K.D. Sharma, J.
1. This is an application under Section 482, Cr. P.C. for quashing an order of the Munsiff - Magistrate, Barmer, dated 7th July, 1975, by which cognizance of offence punishable under Sections 500 and 505, I.P.C. was taken against the applicants on a police challan filed by the SHO Police Station, Banner, on March 31, 1975.
2. The relevant facts giving rise to his application Under Section 482, Cr. P.C. may be stated as follows: One Pirchand filed a complaint against the applicants in the court of Munsiff Magistrate, Barmer, under Sections 500 & 505, I.P.C. on 13th March, 1975. The Munsiff-Magistrate did not take cognizance of the aforesaid offences on the complaint filed by Pir Chand. The complaint, however was forwarded to the Station House Officer. Barmer, for investigation under Section 156(3), Cr. P.C. The Station House Officer, Barmer, registered a criminal case against the applicants under Sections 500 and 505, I.P.C. on the basis of the facts contained in the complaint and took up usual investigation into it. After thorough investigation into the matter, he submitted a charge sheet in the court of the Munsiff - Magistrate. Barmer, for taking cognizance of the aforesaid offences upon it. It appears that the learned Magistrate perused the charge-sheet and the relevant papers produced along with it and took cognizance of both the offences against the applicants and proceeded to try them In the court of the trial he came to know that the applicants could not be proceeded against for an offence under Section 505, I.P.C. for want of sanction to prosecute them and so he charge-sheeted the applicants under Section 500 I.P.C. only.
3. The applicants raised an objection, by way of an application in writing to the continuance of criminal proceedings against them. The objection was on the ground that the Judicial Magistrate was not empowered to take cognizance of an offence punishable Under Section 500, I.P.C upon a police report in the absence of a complaint made by some person aggrieved by the offence. The Munsiff-Magistrate over ruled the objection raised by the applicants and dismissed their application on 9th May, 1977. The applicants have, therefore, invoked inherent jurisdiction of this court for quashing the criminal proceedings pending against them in the court of the Munsiff Magistrate, Barmer.
4. I have carefully gone through the record and heard Mr. H.M. Parekh, learned Counsel for the applicants and Mr. K.C. Bhandari, Public Prosecutor, for the State. Under sub-section (1)of Section 199, Cr. P.C. a complaint in a defamation case can be filed by any person aggrieved by the offence. However, there are exceptions to this general rule which are mentioned in the proviso to sub-sect ion (1) and sub-Section (2) The provision contained in sub-Section (1) of Section 199, Cr. P.C. is mandatory in nature as observed by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in G. Narasimhan v. T.V. Chokhuppa : 1973CriLJ52 . If a person, who is not aggrieved by an offence punishable under Chapter XXI of the I.P.C. files a complaint, no cognizance of the offence can legally be taken, on it. Non-compliance with the mandatory provisions contained in sub-section (1) of Section 199, Cr. P.C. rendered the trial of an accused person illegal. The following observations made by their Lordships are quoted below as they are relevant to the decision of the point in issue.
Section 198 lays down an exception to the general rule that a complaint can be. filed by anybody whether he is an aggrieved person or not and modifies that rule by permitting only an aggrieved person to move a Magistrate in cases for defamation. The section is mandatory, so that if a Magistrate were to take cognizance of the offence of defamation on a complaint filed by one who is not an aggrieved person, the trial and conviction would be void and illegal.' (Head Note A).
As stated earlier, in the instant case the Munsiff - Magistrate did not take cognizance of an offence punishable under Section 500, I.P.C. on the complaint filed by Per Chand against the applicants. If he had taken the cognizance of the aforesaid offence on Per Chand's compliant, there would have been no illegality. What he did was that he forwarded the complaint to the Station House Officer, Barmer, for investigation under Section 156, Cr. P.C. and when the Station House Officer submitted a charge-sheet to him after investigation, he perused the report and took cognizance thereupon of an offence under Sections 500 and 505, I.P.C. against the applicants. Even if the report made by the Station House Officer is regarded as a complaint by virtue of an explanation appended to Section 2(d) of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973, the Munsiff-Magistrate was not empowered to take cognizance of he offence of defamation punishable Under Section 500 I.P.C. on it, because the Station House Officer was not a person aggrieved by the offence. The person aggrieved by the offence was Peerchand and in the absence of his complaint, cognizance of an offence under Section 500, I.P.C. could not be legally taken against the applicants on the report of a police officer in a non-cognizable case. In this view of the matter, the trial of the applicants for the offence under Section 500, I.P.C. is invalid and illegal.
5. The application under Section 482, Cr. P.C. filed by the applicants is, therefore, accepted and the entire criminal proceedings continued against the applicants in the court of the Munsiff-Magistrate, Barmer, are quashed.