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Mohan Charan Naik Vs. Swayambhu Nath Khandagiri - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Misc. Case No. 505 of 1984
Judge
Reported in60(1985)CLT252; 1985(II)OLR370
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 499; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 2 and 482
AppellantMohan Charan Naik
RespondentSwayambhu Nath Khandagiri
Appellant AdvocateB. Panda and Devasis Panda
Respondent AdvocateH.S. Misra, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
.....makes it clear that the words complained of must contain an imputation concerning some particular person or persons whose identity can be established. if the words complained of contain no reflection upon a particular individual or individuals, but may equally apply to others although belonging to the same class, an action will not lie. it is incumbent on the complainant to produce evidence to show that the accused made public the imputation complained of. the words complained of did not contain any imputation concerning the complainant. but the jaw is now well-settled that though the high court in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction should not ordinarily interfere in the criminal proceeding in an interlocutory stage, in appropriate cases the inherent jurisdiction can be exercised to..........500 and 501, ipc. and also for quashing the criminal proceeding (i. c. c. no. 9/34).2. the opposite party filed a complaint against the petitioner, who is a lecturer in english in birmaharajpur college, and one srikrushna prasad pradhan, the principal of the said college. the allegation in the complaint petition was that the opposite party is a practising advocate and press-representative of the newspaper 'dharitri'. it is alleged that on the annual day meeting of birmaharajpur college held on 23. 4. 1984, the petitioner made some aspersons affecting the reputation and dignity of the opposite party. so the opposite party wrote a letter requesting the president of the managing committee and the principal of the college to issue suitable instructions to the petitioner not to.....
Judgment:

J.K. Mohanty, J.

1. This is an application under Section 482, Cr. P. C. for quashing the order dated 12. 6. 1984 passed, by the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Birmaharajpur, in I. C. C. No. 9/84 by which cognizance was taken against the petitioner under Sections 500 and 501, IPC. and also for quashing the criminal proceeding (I. C. C. No. 9/34).

2. The opposite party filed a complaint against the petitioner, who is a Lecturer in English in Birmaharajpur College, and one Srikrushna Prasad Pradhan, the Principal of the said College. The allegation in the complaint petition was that the opposite party is a practising advocate and press-representative of the newspaper 'Dharitri'. It is alleged that on the annual day meeting of Birmaharajpur College held on 23. 4. 1984, the petitioner made some aspersons affecting the reputation and dignity of the opposite party. So the opposite party wrote a letter requesting the President of the Managing Committee and the Principal of the College to issue suitable instructions to the petitioner not to indulge in such activity. On 6. 5. 1984 in the evening, in the presence of some persons the petitioner threatened the opposite party to take action against him and harm his reputation. It is further alleged that the petitioner, as the English Lecturer, set questions for the First Year I. A. students with the connivance of the Principal which was released on 7. 5. 1984. In the said question, there was a passage in Oriya, which was to be translated into English, the contents of which were meant to harm the reputation of the opposite party and to lower his dignity in the estimation of the public.

After recording the initial statement of the complainant, the Magistrate postponed the the issue of processes against the accused persons and conducted an inquiry under Section 202, Cr. P. C. Ultimately, by order dated 12. 6. 1984 he took cognizance of the offence under Sections 500 and 501, IPC, against the petitioner and under Section 501 IPC, against the Principal. Subsequently, the offence against the Principal was compounded and he was acquitted. The petitioner has now challenged the above order dated 12. 6. 1984 passed by the Magistrate.

3. The prayer in the complaint petition was that the accused persons intentionally and knowingly have set the passage for translation in order to humiliate the complainant and to lower his dignity in the society and as such are liable to be proceeded against under Sections 500 and 501, IPC. Hence, they be summoned to stand their trial in the interest of justice. It is alleged that the petitioner set the question in English for the Annual Examination of the First Year I. A. students. The alleged offending passage in Oriya is in question No. 5, the English translation of which is as follows :

'Once at midnight a gang of decoits entered into the house of Bikalia, Bikalia is a petty journalist. From the day Bikalia became a journalist, people called him Bikal Babu. As a journalist, his reputation grew day by day. He also made a good earning. This fact, though not known to anybody, was very well-known to the dacoits. So, one day the dacoits took everything from the house of Bikal Babu. Bikal Babu became mad and whomsoever he met, he thought him to be a thief. Today Bikal Babu is crying in the wilderness. Yesterday, he told one of his friends, 'Friend, I like' you very much. Because you are a thief.' Who is responsible for this mental condition of Bikal Babu ?'

The question was released on 7. 5, 1984. The complainant's allegation is that the students, particularly those of First Year 1. A. Class, and the public in general have been asking him questions very often regarding the above passage which had affected his dignity and the position. The opposite party examined seven witnesses during the inquiry under Section 202, Cr. P. C. in support of his case. It is to be considered whether the case under Sections 500 and 501, IPC, has been made out against the petitioner.

4. Defamation has been defined in Section 499, IPC, which is as follows :

'Whoever by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm the reputation of such person, is said, ... .... to defame that person'.

Section 500 provides for punishment of the person who defames another and Section 501.IPC,provides for punishment for printing or engraving any matter knowing or having reason to believe that such matter is defamatory of any person Section 499, IPC, makes it clear that the words complained of must contain an imputation concerning some particular person or persons whose identity can be established. If the words complained of contain no reflection upon a particular individual or individuals, but may equally apply to others although belonging to the same class, an action will not lie. It is incumbent on the complainant to produce evidence to show that the accused made public the imputation complained of. A charge of defamation not contained in the complaint presented to the Magistrate but added subsequently by the Magistrate upon statement made by the complainant cannot be said to be a legal complaint made by the aggrieved person. The offending passage as quoted above mentions that once dacoits entered into the house of Bikalia. Bikalia is a petty journalist. In the initial statement of the complainant and in the evidence of witnesses it was tried to be made out that the complainant was referred to as Bikalia.But in the complaint petition there is absolutely no mention of the fact that at any time the petitioner or anyone else addressed the complainant as Bikalia or Bikalia Sambadik. In the evidence this lacuna was attempted to be filled up by stating' that in the evening of 6. 5. 1984 the petitioner pointed to the complainant and stated, 'Kiho, Bikai Pallir Bikalia Sambadik'. This appears to be an after-thought. It is alleged that so saying on 6. 5. 19d4, the question paper was released on 7. 5. 1984. The question paper must have been set much earlier and not after the alleged incident on 6. 5. 1984 The complainant has mentioned that on 23. 4. 1981 in order to cast aspersons affecting the reputation and dignity of the complainant, accused No. 2 (the petitioner herein), had made a statement that Dharitri and its journalist can do no h;irrn to them. The above statement is not at all defamatory. The learned Magistrate has observed that apart from calling the opposite party as Bikalia Sambadik, the petitioner has also described him as 'Bikalia Okila'. But this is evidently an error of record. The complainant has been examined as P. W. 4. In his statement he has tried to bring in new facts. In the alleged offending passage, there is no mentioned as Bikalia Okila- Evidently P. W 4 has tried to develop the case against the petitioner. The words complained of did not contain any imputation concerning the complainant. Even assuming that the words contained imputation concerning some individual, it may also apply to others belonging to the same class. It appears that the opposite party has raised a storm in a tea post, The question was meant for a few college students and would have been confined to them. But the opposite party has made a mountain of a mole hill. It is argued by the learned counsel for the opposite party that this Court should not interfere in this case under Section 482, Cr. P. C. But the Jaw is now well-settled that though the High Court in exercise of its inherent jurisdiction should not ordinarily interfere in the criminal proceeding in an interlocutory stage, in appropriate cases the inherent jurisdiction can be exercised to quash a criminal proceeding either to prevent the abuse of the process of the Court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice. If there is no prima facie case and when the facts alleged in the complaint petition, even though accepted as correct on their face value, do not make out an offence with which the accused is charged, inherent powers under Section 482, Cr. P. C., can be exercised to quash a criminal proceeding.

5. After hearing the argument of the learned counsel for both sides and considering the facts and circumstancces of the case, I am of the view that this is a fit case where the inherent jurisdiction under Section 482, Cr. P. C., can be exercised. The Criminal Miscellaneous Case is, therefore, allowed. The Criminal Proceeding in I. C. C Case No. 9/84 pending before: the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Birmaharajpur and the order dated 12. 6. 1984 in the said case taking cognizance against the petitioner are quashed.


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