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M. Munuswami Naicker Vs. P. Kanniappa Naicker - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. No. 353 and Cri. Revn. Petn. No. 323 of 1948
Judge
Reported inAIR1950Mad273
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 504
AppellantM. Munuswami Naicker
RespondentP. Kanniappa Naicker
Appellant AdvocateAsker Ali, Adv. for ;A.A.S. Mustafa, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS. Venkatachalam, Adv. for ;B.C. Seshachalam, Adv.;Assistant Public Prosecutor
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredSilvestervaz v. Louis Diets
Excerpt:
.....the person about whom they are uttered, they are likely to provoke a breach of the peace when the victim is told about them whether the utterer asks them to be conveyed to him or not, and would, therefore, amount to an offence under section 504. i cannot agree. if that were so, any defamatory words, like that a man's wife or daughter is immoral, will come under section 504, penal code, even if they are uttered a thousand miles away, if they are conveyed to the men by some obliging friends; in this case, as there is no evidence to show that the utterer asked the panchayatdars to convey his insulting words, uttered in his absence, to the petitioner, i am of opinion that the lower court's order discharging the respondent cannot be said to be illegal, incorrect, improper or irregular, or to..........with an effort. 2. the question is whether, in these circumstances an offence under section 504, penal code, was made out prima facie. mr. asker ali, for the petitioner, urged with great vehemence that there is really no distinction between a man who utters such words to panchayatdars and ask them to convey the words to the petitioner and a person who sends such insulting words by letter to the petitioner and, that it has been held by the bombay high court, in silvestervaz v. louis diets, : air1930bom120 that if insulting words likely to provoke a person to a breach of the peace are conveyed to him in a letter by post the man sending such a letter will be liable under section 504, penal code. the learned public prosecutor agrees, and i too agree. but the point here is whether the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Panchapakesa Ayyar, J.

1. This is an interesting case. The first Class Bench Court, Tiruvottiyur, discharged the respondent Kanniappa, in a case under Section 504, Penal Code. The respondent abused the petitioner in obscene terms stating:

'May his wife be ravished. May the hydrocelic fellow (the petitioner is said to have hydrccele) be beaten till his hydrcocele is blown to bits.'

This abuse was uttered in the absence of the petitioner, but the people who heard the abuse--they were members of the Panchayat--conveyed it to the petitioner, Muniswamni Naicker, who felt highly put out on hearing their report and felt like committing a breach of the peace but restrained himself with an effort.

2. The question is whether, in these circumstances an offence under Section 504, Penal Code, was made out prima facie. Mr. Asker Ali, for the petitioner, urged with great vehemence that there is really no distinction between a man who utters such words to Panchayatdars and ask them to convey the words to the petitioner and a person who sends such insulting words by letter to the petitioner and, that it has been held by the Bombay High Court, in Silvestervaz v. Louis Diets, : AIR1930Bom120 that if insulting words likely to provoke a person to a breach of the peace are conveyed to him in a letter by post the man sending such a letter will be liable under Section 504, Penal Code. The learned Public Prosecutor agrees, and I too agree. But the point here is whether the respondent not only uttered the abuse to the Panchayatdars but asked the Panchayatdars to convey it to the petitioner. If a man stands before another's house, or near where he is, and utters insulting words calculated to provoke a breach of the peace even in his absence and wants them to be conveyed to the man be abuses and waits there to see what would happen, he will, in my opinion, be liable under Section 504, Penal Code, as such a message, by messengers, stands on even a stronger footing than a message by letter. But as the learned Public Prosecutor has rightly urged, there is no evidence in this case to show that the respondent asked the Panchayatdars before whom he uttered the insulting words regarding the petitioner to convey them to the petitioner. Such a request is, in my opinion, essential to make a prima facie case under Section 504, Penal Code. As that is absent, the discharge was right. Mr. Asker Ali argues that if insulting words like these are uttered, and are conveyed to the person about whom they are uttered, they are likely to provoke a breach of the peace when the victim is told about them whether the utterer asks them to be conveyed to him or not, and would, therefore, amount to an offence under Section 504. I cannot agree. If that were so, any defamatory words, like that a man's wife or daughter is immoral, will come under Section 504, Penal Code, even if they are uttered a thousand miles away, if they are conveyed to the men by some obliging friends; nor can the distance be a criterion. The gravamen of the offence under Section 504, Penal Code, lies in the utterer provoking the victim by his words to commit an immediate breach of the peace. That can only occur if he utters the words in the presence of the victim or has them conveyed to him by letter or messenger. Few sane persons will commit a breach of the peace on mere hearsay evidence of abuse, and without even verification. In this case, as there is no evidence to show that the utterer asked the panchayatdars to convey his insulting words, uttered in his absence, to the petitioner, I am of opinion that the lower Court's order discharging the respondent cannot be said to be illegal, incorrect, improper or irregular, or to have occasioned a failure of justice.

3. The petition deserves to be and is hereby dismissed.


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