Kanhaiya Lal, J.
1. This was a suit for damages for slander. The parties to the suit are residents and zemindars of the village Jamni. In November 1920 the Sub-Divisional Officer visited that village and met the parties. The defendant Bindeshwari Prasad told him that the plaintiff Hanuman Prasad was in the habit of causing the crops of other persons to be reaped and getting them grazed by cattle, and that he was a constant source of trouble and worry to the people of the nighbourhood. It appears that the name of the plaintiff was at one time in the history sheet and had been subsequently removed. The Sub-Divisional Officer told Hanuman Prasad that he should not behave in a manner calculated to give rise to complaints against him and the matter there ended
2. The allegation of Hanuman Prasad was that the object of Bindeshwari Prasad in making that statement was to get him implicated in a proceeding under Section 110 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and that he made that statement falsely and maliciously to injure him. The Courts below found that the defendant-appellant had made the statement imputed to him and that the statement was unfounded, and, if acted upon by the Sub-Divisional Officer, might have brought the plaintiff into serious trouble. They further found that the defendant-appellant had failed to make out that he believed in good faith that what he had said was true. It is urged on behalf of the defendant that the occasion was privileged and reliance is placed in support of that contention on Chunni Lal v. Narsingh Das 45 Ind. Cas. 540 : 40 A. 341 : 16 A.L.J. 360. But, as stated by Pollock, 'communications addressed in good faith to person's in a public position for the purpose of giving them information to be used for the redress of grievances, the punishment of crime or the security of public morals, are privileged, provided the subject-matter is within the competence of the person addressed' (Pollock on Torts, 11th edition, page 272) The finding in this case is that the communication was not addressed in good faith and was unfounded. In such circumstances malice in law must be presumed and the privilege disappears. Even where a complaint is filed in a Criminal Court and is afterwards dismissed, a suit for damages for malicious prosecution is, in certain circumstances, maintainable, because the privilege is qualified and not absolute, and there is no protection unless the case comes within the qualification attached to the privilege. The appeal, therefore, fails and is dismissed with costs including in this Court fees on the higher scale.