1. These two connected applications relate to proceedings under Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code which are pending against the applicants Baldeo Singh and Attar Singh respectively. Baldeo Singh made a report at Budhana thana stating that his bullocks had strayed. He subsequently made a statement to the Superintendent of Police at Muzaffarnagar alleging that they were in the possession of one Bichai Rajput at Saharanpur. This statement is alleged to be false. Attar Singh complained to the Superintendent of Police at Muzaffarnagar that the Sub-Inspector had put pressure on him to file a complaint. This is the statement in respect of which he is being prosecute. The substantial grounds of revision in these cases are two:
(1) That the offence, if any, was committed at Muzaffarnagar and therefore under Section 12 of the Code the trial should take place in the Court of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar and not of that of Budhana.
(2) That there was no complaint as required by Section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
2. In both cases a report was made by the Circle Inspector to the Superintendent of Police alleging that the accused had committed an offence under Sections 182 and 211 of the Indian Penal Code. In both cases the Superintendent made an endorsement in the following terms:
I submit the above report for favour of perusal and necessary action please.
3. A complaint is defined in Section 4 of the Code as an allegation made orally or in writing to a Magistrate with a view to his taking action under the Code that some person has committed an offence. The S.P.'s endorsement in itself does not come within this definition, for it contains no allegation that an offence has been committed. It is urged that the endorsement should be taken as incorporating the preceding report of the Circle Inspector which does contain a definite recommendation that a prosecution under Section 182 should be instituted. I cannot accept this view. The law is very lenient to defects of form when the substance of the matter is there. Section 537 has been enacted to ensure that proceedings shall not be invalidated by merely formal defects. But in this case the substance of the matter is not there. It is impossible to believe that when the Superintendent of Police wrote the endorsement quoted above ho considered himself to be making a formal complaint of an offence. He was forwarding to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate a report of his subordinate, just as he might forward a hundred other reports of various kinds, for the Sub-Divisional Officer to peruse and take such action as he might consider necessary. In a complaint it is the complainant who sets the law in motion. The only functions that remain to the Magistrate are judicial functions. He may reject the complaint, but in doing so he performs a judicial act. Here the Superintendent of Police simply submitted the report to the Magistrate for the Magistrate to exercise his discretion as to whether he would initiate judicial proceedings or not. I therefore hold that there has been no complaint as required by law and set aside the proceedings. It will be open to the Superintendent of Police to make a formal complaint now if he is satisfied that there are grounds for making one.
4. I need not deal with the question of local jurisdiction except to say that, if fresh proceedings are started, they must (subject to the power of transfer conferred by Sections 526 and 528 of the Code of Criminal Procedure) be dealt with by a Magistrate having local jurisdiction at the place where the false information is alleged to have been given.