Report No. 47
Law Commission of India
Questionnaire on The Trial and Punishment of Social and Economic Offences
The subject of inquiry by the Law Commission, with reference to which the present questionnaire has been prepared is the effective enforcement of laws relating to social and economic offences. The offences comprise a vast field. But, in order to avoid confusion, it is considered that it is enough if views on the following questions are expressed with reference to the major Acts on the subject. The following Acts may be regarded as major Acts for this purposes:-
(1) The Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944.
(2) The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947.
(3) The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954.
(4) The Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
(5) The Wealth Tax Act, 1957.
(6) The Income-tax Act, 1961.
(7) The Customs Act, 1962.
(8) The Gold Control Act, 1968.
Substantive ingredients of the offence:
(1) Do you consider any change in the requirement of means rea necessary for any of the offences under the above Acts?
(2) Do you favour any amendment making imprisonment mandatory1 for any of the offences under the above Acts?
(3) (a) Do you consider it proper to have a minimum period of imprisonment for any of these offences?
(b) Have you any suggestions as to the maximum term of imprisonment for any of these offences?
(4) Do you consider public censure an appropriate punishment for any of these offences?
(5) Do you consider confiscation an appropriate punishment for any of these offences?
(6) Do you consider stoppage of business (of cancellation of licence) of the convicted person an appropriate punishment for any of these offences?
1. The queries as to need for amendment by inserting a particular provision should be taken applicable only where a provision of that nature is not already contained in the relevant Act.
(7) Do you consider it useful to give higher powers to magistrates in respect of punishment of any of these offences?
Powers and Procedure:
(8) Do you favour summary trial for any of these offences?
(9) Would you suggest any additions as regards search and similar powers, in respect of any these offences?
(10) Do you consider it necessary to insert special rules of evidence in any of the above Acts, in order to remove any serious difficulties that might have been felt in securing convictions for offences under the particular Act?
(11) Have you any other suggestions to make for the improvement of the machinery of enforcement of these Acts in respect of,
(d) sentencing, or