JANARDAN BALIRAM Vs. GOVERNMENT PLEADER, DURG
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
Government Pleader, Durg
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P.K.TARE, J. -
(1.) THIS is a revision by the accused against his conviction under section 500, Indian Penal Code and the sentence of a fine of Rs. 200, or in default simple imprisonment for three months, passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Narsimhapur, at Camp Durg, in Criminal Case No.1 of 1964 dated 27 -12 -1968.
(2.) THE learned Government Advocate raised a preliminary objection to the effect that the judgment of the trial Court is appealable and consequently this Court ought not to entertain a revision. Attention was invited to section 413, Criminal Procedure Code which lays down that "Notwithstanding anything contained, there shall be no appeal by a convicted person in cases in which . . . . a Court of Sessions passes a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding one month only or m which a Court of Sessions or District Magistrate or other Magistrate of the first class passes a sentence of fine not exceeding fifty rupees only". As the fine imposed was Rs. 200, an appeal will lie under section 410, Criminal Procedure Code. Where an appeal lies, a revision would be barred, as provided by section 439 (5), Criminal Procedure Code. For this reason, I am of opinion that the present revision cannot be entertained, especially when the remedy of an appeal is open to the petitioner. However, the present revision can as well be treated as an appeal, especially when no question of court -fees is involved, nor is the question of limitation involved. The petitioner affixed more court -fees than what might be required for an appeal and the revision was filed even before a fortnight of the impugned judgment. For these reasons I treat the present revision as an appeal and direct that the same shall be registered as memorandum of appeal and numbered accordingly.
Further, there can be no doubt that by publishing the impugned article, the appellant was undoubtedly guilty of the offence of defamation. The very heading indicates the appellant's malice and in the body of the article, irresponsible and baseless allegations are made to the effect that the black -marketers have purchased the Collector and the Superintendent of Police of Bhilai. Therefore, on merits the view of the learned Additional Sessions Judge is correct and further I feel that in a case of this type, the sentence of mere fine might as well be considered to be a lenient one, where persons maliciously make such unfounded and baseless allegations against public servants out of a sense of bravado. Thus, if the complaint filed by the respondent be found to be within limitation, the appellant cannot escape his liability for conviction.
(3.) HOWEVER , section 198 -B, Criminal Procedure Code provides as under -
"Sub -Section (1) -Notwithstanding anything contained in this Code, when any offence falling under Chapter XXI of the Indian Penal Code (other than the offence of defamation by spoken words) is alleged to have been committed against the President, or the Vice -President, or the Governor or Rajpramukh of a State, or a Minister, or any other public servant employed in connection with the affairs of the Union or of a State, in respect of his conduct in the discharge of his public functions, a Court of Session may take cognizance of such offence, without the accused being committed to It for trial, upon a complaint in writing made by the Public Prosecutor.
Sub -Section (2) - - - - - - - - -
Sub -Section (3) - - - - - - - - -
Sub -Section (4) - -No Court of Session shall take cognizance of an offence under sub -section (1), unless the complaint is made within six months from the date on which the offence is alleged to have been committed.";
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