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Report No. 146

3.6. Magnitude and frequency of the Evil.-

Of course, the mere fact that a certain social malpractice is found to prevail in a particular society does not necessarily mean that it is an appropriated case for the intervention of the law. There are limitations to the use of legal sanctions, particularly criminal sanctions. Not every departure from high moral norms can be dealt with by leial measures. The coercive machinery of the law may not be appropriate in many cases. Sometimes intervention of the law even where it is appropriate in principle, may not be effective in practice. Even apart from these difficulties, there is the question of economy in the use of criminal sanctions.

But in the present cases, these considerations can be said to be counter-balanced by the basic values constituting the underpinnings of the various propositions which we have set out in the earlier paragraphs of this Chapter. Moreover, the malpractice with which we are concerned causes serious harm to the individuals concerned and to society. Besides this, the amendment of the Penal Code which we are contemplating in this Report, will not, so far as we can see, impose an unduly heavy burden on the law enforcement machinery. It seeks to extend to a modest extent the principle of the existing penal provisions and is not likely to cause serious practical anomalies.

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