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Report No. 29

Category 1.-Offences Preventing Economic Development

92. Offences preventing economic development (Category 1).-We now proceed to consider, in detail, the various categories of offences mentioned in the Report of the Santhanam Committee1. The first of these is the following:-

"Offences calculated to prevent or obstruct the economic development of the country and endanger its economic health."

This appears to be a very wide and all-embracing category. The test being the economic development of the country and its economic health, enactments relating to public finance, control in trade, control on industry, control of power and resources and the like, would all fall under that category. It fact, it is wide enough to cover many of the offences mentioned in the other categories listed by the Committee, for example, evasion of taxes, and profiteering. But, as the other categories have been separately mentioned, the present one would have to be confined to what is not covered by them.

We have listed separately some of the existing laws that seem to have some bearing on such offences2, that list being illustrative only and not intended to be exhaustive. So far as transferring the penal provisions of these laws to the Indian Penal Code is concerned, we think that it would not be a feasible proposition. It would, in the first place, tremendously increase the bulk of the Code. Secondly, the penal provisions in these enactments are inextricably woven with the other provisions or with the statutory rules issued thereunder. By way of example, we may cite the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act3. The penal section in that Act is section 24, which punishes a contravention etc., (i) of the provisions of several sections mentioned therein, or (ii) of directions or orders issued under the sections mentioned therein, or (iii) of any rule the contravention whereof is made punishable. The Act also contains provisions regarding burden of proof (section 28), and procedure and jurisdiction (sections 27, 29, etc.). All these provisions would become incomplete if the penal sections are transferred to the Indian Penal Code. The same can be said of many other Acts, like the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947 and the Imports and Exports (Control) Act, 1947.

1. Para. 2, supra.

2. See Appendix I

3. The Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 (65 of 1951).

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

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