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Karumanchi Veerangaiah Vs. Katta Mark and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1976CriLJ1690
AppellantKarumanchi Veerangaiah
RespondentKatta Mark and ors.
Excerpt:
.....can be broken by angry words as well as deeds. ' in the context in which a-1 and a-2 abused the complainant and in the light of the words of abuse, there can be little doubt that these two accused intentionally insulted the complainant at a public place like a coffee hotel......pichai pillai v. ramaswamy lyyangar air 1940 mad 681 : 42 cri lj 48, and holding that none of the accused committed any offence punishable under section 504, i.p.c. by merely abusing the complainant in the manner proved by the complainant.5. the only question for decision in this appeal is whether the three accused or any one of them is liable to be punished under section 504, i.p.c. for having used such abusive language against the complainant as is mentioned supra.6. section 504, i p.c. reads as follows:whoever intentionally insults, and thereby gives provocation to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace or to commit any other offence, shall be punished.the section contemplates intentionally insulting a person.....
Judgment:

Madhusudan Rao, J.

1. The complainant in C. C. No. 7/75 on the file of the Additional Munsif-Magistrate's Court, Bapatla is the appellant herein. The three accused who have been acquitted of a charge under Section 504, I.P.C. are the respondents. There is a land dispute between the complainant and the accused. The complainant instituted a suit against the three accused and some others in regard to the land. Pending disposal of the suit, he obtained an injunction restraining the accused and others from interfering with his possession of the land. He has also filed a complaint against the accused and others in the court of the Judicial Second Class Magistrate, Bapatla alleging the commission of offences punishable under Sections 143, 447, 427 and 149, I.P.C. He has further filed M. C. 7/74 under Section 144, Cr. P.C. in the court of the Executive Magistrate, Bapatla against the accused and others. The said M. C. 7/74 stood posted for enquiry on 16-1-1975. On this day the complainant, the accused and others attended the court. The Executive Magistrate adjourned the case to 30-1-1975. According to the complainant, after the case was adjourned, he went to a nearby coffee hotel to take coffee. By the time the complainant finished his coffee and came to the counter to pay the bill, the three accused came there. Pointing towards the complainant, A-2 said 'here is the fellow, who is bold enough to file cases against us.' The complainant pleaded, 'if it were a sin to file a case when he was robbed of his property'. Gnawing his teeth A-1 thereupon said, 'you bastard, come out, I will kick you.' A-2 said 'who will come to your rescue if I kick you here.' He has further said 'who will come to your rescue even if we kick you in the village.' A-3 said, 'What more does he deserve than this'. On the intervention of the persons present in the coffee hotel, the three accused left the place.

2. The plea of the accused was one of complete denial.

3. In support of his case, the complainant examined himself as P.W. 1, the Bench Clerk of the Magistrate's Court as P.W. 2 and a student studying in the Degree course in the college at Bapatla as P.W. 3. The accused did not examine any witnesses on their behalf.

4. The trial Magistrate rightly believed the case of the complainant in the light of the corroboration of his evidence by the two disinterested witnesses P.Ws. 2 and 3. He, however, acquitted all the three accused relying on Pichai Pillai v. Ramaswamy lyyangar AIR 1940 Mad 681 : 42 Cri LJ 48, and holding that none of the accused committed any offence punishable under Section 504, I.P.C. by merely abusing the complainant in the manner proved by the complainant.

5. The only question for decision in this appeal is whether the three accused or any one of them is liable to be punished under Section 504, I.P.C. for having used such abusive language against the complainant as is mentioned supra.

6. Section 504, I P.C. reads as follows:

Whoever intentionally insults, and thereby gives provocation to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace or to commit any other offence, shall be punished.

The section contemplates intentionally insulting a person and thereby provoking such person insulted to break the peace or intentionally insulting a person knowing it to be likely that the person insulted may be provoked so as to cause a breach of the public peace or to commit any other offence. Mere abuse may not come within the purview of the section. But, the words of abuse in a particular case might amount to an intentional insult provoking the person insulted to commit a breach of the public peace or to commit any other offence. If abusive language is used intentionally and is of such a nature as would in the ordinary course of events lead the person insulted to break the peace or to commit an offence under the law, the case is not taken away from the purview of the section merely because the insulted person did not actually break the peace or commit any offence having exercised self-control or having been subjected to abject terror by the offender, In judging whether particular abusive language is attracted by Section 504, I.P.C. the court has to find out what, in the ordinary circumstances, would be the effect of the abusive language used and not what the complainant actually did as a result of his peculiar diosyncrasy or cool temperament or sense of discipline. It is the ordinary general nature of the abusive language that is the test for considering whether the abusive language is an intentional insult likely to provoke the person insulted to commit a breach of the peace and not the particular conduct or temperament of the complainant, Mere abuse, discourtesy, rudeness or insolence, may not amount to an intentional insult within the meaning of Section 504, I.P.C. if it does not have the necessary element of being likely to incite the person insulted to commit a breach of the peace of an offence and the other element of the accused intending to provoke the person insulted to commit a breach of the peace or knowing that the person insulted is likely to commit a breach of the peace. Each case of abusive language shall have to be decided in the light of the facts and circumstances of that case and there cannot be a general proposition that no one commits an offence under Section 504, I.P.C. if he merely uses abusive language against the complainant. In King Emperor v. Chunnibhai Dayabhai (1902) 4 Bom LR 78, a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court pointed out that:

To constitute an offence under Section 504, I.P.C. it is sufficient if the insult is of a kind calculated to cause the other party to lose his temper and say or do something violent. Public peace can be broken by angry words as well as deeds.

In Guranditta v. Emperor AIR 1930 Lah 344 (2) : 32 Cri LJ 62, it was observed that in dealing with a case under Section 504, I.P.C. the court should try to find out what in the ordinary circumstances would have been the effect of abusive language used, Pichai Pillai v. Ramaswamy Ayyangar (1941) 42 Cri LJ 48 (Mad.) relied on by the learned Magistrate is no authority for any proposition that no offence is committed under Section 504. I.P.C. by the accused if he uses abusive language against the complainant. In that case there was a discussion between the accused Bill Collector and the complainant in regard to the amount due by the complainant towards tax collectable by the Bill Collector. In the course of that discussion, the Bill Collector shouted against the complainant saying 'shameless fellow, I will shoe you'. The details of the discussion and the exact circumstances leading to the shouting by the accused are not available from the brief judgment reported. It is also not known as to where exactly the occurrence took place in that case.

7. The facts proved in the instant case are : The complainant and the accused are at loggerheads due to a land dispute, They went from their village to Bapatla to attend the court of the Executive Magistrate in connection with a case filed by the complainant. After the case was adjourned, the complainant went to a nearby coffee hotel where there were other persons. When the complainant was at the cash counter to pay his bill. A-1 said, 'you, bastard, come out I will kick you'. A-2 said, 'who will come to your rescue, if I kick you in the village.' In the context in which A-1 and A-2 abused the complainant and in the light of the words of abuse, there can be little doubt that these two accused intentionally insulted the complainant at a public place like a coffee hotel. The complainant stated, as P.W. 1 that he felt very much insulted and became wild but controlled his passion forbearing himself from committing any breach of public peace or offence against the accused. Even without reference to the evidence of the complainant in regard to his reaction, there can be little doubt that the abusive language used by A-1 and A-2 against the complainant, under the circumstances, is sufficient in the ordinary course to provoke the complainant to commit a breach of public peace or to commit an offence against the accused. The action of these two accused is squarely attracted by Section 504, I.P.C. The words used by A-3 are merely 'What more does he deserve than this'. It is difficult to construe these words as constituting an intentional insult, punishable under Section 504, I.P.C.

8. For the reasons recorded, the order of the lower Court acquitting the accused 1 and 2, is set aside. Both these accused are convicted under Section 504, I.P.C. and each is sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 50. In default of payment of the fine, the defaulting accused shall undergo simple imprisonment for four weeks. The order of the lower court acquitting A-3 is affirmed.

9. In the result, the appeal is partly allowed.


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