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S.C.C. Anthony Pillai Vs. W.R. Nedanchezian - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMedia and Communication;Criminal
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. Case No. 536 of 1967 and Criminal Revn. Petn. No. 529 of 1967
Judge
Reported inAIR1970Mad509; 1970CriLJ1593
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 171G, 499 and 500; Criminal Procedue Code , 1898 - Sections 196
AppellantS.C.C. Anthony Pillai
RespondentW.R. Nedanchezian
Appellant AdvocateDolia, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateN. Sivalingam, Adv. assisted by Calvin Jacod, Adv. for Public Prosecutor
Excerpt:
.....p. c. - whether allegations in the complaint would amount to an offence under section 171-g or under section 500 of ipc - ingredients of both offences are different - under section 171-g the allegations must be false - prosecution ends if accused showed the allegations made by him are true - under section 500 truth could not be complete defence unless accused comes under any of the exceptions in section 499 - question of obtaining sanction for the offence arise only when two offences are of the same category and the ingredients of one are found in the other - facts disclose an offence under section 500 and not under 171 g - order of magistrate set aside. - - 2. the order of the viii presidency magistrate is clearly wrong. the respondent sent a reply notice in which he admitted the..........c., the allegations must be false whereas under section 499, i. p. c., even if the allegations are true, the complaint for defamation will lie unless the person who makes such defamation comes under any one of the exceptions. section 499, i. p. c. covers a wider field. in a prosecution under section 171-g, i. p. c., if the accused is able to show the allegations made by him are true, the matter ends there. but in a prosecution under section 500, i. p. c., as pointed out earlier, even if the accused contends it is true, it may not be a full defence for him unless he comes under any one of the exceptions, for instance, that the statement has been made in the interests of public. only when two offences are of the same category and the ingredients of one are found in the other, then the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Krishnaswamy Reddy, J.

1. This petition has been filed by the complainant S. C. C. Anthony Pillai against the order of the VIII Presidency Magistrate in M. P. No. 143 of 1967 in C. C. No. 898 of 1967 dismissing the complaint of defamation filed by him against the respondent on the ground that sanction under Section 196, Criminal P. C. was not obtained as the facts of the complaint disclosed an offence under Section 171-G, I. P. C.

2. The order of the VIII Presidency Magistrate is clearly wrong.

3. The petitioner was former Member of Parliament and an active Trade Union aleader for about 28 years. He contested in the last General Elections from the North Madras Parliamentary Constituency for a seat in Lok Sabha. While the election campaign was going on, in the issue bearing date 17-1-1967. in the Tamil Daily 'Nam Nadu'. of which the respondent was the Editor. Printer and Publisher, certain allegations were made affecting the conduct and character of the petitioner, the extracts of which were filed along with the complaint. Before the complaint was filed, the petitioner issued a notice to the respondent through his counsel drawing his attention to the defamatory statements made in the said issue and claiming damages of Rs. 10,000/- for having defamed him and also asking him to withdraw the articles published in the said issue and tender unconditional apology to him, failing which criminal and civil proceedings would be taken against him for vindicating the rights of the petitioner. The respondent sent a reply notice in which he admitted the publication made in his paper, but definitely stated that there was nothing defamatory and that they were made in good faith and in the interests of the public, claiming the benefit of exception to Section 499, I. P. C.

4. Subsequently, the complaint was filed by the petitioner. The Magistrate,took the complaint on file under Section 500, I. P. C., and issued process to the respondent. After the petitioner was examined, the respondent filed an application stating that the allegations in the complaint would amount to an offence under Section 171-G, I. P. C., for which sanction would be necessary under Section 196, Criminal P. C. and as such sanction was not obtained, the Court had no jurisdiction to proceed with the complaint. The learned Magistrate accepted the contention of the respondent and held that the allegations would amount to an offence under Section 171-G, I. P. C., and that as no sanction was obtained as required under Section 196, Criminal P. C., he had no jurisdiction to proceed with the case.

5. The offences under Sections 500 and 171-G, I. P. C., are separate and distinct offences. It cannot be said that the ingredients of Section 499, I. P. C., are the same as the ingredients of Section 171-G, I. P. C. The main distinction between these two sections is that under Section 171-G, I. P. C., the allegations must be false whereas under Section 499, I. P. C., even if the allegations are true, the complaint for defamation will lie unless the person who makes such defamation comes under any one of the exceptions. Section 499, I. P. C. covers a wider field. In a prosecution under Section 171-G, I. P. C., if the accused is able to show the allegations made by him are true, the matter ends there. But in a prosecution under Section 500, I. P. C., as pointed out earlier, even if the accused contends it is true, it may not be a full defence for him unless he comes under any one of the Exceptions, for instance, that the statement has been made in the interests of public. Only when two offences are of the same category and the ingredients of one are found in the other, then the question of obtaining sanction for the offence for which it is necessary-would arise. Therefore, in this case, as I find that both the offences are separate and distinct offences and the facts, if true, do disclose an offence under Section 500. I.P.C., I hold that the complaint was in order and the Magistrate had jurisdiction to proceed with the complaint under Section 500, I. P. C. Even apart from this Section 500, I. P. C. provides a more deterrent sentence than what is provided under Section 171-G, I. P. C. The complainant will have the option of preferring complaint under that offence, which provides a more deterrent sentence, though the facts of such complaint may disclose an offence, for which sanction is necessary, in respect of which a lesser punishment is provided.

6. In the result, I hold that the order of the learned Magistrate is wrong and it is, therefore, set aside. I do not order retrial in this case in view of the fact that the respondent expressed regret for the publication made in the issue, to the petitioner and the petitioner accepted the same.

7. The revision petition is accordingly ordered.


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