Legal Provisions Regarding Section 39 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Section 39 of the Code of Criminal Procedure casts a duty on every person who is aware (i) of the commission of, or (ii) of the intention of any other person to commit, the twelve offences listed below, to forthwith give such information to the nearest Magistrate or Police Officer.

Omission to give such information is punishable under the Indian Penal Code, unless it is proved that such a person had reasonable excuse for not doing so, the burden of proof being on the person concerned.

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The twelve offences under the Indian Penal Code referred to above are:

(i) Offences against the State, specified in Ch. VI of the I.P.C.;

(ii) Offences against public tranquility, specified in Ch. VII of the I.P.C.;

(iii) Offences relating to illegal gratification;


(iv) Offences relating to adulteration of food and drugs;

(v) Offences affecting life (e.g., murder);

(vi) Offence of theft, after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to commit the theft;

(vii) Offences of robbery and dacoity;


(viii) Offence of criminal breach of trust by a public servant;

(ix) Offence of mischief against property;

(x) Offence of house-trespass;

(xi) Offence of lurking house-trespass; and

(xii) Offences relating to currency notes and bank notes.


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