1. Sadagopa Naicker, the complainant in Cri. R.C. No. 67 of 1935, not being a candidate in. the election is not bound to obtain the order of the Local Government before he can launch a prosecution against the persons who distributed the pamphlet for defamation in respect of statements made about himself in that pamphlet. It is only in the case of an offence under Section 171-G, I.P.C., that previous sanction is necessary. And the offence defined in that section is the making of a false statement in relation to the personal character or conduct of a candidate at the election. It does not apply to defamatory statements made about persons who are not candidates. As regards Cri. R.C. No. 62 of 1935, the conditions of Section 171-G are admittedly fulfilled except in one particular. The complainant Devaraja Mudaliar was a candidate at the election. The pamphlet contains statements relating to his personal character and conduct and being published and broadcast two days before the election, it may be presumed that it was intended to affect the result of the election. But it is contended by the respondent that it does not come within, the definition in Section 171-G, I.P.C., because the defamatory statements are not statements purporting to be statements of fact and the case in Radhakrishna Ayyar, In re 1932 55 Mad 791 is relied on for the proposition that general charges of misconduct are not statements of fact within the meaning of Section 171-G. The important statements in question are:
(a) It appears that because Devaraja committed fraud in respect of money in the fund office, he was removed by the general body or by the department; (b) Devaraja and (another) have removed from the list of voters the names of those who did not vote for them.
2. In my opinion having regard to the fact that Devaraja Mudaliar was the President of the Co-operative Credit Society and ceased to hold the office not long before the election, I think the first of the above statements may be construed as a statement of fact. The other statement that he removed the names of voters from the list of electors, that is, the names of those who did not vote for him at the previous election three years before is, in my opinion, a general statement similar to the statements discussed in the case cited above a general imputation of misconduct unaccompanied by any charge of particular acts.' The complainant clearly relied on the first of the statements described above as one of the principal foundations for his complaint. He was bound therefore to proceed under Section 196, Criminal P.C. and obtain the orders of the Government to prosecute the accused under Section 171-G, I.P.C. As for Cri. R.C. No. 68 of 1935, the complainant in that case is Masilamani Naicker. He was a candidate, it is true, but the only statement of fact which relates to him is that he once said he did not know where the post-office was. It was also suggested that even if [he were to be elected he would take no part in the proceedings of the panchayat except to nod his head and hold up his hand. I do not think that that contains a (statement of fact relating to the personal character or conduct of Masilamani Naicker. No case is disclosed under Section 171-G in respect of the statements made about him. In the result Cri. R.C. No. 62 of 1935 is allowed and Cri. R.C. Nos. 67 and 68 of 1935 are dismissed.