May 26, 2024
Home » Chapter XIII of the BNS Act: Contempt Of The Lawful Authority Of Public Servants, explained
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This article has been written by SWAPNIL DUTT VYAS, triple MBA in (Finance ,Marketing and Insurance ) from AICTE approve and Completed three year full time L.L.M (Master of Law )  in  (Business law/corporate law)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Public servants in India play a crucial role in maintaining the effective operation of the government across all its facets. Their duties encompass a range of tasks vital to investigations and court proceedings. When acts are committed that defy their lawful authority, it results in disruption and disorder within the system. The legal framework defining public servants can be found in Section 2(28) of BNS, 2023. Given the axiom that justice delayed is tantamount to justice denied, any obstruction in their duties poses significant disadvantages not only to the public but also to these public servants themselves.

This article delves into the various offenses categorized as contempt and the corresponding punishments associated with them.

Section 204. Absconding to avoid service of summons or other proceeding.:-

Whoever absconds in order to avoid being served with a summons, issued by public servant legally competent,willl be punished with simple imprisonment  term with  one month, or with fine  five thousand rupees, or with both,  where such summons or notice or order is to attend in person or by agent, orto produce a document or an electronic record in a Court shall punished with simple imprisonment for a term  six months, or with fine  ten thousand rupees, or with both.[1]

Section 205. Preventing service of summons or other proceeding, or preventing publication thereof:-

Whoever in any manner intentionally prevents the serving of summon  on himself Intentionally removes any such summons, intentionally prevents the lawful making of any proclamation of summon ,will  be punished with simple imprisonment for a term  one month or with fine  five thousand rupees, or with both, where the summons, notice, order or proclamation is to attend in person or by agent, or to produce a document or electronic record in a Court with simple imprisonment for  term  six months, or with fine  ten thousand rupees, or with both.

Section 206. Non-attendance in obedience to an order from public servant. :-

Whoever, being legally bound to attend in  person or by an agent at a certain placeand time in obedience to a summons, but Intentionally  omits to attend at that place or time or departs from the place where he is bound to attend  ,will be punished with simple imprisonment for a term  one month, or with fine  five thousand rupees, or with both, where the summons, notice, order or proclamation is to attend in person or by agent in a Court with simple imprisonment for a term of six months, or with fine  ten thousand rupees,or with both.

Section 207. Non-appearance in response to a proclamation under section 82 of Act __ of 2023.:-

Whoever fails to appear at the specified place and the specified time as required by a proclamation published will be punished with imprisonment for a term  three years or with fine or with both or with ,community service, and where a declaration has been made under sub-section (4) of that section pronouncing him as a proclaimed offender, willl be punished with imprisonment  seven years and fine.

Section 208. Omission to produce document to public servant by person legally bound to produce it.:-

Whoever, being legally bound to produce or deliver up any document or electronic record to any public servant, as such,  tentionally omits so to produce or deliver up the same, will  be punished with simple imprisonment for a term  one month, or with fine  five thousand rupees, or with both, where the document or electronic record is to be produced or delivered up to a Court with simple imprisonment for a term  to six months, or with fine  ten thousand rupees, or with both.

Section 209. Omission to give notice or information to public servant by person legally bound to give it.:-

Whoever, being legally bound to give any notice or to furnish information on any subject to any public servant, intentionally omits to give such notice or to furnish such information  ,willl be punished with simple imprisonment for a term  one month, or with fine o five thousand rupees, or with both, where the notice or information required to be given respects the commission of an offence, or is required for the purpose of preventing the commission of an offence, or in order to the apprehension of an offender, with simple imprisonment for a term  six months, or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees, or with both, where the notice or information required to be given is required by an order passed under section 447 of the Bhartiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023 with imprisonment of either description for a term  six month and fine one thousand or with both.

Section  210. Furnishing false information.:-

Whoever, Furnishing false information will   be punished with simple imprisonment for a term  six months, or with fine five thousand rupees, or with both, where the information which he is legally bound to give respects the commission of an offence, or is required for the purpose of preventing the commission of an offence, or in order to the apprehension of an offender, with imprisonment of either description for a term  two years, or with fine, or with both.

Section  211. Refusing oath or affirmation when duly required by public servant to make it.:-

Whoever refuses oath or affirmation  required so to bind himself by a public servant legally competent to require that he will  be punished with simple imprisonment for a term  six months, or with fine  five thousand rupees, or with both.

Section  212. Refusing to answer public servant authorised to question.:-

Whoever,  refusing to answer public servant authorised to question  will  be punished with simple imprisonment for a term  six months, or with fine five thousand rupees, or with both.[2]

Section  213. Refusing to sign statement.:-  

Whoever refuses to sign any statement as suggest by public servant legally competent will be punished with simple imprisonment for a term of three months, or with fine  three thousand rupees, or with both

Section   214. False statement on oath or affirmation to public servant or person authorised to administer an oath or affirmation.:-

Whoever make  False statement on oath or affirmation to public servant will be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term  three years, and shall also be liable to fine

Section  215. False information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person.:-

Whoever gives to any public servant any information which he knows or believes to be false, intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, such public servant shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term  one year, or with fine  ten thousand rupees, or with both.

Section  216. Resistance to the taking of property by the lawful authority of a public servant:-

Whoever  resistance to public servant for taking of any property will be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term  six months, or with fine  ten thousand rupees, or with both.

Section  217. Obstructing sale of property offered for sale by authority of public servant.:-

Whoever intentionally obstructs any sale of property offered for sale by the lawful authority of any public servant, as such,

Will  be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term  one month, or with fine  five thousand rupees, or with both.

Section  218. Illegal purchase or bid for property offered for sale by authority of public servant.:-

Whoever Illegal purchase or bid for property offered for sale by authority of public servant shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term  one month, or with fine  two hundred rupees, or with both.

Section  219. Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions.:-

Whoever voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of hispublic functions,shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term  three months, or with fine  two thousand five hundred rupees, or with both.

Section  220. Omission to assist public servant when bound by law to give assistance:-.

Whoever, being bound by law to render or furnish assistance to any public servant in the execution of his public duty, intentionally omits to give such assistance, will be punished with simple imprisonment for a term  one month, or with fine  two thousand five hundred rupees, or with both; where such assistance be demanded of him by a public servant legally  competent to make such demand for the purposes of executing any process lawfully issued by a Court or of preventing the commission of an offence, or suppressing a  riot, or affray, or of apprehending a person charged with or guilty of an offence, or  of having escaped from lawful custody, will be punished with simple imprisonment  for a term  six months, or with fine five  thousand rupees, or with both.

Section  221. Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.:-

Whoever, disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant shall, if such disobedience causes or tends to cause obstruction, annoyance

or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any persons lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term  six months or with fine  two thousand five hundred rupees, or with both, and where such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human

life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, will be punished with imprisonment of  one year, or with fine  five thousand rupees, or with both.

Section  222. Threat of injury to public servant. :-

Whoever holds out any threat of injury to any public servant, or to any person in whom he believes that public servant to be interested, for the purpose of inducing that public servant to do any act, or to forbear or delay to do any act, connected with the exercise of the public functions of such public servant, will  be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term  two years, or with fine, or with both.

Section  223. Threat of injury to induce person to refrain from applying for protection to public  Servant:-.

Whoever . Threat of injury to induce person to refrain from applying for protection to public Servant willl be punished with imprisonment of either  description for a term  one year, or with fine, or with both.

Section  224. Attempt to commit suicide to compel or restraint exercise of lawful power.:-

Whoever Attempt to commit suicide to compel or restraint any public servant from discharging his official duty  exercise of lawful power will be punished with simple imprisonmentfor a term  one year or with fine or with both or with community service.

                                                                                                                                       


[1]  Sanjiv vs State crma 15438/2011  Gujarat Highcourt

[2] Nandini satpathy vs dani pl and anr 1978 sci


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