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Doraswami Pillai Vs. the King Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1903)13MLJ285
AppellantDoraswami Pillai
RespondentThe King Emperor
Excerpt:
- - it is perfectly lawful for officers of the police to watch the movements of suspected characters, and they are properly required to do so by police circular orders. the course adopted by the constable was certainly one which would cause annoyance to the inmates of the house, if not, also insulting to the accused, and under section 104 the accused was justified in voluntarily causing to the complainant the slight harm which he inflicted on him, and the constable cannot be regarded under section 99, indian penal code, as acting in good faith (vide section 52, indian penal code), under colour of his office though his act may not be strictly justifiable by law......of the accused about midnight with another constable and stood knocking at the door of the accused's house to see if he was present. the fact that the accused is a person who is regarded by the police as a suspicious character (k. d.) and as one whose movements ought to be watched, does, not authorise the complainant to enter upon his premises or knock' at his door with a view to ascertaining whether he is present in his house or not. the police circular orders referred to by the magistrate have not the force of law, but in justice to them; i may observe, that there is nothing whatever in any of them which warrants the course adopted by the complainant. it is perfectly lawful for officers of the police to watch the movements of suspected characters, and they are properly required.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. It is clear that the conviction of the accused in this case under Section 353, I.P.C. is illegal and cannot be upheld. It is impossible to regard the constable as engaged in the execution of his duty as a public servant when he entered upon the premises of the accused about midnight with another constable and stood knocking at the door of the accused's house to see if he was present. The fact that the accused is a person who is regarded by the police as a suspicious character (K. D.) and as one whose movements ought to be watched, does, not authorise the complainant to enter upon his premises or knock' at his door with a view to ascertaining whether he is present in his house or not. The police circular orders referred to by the Magistrate have not the force of law, but in justice to them; I may observe, that there is nothing whatever in any of them which warrants the course adopted by the complainant. It is perfectly lawful for officers of the Police to watch the movements of suspected characters, and they are properly required to do so by Police circular orders. But they can do so only by lawful means and not by trespassing upon his premises or by having recourse to other unlawful means, It is found that the accused came out, abused and pushed, the complainant and afterwards brought a stick from inside and lifted it up as if he was going to beat him with it and that the complainant's turban fell on the ground when he was pushed. Under these circumstances, the accused would no doubt be guilty of assault or of using criminal force, unless his act could be regarded as done in the exercise of the right of private defence of property. The constable in entering upon the accused's dwelling house and knocking at his door at midnight with the intention of finding out whether the accused who is regarded as a suspected character by the Police was in his house or not, was technically guilty of house trespass under Section 442 of the Indian Penal Code. The course adopted by the constable was certainly one which would cause annoyance to the inmates of the house, if not, also insulting to the accused, and under Section 104 the accused was justified in voluntarily causing to the complainant the slight harm which he inflicted on him, and the constable cannot be regarded under Section 99, Indian Penal Code, as acting in good faith (vide Section 52, Indian Penal Code), under colour of his office though his act may not be strictly justifiable by law. No police circular order or any other has been pointed out which though not strictly justifiable in law he can bona fide plead in support of the course pursued by him of entering upon the premises of the accused at midnight and knocking at the door. I may also remark that the sentence of three months' regorous imprisonment which was passed upon the accused is unduly severe under the circumstances of the case, even if he were guilty of any offence. I reverse the conviction and sentence and acquit the accused and direct that he be set at iliberty, the bail bond being cancelled.


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