Venkataramana Rao, J.
1. This second appeal arises out of a suit instituted by the plaintiff for damages for an alleged libel in a letter dated 4th February, 1929, addressed by the defendant as President of the Taluk Board, Penukonda, to the Secretary to Government, Local Self-Government Department, Madras. On a summons to produce the said letter, the Government sent it in a sealed cover and pleaded privilege under Section 124 of the Indian Evidence Act. Both the Courts upheld the privilege. The plaintiff then sought to let in evidence of the contents of the letter by filing Ex. A which purports to be a copy of the said letter containing the initials of the defendant. This document was produced from the office of the Taluk Board as a summons for production in a criminal case and it was sought to be made use of for the purpose of this case by the plaintiff. Both the lower Courts took the view that as the original could not be admitted in evidence on the ground of privilege, no secondary evidence of its contents could be given and therefore declined to rely on Ex. A and dismissed the suit as there was no evidence before the Court of the alleged libel.
2. Mr. Ranganadha Aiyar on behalf of the plaintiff does not dispute the proposition that where the original of a document could not be admitted in evidence on the ground of privilege no secondary evidence of its contents can be given; but he argues that Ex. A itself is the original as it contains the initials of the defendant. For this purpose he relies on Section 62 of the Indian Evidence Act, Section 62, Explanation 2 of the Act runs thus:
Where a number of documents are all made by one uniform process, as in the case of printing, lithography, photography, each is primary evidence of the contents of the rest; but, where they are all copies of a common original, they are not primary evidence of the contents of the original.
3. The contention is that Ex. A and the letter sent to the Government were all made by one uniform process, namely, by typing on a type machine, and as it contains the initials of the
4. President, Ex. A itself is also the original. It seems to me that this contention proceeds on a misapprehension of the said explanation. It is no doubt true that the contents of both the letter addressed to the Government and Ex. A were made by one uniform process, namely, typing but without the signature of the President they cannot constitute a letter and therefore a document within the meaning of the said explanation. It is after the contents of the letter had been typed that the defendant signed the document which was addressed to the Government and then initialled Ex. A, which was kept in the Taluk Board Office. Therefore the signature on the document addressed to the Government and the initials on Ex. A could not be said to have been made by one uniform process. The whole document with the signature must have been made by one uniform process within the meaning of the explanation which is not the case here. The document that was sent to the Government must be treated as the original as it constitutes the communication between the parties, that is, the defendant and, the Government and it is clear from the plaint that what is complained of is the communication contained in that letter. I must therefore overrule the contention of Mr. Ranganadha Aiyar.
5. I fail to see why the plaintiff has involved himself in this litigation, as on a reading of the entire letter it seems to me there is nothing libellous against him. It is unnecessary to give a decision on this matter in the view I have taken of the admissibility of Ex. A.
6. In the result, the second appeal fails and is dismissed with costs. Leave refused.