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In Re: L.N. Srinivasa Chetty - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. Case No. 758 of 1967 and Criminal Revn. Petn. No. 748 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1970Mad359; 1970CriLJ1238; (1970)1MLJ405
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 323 and 332; Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 - Sections 3(1); Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 562(1A)
AppellantIn Re: L.N. Srinivasa Chetty
Advocates:K. Ramaswamy, Adv.;S. Jagadesan, Adv. for ;Public Prosecutor
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredIn Public Prosecutor v. Syed Howther
Excerpt:
- - 1 was doing an act in his capacity as a public servant, acting in good faith under the colour of his office......fact that the disc was not displayed on the cycle, although p. w. 1 had acted in his capacity as a public servant in the discharge of his duties, the seizure is illegal and therefore, the petitioner had a right to take back his cycle and his act of slapping p. w. 1 amounts to an offence under section 323, i. p. c. this argument, if accepted, would result in an anomalous reasoning whether p. w. 1 acted as a public servant in the discharge of his official duties and this illogical finding regarding his act of seizure is not in consonance with law, i am not prepared to countenance this argument in the face of the evidence which certainly supports the finding that p. w. 1 was acting in his 'capacity as a public servant and in the discharge of his official duties he seized the cycle. the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K.N. Mudaliar, J.

1. On 11-1-1967 the cycle of the son of Srinivasa Chetty was detained by the Municipal Inspector, P. W. 1 for want of a license. The boy went and brought his father who slapped P. W. 1 on his cheek and took away the cycle from him by force. The evidence of P. W. J who proves these facts is corroborated by,P. W. 2. P. W. 3 received the complaint from P. W. 1 and sent P. W, 1 and the complaint to the police station. P, W. 4, the doctor, speaks to the injury sustained by P. W. 1.

2. Accepting this evidence, the Additional First Class Magistrate found the 'petitioner guilty of an offence under Section 332, I. P, C.

3. P. W. 1 admits In the course of his cross-examination that if the cycle had village licence he would not demand licence and states that the boy Chelapathi, son of the accused, did not tell him that he had village licence. Exhibit D-2 is the village licence for 1966-67 for the second half year. It has been issued in the name of the accused. M. O. 2 is the disc in respect of that licence. It emerges from the evidence that the cycle did not carry this disc. The argument, of Mr. Ramaswami is that inasmuch as the cycle in question had the licence from the village panchayat and regardless of the fact that the disc was not displayed on the cycle, although P. W. 1 had acted in his capacity as a public servant in the discharge of his duties, the seizure is illegal and therefore, the petitioner had a right to take back his cycle and his act of slapping P. W. 1 amounts to an offence under Section 323, I. P. C. This argument, if accepted, would result in an anomalous reasoning whether P. W. 1 acted as a public servant in the discharge of his official duties and this illogical finding regarding his act of seizure is not in consonance with law, I am not prepared to countenance this argument in the face of the evidence which certainly supports the finding that P. W. 1 was acting in his 'capacity as a public servant and in the discharge of his official duties he seized the cycle. The seizure of the cycle is correct and legal. Apart from that, I have no doubt in my mind that P. W. 1 was doing an act in his capacity as a public servant, acting in good faith under the colour of his office. The act of P. W. 1 is also strictly justifiable, by law.

In support of the proposition of law contended for by Mr. Ramaswami, he attempted to draw support from the ruling in Pedda Muni v. Emperor, 3948 Mad WN 68 : AIR 1948 Mad 356 . That was a case where the constable P. W. 1 had no authority to effect the arrest since there was no order in writing under Section 56(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the constable did not purport to act on his own accord, because there was nothing to show that the elements necessary to justify the action under Section 54, Criminal P, C. were present, the Act of P. W. 1 was not that of a public servant but of an ordinary individual. Another -authority was also cited before me. In Public Prosecutor v. Syed Howther, 1961 Mad WN 117 : (1) 1962 Cri LJ 45 Auantanarayan, J., (as he then was) found that the-officers had forcibly entered into the private house of the first respondent and attempted to seize some note books merely on the allegation that they were accounts of the business. The learned Judge found that the records did not even show that the respondent had really carried on any business as dealer. It is seen- from these two decisions that initially there is a total lack of jurisdiction on the part of these officers to act as they did in their official capacities. These two decisions are not helpful to the proposition of law submitted by Mr. Ramaswami. In my view, the conviction of the petitioner for an offence under Section 332, I. P. C. is correct and proper. There are no grounds for me to interfere with the conviction of the petitioner.

Mr. Ramaswami made an eloquent plea that in view of the status of the petitioner, the sentence of fine may be substituted for by admonition. Although one is disposed to take the stern view that a Municipal Councillor must exercise a greater sense of responsibility in his dealings with public servants who discharge their official duties in the interest of public service, I am inclined to think that the interests of justice would be served by admonishing the petitioner under Section 3(1)(sic) of the Probation of Offenders Act in view of the fact that the accused is a first offender. The fine amount may be directed to be returned to the petitioner. With this modification, this revision petition is dismissed.


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