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Report No. 29

74. Special rules of evidence.-Besides provisions modifying mens rea1, and similar provisions there are special rules of evidence laid down in respect of many of the offences in question. An example is section 14 of the Essential Commodities Act2, which provides that where a person is prosecuted for contravening any order made under section 3 (of the Act), being an order which prohibits him from doing any act or being in possession of a thing, without lawful authority or without a permit, licence or other document, the burden of proving that he had such authority, permit, licence, or other document shall be on him3.

1. Paras. 50-60, supra.

2. Section 14, Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (10 of 1955).

3. For an exhaustive discussion of statutory reversals of onus, see Glanville Williams, Criminal Law, The General Part, (1961), p. 896, et seq. para. 292 and p. 867, para. 284.

75. Another familiar example of a special rule of evidence is section 123 of the Customs Act1, which applies to "gold, diamonds, manufactures of gold or diamonds, watches and other notified goods2". Under this section, where such goods are seized under the Act 'section 110 read with section 2(34)1, in the reasonable belief that they are smuggled goods, the burden of proving that they are not smuggled goods shall be on the person from whose possession they were seized3.

1. The Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962)

2. This corresponds to old section 178A, which was enacted in pursuance of the recommendations made by the Taxation Enquiry Commission, Report, Vol. 2, pp. 320 and 321.

3. See Babulal v. Collector of Customs, AIR 1957 SC 877 (880).



Proposal to include certain Social and Economic Offences in the Indian Penal Code Back




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