1. The Presidency Magistrate, 19th Court, Esplanade, Bombay, acquitted the accused Damji Kanji Chandan of an offence under Section 500, Penal Code. The complaint in respect of that offence was lodged by the petitioner Velji N. Thakkar and in that complaint it was alleged that the accused had defamed him by publishing defamatory matter in an affidavit filed in Crl. Revn. Appln. No. 1227 of 1952, dated 19-11-1952, filed in this Court.
The learned trial Magistrate was of the view that the imputations made by the accused were made in good faith for protection of his Interest and, therefore the accused could not be regarded as having committed an offence under Section 500, Penal Code. He held that the accused was protected by Expln. 9 to Section 499, Penal Code. It is not necessary for me to express any opinion on the correctness or otherwise of that view. It appears, however, that the alleged defamation took place on 19-11-1952, according to the complainant.
The complainant appears to have come to learn about that defamation shortly thereafter. He served a notice upon the accused on 4-9-1953, and that notice was received by the accused shortly thereafter. On 13-8-1954, the complainant filed the complaint out of which this revision application arises.
2. It is evident that the complainant has chosen to wait for two years after the date on which, he alleged, he had been defamed by the accused. It is true that there is no limitation for filing a complaint of a criminal offence except where the law makes an express provision in that behalf. But where a complainant chooses to bring a matter before the Court after considerable delay, the Court would be justified in holding that the complainant was not very serious about initiating criminal proceedings.
In the present case, the learned trial Magistrate having acquitted the accused and the Government not having preferred an appeal against the order of acquittal, tills Court would be justified in refusing to interfere with the order passed by the learned trial Magistrate in view of the considerable delay that has taken place in the commencement of the proceedings. The rule is, therefore, discharged.
3. Rule discharged.