Venkatasubba Rao, J.
1. The question to be decided is, did the accused commit an offence under Section 54(b)(ii) of the Madras Act V of 1920 It enacts : ' Every person who publishes statements which he knows to be false and which materially affect a candidate or his election shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to six months.'
2. The statement which the accused is alleged to have made is this:-' P.W. I, i.e., the complainant, failed in getting elected in his own place and had come to Saidapet expecting to be elected.' For deciding whether this statement materially affects the candidate or his election, I have first to consider the nature of the statement itself. I fail to see what bearing this statement can have upon the result of the election. If the complainant had in truth been defeated at a previous election held at another place, it does not follow that he will meet with defeat at the subsequent contest.
3. The second point to be considered is, whether, the persons to whom the statement is made are likely to be influenced by it. They are Municipal Councillors and intelligent persons and, as the Magistrate remarks, friends of the complainant.
4. I think that the Magistrate's conclusion that the act complained of does not amount to an offence under Section 54(b)(ii) is correct and I must therefore uphold the order of acquittal.
5. A subsidiary question has been raised regarding the deposit of Rs. 200 made by the complainant. Under Section 59(c) it is a condition requisite for the filing of a valid complaint. The complainant has failed to establish his case, The Act is silent with regard to what is to happen to this sum. Presumably the deposit is intended as security for costs incurred by the accused and compensation, if any, payable. The complainant has not been ordered to pay costs or compensation. The intention of the legislature must be taken to be that in the circumstances the amount should be refunded to the complainant. It will accordingly be paid to him. I am not called on to decide whether this is or not a fit case for the award of compensation, and I make no pronouncement on the matter.