Venkatasubba Rao, J.
1. The Second Class Magistrate of Tanjore directed P.W. 4 to pay to the accused a sum of Rs. 35 as compensation under Section 250 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and the District Magistrate confirmed the order.
2. The facts are these : P.W. 1 lost a bull. P.W. 1 and P.W. 4 who were residents of a village called Rainsapatti thereupon went to Ammapet the village where the accused was living and P.W. 4 gave information to P.W. 2, the Village Magistrate of Ammapet to the effect that a bull of P.W. 1 was stolen and that the accused was the thief. Before taking any action P.W. 2 desired to have a report from the Village Magistrate of Rainsapatti who accordingly forwarded to him Ex. A which confirmed the information given by P.W. 4. On the receipt of this report, P.W. 2 communicated with the police who charged the accused with theft or in the alternative receiving stolen property. It must be added that the police subsequent to the receipt of the communication from the Village Magistrate of Ammapet but before charging the accused with the offences mentioned above received from P.W. 1, the owner of the bull, information under Section 154, Cr.P.C. The lower Courts found that the accused was not guilty and directed P.W. 4 to pay compensation to the accused.
3. On behalf of P.W. 4 is contended that the order directing him to pay compensation is, in the circumstances, illegal.
4. The first contention is that a Village Magistrate is not a police officer or a magistrate under Section 250 and that as P.W. 4 gave information only to a Village Magistrate an order could not be made directing him to pay compensation. Reliance is placed on King Emperor v. Thammana Reddi I.L.R. (1901) M. 667 and In re Arulanandan (1911) 22 M.L.J. 138, and these cases no doubt support the contention aforesaid. But a different view was taken in three later cases, Nachimuthu Chetty v. Muthuswami Chetti I.L.R. 39 M. 1006 : 27 M.L.J. 37, Gandla Nadiabba v. Margesa Raya Chetty : (1917)32MLJ78 and Thovikodavath Avolla v. Amunan Mannil Kuttiali (1917) M.W.N. 155. The principle underlying these decisions is tersely stated in the following passage in the judgment of Ayling, J. in Nachimuthu Chetty v. Muthuswami Chetti 27 M.L.J. 37, 'In other words, a man who complains to a Village Magistrate of a bailable offence knowing that the latter must in the ordinary course of his duty report the substance of the complaint to the police gives information to the police just as effectively as if he went in person to the police station.'
5. My own view coincides with that taken in the aforesaid three cases and I therefore hold that the information though given to a Village Magistrate comes within the terms of Section 250.
6. Dr. Swaminathan has also argued that P.W. 2 before acting on the information of P.W. 4 obtained confirmation from the Village Magistrate of Rainsapatti and that this fact distinguishes the present case from the cases referred to above. I fail to see how P.W. 4's responsibility is in any manner affected by reason of the fact that P.W. 2 was cautious enough to obtain a report from a responsible person who might be supposed to give, as far as possible, a correct account of the occurrence.
7. It is next contended that as P.W. 1, the owner of the. bull, gave information under Section 154, the order in question directing P.W. 4 to pay compensation is illegal. This argument again is untenable. The first information to the authorities was that given by P.W. 4 and it led to the initiation of proceedings. The subsequent information given by P.W. 1 is of no significance in deciding the question under consideration.
8. It is unnecessary to consider whether on the facts an order could also have been made, against P.W. 1, but so far as P.W. 4 is concerned he is liable and I see no reason to interfere with the order passed.
9. As the accused is unrepresented in this Court, Mr. V.L. Ethiraj has at my instance argued the case on his behalf and brought to my notice the decision's referred to above and I desire to express my indebtedness to the learned Counsel.