Niamat Ullah, J.
1. This is an application for revision against an order passed by the learned Sessions Judge, Azamgarh, by one Mohammad Ahmad Khan, who was convicted by a Magistrate, First Class, of that District of an offence under Section 189, I.P.C. His appeal to the learned Sessions Judge was dismissed, except so far that the sentence was reduced from six months to four months' rigorous imprisonment. The applicant appears to have sent petitions to the Commissioner and the Board of Revenue complaining against certain actions of the Tahsildar. These petitions were sent to the Collector for enquiry and report. The latter issued a notice calling on the applicant to substantiate the allegations made by him against the Tahsildar. The notice was given to Dhuma Prasad Singh, a Police constable, for service on the applicant. The cons-table's evidence is to the effect that he served the notice on the applicant who was asked to make an endorsement on the back of the notice acknowledging receipt thereof. The applicant first desired the constable to report that he (the applicant) was not found. On the constable refusing to make any such report and insisting on an acknowledgment of the receipt of notice being noted, the applicant (began to write something on the back of it. It is suggested that he wrote some words which gave an indication to the constable that he desired to say that he could not attend the Collector's office on the date fixed for hearing. The constable said that nothing should be written on the back of the notice, except signature in acknowledgment of service. The applicant threw away the notice and threatened the constable. The words used by the constable in his evidence may be quoted:
The accused started writing something on it. I said, 'What are you writing? Take the counter part of the notice and affix your signature.' Thereupon the accused was enraged and threw the notice on me saying, 'Go away, otherwise I shall break your hands and feet. I have seen many such notices.'
2. The constable's evidence has been accepted by both the Courts below; and I see no reason to take a different view. The next question is whether the conduct of the applicant amounted to an offence under Section 189, I.P.C., as held by the lower Courts. In my opinion, the applicant cannot be considered to be guilty of an offence under that section, though his act amounted to criminal intimidation under Section 503, I.P.C. Section 189 provides:
Whoever holds out any threat of injury to any public servant...for the purpose of inducing that public servant to do any act, or to forbear or delay to do any act, connected with the exercise of the public functions of such public servant shall be punished...
3. The lower Courts have overlooked an important part of this section or have completely misconstrued the evidence of the constable. It is of the essence of an offence under Section 189 that the threat or injury should have been held out for the purpose of inducing a public servant to do any act or to forbear or delay the doing of an act. A mere threat, uttered as an exhibition of bad temper or in the course; of an altercation, is not necessarily an offence under Section 189. It may be that the lower Courts assumed that the threat complained of by the constable was held out with the object of inducing him to make a false report that the accused was not found. The whole context in which the threat occurs negatives such an assumption. It is clear to me, as the passage quoted from the constable's evidence shows, that the constable's insistence that the applicant should not write anything on the notice except the acknowledgment of service irritated the applicant, who used certain words amounting to an idle threat uttered in anger. It; is impossible to construe the threat as one uttered for inducing the constable to make a false report. I hold that on the constable's evidence, the applicant cannot be considered to be guilty of an offence under Section 189, I.P.C. But, as already-stated, the applicant cannot be considered to have committed any offence at all. Section 503, I.P.C., provides for punishment of one who
threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation, or property...with intent to cause alarm to that person.
4. There can be no doubt that a threat of this kind, however idle, must have been uttered with the intention of alarming the constable and to overawe him. In my opinion the accused's conduct clearly amounted to criminal intimidation and should be punished as such. Accordingly I set aside his conviction under Section 189, I.P.C., and convict him under Section 503, I.P.C., and sentence him to six weeks' rigorous imprisonment. The applicant shall, if he is on bail, surrender himself at once.