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The Public Prosecutor Vs. Katta Prakasam - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in83Ind.Cas.343; (1924)47MLJ658
AppellantThe Public Prosecutor
RespondentKatta Prakasam
Cases ReferredIn Emperor v. Matan
Excerpt:
- - it was open to the complainant, gangamma, to instruct the pleader not to file these affidavits if she liked......20 of 1922, and annamraju, accused in c.c. no. 21 of 1922, of an offence under section 182, indian penal code.2. one gangamma, complainant in a case pending before the first class bench magistrate of masulipatam, applied before the district magistrate for a transfer of the case. this application was supported by two affidavits presented by the com-plainark's pleader, one by katta prakasam, the son of the complainant, and the other by annamraju, a stranger, which contained certain allegations against the president of the bench of magistrates which were on subsequent enquiry found to be false. the transfer application was rejected and the two accused were charged before the sub-divisional 1st class magistrate, gudivada, with having committed offences under section 182, indian penal code......
Judgment:

Madhavan Nair, J.

1. These are two appeals by the Crown against the acquittal by the Sessions Judge of Kistna of Katta Prakasam, accused in C.C. No. 20 of 1922, and Annamraju, accused in C.C. No. 21 of 1922, of an offence under Section 182, Indian Penal Code.

2. One Gangamma, complainant in a case pending before the First Class Bench Magistrate of Masulipatam, applied before the District Magistrate for a transfer of the case. This application was supported by two affidavits presented by the com-plainark's pleader, one by Katta Prakasam, the son of the complainant, and the other by Annamraju, a stranger, which contained certain allegations against the President of the Bench of Magistrates which were on subsequent enquiry found to be false. The transfer application was rejected and the two accused were charged before the Sub-divisional 1st Class Magistrate, Gudivada, with having committed offences under Section 182, Indian Penal Code. The Sub-divisional Magistrate on going into the evidence found that the accused in the two cases gave false information to a public servant within the meaning of Section 182, Indian Penal Code, and sentenced each of them to a fine of Rs. 100 or six weeks' rigorous imprisonment. On appeal the learned Sessions Judge found that the allegations were false, but set aside the convictions and acquitted the accused.

3. In our opinion, the orders of the learned Sessions Judge acquitting the accused are right though not for the reasons given by him. In Emperor v. Matan ILR (1910) A 163, the decision followed by the Sessions Judge, it was pointed out that statements made by an accused person being privileged cannot be considered to be 'information' given to a public servant and, consequently, it was there held that an accused, who in support of his application for the transfer of the case against him to some other Magistrate makes unfounded and defamatory allegations against the trying Magistrate, cannot be convicted in respect of the allegations under Section 182, Indian Penal Code. That decision is obviously inapplicable to the present cases inasmuch as the statements in the affidavits were made by persons who were not accused in the case at the time when they made the statements. The word 'information' is not denned in the Indian Penal Code or in the Criminal Procedure Code. Assuming that the statements in question amount to ' information,' it seems to us that it cannot be held that it was the accused who gave the information to the public servant within the meaning of Section 182, Indian Penal Code. The point for decision is not quite free from difficulty. In Queen-Em-press v. Santaram Ratan Lal's unreported Criminal Cases of the Bombay High Court, page 315, it is stated that 'the accused, a liquor shopman at India, reported to his master that the Abkari Inspector had asked him for money and had watered some liquor in the shop with a view to getting him into trouble. The master as intended by the shopman reported the matter to the Collector, who after causing enquiry to be made gave the Abkari Inspector permission under Section 195(a), Criminal Procedure Code, to prosecute the shopman under Section 182, Indian Penal Code, in order to clear his own character.' It was held by the Bombay High Court, on a reference made by the District Magistrate that the accused was not guilty of an offence against Section 182, Indian Penal Code, i.e., of giving false information to a public servant with intent to cause injury, inasmuch as his master to whom he gave certain information alleged to be false was not a public servant.

4. In the two appeals before us it is not quite clear as into whose hands the affidavits were given by the accused but a perusal of the evidence would show that these affidavits must be considered to have been given to the complainant's pleader on her behalf. It was open to the complainant, Gangamma, to instruct the pleader not to file these affidavits if she liked. Following the Bombay decision above quoted, we hold that information was not given by these accused to a public servant in these appeals Avithin the meaning of Section 182, Indian Penal Code.

5. In Criminal Appeal No. 1107 of 1923 in which the accused is Gangamma's son, Katta Prakasam, it was argued by Mr. Ethiraj for the Public Prosecutor that, since the statements were made by her son to the pleader on her behalf, it must be considered that he himself made those statements in the Court when the affidavit was filed. But it must be remembered that the pleader is not the agent of her son but represents his mother; no distinction could, therefore, be made between the case of the son, viz., Katta Prakasam, and that of the stranger.

6. We dismiss both the appeals.


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