Decided on January 30,1986



- (1.) Shri Jagjiwan Lal has filed this petition under S.561-A, Cr. P.C. for quashing the criminal proceedings initiated on the complaint filed by Shri Krishen Chand, respondent herein, in the Court of Sub-Judge, Judicial Magistrate, Jammu.
(2.) Shri Krishen Chand, complainant-respondent in his complaint under S.500, R.P.C. has alleged that the accused-petitioner gave an interview to the correspondent of the local daily "Kashmir Times" on or about Aprl. 18, 1985, making a false accusation against him that he was trying to plunder the modesty of female teacher Mrs. Indu Bala, which interview was published in the same paper in its issue of April. 18, 1985, thereby causing harm to his reputation and personal character. Learned Sub-Judge Judicial Magistrate, Jammu, after recording the statement of the complainant-respondent and Shri Ved Bhasin, editor of "Kashmir Times", issued process against the accused-petitioner under S.500, R.P.C. Afterwards, finding the summons not to have been served upon the petitioner, the Court issued bailable warrants for the arrest of the petitioner.
(3.) I have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the record before me. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has argued that the trial Court has wrongly held the petitioner not to be a public servant when being a Cabinet Minister, he was a public servant and without obtaining sanction, as required under S.197, Cr. P.C. the complaint was not competent. He has further contended that the trial Court after recording the statement of the complainant insisted for further evidence and the statement of Shri Ved Bhasin, editor of Kashmir Times, recorded later on did not make out a prima facie case for issuing process and as such the process issued by the Court is required to be quashed. According to him, because of political rivalry existing in the area, the respondent herein who is a petty government official, has been made an instrument in dragging the petitioner herein to litigation and defaming him unnecessarily. Learned Counsel for the respondent, on the other hand, has pleaded that the petitioner was not at all a public servant as defined in the Ranbir Penal Code and moreover, the accusation levelled by him against the respondent could not be termed to be an act done by him under the colour of his office and under such circumstances, the trial Court was right in issuing process against the petitioner. I have considered these respective contentions raised either side.;

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