177. Furnishing false information.-- Whoever, being legally bound to furnish information on any subject to any public servant, as such, furnishes, as true, information on the subject which he knows or has reason to believe to be false shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both; or, if the information which he is legally bound to give respects the commission of an offence, or is required for the purpose of preventing the commission of an offence, or in order to the apprehension of an offender, with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. Illustrations
A, a landholder, knowing of the commission of a murder within the limits of his estate, wilfully misinforms the Magistrate of the district that the death has occurred by accident in consequence of the bite of a snake. A is guilty of the offence defined in this section.
A, a village watchman, knowing that a considerable body of strangers has passed through his village in order to commit a dacoity in the house of Z, a wealthy merchant residing in a neighbouring place, and being bound under clause 5, section VII, 3[ Regulation III, 1821 , of the Bengal Code, to give early and punctual information of the above fact to the officer of the nearest police station, wilfully misinforms the police officer that a body of suspicious characters passed through the village with a view to commit dacoity in a certain distant place in a different direction. Here A is guilty of the offence defined in the latter part of this section.
1[ Explanation.- In section 176 and in this section the word" offence" includes any act committed at any place out of 2[ India], which, if committed in 2[ India], would be punishable under any of the following sections, namely, 302, 304, 382, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 402, 435, 436, 449, 450, 457, 458, 459 and 460; and the word" offender" includes any person who is alleged to have been guilty of any such act.]