Decided on January 20,1970

STATE Respondents


- (1.) THE occurrence is on 17th January, 1968 at about 10 a. m. P. Ws, I, 2, 3, 4 and others went to the land of P. W. 1 for harvesting. As the accused were in a mood to give trouble, the police were informed of the same, On going to the fields P. Ws. 1 to 4 found all the accused on the western ridge of the land. Accused land accused 2 instigated the other accused to restrain P. W. l's party from harvesting the land. So when P. W. 1 and his party got into the field for harvesting the paddy P. W. 1 was restrained by accused 3 to accused 5, P. W. 2 and another were restrain. ed by accused 6 to accused 10 and P. W. 3 and another were restrained by accused 11 to accused 15. P. W. 6 after sending the information to the Deputy Tahsildar, Karaikudi pro. Deeded to Sakkottai and thereafter visited Eonjakudi at about 11 a. m. on 17-11968. When the police party were nearing Konja. kudi near Vembadi Ohei of P. W. 1, P. W. 6 law P. Ws. 1 to 4 and others were prevented by all the accused at the instigation of accused 1 and accused 2 from entering the land of P. W. 1. P. W. 1 gave a complaint to P. W. 8. The learned District Magistrate (J) after a very careful and: elaborate consideration of the arguments and the evidence on record found that there is sufficient evidence to show that P, Ws. 1 to 4 and others were prevented by accused 1 to accused 15 instigated by accused 1 and accused 2 from entering the field and harvesting the crops found in Vembadi belonging to P. W. 1 and cultivated by P. W. 1. He also held that the obstruction caused by the accused could not in any event be called a bona fide obstruction.
(2.) MR. Vanamamalai argued that accused 7 claims to be a tenant under D. W. 1 and D. W. 1 was the waramdar. to receive compensation from the Revenue authorities. In my view, the mere fact that D. W. 1 receives the compensation would not invest the acts of the accused with the bona fide character of the claim. In fact, this argument has been rather very faintly argued and is not pressed with vigour. It is also further argued that on the evidence on record the physical obstruction is not proved against the accused and therefore the ingredients of Section 339, Penal Code are not made out and therefore no offence Under Section 341, Penal Code is proved against the accused. The learned District Magistrate has elaborately considered in paragraph 6 of his judgment this aspect of the matter and gave the following reasoning and finding. Before this Court also, the learned Counsel relied on the decision reported in Attappa Gounden v. State. It appears that the said ruling seems to have been cited even before the court below. The learned District Magistrate observes as follows: This decision was cited before the court itself and rightly it has been disputed from the facts before us. First of all ruling cited, that there was that evidence show that only by mere words, the 0ds was caused. But in the instant case before? all the witnesses without exception, who were, obstructed, have spoken to the fact that the were restrained from entering by the accused. The learned District Magistrate further considers the specific evidence against the accused in the latter part of paragraph 6 and ultimately gives a finding which wa3 already noticed by me. Vanamamalai'a main argument is that the manner of restraining is not spoken to by the witnesses, and he relies on a single sentence found in the deposition of P. W. 3 "it is none of them touched me but stood before me preventing me". The materials in the evidence of P. Ws 1, 2 and 3 in chief-examination certainly make out all the ingredients of the offence Under Section 339, Penal Code. The Section does not talk of "whoever voluntarily and physically obstructs". The phraseology found in the Section is "whoever voluntarily obstructs any person". Even assuming that there is no evidence that the petitioners offer, ed no physical obstruction, I do not think that the fact of physical obstrnotion even by mere words would fall outside the ambit of Section 339, Penal Code.
(3.) IT is true that Somagundaram, J. has expressed some doubt. "it is doubtful whether, Without physical obstruction by mere words, a person can be said to commit an offence under. 6. 341, Penal Code". With great respect to the learned Judge, I do not consider that such a construction of the Section flows from the terms of the text of the section.;

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