1. On behalf of the appellants a question of law has been raised before us. It has been contended that the whole proceedings in this case are illegal, because the appellants were allowed no opportunity to substantiate their charge in any Criminal Court. In support of this contention several decisions of this Court have been cited before us. These cases seem to us to be distinguishable. In all these cases proceedings were commenced by the accused person in a Court. It has been held in these cases that no sanction should have been given for a prosecution against him under Section 211 of the Indian Penal Code without giving him the full opportunity of substantiating his charge. In this case no formal complaint was made by the appellants before any Criminal Court. The charge of theft was made to a police officer, who reported it to be false. The appellants did not renew this charge before any Criminal Court. We do not think that there is any force in the contention raised before us, and that the decisions relied upon do not lend any support to it.
2. Nor is there anything in Section 211 of the Code limiting the penalty to cases in which attempts have been made to substantiate false charges in Courts of Justice. A false charge laid before the police, and never intended to be prosecuted in Court, may obviously subject the accused party to very substantial injury, as defined in Section 44 of the Penal Code.
3. We therefore affirm the conviction of both the prisoners; but, considering that the sentence of three years rigorous imprisonment is, under the circumstances, unnecessarily severe, we reduce the term to eighteen months in the case of each of the appellants.