Balraj Khanna & Ors Vs. Moti Ram
 INSC 122 (22 April 1971)
CITATION: 1971 AIR 1389 1971 SCR 447 1971 SCC
Indian Penal Code (Act 45 of 1860), s.
499--Necessity of complainant stating actual words used by accused-When arises.
Code of Criminal Procedure (Act 5 of 1898),
ss. 202 and 203Jurisdiction of magistrate holding preliminary enquiry-Scope of.
Practice and Procedure-Applicability of
exceptions to s. 499 to a case--If may be considered at the preliminary stage.
The respondent filed a complaint against the
appellants under s. 500 I.P.C. alleging that they made certain defamatory
allegations against him. According to him the appellants passed a resolution
suspending him from municipal service, that in the course of the discussion
relating to the passing of the resolution, all the appellants made wild and
baseless allegations involving moral turpitude against the respondent, and
after passing the resolution the appellants with the ulterior motive of
maligning the respondent, gave publicity to the resolution in the local
newspapers with large circulation. A report containing the allegations which
was sent by the Secretary of the Corporation to the Commissioner was given in
evidence.' The Magistrate dismissed the complaint under s. 203, Cr.
P.C. on two grounds, namely, (1) there was no
evidence on record as to which of the appellants made which allegations against
the respondents and in the absence of such an important ingredient no prima
facie case against any of the appellants could be said to have been made out,
and (2) the resolution passed by the Standing Committee and the discussion
preceding it were covered by the exceptions to s.
499, I.P.C. The sessions Judge dismissed the
revision of the complainant summarily.
The High Court set aside the order of the
Magistrate and directed further inquiry on the grounds that: (1) it could not
be said that there was no evidence as to which member of the Standing Committee
made allegations against the respondent, as the evidence implicated all the
members of the Standing Committee including the appellants in the charge of
making the defamatory allegations contained in the report and (2) the
appellants were not protected by the Exceptions to s. 499.
In appeal to this Court,
HELD: (1) While it is desirable that the
actual words stated to have 'been used by the accused which are alleged to be
defamatory should be reproduced by the complainant, in cases where the words
spoken are too many or the statements are too long, it will be the height of
technicality to insist that the actual words and the entire statements
should-be reproduced verbatim. The object of having the actual words before the
court is to enable it to consider whether the words are defamatory. That
purpose will be served if the complainant is able to reproduce in his complaint
or evidence, in a substantial measure, the words of imputation alleged to have
been uttered. From the point of view of the accused also it is 448 necessary that
the matters alleged to be defamatory in the complaint must be so stated as to
enable them to know the nature of the allegations they have to meet. But a
complaint cannot be thrown out on the mere ground that the actual words spoken
had not been stated in the complaint.
It is only if the case of a complainant is
that each of the accused made different statements that it would be necessary
for the complainant to specify them actual words spoken by each of the accused.
(457B-F] In the present case, on the averments made in the complaint which
refers to various matters referred to in the report, the complainant had
furnished in a substantial measure the words of imputation, which, according to
him were defamatory. When the case of the complainant was that all the
appellants made the statements referred to in the report, an& he was
prepared to go to trial on that footing, the question of the complainant
stating the words alleged to have been used by the individual accused did not
[457G-H; 458B] English decisions dealing with
libel, held not applicable on all fours.[457A-B] Sarat Chandra Das & Anr.
v. State, A.I.R. 1952 Orissa 351, Krishnarao v. Firm Radhakisan Ramsahai &
Anr.,  I.L.R.
Nag. 236, Emperor v. Col. Bholanath, 51
I.L.R. 1929 All.
313, K. S. Namjundaiah v. Setti Chikka
Thippanna, (1952] Cr. L. J. Mysore 1633 and Dhruba Charan Khandal v. Dinabandhu
Patri, A.I.R. 1966 Orissa 15, referred to.
(2) Under ss. 202 and 203 Cr. P.C. the
Magistrate has to see whether a prima facie case is made out against the
accused on the materials and' evidence placed before him by the complainant and
not whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant a conviction. [452G-H;
453A-B] In the present case, the approach of the Magistrate was fallacious in
the face of the allegations by the respondent that all the appellants made the
statements referred to in the report. [458F] Chandra Deo Singh v. Prokash
Chandra Bose,  1 S.C.R.
(3) It was also unnecessary for the High
Court to consider the applicability of the Exceptions to s. 499 I.P.C., at this
stage. All the defence that may be available to the appellants will have to be
gone into during, the trial of the complaint. [459B-C]
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Criminal
Appeal No. 14 of 1971.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
order dated, August 26, 1970 of the Delhi High Court in Criminal Revision, No.
138 of 1968.
C. K. Daphtary and B. P. Moheshwari, for the
The respondent appeared in person.
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
Vaidialingam J--This appeal, by special leave, is directed against the judgment
and order dated August 26, 1970 of the Delhi High Court in Criminal Revision
No. 138 of 1968 dismissing under449 Section 203 Cr. P. C. the complaint filed
by the respondent under Section 500 I. P. C.
The respondent Moti Ram filed a complaint in
the court of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Delhi against the seven appellants
under section 500 I. P. C. alleging that they made certain allegations against
him which were defamatory in character and had also passed a resolution placing
the respondent under suspension.
The complaint filed by the respondent is a
fairly lengthy one and refers to various matters. But the relevant facts which
could be gathered from the same appear to be as follows :
The respondent during December, 1964 was
serving as a Liaison Officer, Municipal Corporation, Delhi. The appellants were
among the members of the Standing Committee of the Corporation at that time.
The first appellant Balraj Khanna was bitterly inimical towards the respondent
and was bent upon causing harm to him. He wielded considerable influence over
the members of the Standing Committee. At his instance a requisition was given
by the members of the Standing Committee to its Chairman to summon a meeting of
the Committee to enable them to move a resolution for the immediate suspension
of the respondent from his office.
Accordingly a meeting of the Standing
Committee was held on December 10, 1964. The said meeting was attended, not
only by the Commissioner and other officers of the Corporation, but also by the
press reporters. In that meeting the appellants made very serious allegations
of a defamatory nature against the respondent and passed unanimously a
resolution placing him under immediate suspension. The allegations made against
the respondent and the fact of his suspension from office were given wide
publicity, with the result that it brought down the respondent in the
estimation of his friends causing harm to his reputation. P. W. 3, who was the
Secretary of the Corporation, and who attended the meeting of the Standing
Committee on December 10, 1964 sent a report the next day Ex. P. W. 3 / B to
the Commissioner regarding the allegations stated to have been made against the
respondent by the appellants. The allegations referred to in P. W. 3 1 B are as
"1. Since its inception in 1958 the
Corporation has executed a very heavy programme of works for improving the
sanitation of the Corporation and provide other civic amenities, but no
publicity was given to these activities and the public has remained more or
less in the dark. On the other hand the Corporation is adversely criticised
even for minor omissions and commissions. The L.O. has, thus not performed the
duties which are required of the post he has been holding and has been
deficient in the performance of his duties.
29-1 S.C. India 171 450.
2. The L O. is not working in harmony with
the representatives of the Press who attend the Corporation office to cover the
meetings of the Corporation and its Committee, so much so that these
representatives have desired that he be not required to come to their rooms in
the Corporation office.
3. Instead of applying himself seriously to
his official work he indulges in estranging one member from the other, one
officer for the other and one political party for the other.
He has even been trying to sow seeds of
estrangement between the Mysore and the Commissioners.
4. In the days when he was Chief Reporter to
the Hindustan Times. he resorted to undesirable means to achieve, his desired
5. His association with some of the non
Official Presidents of the erstwhile Delhi Municipal Committee has brought
nothing but slur to their good names.
6. He is known for indulging in acts of moral
turpitude and for seducing unsuspecting girls and women." In the complaint
it is further stated that in October, 1964, all the seven appellants entered
into a conspiracy to defame the respondent and remove him from the municipal
service and passed a resolution on December 10, 1964 placing him under
suspension. It is further stated that apart from the 'seven appellants, three
other members of the Standing Committee were also parties to this resolution In
particular, it is alleged in the complaint that in the course of discussion
relating to the passing of the resolution-, all the seven appellants made wild
and baseless allegations involving moral turpitude against the respondent.
After passing the resolution the appellants with the ulterior motive of
maligning the respondent and lowering him in the estimation of the public gave
publicity to the resolution in the local newspapers with large circulation. The
allegations stated to have been made by the appellants are those referred to in
Ex. P. W. 3/B. The respondent alleged that the appellants knowingly and
maliciously made false and defamatory allegations against him and prayed for
taking action against them.
Before the Magistrate the respondent and five
other Witnesses were examine under section 202,Cr.P.C. and after consideration
of the evidence the Magistrate dismissed the complaint under section
203.Cr.P.C.The dismissal of the complaint by the Magistrate is rested on two
ground namely,(1)there is no evidence on record as to which of the appellants
made which allegation against the respondent and in the absence of such an
important ingredient, no prima facie case against any of the appellants 451 can
be said to have been made out, and (2) the resolution passed by the Standing
Committee and the discussion preceding it are covered by the Exceptions to
Section 499 1.
P. C. and hence the appellants were well
within their rights in passing a resolution recommending suspension of the
The Additional Sessions Judge, Delhi,
dismissed the revision of the respondent summarily stating that the material on
record was not sufficient to justify any direction being given to the trial
Magistrate, to make further inquiry into the complaint. The Sessions Judge has
further stated that the evidence produced by the respondent is too general to
make out a case to summon any one of the appellants.
The High Court, after a reference to the
material evidence on record, as well as the allegations stated to have been
made by the appellants, has held that the approach made by the Magistrate for
dismissing the complaint was erroneous.
In the view of the High Court the evidence on
record goes to show that the case of the respondent is that all the members of
the Standing Committee including the appellants had made the allegations against
the respondent, which had been reproduced by the Municipal Secretary in Ex. P.
W. 3/B. On this reasoning the High Court held that it cannot be said that there
is no evidence as to which member of the Standing Committee made the allegation
against the respondent.
According to the High Court the evidence as
it stands implicates all the members of the Standing Committee including the
appellants herein in the charge of making the defamatory allegations against
the respondent. The High Court has further held that if at a later stage when
witnesses are examined, it is found that only some of the appellants made the
allegations and also what those allegations are, it will be open to the trial
Magistrate to discharge such of the accused against whom there is no evidence
of having made any defamatory allegation. The High Court is also of the view
that the reasoning of the Magistrate that the appellants are protected by the
Exceptions to Section 499 1. P. C. is also not correct.
Ultimately, the High Court set aside the
order of the Magistrate dismissing the complaint under Section 203 Cr.
P. C. and directed further inquiry to be made
into the complaint by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Delhi or by any Magistrate
subordinate to him, and to dispose of the same in accordance with law.
Mr. C. K. Daphtary, learned counsel for the
appellants, contended that in cases of defermation it is essential that the
actual words used should be set out in the complaint and a reproduction of the
gist or substance of the words used is not enough. He further contended that a
general allegation that the appellants and other members of the Standing
Committee made defamatory statements referred to in Ex. P. W. 3 / B is not a
sufficient compliance 452 with the requirement of law to enable the Magistrate
to take further action. On the other hand, according to the learned counsel..
the complainant must specifically aver which particular allegation was made by
which of the accused, in which case alone the individual accused will have an
opportunity of effectively meeting the imputations alleged to have been made by
him. In this connection Mr. Daphtary referred us to certain English decisions
governing the law of Libel and he also invited our attention to certain
decisions of the High Courts.
On the other hand, the respondent, who
appeared in person, has urged that at this stage the Court is concerned only
with the question whether he has prima facie made out a case for his complaint
being inquired into by the Magistrate and not whether he will be able to obtain
a conviction of all or any of the appellants. That stage, he pointed out, will
arise only during the course of the trial. He urged that in his complaint he
has made a categorical statement that all the appellants have made the
statements referred to in Ex.
P. W. 3 /B. As to whether the statements have
been properly recorded by the Municipal Secretary, is again a matter which will
arise only during the course of the trial. According to him the allegation made
by him in the complaint regarding the statements said to have been made by the
appellants is sufficient for further action being taken by the Criminal Court.
He further contended that the statements alleged to have been made by the
appellants have been substantially reproduced in Ex. P. W. 3 / B and it has
been placed before the Court in the complaint and that is a sufficient
compliance with the requirement of law. He pleaded that the principles laid
down by the English Courts regarding the law of Libel are not applicable when
considering a case of defamation under the Indian Penal Code. He has also
referred us to certain decisions in support of his contentions.
Before we refer to the decisions cited by Mr.
Daphtary and the respondent on merits, it is necessary to clear the ground by
appreciating the nature of the jurisdiction exercised by the Magistrate under
Sections 202 and 203 Cr.
P. C. In Chandra Deo Singh v. Prokash Chandra
Bose and another (1), it has been held by this Court that the object of the
provisions of Section 202 Cr. P. C. is to enable the, Magistrate to form an opinion
as to whether process should be issued or not. At that stage what the
Magistrate has to see is whether there is evidence in support of the allegations
made in the complaint and not whether the evidence is sufficient to warrant a
conviction. It been further pointed out that the, function of the Magistrate
holding the preliminary inquiry is only to be satisfied that a prima facie case
is made out against (1)  1 S.C.R, 639 453 the accused on the materials placed
before him by the complainant. Where a prima facie case has been made out, even
though much can be said on both sides, the committing Magistrate is bound to
commit the accused for trial and the accused does not come into the picture at
all till the process is issued.
The question arises whether in an action for
defamation under Section 500 I. P. C., it is necessary that the actual
statements containing the words alleged to have been used by the accused must
be before the court or whether it is enough that the statements alleged to have
been made are substantially reproduced in the complaint. The further question
is whether the complaint in this case is defective in the sense that the actual
statements alleged to have been made by the individual accused have not been
stated in the complaint.
We will now refer to the decisions cited by
He has referred us, in the first instance, to
the passage in Halsbury's Laws of England, Third Edition, Volume 24, page 90
para 161 that for the statement complained of as being a libel or slander to be
construed or interpreted, it is essential that the actual words and not merely
their substance should be set forth verbatim in the statement of claim or
indictment. Again he has referred us to another passage in the same volume as
"As it is necessary in actions for libel
or slander to set forth the actual words complained of in the statement of
claim with proper innuendoes, so also it is necessary to do so in an indictment
where words are of the essence of the offence." (Page 135 para. 249).
In Charles Bhedlaugh and Annie Besant v. The
Queer (1) the Court of Appeal was dealing with an indictment for publishing an
Bramwell, I,. J., observes as follows :
"In some instances, words are the subject
matter of an indictment; and it follows from this principle, which I have
mentioned that wherever the offence consists of words written or spoken, those
words must be stated in the indictment; if they are not, it will be defective
upon demurrer, in arrest of judgment or upon writ of error. In like manner,
there can be no doubt that in an indictment for defamatory libel it was
necessary to set out the words complained of, so that the Court might judge
whether they were or could amount to a libel it is manifest that where words
constitute the offence, they must be stated in the, indictment.
(1) 3 Q.B.D. 607 454 In The Capital and
Counties Bank Limited v. George Henty and sons (1) Lord Blackburn in dealing
with an action for libel states as follows :
"The words themselves must have been set
out in the declaration or indictment, in order that the Court might be able to
judge whether they_-were a libel or not. And this still remains the law."
In Collins v. Jones (2), Lord Denning quoted with approval the observations of
Lord Coleridge. C. J. in Harris v. Waree as follows :
"In libel and slander everything may
turn on the form of words, and in olden days plaintiffs constantly failed from
small and even unimportant variance between the words of the libel or slander
set out in the declaration and the proof of them....... In libel and slander
the very words complained of are the facts on which the action is grounded. It
is not the fact of the defendant having used defamatory expressions, but the
fact of his having used those defamatory expressions alleged, which is the fact
on which the case depends." It is clear by a reference to the above
English Law that is an action for libel it is essential that the words
themselves must be set out in the indictment and that requirement is insisted
to enable the Court to judge whether those words published in writing amount to
libel or not.
Mr. Daphtary referred us to certain decisions
dealing with the nature of proof required in a prosecution for sedition under
Section 124A I. P. C. But we do, not think it necessary to refer to those
decisions as we are not at this stage concerned with the proof of the
statements attributed to the appellants and which, according to the respondent,
Mr. Daphtary also referred us to the
decisions in Sarat Chandra Das and another v. The State(1) and Krishnarao v. Firm
Radhakisan Ramshai and another In the Orissa High Court decision two accused
were being tried for an offence under Section 500 I.P.C. It is no doubt stated
in the said decision that in a trial for defamation it is essential that the
words alleged (1)7 Appeal Cases 741 (2) .2 All England Reports 145 (3)
 4 C.P.D. 125 (4) A.I.R. 1952 Orissa 351 (5) 1956 I.L.R. Nagpur 236 455
to be defamatory in character should be precisely set out and the accused
should be individually given notice of what he is charged with, as the words so
set out will constitute the foundation for defamation. It is further laid down
that it is also essential that the words in question should be proved. A
perusal of this decision will show that two accused were being prosecuted for
In the complaint in that case it was stated
that both the accused were alleged to have made certain statements. However, in
the some statement the complainant had given a slightly different version. In
his evidence before the court the complainant attributed to the different
accused different statements. It was, under those circumstances, that the court
laid down the proposition referred to earlier. Understood in that context, it
is clear that according to the High Court when different statements are
attributed to different accused, the statements alleged to have been made by
each of the accused must be set out as the individual accused must have noticed
as to what is specifically alleged against him.
In the second case, the Nagpur High Court
dealing with a claim for damages for defamation observed as follows "We
may point out that in a suit for damages for defamation the law requires that
the plaint ought to allege the publication of the dafamtory statement, set out
the actual words used and also state that they were published or spoken to some
named individuals and specify the time and place when and where they were
published." On the other hand, the respondent has invited our attention to
the decisions reported in Emperor v. Col. Bholanath (1), K. S. Namjundaiah v.
Setti Chikka Tippanna (2) and Dhruba Charan Khandal v. Dinabandhu Patri (3).
In the first decision of the Allahabad High
Court, Mukherji, J. observed :
"While I am not prepared to lay down, as
a universal proposition, that in no case where the actual words used have not
been proved a conviction for defamation by word of mouth cannot be maintained,
it must be conceded that in the majority of cases it should be so.
Defamation is defined as
follows:---"Whoever by words...... makes or publishes any imputation
concerning any person intended to harm, or knowing or having reason to (1) 51
I.L.R. 1929. All. 313 (2) 1952 Criminal Law Journal Mysore 1633 (3) A.I.R. 1966
believe that such imputation will harm, the
reputation..... is said......... to defame that person". When the question
arises as to whether the words used were intended to harm or had the effect of
harming the reputation, the court must be put in possession not only of the
words used, but also of the context in which they were used..." King J.,
the other learned Judge of the bench observes :
"I may here remark that in my opinion it
is unnecessary to prove the exact words used by the accused, for the purpose of
supporting a conviction for oral defamation. It is sufficient to prove the
purport or substance of the defamatory imputations. No honest witness would
profess to remember the exact words used by a person who has been speaking for
even 15 minutes. At the most he may remember some striking phrase or
But a witnesse's failure to recall the exact
words used or the exact context in which they were spoken is immaterial,
provided that he can give a sufficiently clear account of the purport of the
defamatory remarks. Although the learned counsel for the appellant argued that
no conviction could be sustained unless the exact words were proved, he was
unable to quote any authority for his proposition, and I am not prepared to
accept it. English rulings on the English Law of libel seem beside the point
when the task before us is to apply the provisions of section 499 of the Indian
Penal Code to a case of alleged defamation by spoken words." In the second
case the Mysore High Court has laid down that it is sufficient for the purpose
of Sections 499 and 500 I.
P. C. that if witnesses are agreed in a
substantial measure on the words of imputation uttered as it is hardly possible
or necessary to reproduce every word or expression used.
In the last decision, the Orissa High Court
has laid down that for the purpose of an offence under Section 500 I.P.C.
it is enough if the witnesses are agreed in a
substantial measure on the words of imputation uttered, for it is not possible
even for a most honest witness to reproduce every such word or expression. This
decision has also distinguished the earlier decision in Sarat Chandra Das and
another v. The State (1) on the ground that the observations contained in that
judgment that the precise words uttered against the complainant should find a
place in the charge were made in the context of the court dealing with two
accused, each of whom was alleged to have made different statements.
(1) A. I. R. 1952 Orissa 351 457.
After a consideration of the various
decisions referred to above, we are of the opinion that the propositions laid
down in English decisions dealing with libel that the actual words alleged to
be used must be stated in the indictment cannot be applied on all fours when
dealing with the cases of defamation by spoken words under Section 499 I. P. C.
it will be highly desirable no doubt if the actual words stated to have been
used by an accused and which are alleged to be defamatory are reproduced by the
complainant. The actual words used or the statements made may be reproduced
verbatim by the complainant if the words are few and the statement is very
brief. But in cases where the words spoken are too many or the statements made
are too long, in our opinion, it will be the height of technicality to insist
that the actual words and the entire statements should be reproduced verbatim.
The object of having, if possible, the actual words or the statements before
the court is to enable it to consider whether those words or the statements are
defamatory in nature. That purpose or object will be served if the complainant
is able to reproduce in his complaint or evidence in a substantial measure the
words of imputation alleged to have been uttered. If the statements or the
words placed before the court by the complainant are held to be not defamatory,
it will mean that the complainant will have to lose. Therefore it is to his
interest to get a proper adjudication from, the court that as far as possible
the words spoken or the statements actually made and which he alleges to be
defamatory are before the court. But a complaint cannot be thrown out on the
mere ground that the actual words spoken or the statements made have not been
stated in the complaint. From the point of view of accused also it is necessary
that the matters alleged to be defamatory in the complaint must be so stated as
to enable them to know the nature of the allegations that they have to meet.
In this case we have already referred to Ex.
P. W. 3 /B.
which, according to the complainant, contains
the statements made by the appellants during the discussion of the resolution
leading to his suspension on December 11, 1964.
The High Court, in this connection, has
averted to the evidence of P. Ws. 1, 3 and 4 on this aspect. As to how far the
evidence of those witnesses is to be accepted, is a matter which will arise
only during the trial of the complaint. From the averments made in the
complaint, which refers to various matters referred to in Ex. P.W., 3 / B, we
are of the opinion, that the complainant has. furnished in a substantial
measure the words of imputation, which, according to him, are defamatory.
Therefore, the contention of Mr. Daphtary that the complaint is defective
inasmuch as it does not contain the actual words alleged to have been spoken by
the appellants has to be rejected.
458 The further question is whether the
complaint is defective for the reason that the actual statements alleged to
have been made by the individual accused have not been stated therein. So far
as this aspect is concerned, if the case of the complainant is that, each of
the appellants made different statements or spoke different words, which are
defamatory, then it is absolutely necessary that the complaint must specify the
words spoken or the statements made by each of the appellants. But that is not
the allegation in the complaint. We have already referred to the fact that it
is specifically stated in the complaint that during the course of the
discussion of the resolution, all the seven appellants made a wild and baseless
allegation against the complainant involving moral turpitude.
According to him those statements are
contained in Ex. P. W.
3/B. The evidentiary value of Ex. P.W. 3 / B
does not arise for consideration at this stage. The further question. whether
the complainant will be able to prove his allegation that all the seven
appellants made all or any of the statements contained in Ex. P. W. 3 / B, is
again a matter which does not arise for consideration at this stage.
We are only concerned to find out what are
the allegations made by the respondent in his complaint against the appellants.
When the case of the complainant is that the seven appellants made the
statements referred to in Ex. P.
W. 3 / B and he is prepared to go to trial on
that footing, the question of the complainant being made to state the
statements alleged to have been made by the individual accused does not at all
arise. Such a situation will arise only when the case of the complainant is
that different statements were made by different accused, who are before the
The Magistrate dismissed the complaint on the
ground that there is no evidence on record as to which of the appellant made
which allegation against the respondent and in the absence of such an important
ingredient, no prima facie case against any of the appellants can be said to
have been made out. This, in our opinion, is a fallacious approach made by the
Magistrate in the face of the allegation made by the respondent that all the
seven appellants made the statements referred to in Ex. P. W. 3/B. In our
opinion, the High Court has made a correct approach when it held that the
evidence, as it stands implicates all the members of the Standing Committee,
including the appellants in the charge of making the statements alleged to be
defamatory and contained in Ex. PI W. 3 / B. We are in, entire agreement with
the reasoning of the High Court on this aspect.
Before concluding, the discussion, it is, to
be stated that the trial Magistrate has given an additional reason for
dismissing the complaint That, reason is that the resolution passed by the
Standing Committee an December 11. 1964 and the discussion preceding it by the
members of the Standing Committee including the,459 appellants is covered by
the Exceptions to Section 499 I. P.
C. Unfortunately, the High Court also has
touched upon this aspect and made certain observations. In our opinion, the
question of, the application of the Exceptions to Section 499 I. P. C. does not
arise at this stage. Rejection of the complaint by the Magistrate on the second
ground mentioned above cannot be sustained. It was also unnecessary for the
High Court to have considered this aspect and differed from the trial
Magistrate. It is needless to state that the question of applicability of the
Exceptions to Section 499 I. P. C. as well as all other defences that may be
available to the appellants will have to be gone into during the trial of the
To conclude we are satisfied that the High
Court's order setting aside the order of the Magistrate dismissing the
complaint under Section 203 Cr. P. C. and directing further inquiry to be made
in the complaint of the respondent is correct.
The appeal fails and is dismissed.
V.P.S. Appeal dismissed.