1. The plaintiff was charged by the defendant, in the Criminal Court of Burdwan, under Section 147, with rioting, and Section 504, with intentional insult likely to cause a breach of the peace, and was acquitted. Under the orders of the Joint Magistrate he received Rs. 20 as compensation. He now sues the defendant for damages, Rs. 500 on account of injury to his reputation, and Rs. 313-7-5 as the costs incurred in the Criminal Court.
2. The first Court assessed the damages for the loss of honour and mental anxiety at Rs. 79, and allowed him also the pleader's fees in the Criminal Court, Rs. 121, making a total of Rs. 200. The lower Appellate Court reduced this amount to Rs. 50.
3. There is much in the judgment of the lower Appellate Court that does not meet with our approval, but as the defendant has not appealed, we must take it that it has been rightly held, that he is liable to damages on account of having maliciously and without reasonable or probable cause falsely charged the plaintiff with a criminal offence.
4. The present appeal is really directed against the refusal of the Additional Judge to give any damages on account of legal expenses incurred on the part of the plaintiff in defending himself in the Criminal Court. The Additional Judge observes, that, in England, it is the rule to give the plaintiff the costs that he incurs in defending himself in a Criminal Court, because in England 'the damages are assessed by the jurors; but it does not appear that it has ever been acted on by Courts in India.' In this respect we would observe that the Judges in India have in such cases to assume the functions of both Judge and jury, and it has not, so far as we know, been laid down that the plaintiff is not entitled to recover the expenses necessarily incurred by him in defending him-self on a criminal charge. The law in this respect has been thus stated in Mayne on Damages, 3rd Edn., p. 78: 'where the wrongful act of one person places another in a position in which he necessarily or reasonably has recourse to law, the costs incurred by the former will be recoverable from the latter.'
5. Acting on this principle we think that the plaintiff is at least entitled to recover from the defendant the sum of Rs. 121 which was allowed to him in the first Court, that being the amount proved to have been paid to the pleader whom he retained to defend him. We, however, find a difficulty in learning from the judgment of the Additional Judge on what ground he has fixed a sum of Rs. 50 as damages for the plaintiff; but as he has undoubtedly given such damages on both the grounds claimed by the plaintiff, we think we may reasonably assume that half of this sum was awarded as damages for injury to reputation and the other half for expenses in the Criminal Court. For reasons already stated we think that the latter sum, i.e., Rs. 25, for costs, should be increased to Rs. 121. The result is that the plaintiff will get a decree for Rs. 146, with costs assessed on that amount.