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In Re: Muthuvedi Ammal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. No. 56 and Cri. Revn. Petn. No. 54 of 1950
Judge
Reported inAIR1952Mad170; (1951)1MLJ674
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 198 and 199; Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 426
AppellantIn Re: Muthuvedi Ammal and anr.
Appellant AdvocateV.V. Raghavan, Adv.
Respondent AdvocatePublic Prosecutor
DispositionRevision dismissed
Cases ReferredVaiyapuri Goundan v. Kuppusami Goundan
Excerpt:
- - raghavan were to be accepted, it would lead to disastrous consequences, suppose the owner of a house has gone abroad, any person with intent to cause damage to the owner may set fire to the house with impunity, because the person aggrieved is not there to file a complaint against the miscreants......of mr. raghavan were to be accepted, it would lead to disastrous consequences, suppose the owner of a house has gone abroad, any person with intent to cause damage to the owner may set fire to the house with impunity, because the person aggrieved is not there to file a complaint against the miscreants. i do not think that such a result was ever contemplated by the legislature. the offences referred to in sections 198 and 199 stand altogether on a different footing and the reason for requiring the complaint of the person aggrieved by such an offence is obvious.6. it looks to me that there is no substance in the contention urged by mr. raghavan. the convictions and sentences are, therefore, confirmed.7. another argument advanced by mr. raghavan is that the trial court erred in.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Chandra Reddi, J.

1. The petitioners were convicted for an offence under Section 426, I.P.C., and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 25 each which was reduced in appeal to Rs. 15.

2. The case against these petitioners was as follows. There was a quarrel on the 11th of September 1948 between the first petitioner and the daughter-in-law of P. W. 1. In order to wreak vengeance on P. W. 1's family, the first petitioner asked the second petitioner to demolish the compound wall of the house belonging to P. W. 1's son and the latter accordingly demolished the same to a height of 3 feet and to a length of 24 feet, causing thereby damage to the extent of Rs. 10 or 15. The guilt of the petitioners was proved beyond all reasonable doubt by the evidence of P. Ws. 1, 2 and 3. The trial Court has accepted their evidence and convicted the petitioners as stated above.

3. In this revision petition the correctness of the conviction could not be challenged. The only point that was raised by Mr. Raghavan, the learned counsel for the petitioner is that the conviction of the petitioners is unsustainable, as it is based on a complaint by P. W. 1, who is not the owner of the house to the compound wall of which damage was caused but the father of the owner. According to him, a prosecution under Section 426, LP.C., can only be launched on the complaint of a person, who is the owner of the property concerned or any other person who is beneficially entitled thereto.

4. In support of this submission he relied on a decision of Yahya Ali J. in 'Vaiyapuri Goundan v. Kuppusami Goundan' 1948 M. W. N. Cr. 80. In that case, the accused and the complainant were attempting to get a communal land in a village on assignment and each of them wag trying to use it in his own way. One year the complainant --P. W. 6 -- raised some crops on that land and according to the prosecution, the cattle belonging to the accused were driven into the crops on the land with the result that the crop was damaged. Prosecution having been launched against him under Section 427, I.P.C., the accused raised the plea that he could not be guilty of the offence of mischief, assuming the prosecution case to be true, because the land did not belong'to P. W. 6, and it could not therefore be said that when these crops were damaged, any wrongful loss or damage was caused to the latter. This plea did not find favour with the Court below. But when it came up finally in revision to this Court, the learned Judge who heard it agreed with the contention raised on behalf of the accused and held that P. W. 6 could not be said to have sustained wrongful loss within the meaning of Section 23, I.P.C., not being the owner of the land and the offence said to have been committed by the accused did not amount to an offence under Section 425, I.P.C. It is manifest that this decision has no bearing on the question to be decided by me.

5. No other case has been cited to me as substantiating Mr. Raghavan's proposition. On the other hand, an examination of the relevant provisions of law shows that there is no basis for this contention. My attention has not been drawn to any rule of law which lays down that the complaint of the aggrieved person in the 'sine quo non' of the prosecution for an offence under Section 426 I.P.C., Chapter XV-B, Criminal P.O., deals with the conditions requisite for the initiation of proceedings. While Sections 195 and 196 Criminal p. C. provide for the mode in which prosecution can be launched for offences against public justice and against the State etc., Sections 198 and 199 of the Code concern themselves with offences against individuals. The two latter sections require the complaint of the aggrieved person for starting prosecution against the offender in respect of offences mentioned therein. An offence under Section 426, I.P.C., is not one that is covered either by Section 198 or by Section 199, Criminal P.O., and that being so it appears to me, that in respect of an offence under that section the complaint of the person aggrieved is not essential. There does not seem to be any warrant for enlarging the scope of the above mentioned provisions of the Criminal p. C. If the contention of Mr. Raghavan were to be accepted, it would lead to disastrous consequences, Suppose the owner of a house has gone abroad, any person with intent to cause damage to the owner may set fire to the house with impunity, because the person aggrieved is not there to file a complaint against the miscreants. I do not think that such a result was ever contemplated by the legislature. The offences referred to in Sections 198 and 199 stand altogether on a different footing and the reason for requiring the complaint of the person aggrieved by such an offence is obvious.

6. It looks to me that there is no substance in the contention urged by Mr. Raghavan. The convictions and sentences are, therefore, confirmed.

7. Another argument advanced by Mr. Raghavan is that the trial Court erred in awarding compensation to P. W. 1, who is not the owner of the house. It looks to me that this does not make any difference so far as he Is concerned, whether the compensation is payable to P. W. 1 or to his son, who according to him, is the owner of the house. I, therefore, reject this argument also.

8. In the result, this revision petition fails and is dismissed.


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