P.C. Banerji, J.
1. The applicant Sheo Sam-pat, who is an old man of seventy, has been convicted under Sections 193 and, 210 of the Indian Penal Code under the following circumstances. Sheo Sampat brought a suit in the Revenue Court against one Barbu for arrears of rent. He claimed Rs. 16-11-0 as principal and interest; an ex parte decree Was passed in his favour on the 29th of September 1916 for Rs. 940 and Rs. 25-0 costs, total Rs. 119-0. The judgment-debtor, Barbu, made an application to have the ex parte decree set aside. This application was granted. The case was re-heard and on the 24th of May 1917 a decree was made for Rs. 8-3-0 which included costs. On the 19th of May 1917, Sheo Sampat filed an application for execution of the decree. In that application the date of the decree was erroneously mentioned as the 20th of June 1917 and the amount claimed was put down as Rs.. 16-11-0. He took out attachment of some property of the judgment-debtor. Meanwhile the-judgment-debtor deposited the full amount of the decree. In pursuance of the order of attachment of the property of the judgment- debtor some bullocks were attached by the Amin. The judgment debtor paid the Amin Rs. 17-5-6 which was the amount mentioned in the warrant of attachment, and this amount was received by Sheo Sampat who granted to the judgment-debtor a receipt in full for the aforesaid sum of Rs. 17,5-6. Subsequently he filed an application in the Court which was executing the. decree, stating that he had made a mistake and that the amount due to him was only Rs. 830 and no more. Three days before the date of that application the judgment-debtor had applied to the Court to sanction the prosecution of Sheo Sampat. No sanction was granted. The Assistant Collector of the second class who was the Tahsildar in whose Court the execution proceedings were held, did not take action under Section 476 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but on the 6th of October 1917 he addressed to the Magistrate of the district a letter in which he stated all the facts and concluded by soliciting orders in the case. This letter was intended to be submitted to the District Magistrate through the Sub Divisional Officer, Mr. Gurney. Mr. Gurney instead of sending the application to the District Magistrate himself ordered the prosecution of Sheo Sampat and issued process against him. He himself tried the case and convicted Sheo Sampat and sentenced him to two years' rigorous imprisonment and a fine. This conviction was upheld by the lower Appellate Court.
2. The first' contention in revision is that the trial was without sanction and was, therefore, illegal. The offences of which the applicant Sheo Sampat has been convicted are offences referred to in Section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Therefore it was absolutely necessary either that sanction for the prosecution was granted or that a complaint was made by the officer before whom the offence was committed, or some officer to whom he was subordinate. As I have already stated, no sanction was granted and as no proceedings were taken under Section 476 it cannot be said that a complaint was, made under that section. There remains, therefore, the question whether the letter of the 6th of October 1917, addressed to the Magistrate of the district, amounted to a complaint within the meaning of that expression as defined in the,, Code of Criminal Procedure. I find it very difficult to hold that it was a complaint. All. that the Tahsildar did was to state the facts of the case. He did not ask that any action should be taken by the Magistrate, nor did he intend that the Magistrate should proceed according to law against Sheo Sampat, The only thing stated in the letter after stating the facts was 'I beg to solicit orders.' From this it may be inferred that he asked the Magistrate of the district, who also happened to be the Collector to whom the Tahsildar was subordinate, to instruct him as to what action he should take in the matter. It would be stretching the meaning of the expression 'complaint' to hold that the Tahsildar by writing this letter made a complaint and intended the letter to be treated as a complaint against Sheo Sampat with a view to the Magistrate taking action., If that had been the intention, he would not have solicited orders which apparently meant orders to him to take some action in the matter. Under these circumstances I am unable to agree with the learned Sessions Judge that there was a complaint by the Tahsildar in this case, and that consequently the Magistrate who tried the case should take cognizance of it. In my opinion, as there was no complaint, the trial was illegal and the conviction must be set aside.
3. I have also considered the merits of the case. I am unable to hold that the accused Sheo Sampat intentionally made a false statement in his application for execution. The statement contained in that application was no doubt false but I am not satisfied that he knew that the statement was false, or believed that it was, untrue, and that he made the untrue statement intentionally. In this view the conviction of Sheo Sampat cannot be maintained.
4. I allow the application, set aside the conviction and sentence and direct that the fine, if paid, be refunded. The applicant need not surrender to his bail. The bail bond is discharged.