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Shri NaraIn Singh Vs. State of Delhi and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn No 402-D of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1967P& H403; 1967CriLJ1182
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 177; ; Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 500
AppellantShri NaraIn Singh
RespondentState of Delhi and anr.
Appellant Advocate D.R. Sethi, Adv.
Respondent Advocate M.K. Chawla, Adv. for Respondent No. 1
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases Referred and Emperor v. Narain Das
Excerpt:
.....if any order/judgment/decree is passed in exercise of jurisdiction under article 226, a writ appeal will lie. but, no writ appeal will lie against a judgment/order/decree passed by a single judge in exercising powers of superintendence under article 227 of the constitution. - the trial magistrate held that the offence of defamation by means of a defamatory letter could be tried both at the place of posting as well as the place where the publication took place. the trial magistrate as well as the learned additional sessions judge were correct in holding as they did that the complaint under section 500, indian penal code, could be entertained by courts at delhi......against this order.2. the complainant alleged that the accused-petitioner posted the defamatory letter at delhi to major g.s. dhillon at bareilly and the last named sent back the letter to the complainant for his perusal. the learned counsel for the accused-petitioner maintained that since the alleged defamatory statement could be said to have been published only at bareilly, therefore the courts at delhi had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. in support of his argument he relied on raja shah v. the empress, 14 pun re 1889; mahesh das v. the empress, 44 pun re 1885; banka behari singh v. thomas, air 1960 orissa 126; ganga prasad v. chhotelal, air 1963 madh pra 128; kundanmal v. emperor, air 1943 sind 196 and u.m. arayamutha iyengar v. rajarathna mudaliar, air 1957 mad 572.in.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P.D. Sharma, J.

1. Ajit Singh filed a complaint under Section 500, Indian Penal Code, against Narain Singh in the Court of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate alleging that the latter posted a defamatory letter from Delhi to Major G.S. Dhillon at Bareilly who in turn sent it to the complainant at Delhi. The accused raised a preliminary objection before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate that the Courts at Delhi had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint as the defamatory statement could be said to have published, if at all, at Bareilly. The trial Magistrate held that the offence of defamation by means of a defamatory letter could be tried both at the place of posting as well as the place where the publication took place. The accused felt aggrieved from this order and preferred a revision in the Court of session which was dismissed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge. Delhi, on 30th September, 1965. The present revision petition is directed against this order.

2. The complainant alleged that the accused-petitioner posted the defamatory letter at Delhi to Major G.S. Dhillon at Bareilly and the last named sent back the letter to the complainant for his perusal. The learned counsel for the accused-petitioner maintained that since the alleged defamatory statement could be said to have been published only at Bareilly, therefore the Courts at Delhi had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint. In support of his argument he relied on Raja Shah v. The Empress, 14 Pun Re 1889; Mahesh Das v. The Empress, 44 Pun Re 1885; Banka Behari Singh v. Thomas, AIR 1960 Orissa 126; Ganga Prasad v. Chhotelal, AIR 1963 Madh Pra 128; Kundanmal v. Emperor, AIR 1943 Sind 196 and U.M. Arayamutha Iyengar v. Rajarathna Mudaliar, AIR 1957 Mad 572.

In the first five cases the question which came up for determination was whether the Courts where the defamatory statement was published could entertain a complaint under Section 500, Indian Penal Code. The reply in all these cases was in the affirmative. In none of them it was even indirectly pointed (sic) that the Courts having jurisdiction at the place where the letter containing defamatory statement was posted were not competent to entertain the complaint under Section 500, Indian Penal Code. Somasundaram J. in Arayamutha Iyengar's case. AIR 1957 Mad 572 however, laid down :

'When a letter enclosed in an envelope is posted at any particular place, it cannot amount to publication at the place where the letter is posted. The gist of the offence of defamation being publication of the defamatory matter, if the letter does not reach the other side, it cannot be said that defamation has been completed merely because the letter was posted at a particular place. There must, therefore, be evidence of the publication to constitute defamation and till the letter is published it cannot be said that defamation has been committed.'

This ruling was considered and explained at length by Munikanniah J. in Pishupathi Purnaiah Sidhanthi v. Satyanarayana Sidhanthi, AIR 1959 Andh Pra 657 where the offence of defamation was committed by the accused by posting a defamatory letter from place A to place B and the actual publication of the letter took place at B where the letter was opened and read by the son of the addressee. The learned Judge observed :

'When an offence which can be committed in parts has been fulfilled partly and something or other prevents the completion of the other part of the offence, in such a case, no question of jurisdiction to enquire or try the case would arise. But where a part of it has taken place in one locality and other part in another locality the mere possibility of the letter being lost in transit would not make it appear that the offence was not committed in parts in different localities, when actually the offence happens to be completed. The offence could be tried either at A where the posting took place or at B where the actual publication took place.'

The cases M.R. Krishnamhrli Iyer v. Parasurama Iyer, AIR 1923 Mad 666, Burke v. Skipp. AIR 1924 Mad 340, In Re: Appavoo Piliai, AIR 1947 Mad 369 and Emperor v. Narain Das, AIR 1936 All 105 also support the view enunciated in Satyanarayana Sidhanthi's case, AIR 1959 Andh Pra 657 which I respectfully follow. The trial Magistrate as well as the learned Additional Sessions Judge were correct in holding as they did that the complaint under Section 500, Indian Penal Code, could be entertained by Courts at Delhi.

3. The revision petition fails and is dismissed.


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