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THE INDIAN TELEGRAPH ACT, 1885

Title : THE INDIAN TELEGRAPH ACT, 1885

Year : 1885



(1) If any person establishes, maintains or works a telegraph within2*[India] in contravention of the provisions of section 4 or otherwise than as permitted by rules made under that section, he shall be punished, if the telegraph is a wireless telegraph, with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both, and, in any other case, with a fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898), offences under this section in respect of a wireless telegraph shall, for the purposes of the said Code, be bailable and non-cognizable.

(3) When any person is convicted of an offence punishable under this section, the court before which he is convicted may direct that the telegraph in respect of which the offence has been committed, or any part of such telegraph, be forfeited to Government.]

20A -3* Breach of condition of license

If the holder of a license granted under section 4 contravenes any condition contained in his license, he shall be punished with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, and with a further fine which may extend to five hundred rupees for every week during which the breach of the condition continues.]

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1. Substituted by the Act 7 of 1914, Section 6, for the original section3.

2. Substituted by Act 45 of 1948, Section 3, for "the Provinces".

3. Inserted by Act 7 of 1914, Section 7.

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If any person, knowing or having reason to believe that a telegraph has been established or is maintained or worked; in contravention of this Act, transmits or receives any message by such telegraph, or performs any service incidental thereto, or delivers any message for transmission by such telegraph or accepts delivery of any message sent thereby, he shair be punished with fine which may extend to fifty rupees.



If a Railway Company, or an officer of a Railway Company, neglects or refuses to comply with the provisions of section 6, it or he shall be punished with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees for every day during which the neglect or refusal continues.



If any person-

(a) Without permission of competent authority, enters the signal-room of a telegraph office of the Government, or of a person licensed under this Act, or

(b) Enters a fenced enclosure round such a telegraph office in contravention of any rule or notice not to do so, or

(c) Refuses to quit such room or enclosure on being requested to do so by any officer or servant employed therein, or

(d) Willfully obstructs or impedes any such officer or servant in the performance of his duty,he shall be punished with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees.



If any person does any of the acts mentioned in section 23 with the intention of unlawfully learning the contents of any message or of committing any offence punishable under this Act, he may (in addition to the fine with which he is punishable under section 23) be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year.



If any person, intending-

(a) To prevent or obstruct the transmission or delivery of any message, or

(b) To intercept or to acquaint himself with the contents of any message, or

(c) To commit mischief,damages, removes, tampers with or touches any battery, machinery, telegraph lines, post or other thing whatever, being part of or used in or about any telegraph or in the working thereof,he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

25A - 1*[Injury to or interference with a telegraph line or post

If, in any case not provided for by section 25, any person deals with any property and thereby willfully or negligently damages any telegraph line or post duly placed on such property in accordance with the provisions of this Act, he shall be liable to pay the telegraph authority such expenses (if any) as may be incurred in making good such damage, and shall also, if the telegraphic communication is by reason of the damage so caused interrupted, be punishable with a fine which may extend to one thousand rupees:

Provided
that the provisions of this section shall not apply where such damage or interruption is caused by a person dealing with any property in the legal exercise of a right if he has complied with the provisions of section 19A(1).]

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1. Inserted by Act 7 of 1914, Section 8.

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If any telegraph officer, or any person, not being a telegraph officer but having official duties connected with any office which is used as a telegraph office,-

(a) Willfully secrets, makes away with or alters any message which he has received for transmission or delivery, or

(b) Willfully, and otherwise than in obedience to an order of the Central Government or of a State Government, or of an officer specially authorised1[by the Central or a State Government] to make the order, omits to transmit or intercepts or detains, any message or any part thereof, or otherwise than in pursuance of his official duty or in obedience to the direction of a competent court, discloses the contents or any part of the contents of any message, to any person not entitled to receive the same, or

(c) Divulges the purport of any telegraphic signal to any person not entitled to become acquainted with the same,he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine, or with both.

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1. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for "by the Governor-General in Council".

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If any telegraph officer transmits by telegraph any message on which the charge prescribed by the1*[Central Government], or by a person licensed under this Act, as the case may be, has not been paid, intending thereby to defraud the1*[Central Government] or that person, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.

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1. Substituted by the A.O. 1937, for "Government".

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If any telegraph officer, or any person not being a telegraph officer but having official duties connected with any office which is used as a telegraph office, is guilty of any act of drunkenness, carelessness or other misconduct whereby the correct transmission or the delivery of any message is impeded or delayed, or if any telegraph officer loiters or delays in the transmission or delivery of any message, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to one hundred rupees, or with both.

1[***]

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1. Section 29 omitted by Act 33 of 1971, Section 4 (w.e.f. 10-8-1971).

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1[***]

29A - 2*Penalty

If any person, without due authority,-

(a) Makes or issues any document of a nature reasonably calculated to cause it to be believed that the document has been issued by, or under the authority of, the Director-General of 3*[Posts and Telegraphs], or

(b) Makes on any document any mark in imitation of, or similar to, or purporting to be, any stamp or mark of any telegraph office under the Director-General of3*[Posts and Telegraphs], or a mark of a nature reasonably calculated to cause it to be believed that the document so marked has been issued, by or under the authority of, the Director-General of3*[Posts and Telegraphs],he shall be punished with fine which may extend to fifty rupees.]

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1. Section 29 omitted by Act 33 of 1971, sec. 4  (w.e.f. 10-8-1971)

2. Inserted by Act 7 of 1914 Section 9.

3. Substituted by Act 14 of 1914, Section 2, for "Telegraphs".

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If any person fraudulently retains, or willfully secretes, makes away with or detains a message which ought to. have been delivered to some other person, or, being required by a telegraph officer to deliver up any such message, neglects or refuses to do so, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.



A telegraph officer shall be deemed a public servant within the meaning of sections 161,162,163,164 and 165 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45 of 1860); and in the definition of "legal remuneration" contained in the said section 161, the word "Government" shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to include a person licensed under this Act.



Whoever attempts to commit any offence punishable under this Act shall be punished with the punishment herein provided for the offence.
Last updated on August, 2016

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