KILLI SURYANARAYANA NAIDU Vs. STATE
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Killi Suryanarayana Naidu
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RAMASWAMI, J. -
(1.) THIS civil revision petition has been filed against the order made by the learned District Munsif of Srikakulam in I. A. No. 693 of 1952 in O. S. 207 of 1952.
(2.) THE facts are: The defendants in this suit sent a petition to the Taluk Supply Officer, Amadalavalsa, dated 10 -2 -1951 attributing black marketing activities to the plaintiff Killi Surva -narayana Naidu, the petitioner before us. Thereupon a confidential departmental enquiry had been held apparently to find out whether there was any substance in the allegations so that in the event of there being no substance in the petition the matter might be dropped or in the event of there being any substance action might be taken by a complaint being laid before the Police. We do not know the fate of this enquiry. This plaintiff thereupon has filed the suit Order 8. No. 207 of 1952 for defamation and recovery ot damages of Rs. 1000.
This plaintiff summoned for the statements made by the defendants on 19 -2 -1951, 21 -2 -1951 and 25 -4 -1951 to the Taluk Supply Officer,Amudalavalasa.
(3.) THEREUPON the learned District Munsif and the Collector of Srikakulam correctly followed the procedure' set out by me in - - 'Narayanaswami v. State of Madras' : AIR1953Mad228 . The summons was sent to the Collector and thereupon the Collector has applied his mind to the documents sought to be disclosed. He has claimed privilege by means of a communication in the form of an affidavit by his Personal Assistant, who is in charge of the records indicating why he was claiming privilege. The Personal Assistant to the Collector who is of the rank of a Deputy Collector and is in charge or the office of the Collector has sworn that the disclosure of the records would be prejudicial to public interest as Purushottapuram village to which the parties belong is a factious village and the publication of the statements given by witnesses and the official reports will aggravate the dispute in the village. The records were also sent in a sealed cover through an officer of the department claiming privilege. The learned District Munsif thereupon has applied his mind to find out whether the claim is not arbitrary and capricious but well founded. He writes
'I opened the sealed cover and on a perusal of the entire file thereon, I agree with the opinion of the Collector that the publication ot the statements of witnesses at the enquiry by the Taluk Supply officer would be prejudicial to public interest.'
Therefore he dismissed the petition and hence this civil revision petition.;
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