Refuse to Answer the Public Servant who is Authorized to Question - Section 179

Refuse to Answer the Public Servant who is Authorized to Question - Section 179

Anyone who is legally bound to state the truth over any subject to any public servant refuses to answer any question demanded of him touching the very specific subject by a public servant who in the exercise of the legal powers of the same public servant, here the guilty can be further punished with simple imprisonment for a term which can extend to six months, or can be punished with a fine which can extend to about one thousand rupees, or might be punished with literally both.

Is IPC 179 bailable?

In Offences that are Bailable, there is a grant of bail and it is considered a matter of right, where the arrested person is released after the bail is granted. It may be either given to a police officer who is having custody of the accused by the court. Section 179 of the Indian Penal Code is a bailable offence. Bailable offences are comparatively less serious when compared to non-bailable offences.

Illustration - A is a Public Servant and B is accused of a certain crime, and A is the Public Servant in charge to further inquire and question B regarding the specific subject. But B refuses to comply with this and does not respond or even attempt to answer the questioning of the legally assigned A, where B can be charged with Section 179 of the Indian Penal Code.

What is the punishment for IPC 179 Case?

Under Section 179 of the Indian penal Code, the guilty shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may primarily extend to about six months, or with a fine which may further extend to about one thousand rupees, or both of these punishments are awarded.

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Is IPC 179 a cognizable offence or a non-cognizable offence?

A non-cognizable offence basically represents an offence wherein, in a case, the police officer will have no authority to arrest the person involved without a warrant they are considered less serious compared to cognizable offences and cognizable offences include cases in which the Police do have the authority to arrest a person without a warrant. Section 179 of the Indian Penal Code is a non-cognizable offence.

How to file or defend a case under Section 179 of IPC?

Filing a case under this Section: To begin with a written complaint by a lawyer or have an FIR registered and if by any chance the Police refuse to record your FIR, you have also got the choice to file a written complaint with the Police Superintendent.

Defending the case under Section 179 of IPC: If the defendant is to defend their against the accusations under Section 179 of IPC, then primarily he has to hire a lawyer and have them understand and process the very circumstances of the case at hand, for the defense of any case depends upon the circumstances of that case.

A capable lawyer will assist you and defend your case in either lessening the sentence of your punishment or by getting out of it.

Any famous judgment w.r.t. IPC 179 if any?

Nandini Satpathy v. Dani(P.L) And Anr. : A complaint was filed by the petitioner that is the Deputy Superintendent of Police, against the former Chief Minister of Orissa, the appellant and one-time Minister at the National level under the under section 179 IPC and it was further directed that they appear before the Police Station in the month of September 1977 for examination. During the course of an investigation, there was a very long stretch of questions that she had to answer, which were given to her in writing to be answered. She was aggrieved by the major accusations against her which were that she was not answering the questions and complying with the police, so the appellant moved to the High Court under Art. 226 of the Indian Constitution as well as under section 401 of the Cr. P.C, further challenging the validity of the proceeding against her on the grounds that the charges were only against her was because of her failure to police interrogation and that the appellant’s refusal to do so was covered under Article 20(3) of the Constitution and section 161(2) of Cr.P.C. The High Court went on to dismiss the petition and the appellant had appealed to the Supreme Court for the same.

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The case law - Babulal Chhaganlal Barot vs The State Of Gujarat: This particular case included the situation, that is, an application that was signed by four persons including Babulal Chhaganlal, who is the accused-applicant of the case. And as it was brought back and further received back (the copies) by the Honourable Home Minister of the State of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, these particular copies were further on sent to D.S.P. Mehsana of the district, and also to the Hon'ble Minister for Agriculture, in the State of Gujarat, Ahmedabad.

The application was also shared to the D.S.P. Mehsana, by the Home and Civil Supplies Department, who in turn sent a letter which was dated to be 4-5-65 sent it on to P.S.I. Vijapur, inquired the person to return the original application along with his report within 10 days and on receiving the same on 9-5-65, he went on to call the accused who was at the police station with a need to inquire with him regarding the same application. The complaint was elaborated in detail to the accused by the learned Magistrate and to that the accused pleaded not guilty.

The Court, in this case, went on to accept the evidence produced by the Jamadar Sardarsing and also discovered that the Jamadar had absolute power to make that inquiry and question the accused in relation to the application Ex. 7 which was actually shown to him, and since the accused had refrained from giving any reply whatsoever he was to be held guilty of an offence under Section 176 of the Indian Penal Code and thus further was convicted and sentenced him to the same. The accused, being absolutely dissatisfied by this order went on to ask for a revision before the court. 

This Article on IPC Section 179 is drafted by Ms. Archana Nair, Alliance University.
Offence Punishment Cognizance Bail Triable By
Refusing to answer public servant Imprisonment, up to 6 month or fine or both non-cognizable Bailable Any Magistrate
Offence Refusing to answer public servant
Punishment Imprisonment, up to 6 month or fine or both
Cognizance non-cognizable
Bail Bailable
Triable By Any Magistrate


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