The Indian Penal Code

July 23 2010

Macaulay, in India from 1834 to ’38 as a member of the Supreme Council of the East India Company, reformed the Indian educational system, with the intention of creating a class of anglicised Indians, and chaired the First Law Commission which began to draft a universal code of criminal law for the colony.

The Indian Penal Code (Hindi: भारतीय दण्ड संहिता) was introduced in 1860 and is still the basis of Indian criminal law, though regularly amended. It was adopted wholesale by the British colonial authorities in what are now Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, and remains the basis of their criminal codes. It was also inherited by Pakistan and Bangladesh. Versions of it were introduced in other British colonies.

Section 377, which was repealed or substantially repealed in India in 2009, survives in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. It Sri Lanka it has become section 365A.

Wikipedia on section 377.

Post on how the English applied civil law in India.

2 Responses to “The Indian Penal Code”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    Was the Code adopted in Hong Kong? Perhaps not directly. When it came into effect, the Straits Settlements, on the other hand, were subordinated to India and controlled by the India Office.

    See this post.


  2. […] The puritanical break in India, he suggests, came not with Islam, but with the British, with effects still felt today, in a falsely puritanical reinterpretation of their history by Hindus. Africans and Muslims are doing the same thing. What is rejected as unMoslem and unAfrican is often nineteenth century unWestern. […]


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