Question: What is the law relating to obstruction to a public servant in the discharge of public functions?  Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites [What is the law relating to obstruction to a public servant in the discharge of public functions.] Answer Section 186, IPC talks about the punishment given upon obstructing public… Read More »

Question: What is the law relating to obstruction to a public servant in the discharge of public functions? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites [What is the law relating to obstruction to a public servant in the discharge of public functions.] Answer Section 186, IPC talks about the punishment given upon obstructing public servants in discharge of public functions. It states, whoever voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of his public functions,...

Question: What is the law relating to obstruction to a public servant in the discharge of public functions?

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites [What is the law relating to obstruction to a public servant in the discharge of public functions.]

Answer

Section 186, IPC talks about the punishment given upon obstructing public servants in discharge of public functions. It states,

whoever voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of his public functions, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with a fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

Scope of Section 186

The section makes a general provision for the obstruction of a public servant in the discharge of their public functions. In the case of judicial officers, any obstruction will amount to a contempt of court and is as such summarily punishable under Section 345, Crpc, and the offences may be any of the offences under Sections 175, 178, 179, 180 or 228 of the IPC. It is to be noted that the obstruction must be caused during the discharge of public functions and not in other times.

The term ‘voluntarily’ in the section indicates that the offence must be of some overt act of obstruction as distinguished from mere passive conduct.

The word ‘obstruction’ denotes some overt act in the nature of violence or show of violence. To prove obstruction, it is not necessary that there should be an actual criminal force. It is sufficient if there is a show of force or threat or any act preventing the execution of any act by a public servant.

As held in AH Choung v. Emperor AIR 1932 Rang 21, mere verbal objection to discharge of public function by a public servant, therefore, does not amount to obstruction of the public servant and the person cannot be held guilty under the section.

Similarly, where the accused had made aggressive or menacing actions while uttering threats such as to give rise to a real threat of use of force, preventing the public servant from discharging his public functions, then the offence is held to have been made out.

Omission to assist public servants when bound by law to give assistance.

Section 187, IPC deals with the punishment for an offence committed upon an omission to assist public servants 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, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one month, or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both;

and if such assistance is demanded to him by a public servant legally competent to make such demand for the purposes of executing any process lawfully issued by a Court of Justice, or of preventing the commission of an offence, or of suppressing a riot, or affray, or of apprehending a person charged with or guilty of an offence, or of having escaped from lawful custody, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.

Section 187 provides for the punishment for intentional omission on part of a person, who is bound by law, to render assistance to a public servant in:

  1. the execution of his public duty, and
  2. executing any process lawfully issued by a court of justice,
  3. preventing the commission of an offence, and
  4. suppressing a riot or affray, or apprehending a person who has charged with or guilty of an offence or who has escaped from custody.

The threat of injury to the public servant.

Section 189 of IPC punishes criminal threats affecting public servants. Under this section, the threat is directed against the public servant himself. The section reads as follow:

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, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

The threat of injury to induce a person to refrain from applying for protection to a public servant

Section 190 also punished criminal threats affecting public servants but it is aimed at the person who seeks protection of the public servant. reads as follow:

The threat of injury induce a person to refrain from applying for protection to the public servant.— Whoever holds out any threat of injury to any person for the purpose of inducing that person to refrain or desist from making a legal application for protection against any injury to any public servant legally empowered as such to give such protection, or to cause such protection to be given, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. IPC Mains Questions Series Part I: Important Questions
  2. IPC Mains Questions Series Part II: Important Questions
  3. IPC Mains Questions Series Part III: Important Questions
  4. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IV: Important Questions
  5. IPC Mains Questions Series Part V: Important Questions
  6. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VI: Important Questions
  7. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VII: Important Questions
  8. IPC Mains Questions Series Part VIII: Important Questions
  9. IPC Mains Questions Series Part IX: Important Questions
  10. IPC Mains Questions Series Part X: Important Questions
Updated On 2021-07-21T11:35:10+05:30
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