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Title and extent of operation of IPC

Section 1 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

This Act shall be called the Indian Penal Code, and shall extend to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.1)

The Indian Penal Code was drafted by the first Indian Law Commission of which Mr. (afterwards Lord) Macaulay was the President, and was submitted to the Governor-General of India in Council in 1837, but it was not until 1860 that it took its place on the Indian Statute Book. Before 1800, the English criminal law, as modified by several Acts, was administered in the Presidency-towns of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras. But in the mofussil, the Courts were principally guided by the Mahomedan criminal law, the glaring defects of which were partly removed by Regulations of the local Governments. In 1827, the judicial system of Bombay was thoroughly revised and from that time the law which the criminal Courts administered was set forth in a Regulation- defining offences and specifying punishments. But in the Bengal and Madras Presidencies the Mahomedan criminal law was in force till the Indian Penal Code came into operation.

Commencement of Code

Under section 1 as originally enacted, the Indian Penal Code was to take effect on and from the first day of May 1861. This date was, however, changed to the 'first day of January 1862' by Act 6 of 1861, and it was on this latter date that the Code came into effect. The reason for changing the date of the commencement of the Code was that it was thought that it would not be right to allow the Code, which altered the whole criminal law of the country, to take effect before it was translated and published for the information of the people and before the Indian courts had ample time to study it thoroughly. The date was subsequently omitted by the Repealing and Amending Act 1891 (12 of 1891), as no longer necessary.

Offences committed prior to operation of Code

Such offences are still punishable under the old Acts and Regulations.

Extent of the Code at Present

Section 1 of the IPC provides that it extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It does not mean that the State of Jammu and Kashmir has to be regarded as some place outside India. In the State of Jammu and Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Ranbir Penal Code was in force. It was a replica of the Indian Penal Code with the addition of half a dozen sections, relating to dissemination of contents of prescribed documents, wrongful obstruction to use of public tanks and wells and slaughter of cattle, and three sections relating to whipping. On August 5 2019, the Union government had withdrawn J&K’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories Ladakh and J&K. The two UTs came into existence on October 31, the birth anniversary of the country's first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. All the Articles of the constitution of India which was applicable to the rest of India except Jammu and Kashmir, has now become applicable in the region of Jammu and Kashmir. According to Section 96 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the Central Government has requisite powers to make adaptations and modifications of the laws whether by way of repeal or amendment. The Ranbir Penal Code was thus repealed. Henceforth, the Indian Penal Code is applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. .

Maritime Zones of India

The territory of India, for the purposes of application of its laws, would comprise not only its land, its internal waters, such as rivers, lakes and canals, but also that portion of sea lying along its coast, which is commonly called the maritime zone.

The Maritime Zones of India Act 1981, provides for a 24-mile contiguous zone, a 200-mile exclusive economic zone, and a continental shelf up to the continental margin or 200 nautical miles, whichever is greater. The Maritime Zones of India (Regulation of Fishing by Foreign Vessels) Act 1981 provides for the regulation of fishing by foreign vessels in certain maritime zones of India and provides that no foreign vessel shall be used for fishing unless it has been granted a license and a permit by the Central Government under the prescribed provisions herein. Further, any violation of these provisions results in penalty and/or imprisonment. According to Article 297 of the Constitution of India, all lands, minerals and other things of value underlying the ocean within the territorial waters or the continental shelf and resources of the exclusive zone, vest in India.

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