1. This is an appeal under Sub-section (3) of Section 417 of the Code of Criminal Procedure against the acquittal of the accused-respondents ot an offence punishable under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code. The charge against them was that they had defamed the complainant, Orilal (P. W. 1), by making imputations concerning him that respondent No. 1 Mst. Kallo, a blind widowed daughter of respondent No. 2 Pachaiya, had conceived through him by illicit intercourse. The defence was that the respondents were protected under the Ninth Exception to Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code.
2. The complainant is a blind beggar, aged about 50 years, resident of village Panama, and his complaint was that the imputation was false and had been made and published maliciously to defame him.
3. It is not disputed that the imputation was made and published, and that unless accepted by the Ninth Exception to Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, it was defamatory within the mean-ing of that section and, if false, it did harm his reputation.
4. The burden of establishing that the Exception applied was on the accused though, in doing so, they may take the help of all the evi-dence on record. To bring the case within the Ex-ception, the imputation on the character of the complainant must have been made:
(1) in good faith,
(2) for the protection of the interest of the person making it, orfor the protection of the interest of any other person, orfor the public good.
5. 'Good faith.' requires due care and attention, and in the instant case we have reason to believe that the imputation was false. and was made with the knowledge that it would harm the reputation of the complainant. The conduct of accused-respondent No. 1 Mst. Kallo in making the imputation is open to grave doubt and suspicion, On 25th March 1957, she made a report to the police (Ex. P-2) that she was pregnant through Damodar Lodhi. She also signed a statement (Ex. P-1) to the same effect; and, according to Orilal (P.W. 1) and Shankerlal (P.W. 2), she had made the same statement in a Panchayat of the village. A few days later, on 30th March 1957, her father Pachaiya (respondent No. 2) convened a pancha-yat and in that panchayat Mst. Kallo named the complainant as the person responsible for her pregnancy. According to her, she bad been made to sign the earlier statement (Ex. P-1) by putting her in fear:
'kadj xxZus eq>s vdsyk ik fdokM+ can fd;svkSj /kedk;k fd fepkZ Hk:xkaA esjs ls Mjkdj tojnLrh dqN rgjkj fy[kok;k dgrk Fkkfd nkeksnj dk uke ywaA
She did not explain why she had made the report (Ex. P-2) at police-station, Sihora. It is also significant that she ascribes her pregnancy to a rape committed by the complainant on her in the month of 'Chait' at his house. Both the complainant and the accused Mst. Kallo are blind and, besides the improbability of the story, it is significant that Mst. Kallo did not report the incident to anybody then or thereafter. There is no evidence also of any intimacy between them, nor is there any circumstance disclosed from which it could reasonably be inferred that any sexual intimacy may have been probable between them.
On the other hand, at the time of the criminal prosecution, she had been staying at the house of Hardas, a relation of Damodar, and at all relevant times, when staying with her father Pachaiya she was a neighbour of Damodar as only one house intervenes between the houses of Pachaiya and Damcdar; while the house of the complainant Orilal is six houses away from the house of Pachaiya. The complainant has also on oath denied that he had ever any sexual intimacy with the accused-respondent Mst. Kallo.
6. Under these circumstances, it cannot be said that the accused-respondents can plead the Ninth Exception to Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code in their favour. The imputation was false and was neither made in good faith nor to protect the interest of Mst. Kallo, nor for the public good,
7. The accused-respondents are, therefore, guilty of an offence under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code and we find accordingly. As for sentence, a fine of Rs. 25/- each would amply meet the ends of justice.
8. In the result, the appeal is allowed. Theaccused-respondents are convicted under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced topay a fine of Rs. 25/- or in default of paymentof the fine, to suffer simple imprisonment tor aperiod of one month each.