1. The matter now before me has dragged on for nine months The facts can be stated very shortly. A certain Uchhab Singh of Kumaon tock water from the bands of a certain Uchhab and for so doing was put out of caste by a meeting of his caste-fellows. The claige is that the applicant Umed Singh told that men Sohan Singh, Nar Singh, and Balkrishan not to take water from tie hands of Uchhab Singh, as if they did so they would be liable to be put cut of caste. This statement has been found to be true. Uchhab Singh had taken water from the lands of Lachhi and had been put out of caste and anyone who took water from the hands of Uchhab Singh was liable to be put out of caste. On these allegations Umed Singh was found guilty of the offence of defamation and sentenced under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code to one month's imprisonment. He has already served this Sentence. The Magistrate in his judgment has laid stress on the fact that Umed Singh the applicant is a scheming busy body who is always endeavouring to make trouble in the district and that he had probably been sedulously circulating rumours to the deteriment of Uchhab Singh, in his connection in a large number of villages. It is difficult to find how the evidence supports this conclusion in full. The Magistrate was, however, in no way concerned, with anything except the charge before him and I find it hard to understand how after a perusal of the charge itself, once the facts were ascertained, he could have considered the conviction supportable' Both the learned Sessions Judge and the Magistrate have laid stress on the fact that Umed Singh had denied having made the statement which he is found to have made and they refused to look at a plea of justification. But the plea of justification is so inextricably connected with the finding of fact that it is a matter of no consequence that it was not raised explicitly. The case is cove red clearly by the both Exception to Section 499 and a very slight consideration would show how impossible the charge was. The man had been put out o, caste, so the imputation was true, and any person taking water from his hands was liable to be put out of caste. Thus a caution not to take water from his hands was for the benefit of the person who received it. The learned Sessions Judge has referred to the decision Queen v. Sankara (1). That case, however, has no bearing upon the present one. The conviction there was upheld upon a point which does not arise here. The point was that the author of the ex-communication had published the ex-communication in such a manner as to make it known to persons unconnected with the caste. Here the case is different. The communications were made only to members of the caste and for their benefit.
2. I, therefore, set the conviction aside. The matter is academic. The sentence ins already been served and if the applicant has come into this Court in order to benefit his refutation he has failed in that object.