1. The accused in C.C. No. 17 of 1941 on the file of the Joint Magistrate of Tirupattur was charged under Section 409, Indian Penal Code, with misappropriating amounts paid to him as Village Munsif by the petitioner as kist. In passing an order of discharge the Joint Magistrate wrote:
I find that P.W. 1 (petitioner) has not only failed to prove the charges but also admitted in effect that they are false, frivolous, and vexatious. I therefore discharge the accused under Section 253 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code and direct that P.W. 1 shall pay the accused a compensation of Rs. 30.
The only question that arises is whether the Joint Magistrate has complied with the provisions of Section 250, Criminal Procedure Code, which requires of him that if he considers the case to be false, frivolous or vexatious, he should call upon the complainant to show cause why he should not pay compensation. Sub-section (2) requires that:
The Magistrate shall record and consider any cause which such complainant...may show, and if he is satisfied that the accusation was false and either frivolous or vexatious may, for reasons to be recorded, direct that compensation... be paid by such complainant.
Counsel on both sides have been through the records and they have found nothing there which suggests that the learned Joint Magistrate asked the questions and made the record that he was required to under Sub-sections 1 and 2 of Section 250, Criminal Procedure Code. I do not think it necessary to go as far as Mr. Justice Baguley did in The King v. Maung Thoung Shwe A.I.R. 1938 Rang. 161 and in Ma E. Myaing v. The King A.I.R. 1938 Rang. 247 and say that the actual words used by the complainant should be recorded separately as in the case of an accused under Section 342, Criminal Procedure Code. It is however necessary that the Magistrate should at least indicate in his judgment that he asked the requisite questions and he should set out the explanation the complainant gave and say whether he thought the explanation satisfactory, and if so, why. In most cases, the complainant says nothing more than that the evidence let in is true. Even in such a simple case as that, the Magistrate should note in his judgment that the complainant had no explanation to offer. For the above reasons, it is necessary to set aside the order of compensation; and as it is unlikely that the Magistrate would remember after the lapse of more than six months exactly what he asked the complainant and what the complainant said in reply, it would be necessary, if remand were ordered, for the Magistrate to question the complainant afresh; but in the circumstances, I do not think such a step is necessary in view of the fact that the complainant admittedly had a receipt for the money which he says he paid. The Magistrate seems to have accepted the evidence of the karnam and the statement of the accused that it was customary to grant the ryots receipts in advance which would serve as a kind of demand notice. I find it difficult to believe that such a dangerous practice exists. Without therefore disagreeing with the finding which led to the discharge of the accused, I think that the nature of the evidence makes it unnecessary to remand the matter for fresh consideration.
2. The order of compensation is set aside and the money which, I understand, is in the Joint Magistrate's Court, should be refunded.