Section 269 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Explained!
The prosecution must prove doing of an unlawful or negligent act on the part of the accused. This act must be, and he must know or must have reason to believe it to be, likely to spread the infection of any such disease as is dangerous to life. The word ‘act’ includes an illegal omission as per section 32, and a series of acts and series of omissions as per section 33 of the Code.
The expression ‘reason to believe’ has been defined in section 26 of the Code as having sufficient cause to believe. A prostitute, suffering from syphilis, encouraging and permitting another to have sex with her after having assured him that she was healthy, was held guilty under section 417 or 420 and not under this section.
A mother refusing to let her child suffering from small pox be removed to hospital unless she was also allowed to accompany her, was held not guilty under this section. But a patient suffering from cholera travelling in a train without informing the railway authorities about it was held guilty under section 269 of the Code.
The offence under this section is cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable, and is triable by metropolitan magistrate or magistrate of the first or second class.