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In Re: Mallala Obiah of Owk - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1918Mad731; 42Ind.Cas.998
AppellantIn Re: Mallala Obiah of Owk
Cases ReferredEmperor v. Jonnalagadda
Excerpt:
penal code (act xlv of 1860), sections 211, 182 - false charge, requisites of--absence of definite accusation--suspicion, expression of, effect of--'criminal proceedings,' meaning of--statement of police officer during investigation--criminal procedure code (act v of 1898), section 162. - .....it in the first information report. this being so, the accused should not have been asked to sign it and it should not have been used as evidence against him at the trial, he sessions judge has overlooked the ct that the decision in emperor v. jonnalagadda v. vinkatrayudu 8 cri. l. j. 108; on which be relies, was connected with an offence under section 182 of the indian penal code (giving false information to a public servant) and that the learned judges held that the information given to the village magistrate m that case was sufficient of itself to justify charge for that offence.12. for the reasons given above the conviction in the present case for an offence under section 211 of the indian penal code is not sustainable and i set it aside; the petitioner must be released fuora his.....
Judgment:

1. The petition has been convicted by a 1st Cass Magistrate of an offence under Section 211 of the Indian Penal code and the conviction has been confirmed on appeal by the Sessions Judge.

2. On October 30th, 1915, he gave certain information to the Village Magistrate of Owk, the substance of which may be gathered from the Village Magistrate's report, which runs thus.

This morning at about 9 o'clock Malyala Obanna of this village came to me and reported as follows.

3. 'On 29th October 1915 I obtained a sale of two numbers from Sale Pedda Ramudu of this village for Rs. 384, got a registered sale-deed executed and had it registered. The aforesaid person got the document from the Sub-Registrar and brought it to my house on the same day at 5 o'clock in the evening and delivered it to me. At the time I had some urgent business and, as the previous document connected with this was in the pocket of the coat hung upon a peg, I appended this document to it and placed both the documents there is the presence of the said person and went out to the fields. By oversight I did not take any notice of them yesterday. When I looked for them to-day, both the said documents were missing. I at once asked my father, 'the documents are missing. Did you take them out?' He said, 'I did not take them out. None except the aforesaid person came here. He had come here twice for your sake'. He said that consequently he had suspicion against him, I have, therefore, reported the matter as it is Please consider.

4. It has, been found on tile, evidence by the Courts below, which are judges of facts, that the, petitioner very well knew that the documents (a sale-deed and a mortgage-deed) were with. Sale Ramudu, as they had been handed to him at the, Sub-Registrar's office, and that they had not been stolen from petitioner's coat pocket.

5. The Sessions Judge was of opinion that the accused's statement that Sale Ramudu brought the sale-deed to his house and that he put both the sale-deed and the mortgage-deed in the pocket of his coat in Ramudu's presence and that he found that these documents were missing on the following day, was such a wilful false statement of facts, as he knew, would be likely to cause the Police to use their lawful power to the annoyance of Ramudu, seeing that it was coupled with an expression of suspicion against that individual. The Judge, therefore, held that this complaint to the Village Magistrate amounted to an offence under Section 162 of the Indian Penal Code. In this he was probably right, but that is not the offence for which the petitioner has been tried and convicted.

6. For an offence under Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code, it is only; necessary that the information given by the accused to a public servant should be false to his knowledge, whereas to constitute an offence under Section 211 of the Indian Penal Code it is necessary that the accused should institute or cause to be instituted some criminal proceedings against another person for should falsely charge him with having committed an offence.

7. The Judge recognised; the fact, that in the complaint to the Village Magistrate, there was no direct accusation against Ramudu, but he considered that the accused caused the institution of criminal proceeding by the Police against Ramudu, and that by his conduct, especially in telling the Sub-Inspector, at his subsequent investigation that the deeds would be found if Ramudu's house were searched, he may be said constructively to have falsely charged Ramudu with the offence of theft in a building.

8. Now it has been well established by the Full Bench, in Sessions Judge, Tinnevelly Division v. Shan Chetty 1 Ind. Cas. 187 that a false complaint of a definite, offence, if made; to a Village Magistrate who is bound by law to report the information or complaint to the authorities empowered to investigate it, will amount to the making of a false charge within the meaning of Section 211 of the Indian Penal Code.

9. But the, facts of that case differed from the present case, in that there the accused charged the persons named in his complaint with a definite offence, namely, dacoity, whereas here there is ho allegation in the Village Magistrate's report of the information given by the accused that any specific offence had been committed. This case more nearly resembles that of Sawminatha Thevan v. Emperor 14 Ind. Cas. 767: (1912) M. W. N. 1125, in which Sundara Aiyar, J., held that, the expression of a suspicion did not amount to the institution of a criminal charge. The Police were left to act upon the suspicion, arid follow up the clue, as they might or might not think fit. In consequence of the petitioner's information no' criminal proceedings were in fact instituted or caused to be instituted against Ramudu, if by criminal' proceedings we understand criminal proceedings in Court to be intended. The Allahabad High Court in Queen-Empress, v. Bisheshar (1894) A. W. N. 10: 8 Ind. Dec. 80, and Ishri v. Muhammad Hadi (1902) A. W. N. 96 put this construction on the phrase, and have supported their view by contrasting the heading of Part V of the Criminal Procedure Code Information t to the Police and their 'powers; to investigate' with the heading of Part VI 'Proceedings in prosecutions', and the heading of Chapter XV (B) 'Conditions requisite for initiation of proceedings'.

10. The Calcutta High Court have in Karim Buksh v. Queen-Empress 17 C. 574, held that a roan who made a false charge to the Police of a cognizable offence also instituted criminal proceedings even though the case never dame into Court, and there are same remarks in the judgment of Sessions Judge, Tinnevelly, Division v. Sivan Chetty 5 M. L. T. 269 which indicate that two at least of the Judges of this Court who beard the reference were inclined to take the same view of what are criminal proceedings as the Calcutta High. Court took. Bat while generally of opinion that the term 'falsely instituting criminal proceedings' is not quite synonymous and co-extensive with the term 'falsely charging', all the Courts seem to be unanimous in thinking that there must be some definite accusation before a person can be said to have either charged or instituted criminal proceedings. Here there is none. Nor were any proceedings taken against Sale Ramudu in consequence of the information given to the Village Magistrate. The Sub Inspector of Police, who received the report, made a local investigation, referred the case as false, and there the matter dropped. No search was made of Ramudu's house, as he produced the documents as soon as the Police asked him for them. Mr. Mayne in his comments on this section appropriately notices the difference between a false charge which ends in a mere local inquiry without causing any particular injury or annoyance, and the institution of criminal proceedings with all their attendant annoyance, disgrace and expense, coupled with the risk of being convicted on a false charge.

11. I think the petitioner's acts did not amount to the making of a false charge or to falsely instituting criminal proceedings. As to his conduct independent of his statement to the Village Magistrate, by which the Judge has sought to supplement his statement, I consider that the statement taken from the petitioner In the course of the Sub Inspector's investigation was a statement falling under Section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as is evident from the fact that the Sub-Inspector admittedly did not enter it in the first information report. This being so, the accused should not have been asked to sign it and it should not have been used as evidence against him at the trial, he Sessions Judge has overlooked the ct that the decision in Emperor v. Jonnalagadda v. Vinkatrayudu 8 Cri. L. J. 108; on which be relies, was connected with an offence under Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code (giving false information to a public servant) and that the learned Judges held that the information given to the Village Magistrate m that case was sufficient of itself to justify charge for that offence.

12. For the reasons given above the conviction in the present case for an offence under Section 211 of the Indian Penal Code is not sustainable and I set it aside; The petitioner must be released fuora his security bond and the fine, if paid, refunded. Petition allowed; Conviction set aside.


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