1. This case has been referred to a Division Bench under the following circumstances:
The applicant made a report to the police in which he expressed his suspicion that two other persons had stolen his watch. The police reported the allegation to be false, and the prosecution of the applicant was instituted by the Superintendent of Police under Section 182, I.P.C. So far it is manifest that the proceedings were absolutely in order.
2. The applicant then went to the criminal Courts and filed a complaint to the same effect as the report which had already been found to be false. That complaint was dismissed, the Magistrate remarking that it was not advisable to commence a proceeding under Section 211, I.P.C. against the applicant 'on the present proof,' and, in view of the fact that the police had already started proceedings which we understand to mean that he was satisfied, for the time being at any rate, that justice was likely to be done by allowing the proceedings under Section 182 instituted by the police to take their course without complicating the matter by instituting a separate proceeding under Section 211 in reference to the complaint in Court.
3. The applicant now desires us to quash the proceeding instituted by the police under Section 182 and to direct that, if any step is to be taken against him at all, it may be one to be taken under Section 211, I.P.C. by the Magistrate in reference to the complaint in Court.
4. It is manifest that the applicant's; sole object is to stave off the proceeding which has already started against him in the hope that the Magistrate may not see fit to start a proceeding in relation to the false complaint in Court. We are not, however, concerned with considerations of that sort either in favour of or against the applicant. We have only to consider whether the proceeding, at present instituted is legally instituted.
5. The case has been referred to us inconsequence of two rulings of single Judges of this Court which, it is suggested, are conflicting. In a somewhat similar case (Criminal Reference No. 355 of 1919) Mr. Justice Knox seems to have considered that a prosecution under Section 182 could not be permitted where it was possible to institute a proceeding under Section 211; while Mr. Justice Walsh held in Criminal Reference No. 625 of 1927 that either section was applicable, but said that he preferred to deal with the case on the merits. We have been referred to a number of other cases; but in none of them has it been distinctly held, on any principle that we are able to appreciate, that where a false report has been made to the police, and a similar complaint subsequently to the Magistrate, no proceeding can be instituted by the police under Section 182 in reference to the false report made to them. There is in such cases plain allegation of facts which bring the case within Section 182, I.P.C. Information is alleged to have been given to a public servant which the informant knew or believed to be false intending the public servant or knowing: etc. It would be open to anybody to institute a prosecution for this alleged offence, but for the provisions of Section 195 (1)(a), which limits the power to institute such a charge to the public servant or some other public servant to whom he is subordinate. It is true that there is a somewhat similar restriction in regard to the complaint made in Court, and the Court's complaint is required before proceeding can be instituted in regard there to; but we are wholly unable to find any; authority for the proposition that, where either section is applicable at the instance of either officer, the discretion or power of one or the other to proceed is limited in any way whatever by the discretion vested in the other. The Magistracy are possibly in some respects, on their executive side, the superior officers of the police-possibly only the District Magistrate; but in any case none of them can be regarded on the judicial side of their authority as the superior officers of the police. This is the only conceivable ground on which we can see that it might be suggested that the police's authority is to be limited by the action taken or not taken by the Magistrate; and there is no force in that ground.
6. The police have in this case taken a step which they are authorized by law to take, and we can see no justification for interfering with their action. We may say that the case has been argued to us as if the police could take action under Section 182 and the Magistrate could take action under Section 211, but that the converse propositions did not apply. We must not be considered in any way whatever to accede to the proposition that the offence of making a false report at a police station does not come within both Sections 182 and 211. The question does not arise in this case though it appears to have been thought to arise at one time, and we are not called upon and should not decide it. The application is dismissed.