideration. The main section3 read:-

"If, with intent to help the enemy, any person does, or attempts or conspires with any other person to do, any act which is designed or likely to give assistance to the naval, military or air operations of the enemy, to impede such operations of His Majesty's forces, or to endanger life, he shall be guilty of felony and shall on conviction suffer death."

We have given some thought to the subject; but we have ultimately come to the conclusion that the practical importance of such a provision would be very limited, and we are not, therefore, inclined to recommend any such provision. If war is declared or is very imminent, suitable emergency legislation could be readily enacted, and such legislation would be comprehensive enough to cover such acts.

1. The Treachery Act, 1940 (3 & 4 Geo. 6, c. 21).

2. The British Statutes (Application to India) Repeal Act, 1960.

3. Section 1.

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