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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wearing of military uniforms by unauthorised persons : A step further

Readers must be aware of the following provision of the IPC :

Section 171. Wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent

Whoever, not belonging, to a certain class of public servants, wears any garb or carries any token resembling any garb or token used by that class of public servants, with the intention that it may be believed, or with the knowledge that it is likely to be believed, that he belongs to that class of public servants, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both

A good provision. The problem however is that for invoking this, it needs to be proved that the person wearing such uniform is doing so with the intention of making others believe that he belongs to that particular class of public servants. Merely wearing a uniform without such intention or knowledge is not an offence under the section.

However, I’m sure that many readers may not be aware of a more proactive provision brought into force by our law makers particularly for Security agencies. I’m referring to Section 21 of ‘The Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005’. It reads as follows :

Section 21. Penalty for unauthorised use of certain uniforms

If any private security guard or supervisor wears the uniform of the Army, Air Force, Navy or any other armed forces of the Union or Police or any dress having the appearance or bearing any of the distinctive marks of that uniform, he and the proprietor of the private security agency shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both.

As can be seen from above, there is no need to prove an intention under this section and any person wearing uniform similar to that of any uniformed service (along with the proprietor of the said private security agency) can be imprisoned for a term upto one year or with a fine of Rs 5000 or both. The scale of imprisonment is higher than Section 171 of the IPC which provides for an incarceration upto three months or fine upto Rs 200 or both. The provision is applicable only to private security agencies and staff, but practically speaking it is only these private security agencies which are flouting the dignity of military uniforms with impunity. I would hence request all, especially serving officers dealing with the subject, to quote the ibid Section of the Act of 2005 alongwith the provisions of the IPC when pursuing the said matter.


IndianACE said...

Did you see the Godrej locks advertisement in the Times of India (delhi edition) of today 09 Jan.
The soldier and a dog standing guard outside a private residence.

Lets try make the idiots to issue an apology.

IndianACE said...

A dog's life?

Here is the link to the advert in the TOI e-paper dated 09 jan.


Go to page 7

Anonymous said...

apology.....? c'mon! we are behaving like extremists now.

As i understand it, the company is saying that there locks are the best deal. They are as good as an indian soldier and man's best friend.

DIL-WEB2.0 said...

Giving them the benefit of doubt that they did not mean to offend - still the advert is not in the best taste...... a rather poor job.

IndianACE said...

The problem with a higher level of understanding is that one does not come to know when the rug is pulled from underneath.

Man's best friend!! Now that is a 'lick' away from the 'cream of the nation'.

A mule is another good friend- strong, sturdy and very essential while guarding the the mountain borders.

Anyway- the issue being discussed was misuse of uniform and not what they think of us.

JB Singh said...

Is'nt imitation the best kind of flattery ? Anyway, how does the said section deal with people who use bits and pieces of the service uniform, e.g lanyard only or who use
a distinctive style with the same elements recognisable by only service personnel as non service pattern but not so by civilians ??

Col NR Kurup (Retd) said...

We all know that a DIG of Police wearing Brigadier's badges of rank is not equevelent to a Brigadier. His position is Lt Col to Col based on the number of years of service. By wearing a Brigadier's rank a DIG's intention is defenitely to convey his status is equal to Brigadier. I feel that he thereby commit the offence.

Secondly I shall be grateful if the cource action and procedure to complain against a particular security agency when they commit the offence can be posted here.

Anonymous said...

Sir,please kindly tell that if a civilian wears camouflaged uniform with Indian Army and Bhartiya Sena printed on it with a symbol of crossed swords but no insignia, lanyards or ranks and regimental tags, with no intention of forgery, terrorism or any other unlawful act, is he allowed to do so?

Anonymous said...

I am at goa .i have taken up the issue of security agency civilians wearing a part of combat disruptive i.e. the shirt (auth pattern JCT WALA). does it qualify under the prov ions of IPC 171 AND SECURITY ACT 2005.THE SECURITY AGENCY IS WORKING WITH THE NAVY.

Anonymous said...

Dear sirs, Iam undergoing a PRC (sub offrs course) in one of the RTCs of NFSC Nagpur, despite being serving soldier I am told to leave my uniform and rank and to wear NFSC uniform for the training period. Can any one advise its validity?? is a serving officer of union of india allowed to wear any other uniform?? We have served in various parts of world with seperate orgs but never faced such a dillema?? Any good advices pl...

balu said...

Is it illegal to paint bike with plain military green colour?