1. This is an application in revision. The applicant has been fined Rs. 250 under Section 424, I.P.C., for dishonestly or fraudulently removing a sugarcane crop which was his own property. It appears that there was a decree against him and that the Civil Court Amin went to the village and attached his crop on an application by the decree-holder. Thereupon the applicant cut the crop and sold the sugar, cane to a mill. There is nothing to show that he has ever paid the amount due under the decree. In these ciroumstances1 he was found guilty and sentenced. It; is argued here in the first place that there were technical defects in the trial which presumably, it is suggested, would entitle the applicant to an acquittal. The first is that the matter was brought to the notice of the Sub-divisional Magistrate by the Civil Judge who had issued the order of attachment it is said that the Sub-divisional Magistrate could not act on information received in this manner. I cannot imagine why. The provisions of Section 190, Criminal P.C. are exceedingly wide:
A Sub-divisional Magistrate may take cognizance of an offence upon receiving a complaint of facts which constitute such offence; upon a report in writing of such facts made by any police-officer and upon information received from any person other than a police officer, or upon his own know, ledge of suspicion, that such offence has been committed.
2. There is nothing in that section that I can see which prevents a Sub-divisional Magistrate from taking cognizance of an offence that happens to be reported to him by an officer who presides in a Court of justice. Another argument is that the Civil Judge was treated as a complainant and should have been examined before the Magistrate took cognizance of the offence. It is clearly stated in Section 200 that it is unnecessary for a Court to examine the complainant when the complaint is made in writing by a Court or a public servant acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duties. It seems prima facie that the Civil Judge was at least purporting to act in the exercise of his official duties and he certainly is a public servant within the meaning of the definition. However, even if he should have been examined and was not examined that would amount only to an irregularity which would not vitiate the whole trial. These are the technical points which have been urged. On the substance of the matter it is said that no offence was committed unless the property was legally attached. In that connexion it is said that there is no direct evidence that a copy of the warrant of attachment was affixed to the residence of the judgment-debtor. Section 424, I.P.C., says, nothing whatsoever about the attachment of property. It merely says:
Whoever dishonestly or fraudulently conceals. or removes any property of himself or any other person, or dishonestly or fraudulently assists in the concealment or removal thereof, or dishonestly releases any demand or claim to which he is entitled, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
3. There is no doubt that the applicant removed or assisted in the removal of his sugarcane crop. The only question before the Courts was whether in so doing he was acting dishonestly or fraudulently. Certainly if he knew that the crop was attached or even was going to be attached in execution of a decree and his object was to prevent the decree-holder from, obtaining is money I should myself not have the slightest hesitation in saying that his action was dishonest because it was intended to cause wrongful loss to the decree-holder. In this case however there is the evidence of the Amin that all the formalities were observed and it is stated in the Illustration to Section 114, Evidence Act, that there is a presumption that all official acts have, been properly performed. There is no doubt that the Amin went to the village to effect attachment and the only argument put forward is that the attachment was invalid owing to technical failures. It was urged by the applicant in the Courts below that he had no knowledge of the attachment. This seems to be extremely improbable in the circumstances, especially as a relation of his who lives in his own house made an application to the attaching Court that part of the attached property should be released as it belonged to her and not to the applicant.
4. I do not think there is any reason for saying that the decision of the Courts below was wrong, but even if there were some technical mistakes this is not a case where it appears that substantial injustice has been done and it is therefore not a case in which I should interfere in exercise of the revisional powers of this Court. I reject the application.