by | Sep 29, 2023

In the Indian Penal Code (IPC), there are specific provisions that deal with offences committed by or relating to public servants. These provisions aim to maintain the integrity and accountability of public officials and ensure the proper functioning of the government machinery. 

SECTION 166 (Public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person) – A public servant intentionally disobeys the law and harms someone as a result, they can be punished with up to one year of imprisonment, a fine, or both.

SECTION 166A (Public Servant disobeying direction under law) – If a public servant intentionally disobeys a law that prohibits them from summoning someone for an investigation, they could face consequence or it  means when someone deliberately breaks the law by not following the rules and regulations while conducting an investigation, which can harm others or fails to record any information given to him under sub-section (1) of section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, in relation to cognizable offence punishable under Sections 326A, 326B, 354, 354B, 370, 370A, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376E or 509; If found guilty, the punishment is imprisonment for a minimum of six months up to two years, along with a fine.

SECTION 166B (Punishment for non treatment of victim) – If someone in charge of a hospital, whether public or private, goes against the rules stated in section 357C of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, they may face a maximum punishment of one year imprisonment or a fine, or both

SECTION 167 (Public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury) – If a public servant knowingly prepares or translates a document incorrectly with the intent to cause harm or knows that it may likely cause harm, they can be punished with imprisonment up to three years, a fine, or both.

SECTION 168 (Public servant unlawfully engaging in trade) – If a public servant, who is legally prohibited from engaging in trade, does engage in trade, they can be punished with imprisonment for up to one year, or with a fine, or both.

SECTION 169 (Public servant unlawfully buying or bidding for property) – If a public servant, who is legally prohibited from purchasing or bidding for certain property, does so either in their own name or in someone else’s name, they may face punishment of up to two years of simple imprisonment, a fine, or both. Additionally, any property purchased in violation of this rule may be confiscated.

SECTION 170 (Personating a public servant) – if someone pretends to be a public servant or impersonates someone in a position of authority, and does anything under that false identity, they can be punished with imprisonment for up to two years, a fine, or both.

SECTION 171 (Wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent) –  Wearing or carrying anything that resembles the attire or accessories of a specific group of public servants, with the intention or knowledge that it may make others believe you are a part of that group, can lead to imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of up to two hundred rupees, or both.

The offences by or relating to public servants mentioned under the Indian Penal Code are crucial for maintaining transparency, accountability, and trust in the functioning of government institutions. By holding public officials responsible for their actions, these provisions contribute to a more just and fair society. 



Written By Nancy Sharma

I am Nancy Mahavir Sharma, a passionate legal writer and , a judicial service aspirant who is interested in legal researching and writing. I have completed Latin Legum Magister degree. I have been writing from past few years and I am excited to share my legal thoughts and opinions here. I believe that everyone has the potential to make a difference.

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