(1.) THIS case arises out of a complaint filed by the respondent against the petitioner before the District Magistrate's Court,Trivandrum,as C.C.No.55/64,charging the petitioner with the offence of defamation.The trial court found her guilty of the offence and sentenced her under section 500 I.P.C.to pay a fine of Rs.100 and in default to undergo simple imprisonment for 15 days.She filed an appeal before the Sessions Judge,Trivandrum,as Crl.A.No.99/65.The appeal was dismissed confirming the conviction and sentence.The petitioner has,therefore,come before this Court in revision.
(2.) THE respondent is an Assistant Grade I in the Public Works Department(Transport)in the Government Secretariat of Kerala.The petitioner is the wife of a Medical Officer,who retired from Government service.On 21st October 1963 the petitioner sent a petition to the Chief Secretary to the Government,making certain allegations against the respondent,and requesting the Government to take immediate steps against him.This petition is Ext.P -1,and reads as follows: I beg to bring to your kind notice the following facts for your consideration and speedy and favourable disposal.
The Sri K.Ranganathan;a clerk in the Panchayat division under Development section in the Secretariat is causing me great financial loss and endless worry.
He is a kudikidappukaran in my property called Puthuval Thope Purayidom,Anathalavattom,Kadakkavur P.O.This property is in Chirayinkil village and extends over 3 acres and 40 cents.
Some 50 years ago one Kochupappu,Ranganathan's father was permitted to reside in this property by the then head of my family.Kochupappu died some 16 years ago and Ranganathan with the mother and sisters continues to say in the property.
He is regularly misappropriating coconuts from the property.I warned him many times and yet this nefarious habit still continues.
Early in December 1962 he began to put up a shed in the property.I objected to this but he completed the construction heeding little to my objections.
On this I filed a suit in the Munsiff's Court,Attingal as O.S.25/63 for eviction of Ranganathan and his family from my property.The court issued an injunction order prohibiting him from causing any loss to me in the property.The suit is now pending decision with the court.
In spite of the above injunction order not only the nefarious practice of appropriating the yield continued and he turned out my men on 10th August 1963 when they went there to protect the newly planted coconut seedling from stray cattle by putting up a fencing all around.On 3rd October 1963 he collected a large number of his friends of questionable character and feasted them lavishly with tender and ripe coconuts from my property.
On 20th October 1963 he turned out my men who went there for collecting coconuts so much so that what coconuts left by him drip one by one,being over ripe.Then he had with him half a dozen of his friends who were armed,some with daggers and others with knives.
Sri Ranganathan owes everything in his life to this property.His father a man of practically no means,had his living there and educated his son out of the earning he had from the property.Then my family was an undivided one;so the family heads never felt the loss then.But when the family property underwent sub -division individual holdings become limited,and I consequently began to feel this systematic loss in the yield.
Though a kudikidappukaran he has his own property evidently acquired out of the earnings his father could make from the property.This morning on his way to his office he got into the house of one of my men and threatened him with bodily violence.
I never expected such behaviour from him more so from a Government employee.Therefore,I request you to take immediate steps "
1.to enable me to take the yield from my property, 2.to permit me to conduct routine improvements in the property,
(3.) TO stop his nefarious practice of collecting coconuts once for all. The above petition was disposed of by the Government as per letter Ext.P -8,dated 31st October 1963 informing the petitioner that the Government cannot interfere in the matter,and that she may approach the court of law or the police authorities for getting her grievances redressed.On 21st October 1964,the anniversary of sending the petition,the respondent filed a complaint,charging the petitioner of the offence of defamation.The petitioner admitted that she sent Ext.P -1 to the Chief Secretary;but she pleaded that what she did fell within 8th and 9th exceptions to section 499 of the Indian Penal Code,and that she was not guilty of the offence.The courts below found that Ext.P -1 was per se defamatory,and that it did not fall within any of the above exceptions.There can be no doubt that the accusations made against the respondent in Ext.P -1 are per se defamatory;and the only question that arises in this case is whether it comes within any of the above exceptions.
3.In order to determine the above question,it is necessary to know the circumstances under which the petitioner sent Ext.P -1 to the Chief Secretary.The respondent is residing with his mother and sisters in a house situate in a property called Puthuval Thope Purayidom in Chirayankil Village.It has an extent of 3.40 acres and it admittedly belonged to the tarwad of the petitioner.In a partition said to have been effected in her family,this property was allotted to the tavazhi consisting of the petitioner and her children.There was a subsequent partition in the petitioner's tavazhi,under which the property devolved on her two daughters,of whom one is a minor.On 25th January 1963,the petitioner and her two daughters filed a suit in the Munsiff's Court,Attingal,as O.S.No.25 of 1963,against the respondent,his mother and his 4 sisters,for an injunction restraining the defendants therein from causing any obstruction to the plaintiffs in taking the usufructs from the aforesaid property,for ejecting the defendants from the house in which they were residing and for directing them to remove the structure said to have been put up by the defendants in the said property by the side of the house.Ext.D -7 is a certified copy of the plaint in this suit.According to the averments in Ext.D -7,the above -said house belonged to the tarwad of the petitioner.The respondent's father,one Kochu Pappu,who was an employee under the karnavan of the petitioner's tarwad,was residing in the said house as permitted by the said karnavan.After the death of KochuPappu in Mithunam 1123(1948 June -July ),the respondent,his mother and sisters,who are the defendants in the suit and legal representatives of the deceased,continued to reside in the house.The defendants constructed a small hut by the side of the house without the permission of the plaintiffs and they were causing obstruction to the plaintiffs from taking the income from the property.Along with the institution of the suit,the plaintiffs filed an application for temporary injunction restraining the defendants from taking any income from the plaint schedule property.Ext.D -8 is a certified copy of the petition.This petition was allowed by the court and Ext.D -14 is a certified copy of the court's order,which was served on the respondent,who is defendant No.2 in the suit,on 26th January 1963.The suit was decreed as prayed for.Ext.D -10,dated 24th March 1964 is a certified copy of the judgment in that case Ext.D -10,shows that the defendants in this suit set up title and possession to 40 cents of the plaint schedule property and the house in which they reside.They contended that the said 40 cents of land were given by the karnavan of the petitioner to the respondent's father,Kochu Pappu under an oral sale in the year 1110(1935)and thereafter Kochu Pappu has been in possession of the said property as absolute owner thereof.It appears that the order of injunction,Ext.D -14,issued by the court had no practical effect as will be seen from the deposition of the respondent as P.W.1 in this case.To a pointed question put to him in cross -examination whether after the order of injunction was served on him he had taken the coconut income from this property,he said that he had plucked the nuts.He qualified this answer subsequently by saying that the coconuts were plucked not by himself or any of the parties to the suit,but by an elder sister of his by name Bharathi,who is not a party to the suit.He however,admitted that this Bharathi has been married away,but she used to pluck the nuts from the above said 40 cents of property every two months.
Ext.P -1,which is the subject matter of this complaint,alleges that in spite of the order of injunction,the respondent interfered with the petitioner's possession Saradamma of the property,misappropriated the income there from Ranganathai and continued to cause obstruction to the petitioner's men from taking the income therefrom.Ext.P -1 specifically refers to incidents which took place on three days,namely on 10th August 1963,3rd October 1963 and 20th October 1963.Regarding the incident on 20th October 1963,it is alleged that the respondent with the aid of half a dozen of his friends who were armed,some with dagger and others with Kievas prevented the petitioner's men,who went to the property for collecting the coconuts,from doing so.It also states that on the morning of 21st October 1963,the respondent while going to his office got into the house of one of the petitioner's men and threatened him with bodily violence.The sum and substance of this petition is that in spite of the pendency of a civil suit and an order of injunction issued against the respondent restraining him from taking the income from the property and causing any obstruction to the petitioner's men from collecting the same,the respondent has been ignoring the civil court's order committing several acts of waste in the property preventing the petitioner's men from taking any coconuts therefrom,and collecting men of questionable character in the property armed with weapons for the purpose of threatening the petitioner's men and thereby achieving his object of effectively preventing the petitioner from taking or enjoying any income from the property.Ext.P -1 therefore prays that steps may be taken against the respondent by the Government,who is his employer and redress her grievances.;