Ramanujulu Naidu, J.
1. The view taken by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Ongole that the complaint instituted by the Public, Prosecutor, Ongole District, against the respondent for offence punishable under Sections 501 and 502 I.P.C. is incompetent inasmuch as it is not established that, at the relevant time, when the respondent was accused of commission of the offence, P. W. 8 was employed in connection with the affairs of the State, gains support from the decision of a Division Bench of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh in L. Potha Raju v. Food Inspector (1975) APLJ 189. It is true that in the said case, the learned Judge, Kondiah and A. V. Krishnarao, J., construed the scope and ambit of Section 197(1)(b) of the Code for the purpose of deciding the question raised therein whether the petitioners therein could be regarded as persons employed in connection with the affairs of the State. Section 199(2) of the Code under which the complaint is instituted also insists upon the same requirement as contained in Section 197(b) of the Act. In other words, under Section 199(2) of the Code, it is not enough if a person aggrieved by commission of any offence included in Chapter XXI of the Indian Penal Code is a Public servant. He must also establish that he is a public servant employed in connection with the affairs of the State. Section 199(2) being a special provision intended to protect the high dignitaries and other public servants employed in connection with' the affairs of the Union or a State, the conditions laid down therein for invoking the protection must be strictly fulfilled. The satisfaction of the requirements contained in Section 199(2) of the Code should be with reference to the position which the public servant at the relevant time of the commission of the offence alleged by him occupied. Admittedly at the relevant time, when the respondent published the defamatory article, P. W. 8 the aggrieved, was the Block Development Officer, Ongole Panchayat Samithi. Every panchayat Samithi, it is not denied, is a body corporate having perpetual succession and common seal. Though it is not brought out what exactly the substantive post P. W. 8 held under the State, he stated in chief-examination that for some time he worked as Executive Officer for scheduled castes Corporation, Ongole District, It is, therefore, not unreasonable to infer that his services were lent to the Panchayat Samithi, Ongole by the Government.
2. Following the decision of the Division Bench of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, it must be held that at the relevant time P. W. 8 was not a public servant employed in connection with the affairs of the State. Mr. Padmanabha Reddy, learned Counsel for the respondent very fairly brings to my notice that the correctness of the decision of the Division Bench was doubted by the Hon'ble Mr, Justice Sambasivarao (as he then was) in Dr. A. S. Rao v. C.N.N. Kutty (1977) 2 APLJ 219, I must, however, observe that in the case decided by the Division Bench the learned Judges dealt with the positions and capacities occupied and held by the petitioners therein while manning certain co-operative Societies, In the instant case, P. w. 8 was at the relevant time Block Development Officer of the Panchayat Samithi, a body corporate. I, therefore, consider it unnecessary to examine the soundness or otherwise of the reasoning adopted by Sambasivarao, J., (as he then was) doubting the earlier decision of the Division Bench of the High Court, The acquittal of the respondent, is, therefore, confirmed and the appeal preferred by the State is accordingly dismissed. Before parting with the case, I must, however, observe that such remedies as are open and available to P. W. 8, he may pursue, if so advised.