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Report No. 33

22. Dilemma before the person bound to give information.-

Another important aspect of the matter should also be borne in mind. When the person concerned is placed under an obligation to report a certain act alleged to be a crime, the law places him in a dilemmatic situation. If he fails to give information, he renders himself liable to punishment1. If, on the other hand, if he rushes to give the information and ultimately it turns out that the ingredients of the law defining the offence are not fully satisfied, he may be sued for damages for defamation2, and it may then be a hard task for him to satisfy the court that the statement was protected as made on an occasion of "qualified privilege"3 (in a civil suit), or to take shelter under the eighth and ninth Exceptions to section 499, Indian Penal Code (in a criminal prosecution)4

1. See sections 176 and 202, Indian Penal Code.

2. For detailed discussion as to defamation see para. 23, et seq, infra.

3. See para. 23, infra.

4. For criminal liability, see para. 46, infra.

Section 44, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 Back

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