1. The petitioner obtained this Rule against an order of conviction passed by a learned Presidency Magistrate convicting the petitioner of having committed an offence punishable under section 504 of the Indian Penal Code and sentencing him to pay a fine of Rs. 30/- in default to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one month.
2. The accused petitioner is the landlord and the complainant is his tenant. The landlord wished to eject the tenant and the tenant was resisting ejectment. Tne reeungs between the parties were very strained. It is said that the complainant got a warning notice served on the accused on the morning of the date of the occurrence and that the accused abused, the complainant and thereby committed the offence for which he was convicted. Learned Counsel appearing for the accused petitioner points out that nowhere from the record can it be ascertained what the words used by the accused were. In the judgment the learned Magistrate says that the accused who was the landlord of the complainant abused him filthily in the name of his wife, sister and mother. What the words of abuse were the learned Magistrate does hot mention. The petition of complaint also contains no mention of the terms of the abuse. I have been through the record of the evidence and there also I find that there is no record of the terms of the abuse. The learned Magistrate says that although the complainant did not mention the terms of abuse in the petition of complaint, he did so during his examination-in-chief. The record however does not support this. The words are not mentioned in the evidence of the complainant as recorded by the learned Magistrate. The learned Magistrate in his explanation has not said anything about the words of abuse which are alleged to have been used by the petitioner. There was no charge framed. Now, without knowing what words were used, it is impossible to say whether the accused can be found to have committed an offence punishable under section 504 of the Indian Penal Code. The section is in the following terms:
'Whoever intentionallly insults, and thereby gives provocation to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace, or to commit any other offence, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term, which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.'
Where the insult consists in gestures or attitudes, there the Court must obviously record what the gestures or attitudes were. Where the insult consists of words, the Court shall also record what the words were either in the charge when a charge is framed or in the record of the evidence. Before a person can be found guilty of an offence punishable under Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code, for insulting a person by the use of words, it must be shown that the accused used those words intending or knowing it to be likely that it would result in such provocation as would cause that person to break the peace etc. Now, in the absence of all mention as to what words were used it is impossible for this Court to decide whether the words used indicated such intention or knowledge. In these circumstances it is not possible to uphold the decision of the learned Magistrate. In this connection I. would refer to a Madras case namely the case of 'Sugartham Ammal v. Vedavalli Animal' 1940 Mad W N 389.
3. The Rule is made absolute. The fine, if paid, shall be refunded.