Venkatasubba Rao, J.
1. The Second Class Magistrate of Tan]ore directed P.W. No. 4 to pay to the accused a sum of Rs. 35 as compensation under Section 250 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and the District Magistrate confirmed the order.
2. The facts are these: P.W. No. 1 lost a bull. P.W. No. 1 and P.W. No. 4 who were residents of a village called Rtimsapatti, thereupon went to Ammapet, the. village where the accused was living, and P.W. No. 4 gave information to P.W. No. 2 the Village Magistrate of Ammapet to the effect that a bull of P.W. No. 1 was stolen and that the accused was the thief. Before taking any action P.W. No. 2 desired to have a report from the Village Magistrate of Ramsapatti, who accordingly forwarded to him Exhibit A which confirmed the information given by P.W. No. 4. On the receipt of this report P.W. No. 2 communicated with the Police who charged the accused with theft or, in the alternative, receiving stolen property. It must be added that the Police, subsequent to the receipt of the communication from the Village Magistrate of Ammapet, but before charging the accused with the offence mentioned above, received from P.W. No. 1, the owner of the bull, information under Section 153, Criminal Procedure Code. The lower Courts found that the accused was not guilty and directed P.W. No. 4 to pay compensation to the accused.
3. On behalf of P.W. No. 4 it is contended that the order directing him to pay compensation is, in the circumstances, illegal.
4. The final contention is that a Village Magistrate is not a Police Officer under Section 250 and that as P.W. No. 4 gave information only to a Village Magistrate, an order could not be made directing him to pay compensation. Reliance is placed on King-Emperor v. Thammana Reddi 25 M 667 : 2 Weir 318 and In re Arulanantham Pillai 13 Ind. Cas. 221 : 22 M.L.J. 138 : (1911) 2 M.W.N. 558 : 10 M.L.T. 550 : 13 Crri. L.J. 29 and these cases, no doubt, support the contention aforesaid. But a different view was taken in three later cases, Nachimuthu Chetty v. Muthusami Chetty : (1914)27MLJ37 , Margasahaya Chetty v. Gandala Nadiabba : (1917)32MLJ78 and Thonokadavath Awalla v. Ammian Mannial Kuttiali 36 Ind. Cas. 471 : (1917) M.W.N 155 : 4 L.W. 73 : 17 CrI. L.J. 503. The principle underlying these decisions is tersely stated in the following passage in the judgment of Ayling, J., in Nachimuthu Chetty v. Mutthusami Chetty 24 Ind. Cas. 167 : : (1914)27MLJ37 : 'In other words, a man who complains to a Village Magistrate of a bailable offence knowing that the latter must, in the ordinary course of his duty, report the substance of the complaint to the Police gives information to the Police just as effectively as if he went in person to the Police Station.'
5. My own view coincides with that taken in the aforesaid three cases and I, therefore, hold that the information, though given to a Village Magistrate, comes within the terms of Section 250.
6. Dr. Swaminathan has also argued that P.W. No. 2 before acting on the information of P. W. No. 4 obtained confirmation from the Village Magistrate of Ramsapatti and that this fact distinguishes the present case from the cases referred to above. I fail to see how P.W. No. 4's responsibility is in any manner affected by reason of the fact that P.W. No. 2 was cautious enough to obtain a report from a responsible person who might be supposed to give, as far as possible, a correct account of the occurrence.
7. It is next contended that, as P.W. No. 1, the owner of the bull, gave information under Section 154, the order in question directing P. W. No. 4 to pay compensation is illegal. This argument again is untenable. The First Information to the authorities was that given by P.W. No. 4 and it led to the initiation of the proceedings. The subsequent information given by P.W. No. 1 is of no significance in deciding the question under consideration.
8. It is unnecessary to consider whether on the facts an order could also have been made against P.W. No. 1; but so far as P.W. No. 4 is concerned, he is liable, and I see no reason to inetrfere with the order passed.
9. As the accused is unrepresented in this Court, Mr. V.L. Ethiraj has at my instance argued the case on his behalf and brought to my notice the decisions referred to above and I desire to express my indebtedness to the learned Counsel.