1. One Dr. Doraiswami Pillai was assaulted by the accused and he thereupon sent a telegram, Exhibit A-1, to the Circle Inspector of Police.
I was beaten severely by fifteen vellombers with hands and shoes tightening me this evening 5 in the bazaar, myself lost silk specs and rupees fifteen afraid much pray police bandobast.
2. This telegram was received by the Circle Inspector and he and the Sub-Inspector went to Kandanoor from which place the telegram had been sent and the Sub-Inspector examined Doraiswami Pillai and recorded his statement, Ex. B-1. This has been admitted in evidence as the information recorded under Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
3. It is now contended by Mr. Ethiraj for the accused that this document is inadmissible in evidence as it is a statement recorded in the course of an investigation under Section 162. His contention is that Ex. A-1 is itself the information recorded under Section 154 and that the subsequent statement taken by the Police in the enquiry is one taken under Section 162. In the first place, it is difficult to see how this telegram can be a statement contemplated in Section 154. Such a statement, if given orally, has to be reduced to writing and read over to the informant and, if it is given in writing, signed by the person giving it. Here it certainly was not reduced to writing on an oral statement, nor is it a writing given to the Police signed by the person making the statement. It cannot therefore be the document referred to in Section 154. There is, however, a second contention that this telegram gave information of a cognizable offence; and under Section 157 an officer in charge of a police station is empowered to investigate if he has reason to suspect the commission of an offence which he is empowered under Section 156 to investigate. It is possible that this might have been recorded as a crime in the station register and the officer might at once have decided to hold an investigation, possibly arresting the accused on the strength of the telegram; but this undoubtedly would have been in excess of his duties for, as observed in In re Nandamuri Anandayya 25 IND.CAS. 630, so far as authenticity goes, a telegram stands in no better position than village gossip. There is no guarantee that a telegram received has actually been sent by the person who purports to send it and it undoubtedly would be the duty of the Police Officer on receiving the telegram to verify the fact that it was really sent as it purports to have been sent. In this case the Police Officer went to the place from which it was sent and examined the person by' whom it purported to have been sent. He confirmed the fact of sending it and gave other details of the offence which he alleged to have been committed. There is no reason to suppose that it was in the course of an investigation which, I take it, means some action taken by the Police to collect evidence. Here his purpose was not to collect evidence but to see whether his suspicion that an offence had been committed was justified. This cannot be said to be a statement taken in the course of the investigation. This is the view taken in In re Nandamuri Anandayya 25 Ind.Cas. 630 and also in a recent Calcutta case in Dargahi v. Emperor I.L.R. (1924) C. 499. A number of other cases have been referred to Chandrika Ram Kahar v. King-Emperor I.L.R. (1922) Pat. 401, Gansa Oraon v. King-Emperor I.L.R. (1923) Pat. 517, Emperor v. Kanipu Kuki (1902) 11 C.W.N. 921 and King-Emperor v. Daulat Kunjra (1902) 6 C.W.N. 921. It is unnecessary to discuss these cases in detail for there is nothing in any of them which directly conflicts with the view above stated. Ex. B-1 was therefore admissible in evidence and we therefore see no reason to interfere in revision.
4. The Public Prosecutor has filed an appeal as regards accused 3 and 4 who were acquitted in the Appellate Court. They did not plead alibi; but, in the course of the defence evidence, evidence was given of their being at another place. In support of that statement a post card was exhibited. The post card was produced at a very late stage of the enquiry and no explanation was given for its non-production earlier and therefore it really can have very little weight in a case of this kind. Alibi evidence should be scrutinised very carefully, for it is very easy to set up alibi and not always easy to prove it and it must be definitely proved in order to suffice for the rebuttal of a case made out by the prosecution. We think the Sub-divisional Magistrate was wrong in accepting this evidence against the view taken by the Taluk Magistrate who had seen these witnesses giving evidence. If the matter were res integra, we think these two accused should also have been convicted, but inasmuch as this is an appeal against an acquittal and the offence is not a serious one, we think it unnecessary to interfere.
5. the Appeal is dismissed.