Legal provisions regarding Personating a public servant under section 170 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Personating a public servant:
Under Section 170, the prosecution must prove that:
(i) The accused falsely pretended to be or person acted to be a public servant;
(ii) He did so knowingly; and
(iii) When assuming such character he did or attempted to do something under colour of such office.
Mere personation to hold office is not an offence but the doing or attempting to do some act under colour of the office which he pretends to hold is an offence. The essence of the offence lies in the false assumption of the role of the public servant. It is necessary that the accused knew that he did not hold the office which he pretended to hold.
The offender must be shown to have attempted to do or to have done some act in his assumed character ‘under colour’ of his office. The question whether the offender made or not any gain out of his activities while he poses as a public servant is an immaterial consideration.
The gist of the offence consists of the false assumption of the role of a public servant. The mere assumption of false character without any attempt to do an official act is not sufficient to bring the offence within the meaning of Section 170.
A person who poses as a Government servant and by so doing obtains of another services which he would not otherwise have obtained and which the other person was bound to give on demand by a Government Officer, commits an offence under Section 170.
The act done ‘under colour of an officer’ is an act having some relation to the office which the accused pretends to hold where a person falsely personated as a Head Constable and under colour of such pretended office collected from villagers a small sum of money, he is guilty under Section 170.
An offence under Section 170 is cognizable and warrant must ordinarily issue in the first instance. It is non-bailable, and non- compoundable and is triable by any Magistrate.