CrPC Section 455: Destruction of Libellous & Other Matter – Legal Explanation

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CrPC Section 455: Destruction of Libellous & Other Matter

1. Code:

Section 455 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) deals with the destruction of libellous and other objectionable matter.

2. Explanation:

This section empowers a Magistrate to order the destruction of any document, painting, caricature, or other object that is:

  • Libellous: Defamatory or harmful to the reputation of a person.
  • Seditious: Inciting or tending to incite rebellion against the government.
  • Obscene: Indecent or offensive to public morals.
  • Injurious to public health: Likely to cause harm to the health of the public.
  • Otherwise objectionable: Anything else that is deemed to be harmful or inappropriate.

The Magistrate can issue such an order if they are satisfied that the matter is of the above-mentioned nature and that its continued existence is likely to cause public mischief.

3. Illustration:

A person publishes a pamphlet containing defamatory statements against a political leader. A Magistrate, upon receiving a complaint and finding the pamphlet to be libellous, can order its destruction under Section 455 of the CrPC.

4. Common Questions and Answers:

Q: Who can issue an order under Section 455?

A: Only a Magistrate has the authority to order the destruction of such material.

Q: What are the grounds for ordering destruction?

A: The material must be libellous, seditious, obscene, injurious to public health, or otherwise objectionable.

Q: What is the process for ordering destruction?

A: A complaint must be filed with the Magistrate, who will then investigate the matter and decide whether to issue an order.

Q: Can the owner of the material challenge the order?

Also Read  Section 163 CrPC: No Inducement to be Offered - Code of Criminal Procedure

A: Yes, the owner of the material can challenge the Magistrate’s order in a higher court.

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