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In Re: Howard - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1889)ILR12Bom167
AppellantIn Re: Howard
Excerpt:
defamation - republication of defamatory matter already published--indian penal code (act xlv of 1860), section 499--dismissal of complaint--criminal procedure code (act x of 1882), section 203. - section 31(4) (since repealed) :[tarun chatterjee & h.l.dattu, jj] jurisdiction of high court - respondent, a government company, chartered appellants vessel to carry rock phosphate from togo to west coast india - dispute arose between parties - under agreement, respondent had chosen mumbai as port of delivery vessel carrying rock phosphate was delivered at port of bombay - application filed by respondent earlier before delhi high court for appointment of certain individual as arbitrator had become infructuous because of his demise held, high court of bombay, is not correct in rejecting..........another journal for a repetition of the libel (reg. v. kerr 8 c. & p., .177 ). it will be necessary, and we direct the chief presidency magistrate to resume the consideration of the complaint in this case, directing his attention to the particulars thereof with reference to the principles we have indicated, and he will thereon give his decision on the complaint with regard to the following points: 1, the veracity and good faith of the complaint; 2, the legal responsibility of the persons accused, and each of them; 3, as to the fact of publication; and, 4, with regard to the nature of the publication as penally defamatory or otherwise. the order of the magistrate dismissing the complaint is reversed, in order that he may proceed in the course we have thus prescribed.
Judgment:

West, J.

1. It appears from the decision of the Magistrate in disposing of the case, though the matter is not brought out with absolute clearness, that he was under the impression that when a previous publication of the alleged defamatory matter had occurred, the subsequent republication could not properly be made the subject of prosecution until that course had been taken with regard to the earlier publication. This, however, is not law. The Indian Penal Code makes no exception in favour of a second or third publication as compared with a first and such an exception would obviously be made a means of defeating the principal provision of the law of defamation. In England it is not allowed to a defendant to prove that a statement, similar to the one for which he is indicted, has been previously published by persons who have not been prosecuted (see Reg. v. Holt 8 Cox. C.C. 411 ); and the repetition of a common rumour, however prevalent, is not received as an excuse for its further promulgation (Waithman v. Weaver 11 Price, 257, note; nor, according to the English law, is the recovery of damages against one journal accepted even as mitigation in an action against another journal for a repetition of the libel (Reg. v. Kerr 8 C. & P., .177 ). It will be necessary, and we direct the Chief Presidency Magistrate to resume the consideration of the complaint in this case, directing his attention to the particulars thereof with reference to the principles we have indicated, and he will thereon give his decision on the complaint with regard to the following points: 1, the veracity and good faith of the complaint; 2, the legal responsibility of the persons accused, and each of them; 3, as to the fact of publication; and, 4, with regard to the nature of the publication as penally defamatory or otherwise. The order of the Magistrate dismissing the complaint is reversed, in order that he may proceed in the course we have thus prescribed.


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