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Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 4 of 1871

  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Chapter V
  • Schedules
  • Act nº 4 of 1871



[Act, No. 4 of 1871]1

[AS ON 1956]

[27th January, 1871]


An Act to consolidate and amend the laws relating to Coroners.

WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the laws relating to Coroners in the Presidency-towns; It is hereby enacted as follows:--

1. This Act has been amended in the Presidency-town of Bombay by Bombay Act 13 of 1930, in the Bombay State by Bombay Act 25 of 1942, and in West Bengal by Bengal Act 7 of 1944.

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title

This Act may be called the Coroners Act, 1871.

{The local extent and commencement clauses of this section were rep., respectively, by Act 10 of 1881, section.2, and Act 16 of 1874.}

Section 2. Repeal of enactments

Rep. By the Repealing Act, 1873 (12 of 1873).

Chapter II

Section 3. Coroners of Calcutta and Bombay

{Subs. by Act 5 of 1889, s. 2, for the original section.} Within the local limits of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of each of the High Courts of Judicature at Fort William and Bombay there shall be a Coroner. Such Coroners shall be called respectively the Coroner of Calcutta and the Coroner of Bombay.]

Section 4. Their appointment, suspension and removal

Every such officer shall be appointed and may be suspended or removed by the State Government {The words "Every person now holding such office shall be deemed to have been appointed under this Act" were rep.by Act 12 of 1891.}.

Section 5. Coroners to be public servants

Every Coroner shall be deemed a public servant within the meaning of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

Section 6. Power to hold other offices.

Any Coroner may hold simultaneously any other office under Government.

Section 7. [Repealed]

[Oath to be taken by coroner.] Rep. by the Indian Oaths Act, 1873 (10 of 1873).

Chapter III

Section 8. Jurisdiction to inquire into deaths

When a Coroner {Subs. by Act 10 of 1881, s.5, for "is informed"} [has reason to believe] that the death of any person has been caused by accident, homicide, suicide, or suddenly by means unknown, or that any person being a prisoner has died in prison,

and that the body is lying within the place for which the Coroner is so appointed,

the Coroner shall inquire into the cause of death.

Every such inquiry shall be deemed a judicial proceeding within the meaning of section 193 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

Section 9. Coroner to be sent for when prisoner dies

Whenever a prisoner dies in a prison situate within the place for which a Coroner is so appointed, the Superintendent of the prison shall send for the Coroner before the body is {Subs. by Act 4 of 1908, s.2, for "buried"} [disposed of]. Any Superintendent failing herein shall on conviction before a Magistrate be punished with fine not exceeding five hundred rupees.

Nothing in the former part of this section applies to cases in which the death has been caused by cholera or other epidemic disease.

Section 10. Power to hold inquests on bodies within local limits wherever cause of death occurred.

Whenever an inquest ought to be holden on any body lying dead within the local limits of the jurisdiction of any Coroner, he shall hold such inquest, whether or not the cause of death arose within his jurisdiction.

Section 11. Power to order body to be disinterred.

A Coroner may order a body to be disinterred within a reasonable time after the death of the deceased person either for the purpose of taking an original inquisition where none has been taken, or a further inquisition {Subs. by s.3, ibid., for "where the first was insufficient"} [where the Coroner considers it necessary or desirable in the interests of justice to take a further inquisition].