JOSE Vs. THANKAPPAN
LAWS(KER)-1963-10-16
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
Decided on October 31,1963

JOSE Appellant
VERSUS
THANKAPPAN Respondents


Referred Judgements :-

LALMOHAN SINGH VS. KING [REFERRED TO]



Cited Judgements :-

SHYBIMON VS. HARIDAS [LAWS(KER)-2010-3-20] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

- (1.)This appeal has been filed against the order passed by the Additional First Class Magistrate of Vaikom acquitting all the accused who were prosecuted for the offence of defamation punishable under S.500 and 501 of the Indian Penal Code. The appellant was the Secretary of the Vechoor Coir Vyavasaya Cooperative Society Limited. The first accused was the Secretary of the Society from 1955 to 1958. He was suspended from service on 14-7-58 and subsequently dismissed. In 1960 his membership was also cancelled as it was found that he was working in a way detrimental to the interests of the Society. Similarly accused 2 & 6 were also once members of the Society, but removed from the rolls. Accused 3, 4, 5 & 7 are members of the Society. The 8th accused is the printer and publisher of the Union Press at Vaikom.
(2.)The case against these accused was that on 28-7-61 accused 1 to 7 along with another person by name Thankappan got printed in the Eighth accused's press a pamphlet with the caption "A revised edition of misappropriation", which pamphlet it is stated contained false imputations against the appellant with intent to defame him or with the knowledge that it would harm his reputation. According to the appellant the pamphlet and particularly the portion specifically mentioned in Para.6 of the complaint were wholly false and unfounded. It was alleged that there was an enquiry into the conduct of the first accused as the Secretary of the Society, that the appellant was a member of the committee & it was on the recommendation of the Committee that the first accused was removed from his office of Secretaryship and was also removed from the rolls of the society and it was because of this that he got the pamphlet printed and published. Registered notices were issued by Pw. 1 to all the accused, pointing out that the article was defamatory and that unless they tendered an unconditional apology action would be taken against him. One of the persons who was a signatory to the pamphlet expressed regret, but the others did not reply to the letter and so prosecution was launched against them.
(3.)The fact that the accused had prepared the pamphlet Ext. P. 10 and got it printed at the eighth accused's press and had it published is amply proved by the prosecution and is admitted by the accused. It is also not disputed that the recitals in Ext. P. 10 are per se defamatory. The finding of the Trial Court is also to the same effect. Therefore, unless the accused can bring themselves within any one of the exceptions to S.499 I. P. C. they would be clearly guilty of the offence charged. The learned Magistrate on a consideration of the evidence found exceptions 1, 9 and 10 applied to the case and found the accused not guilty and acquitted them. Learned counsel for the appellant challenges this finding and has argued that none of these exceptions would apply as the imputations were not proved to be true in fact and that it had not been proved to have been made in good faith for the protection of the person making it or for the public good.
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