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Patel H.M. Malle Gowda Vs. the State of Mysore - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1973CriLJ1047; (1973)1MysLJ42
AppellantPatel H.M. Malle Gowda
RespondentThe State of Mysore
Excerpt:
.....members of the public were impelled to complain about it, is sufficient indication of the fact that they were all annoyed by the use of such words in a public place......against a doctor and a public servant at that. the fact that the doctor and some other members of the public were impelled to complain about it, is sufficient indication of the fact that they were all annoyed by the use of such words in a public place. in my view these circumstances are sufficient to establish the ingredient relative to annoyance contained in section 294, i.p.c.8. the petition, therefore, is dismissed.
Judgment:
ORDER

B. Venkataswami, J.

1. The petitioner is convicted of an offence under Section 294, I.P.C., and has been sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 30/-in C.C. No. 176 of 1972 on the file of the court of the Munsiff-Magistrate, Arsikere.

2. The case of the prosecution in brief is as follows: On 8-2-1972, in front of the house of Sekarappa, which is a public place, the petitioner is alleged to have used abusive and obscene words against P.W. 1, a Medical Doctor, by name B. Ramaswamy. The place in question is Jaya-chamarajapura, a suburban village of Arsikere. The Doctor is a Government servant. The language used by the petitioner had dragged the wife of the doctor into the bargain. This conduct of the petitioner was witnessed by several people and it is in evidence that more than one hundred people had seen it. Dr. Ramaswamy then telephoned to the police whereupon P.W. 5, a Police Officer, came to the scene.

At that place a written complaint was given by the said Doctor, as also one other complaint by some by-stander. These documents have been marked as Exs. P-l and P-2. The charge-sheet in the case was placed on the very next day, that is, on 9-2-1972 before the court. The case was tried by summons procedure. Five witnesses were examined in support of the prosecution, out of which two turned hostile. The learned Magistrate, on assessment of the evidence, came to the conclusion, that the charge had been made out and sentenced him as aforesaid.

3. Before me Sri S. G. Bhagawan, the learned Advocate for the petitioner, while strenuously challenging the impugned order of the Magistrate, raised principally two contentions. They are:

(i) that having regard to Section 173 Cr. P. Code, it was the duty of the Police Officer to have furnished the statements and other papers concerned with the investigation before the petitioner had been called upon to plead to the charge;

(ii) that the language used cannot at all fall within the scope of clause (b) of Section 294, I.P.C.

4. I am unable to accept either of the above contentions of Shri Bhagawan.

5. On the first contention, it is true that Sub-section (4) of Section 173, Cr. P. Code makes it, imperative on the police officer to furnish the documents in order to put an accused on notice of the case against him. It is an admitted fact that no such documents were furnished to the petitioner in the course of the present trial. But, on behalf of the State Shri M. Nagappa, the learned Public Prosecutor, submits that it is a curable irregularity having regard to the provisions of Section 537, Cr. P. Code. It is also submitted by him that at no stage of the case were such papers asked for on behalf of the petitioner.

Furthermore, by such failure to comply with the statutory requirement, it has not been shown to have prejudiced the case of the petitioner in any way. I am inclined to accept this submission of Sri Nagappa. It is sufficient in this regard to refer to the decision of the Supreme Court in Narayar Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1958 SCR 283 : 1957 Cri LJ 1320. It is laid down therein that any non-compliance with the provisions of Sections 173 (4) and 207-A (3), Cr. P. Code, does not necessarily render the entire proceedings and the trial, resulting in conviction, null and void, and any irregularity in that behalf was curable by reference-1 to Section 537, where no prejudice has beer made out.

6. The next contention of Shri1 Bhagawan is, that in respect of the language used, having regard to the society in which we live in and the degree of education possessed by the petitioner, they should not be taken on the face value. In other words, his argument is that such language is commonly used in the rural parts of our country and therefore could not be readily accepted for holding the petitioner guilty under Section 294, I.P.C. I am not persuaded by this argument. It is relevant to note in this connection that the petitioner is a patel of a village which almost immediately adjoins a fairly prosperous and thickly populated town of Arsikere. These words have been used against P.W. 1, a doctor of the place. In these circumstances, it is difficult to accept this contention. The words, on their face, are clearly both abusive and obscene.

7. It is also necessary to notice one other contention of Sri Bhagawan. He invited my attention to the deposition of P.W. 1, the doctor in question, and also Exs. P-l and P-2 and contended that whether any member of the public was annoyed by the use of these words, had neither been stated nor spoken to in such evidence. It is, therefore, his contention that one of the essential ingredients is clearly wanting in the case. I am unable to accept this contention. Annoyance is generally associated with the mental condition and for that reason it is difficult to prove as a fact by positive evidence. In almost all the cases it is to be inferred from proved facts. In the instant case the words attributed to the petitioner are clearly abusive and obscene, especially when directed against a doctor and a public servant at that. The fact that the doctor and some other members of the public were impelled to complain about it, is sufficient indication of the fact that they were all annoyed by the use of such words in a public place. In my view these circumstances are sufficient to establish the ingredient relative to annoyance contained in Section 294, I.P.C.

8. The petition, therefore, is dismissed.


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