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Makund Ram and anr. Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in2Ind.Cas.226
AppellantMakund Ram and anr.
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
penal code (act xlv of 1860), section 499 - defamation--good faith. - - had the circular, which is found to have been published by the applicants, been true in fact and published in good faith, the offence of defamation would not under the circumstances have been made out. but the courts below find that the statements in the preamble to the circular are not true in fact and that the applicants did not act in good faith. but they were not justified in publishing abroad statements which they knew to be unfounded and exhibiting the want of good faith referred to above......4 of section 499, indian penal code, '' lowers the character of the complainant in respect of his caste.' the applicants without any warrant represented the circular to be the outcome of a decision arrived at by all the members of the vishen nagar caste assembled at a panchayat held at the hatkeshwar nath temple in allahabad, on friday, 28th of june 1907. it is quite clear that this representation was untrue to the knowledge of the applicants. pandit badri nath, one of the four panches of the allahabad branch of the caste, appended to his signature to the circular a note dissenting from the resolution in regard to the ex-communication of associates of the complainant. that note of dissent was not published by the applicants, who showed badri nath as one of the signatories to the.....
Judgment:

Aikman, J.

1. The applicants were convicted by a Magistrate of the first class of the offence of defamation and sentenced to a fine of Rs. 51 each or in default to 3 month's simple imprisonment. The convictions and sentences were affirmed on appeal by the learned Sessions Judge. The applicants have moved this Court to interfere in revision on the ground that the offence of defamation has not been established. The case has been argued at length by the learned Counsel for the applicants and by the learned Counsel in support of the convictions. In my opinion no ground exists for doubting the propriety of the convictions. Had the circular, which is found to have been published by the applicants, been true in fact and published in good faith, the offence of defamation would not under the circumstances have been made out. But the Courts below find that the statements in the preamble to the circular are not true in fact and that the applicants did not act in good faith. There is, in my opinion ample evidence on the record to justify these findings. That the circular contains defamatory statements is, in my opinion, clear. The circular represents the complainant to be one whom to associate with will entail ex-communication on the members of his brotherhood associating with him, and states that after association with him they can only be readmitted to caste privileges on consenting to give up all connection with him in future and on performing proper penance. I have no hesitation in holding that the publication, to use the words of explanation 4 of Section 499, Indian Penal Code, '' lowers the character of the complainant in respect of his caste.' The applicants without any warrant represented the circular to be the outcome of a decision arrived at by all the members of the Vishen Nagar caste assembled at a Panchayat held at the Hatkeshwar Nath temple in Allahabad, on Friday, 28th of June 1907. It is quite clear that this representation was untrue to the knowledge of the applicants. Pandit Badri Nath, one of the four Panches of the Allahabad branch of the caste, appended to his signature to the circular a note dissenting from the resolution in regard to the ex-communication of associates of the complainant. That note of dissent was not published by the applicants, who showed Badri Nath as one of the signatories to the circular as if ho agreed to all its contents. There is also evidence that the applicants continued the publication of the circular after it had been formally cancelled at a caste meeting. The Court of first instance found that the applicants were actuated by malice. The conclusion arrived at by the appellate Court is that there is no substantial foundation for the suggestion that there was personal animosity on their part towards the complainant. It is possible that the applicants were actuated merely by the zeal to preserve what they considered the purity of their caste. It was quite open to them or to persons agreeing with their views to decline to recognise the decision arrived at elsewhere in. regard to the re-instatement of the complainant in caste and to refuse to recognise the complainant as any longer in caste. But they were not justified in publishing abroad statements which they knew to be unfounded and exhibiting the want of good faith referred to above. For the reasons given above I dismiss the application. Under the provisions of Section 545 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, I order that the fines, if recovered, be paid to the complainant as compensation.


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