Prinsep and Stanley, JJ.
1. The petitioner has been convicted under Section 182 of the Penal Code and sentenced to a fine of Rs. 30 and his appeal has been dismissed.
2. A rule has been granted to consider the objection now raised that as the District Magistrate gave sanction to the prosecution on the police report he was not competent to hear the appeal. Section 487 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which has been relied upon does not apply to this case, because the alleged offence was not committed before the District Magistrate, nor was it in contempt of his authority, nor was it brought to his notice as a Magistrate in the course of a judicial proceeding.
3. The Sub-Inspector reported the information given by the petitioner by telegram to be false and to constitute an offence within the terms of Section 182 of the Penal Code. The District Magistrate on this sanctioned the prosecution of the petitioner, who admittedly gave that information. Under Section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the sanction or complaint of the public servant concerned or of some public servant to whom he is subordinate was necessary before proceeding under Section 182 of the Penal Code could be taken. Now, although police officers in a district are generally subordinate to the District Magistrate, we think that the subordination contemplated by Section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is not such subordination. That subordination contemplates some superior officer of police. Nor would the report be regarded as a complaint, because the definition of 'complaint' excludes the report of a police officer. No proper sanction was therefore obtained. But although Section 195 declares that no Court shall take cognizance of any offence under Section 182 of the Penal Code except with previous sanction or complaint as specified, Section 537 declares that no finding, sentence or order passed by a Court of competent jurisdiction shall be reversed or altered on account of the want of any sanction required by Section 195, unless such want has in fact occasioned a failure of justice. Here we cannot find that the want of sanction has so resulted. The information given was manifestly false, and was known to be so, for the petitioner had no valid ground for requiring the intervention of the police because he had reason to believe, as he stated, that his brother-in-law was about to kill his wife, and he knew that, if the true state of the facts had been shown to the police, the Sub-Inspector would not have left his other duties to go to the spot. From the nature of the ease the offence has been properly punished with fine.
4. The rule is therefore discharged.