Decided on February 08,1900

UMRAO SINGH Respondents


Aikman, J - (1.) Proceedings had been instituted at the instance of one Balwant Singh against Isuri Prasad Singh and six other persons to hare them bound over to keep the peace. Whilst the case was pending in the Court of a Magistrate of the first class, a petition was presented to the District Magistrate by Isuri Prasad Singh and the others, asking that the case might be transferred to some other Court, and that a local inquiry might be made. In this petition it was alleged by the petitioners that one Umrao Singh had got Balwant Singh falsely to institute the proceedings against them in order to prejudice them in their defence to a civil suit which Umrao Singh had caused to be brought against them. Umrao Singh coming to know of this, prosecuted the petitioners for defamation. They have been convicted under Section 500, Indian Penal Code, and sentenced, Isuri Prasad Singh to a fine of Rs. 10, and the others to a fine of Rs. 2 each. Both parties applied to the Sessions Judge--Umrao Singh asking that the case should be reported to this Court with the view of having the sentences enhanced, and the accused asking that the case should be reported with the view of having the convictions quashed.
(2.) The learned Judge has forwarded the case for the orders of this Court. He stated that, in his opinion, the convictions were right, and that it appears to him that they should either be set aside as bad in law, or that the sentence imposed on Isuri Prasad should be enhanced.
(3.) There is no doubt that the expressions used by the accused in their petition to the District Magistrate are in themselves. defamatory. But the expressions complained of are undoubtedly pertinent to the case which was pending against the accused in the Criminal Court. According to English case-law the accused could not therefore be proceeded against, either civilly or criminally, for using those expressions.;

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