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Report No. 29

137. Proposed section.-In view of the fact that the volume of contracts with Government and other public authorities has increased tremendously and is likely to increase further, and also having regard to the fact that the point was raised before us, we propose a specific provision on the subject1 though we think that the existing law covers it. Before, however, it is enacted into law, one practical aspect which we have indicated separately2, will have to be examined by the Government.

1. Appendix 31, section 420A, Indian Penal Code (Proposed).

2. Para. 139, infra.

138. Points suggested in comments.-Some of the comments received by us objected to treating undertakings in public and private sectors differently in this respect. It has also been stated, that sometimes goods are not delivered in accordance with agreed specifications, for reasons beyond the control of the parties concerned, and it has been suggested that it should be clearly laid down that mis-delivery or wrong-delivery should be considered an offence only if done deliberately.

So far as the first point is concerned, we think that a fraudulent breach of contract with the Government or a public authority can be regarded as standing on a different footing from a fraudulent breach of a private contract. So far as the second point is concerned, the provision proposed by us1 has been so framed as not to take in any such honest defaulters.

1. Appendix 31, section 420A, Indian Penal Code (Proposed).

139. Proposed section not to be enacted without considering likely repercussion.-We should, however, state here, that we have not considered the question whether the proposed section1 would deter honest contractors from entering into contracts with the Government and other public authorities. An apprehension to that effect has been expressed in one of the comments received by us on the subject. Before the proposed section is enacted, this aspect of the matter, which is a practical one, will have to be examined by the Government.

1. Para. 137 supra.

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

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