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In Re: T.M. Sivaprakasam Pillai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1948Mad292; (1948)1MLJ21
AppellantIn Re: T.M. Sivaprakasam Pillai
Cases ReferredCuddappah v. Syed Abdul Kareem
Excerpt:
- .....magistrate, kumbakonam, in c.c. no. 47 of 1947, wherein a charge under section 211 of the indian penal code has been framed against the petitioner.2. the short facts leading up to this prosecution are that the petitioner sent a communication to the inspector general of police, madras, alleging that the village munsiff of patteeswaram had received illegal gratification from one thanu kothan, an offence punishable under section 161 of the indian penal code, and this complaint on investigation was found to be absolutely groundless. thereupon a charge sheet was filed against the petitioner for an offence under section 211 of the indian penal code. after having examined the prosecution witnesses, the learned additional first class magistrate has framed the charge under section 211 of the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Govinda Menon, J.

1. This is an application to quash the charge framed by the Additional First Class Magistrate, Kumbakonam, in C.C. No. 47 of 1947, wherein a charge under Section 211 of the Indian Penal Code has been framed against the petitioner.

2. The short facts leading up to this prosecution are that the petitioner sent a communication to the Inspector General of Police, Madras, alleging that the Village Munsiff of Patteeswaram had received illegal gratification from one Thanu Kothan, an offence punishable under Section 161 of the Indian Penal Code, and this complaint on investigation was found to be absolutely groundless. Thereupon a charge sheet was filed against the petitioner for an offence under Section 211 of the Indian Penal Code. After having examined the prosecution witnesses, the learned Additional First Class Magistrate has framed the charge under Section 211 of the Indian Penal Code.

3. In the statement filed by the petitioner, he objected to the jurisdiction of that (Court for taking cognizance of this offence on the ground that there was no territorial jurisdiction for the Additional First Class Magistrate to enquire into the case. The complaint, though written and posted at Kumbakonam, was addressed to the Inspector General of Police, Madras, so that the offence under Section 211 of the Indian Penal Code, viz., that of falsely charging a person with having committed an offence took place only when the letter was received in Madras and opened in the Office of the Inspector General of Police, Madras. This contention was not accepted by the lower Court and therefore the petitioner comes up to this Court to have the charge quashed.

4. Reliance is placed on a decision of Sundaram Chetti,J., in Rathinam Pillai v. Emperor : AIR1932Mad427 for the proposition that the offence was committed only at the place where the false charge was laid and not at the place where the letter was posted. In that case, a letter containing alleged false information was posted at Kumbakonam. and reached the District Superintendent of Police at Tanjore. The prosecution was initiated at Kumbakonam and the learned Judge therefore held that the offence was completed only when the information reached the Public Servant at Tanjore.

If for some reason the information has not at all reached the public servant there will be no offence under Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code though by reason of posting such a letter, the accused may be charged for having attempted to commit such an offence.

5. On this ground, the decision of that learned Judge was that the Magistrate at Kumbakonam had no jurisdiction to try the case and he was directed to return the complaint under Section 201 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Another case on which Mr. Rajagopalachari lays stress is that in the District Magistrate of Cuddappah v. Syed Abdul Kareem (1943) 1 M.L.J. 467 where Horwill, J., in similar circumstances held that where a false complaint against a taluk office clerk that he demanded a bribe was sent to his superior officer, the Collector and the prosecution was launched at the place where the letter was written but not at the place where the letter was received, it was held that the trial was illegal as the Court had no territorial jurisdiction.The case in Rathinam Pillai v. Emperor1, deals with an offence under Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code and from the report it is not possible to find out what the offence was, that was the subject-matter of the prosecution in The District Magistrate, Cuddappah v. Syed Abdul Kareem2. Here the petitioner is charged with an offence under Section 211 of the Indian Penal Code for falsely charging a person with having committed an offence.

6. The question for consideration is where was the false charge made. Is it at the place where the letter was posted or is it at the place where the letter was received? The communication of the false accusation is, in fact, the laying of the false charge and unless the matter is actually communicated to the superior officer it cannot be said that a false charge has been made out. If a person intending in his mind to make a false charge writes down something and keeps it to himself, such an act would not amount to 'charging falsely'. Therefore, the offence can be said to be completed only when the letter reached the destination, i.e., the office of the Inspector General of Police, Madras. The decisions already quoted are authority, that in cases under Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code the giving of false information becomes an offence only when it is actually imparted; much more so in a case under Section 211 where the intimation becomes a false charge only when it is laid before the superior officer. The intention to do the criminal act is no crime and unless the charge is actually made that intention is not translated into action. The learned Public Prosecutor contends that by the mere posting of the letter, there is an overt act amounting to an attempt to commit an offence and relies upon the observations of Sundaram Chetti, J., in the case above mentioned. That learned Judge in spite of the suggestion thrown out, that the act might amount to an attempt to commit an offence, did not, in fact, decide to that effect. I do not consider that by merely posting the letter, the petitioner, in this case, has attempted to commit the offence. Moreover, the charge framed by the lower Court is not for an attempt to commit the crime. Though Section 238 (2-A) of the Criminal Procedure Code lays down that where a person is charged with an offence, he may be convicted of an attempt to commit such offence although the attempt is not separately charged, such a power presupposes the jurisdiction in the Court to try the offence charged. I can find no authority or justification for holding that a Court which has no territorial jurisdiction to enquire into and try an offence can do so and convict the accused of an attempt to commit the same even when it may have jurisdiction to enquire into and try the offence of attempt. In this view, the lower Court which has taken cognizance of the offence has acted without jurisdiction, and I therefore quash the charge framed and direct that the complaint or charge sheet may be returned for presentation to the proper Court.


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