1. In this case the accused was charged with having sent a telegram to the Collector, stating that the Head Master of the local school had misappropriated certain moneys and prompt investigation was requested. The charge against the accused was under Section 182, Indian Penal Code and the accused has been convicted under that section, on the ground apparent' by, that the Court was convinced that the accused had no probable cause for making the assertion contained in the telegram -to the Collector : and that probably accused knew that a peon had confessed that he was guilty of the misappropriation imputed by the accused to the Schoolmaster. Section 182 relates only to cases of information given to Officials with the intention of causing or with knowledge that it is likely to cause, that Official to do or omit to do something, which he ought not to do or omit to do, or to use his lawful power to the injury or annoyance of any person. This is a distinct offence from that described in Section 211, Indian Penal Code, which relates to an attempt to put the Criminal Courts in motion against another person. The action which Section 211, Indian Penal Code, renders penal is action entailing very serious consequences and therefore the more serious consideration is required of the individual who takes it. It is sufficient therefore in such cases for the prosecution to establish that there was no just or lawful ground for the action taken and that the accused knew this. But something more is required in the case of action referred to in Section 182, Indian Penal Code. To bring a case within that Section, it is necessary for the prosecution to prove, not merely absence of reasonable or probable cause for giving the information, but a positive knowledge or belief of the falsity of the information given. In the present instance we think that the Magistrate has misconceived the spirit of Section 182, Indian Penal Code and has given to it more of the effect which should be given to Section 211, Indian Penal Code. The consequence has been that the onus has been placed on the accused and the Magistrate has not insisted upon proof by the prosecution of knowledge or belief on the part of the accused as to the falsity of the information given by him. The Magistrate states that the accused probably knew of the confession made by the peon, but there is nothing to bring home to the accused the actual personal knowledge of facts which the Magistrate can only say may have been known to other persons at the time. On the other hand, the Magistrate states in his Judgment that there were rumours connecting the Headmaster as well as others with the embezzlement that had undoubtedly taken place. In these circumstances it still lay upon the prosecution to show not merely that the accused had insufficient foundation for the knowledge or belief he professed to have, but that he positively knew or believed the information he gave, to be false. We would add that we do not Avish it to be understood from the remarks made above that the accused was morally justified in the step he took. He may have acted with most reprehensible rashness and recklessness in giving such information to the Collector. It is not enough however to show that. For the circumstances which are necessary to bring a case within Section 182, Indian Penal Code, involve different consideration from those that arise from Section 211, Indian Penal Code. Section 182, Indian Penal Code, does not necessarily impose upon the person giving information to the officer; criminal liability for mere want of caution before giving that information. There must be positive and conscious falsehood established.
2. Finding as we do that the 'charge has not been legally sustained, we reverse the conviction and direct the fine, if paid, to be refunded.