16 March 1964
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (crl.) 141 of 1961






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 16/03/1964


CITATION:  1964 AIR 1773            1964 SCR  (7) 237  CITATOR INFO :  RF         1973 SC2190  (9)

ACT: Penal  Code-Bringing  a false charge of a commission  of  an offence-The offence charged need not be a criminal, offence- It  may be an offence under a special law like  Contempt  of Court  Act-Whether a proceeding under Contempt Court  Act  a criminal  proceeding-Indian Penal Code, 1860 (45  of  1860), ss.40,41 and 211.

HEADNOTE: The  appellants were ordered to be proceeded  against  under ss.  193, 199 and 211 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.   They appealed to this Court against that order under  certificate granted under Art. 134(1) (c), of the Constitution. It  was contended before this Court that for a person to  be charged  and  tried under s. 211 Penal Code he  must  either have  instituted  a  criminal  proceeding  or  caused   such proceeding to be instituted or he must have falsely  charged a person; with having committed a criminal offence and since what  the  appellants did was to initiate a  proceeding  for committal  for  contempt of court they cannot  be  proceeded against under s.    211 Penal Code. Held.  (per  Sarkar,  J.) Assuming  that  a  proceeding  for committal for contempt of court is not a criminal proceeding within the meaning of s. 211 Penal Code, falsely charging  a person  with  commission of an offence would be  an  offence under that section.  When that section says that an  offence under it may be committed by falsely charging a person  with the  commission  of an offence it does not intend  that  the offence  must  be  one  which  gives  rise  to  a   criminal proceeding.   Offence is defined by s. 40 of the Penal  Code meaning  an offence under the Code or under any special  law and  taking the definition ,of the special law contained  in s.  41 as meaning a law applicable to particular subject  it will be seen that an offence under Contempt of Court Act  is an offence within the ambit of s. 211.  The appellants  have by  falsely  bring  a  charge  of  Contempt  of  Court  made themselves liable to be proceeded against under s. 211 Penal Code. Empress  v. Jamoona, (1881) I.L.R. 6 Cal. 620,  Karim  Buksh



v.Queen Empress, (1890) I.L.R. 17 Cal. 574 and Queen Empress v.Karigowda, (1895) I.L.R. 19 Bombay 51, distinguished. (per  Hidayatullah,  J.)  There can be  no  doubt  that  the institution of contempt of court proceedings is  institution of  criminal proceedings because a contempt of court can  be punished  by imprisonment and fine and that brings an  accu- sation charging a man with contempt of court within the  ex- pression  "criminal proceedngs" in s. 211 Penal Code.   Such proceedings were described as quasi criminal proceedings  by Privy  Council because with proceedings are not tried  under the Criminal Procedure Code.  That Code is not exhaustive of criminal proceedings and punishments of contempt by  summary procedure  before the superior courts are  special  criminal proceedings which the Code of Criminal Procedure does 38 not even regulate.  The High Court has therefore acted  with jurisdiction to order a prosecution under s. 211 Penal Code. (per  Mudholkar,  J.):  Making a  false  charge  before  any person,  whosoever  he may be is covered by  s.  499  Indian Penal Code.  Section 211 Indian Penal Code is applicable  to a  case where a false charge is made by the  accused  person against another before a person competent to enquire into it and’ either take proceedings himself or cause proceedings to be initiated.  It is not limited to false charges made to  a person who-also has.the  power to try the accused or  commit him for trial by other...court. (ii).It  would  not be right to read the words  or  "falsely charges" as being in any way restricted by the words "insti- tute  or causes to be instituted any  criminal  proceeding". The legislature has clearly provided for two kinds of  acts, one the institution of proceedings and the other of making a false  charge and there is no compelling reason for  reading the  section  as  if  it is  limited  to  institution  of  a complaint upon a false charge. (iii).....The word offence under s. 211 would also include a thing punishable under a special law and the law of contempt being  a special law an offence under Contempt of Court  Act would be an offence under s. 211 and therefore the. order of the High Court was right.

JUDGMENT: CRIMINAL  APPELLATE JURISDICTION-Criminal Appeal No. 141  of 1961.   Appeal from the judgment and order dated January  5, 1959  of the Calcutta High Court in Civil Revision No. 3  of 1957. Sarjoo Prasad and P. K. Chatterjee, for the appellants. Niharendu  Dutt Majumdar, P. K. Chakravarty and P. K.  Bose, for respondent No. 1. S. C. Majumdar, for respondents Nos. 2 to 4. March 16, 1964.  The following judgments were delivered. SARKAR,  J.-The  High  Court  at  Calcutta  made  an   order directing the Registrar of the Court to file a complaint  in the  Court of a magistrate against the appellants under  ss. 211, 199 and other appropriate sections of the Indian  Penal Code.  The Registrar thereupon filed a complaint against the appellants  under  ss. 193, 199 and 211 of  the  Code.   The appellants have appealed against the order of the High Court under  a  certificate granted under Art.  134(1)(c)  of  the Constitution. It appears that the appellants had moved the High Court  for committal for contempt of court of certain respondents, whom I  will  call  the  Mondal respondents,  for  breach  of  an injunction issued in a suit.  That injunction prohibited the



respondents  from disturbing the appellants’  possession  of some  property.   It  was said by the  appellants  that  the Mondal  respondents  attempted to enter  forcibly  into  the properties in 239 breach of the injunction and "in the course of such  attempt broke  open the gate, cut down one tree and also broke  down the  gate".  The High Court referred the matter to the  Sub- ordinate  Judge for a report on the allegation about  breach of injunction and on a consideration of that report came  to the conclusion that the appellants "could not reasonably  be believed"  and expressed its agreement with the  Subordinate Judge’s  view that "the allegations made by the  petitioners are  not  true".   The  petitioners  referred  to  are   the appellants.   The  petition for committal  for  contempt  of court  was  thereupon  dismissed.   Thereafter  the   Mondal respondents  moved  the High Court and  obtained  the  order directing  a  complaint to be lodged as  earlier  mentioned. Their  case  was that deliberate false statements  had  been made in affidavits used by the appellants in connection with their   application   for  the  committal  of   the   Mondal respondents for contempt of ,court. Mr.  Sarjoo  Prasad appearing for the appellants  has  first said  that  the order in so far as it directed  a  complaint under ss. 193 and 199 of the Code could not be supported  as there  was no definite finding in the order  dismissing  the application  for contempt of court that any false  statement bad been made.  I have earlier set out the relevant parts of that order and I think that it contains such a finding.  The High  Court held that "the allegations............ are  riot true".   It is unnecessary to pursue this  question  further for   Mr.   Sarjoo   Prasad’s   contention   is    obviously unsustainable. Another point made by Mr. Sarjoo Prasad was that -there  was no  case for lodging a complaint under s. 211 of  the  Code. He  said  that in order that an offence under  that  section might  be  committed  by  a  person,  he  must  either  have instituted  a criminal proceeding or caused such  proceeding -to  be instituted or he must have falsely charged a  person with  having  committed an offence.  It was  said  that  the appellants  could  not  be said to have done  any  of  these things.  His contention was that, what they had done was  to start  a proceeding for committal for contempt of court  and such proceeding was not a criminal proceeding. I  will assume that a proceeding for committal for  contempt of court is not a criminal proceeding within the meaning  of that expression as used in s. 21 1. On this basis, no doubt, it  cannot  be said that the appellants  had  instituted  or caused  to be instituted any criminal proceeding.   But  the section  also says that falsely charging a person  with  the commission of an offence would be an offence under it and it seems  to  me that the appellants did so charge  the  Mondal respondents.  Mr. Sarjoo Prasad’s answer was that the charge 240 contemplated  by the section had to be a charge which  would give rise to a criminal proceeding.  I am unable to agree. Mr. Sarjoo Prasad based his contention on three cases,  none of  which, in my opinion, supports him.  The first case  was of Express v. Jamoona(1).  There it was held that the charge had  to  be  made to a person competent to act  upon  it,  a person  having  the  power to investigate and  send  up  for trial.   The  next  case was Karim Buksh v.  The  Queen  Em- press(2)   and it held that the making of a false  complaint to the police of a cognizable offence was the instituting of a criminal proceeding within the meaning of that  expression



in  the second paragraph in s. 211 which entailed  a  higher punishment.  The last case referred to was Queen Empress  v. Karigowda(3)  where  it  was held that  the  words  ’falsely charging’  in s. 211 were used in a technical sense and  the making  of an imputation of the commission of an offence  in evidence given in a departmental enquiry was not the  making of  a  charge  in  that sense.  Quite  clearly  we  are  not concerned with any of the questions discussed in these cases or the view there taken. As,  however, in all these cases the charge alleged to  have been  made  related  to an offence  triable  in  a  criminal proceeding  all  the  judgments  incidentally  referred   to institution  of criminal proceedings in connection with  the charge.   In  none of them, however, was the  question  with which  we are concerned, namely, whether a false charge  can be  made in respect of an offence which could be tried by  a proceeding which was not a criminal proceeding, raised.   It was not, and could not have been, intended in these cases to say that the offence in respect of which a false charge  had been  brought  must be one which was triable by  a  criminal proceeding  only.  Therefore.  I have said that these  cases do  not support the proposition for which Mr. Sarjoo  Prasad contends. As a matter of construction, and that is all that we have to go by in the absence of any authority, I agree with the view of the High Court that when the section says that an offence under it may be committed by falsely charging a person  with the  commission of an offence. it does not intend  that  the offence  must  be  one  which  gives  rise  to  a   criminal proceeding.   There is no warrant for a contrary view.   In- deed the definition of the word offence in s. 40 of the Code shows that such a contrary view would be wrong.  Under  that definition  the  word ’offence’ in s. 211 means  an  offence punishable under the Code or under any special or local law (1)  (1881) T.L.R. 6 Cal. 620. (2)  (1890) I.L.R. 17 Cal. 574. (3)  (1895) I.L.R. 19 Bom. 51. 241 as defined in it.  Section 41 defines a special law as a law applicable  to  a particular subject.  Now the  Contempt  of Courts Act is an Act dealing with the subject of contempt of courts  and is, therefore, a special law.  It also  provides for punishment for contempt of court by simple  imprisonment up  to six months, subject to certain conditions  mentioned: see ss. 3 and 4. A charge of having committed a contempt  of court is, therefore, a charge of having committed an offence within the meaning of s. 21 1. Such a charge was  admittedly brought  in  this  case  and  that  charge  was  furthermore preferred to the only person who could act upon it,  namely, the  High Court, for without its sanction no  complaint  for lodging a false charge of contempt of court could have  been made.   The  order to lodge the complaint in  regard  to  an offence under s. 211 was unobjectionable. I,  therefore,  think  that there is no  substance  in  this appeal and would dismiss it. HIDAYATULLAH, J.-The High Court of Calcutta has ordered  the Registrar  of  that  Court to make a  complaint  in  writing against the appellants for their prosecution under ss.  193, 199  and  211  of the Indian Penal Code.   The  High  Court, however,  certified  the case as fit for appeal  under  Art. 134(1)(c)of  the Constitution and the present appeal is  the result.  The appellants had obtained a temporary injunction from the High Court against respondents 2 to 4 restraining them  from disturbing   possession  of  the  appellants  over   certain



properties.  The appellants made an application to the  High Court alleging that the respondents in defiance of the order tresspassed on the property breaking down a gate and  cuttig down  a  tree.  In that application they  asked  for  action under  the Contempt of Courts Act.  The High Court  remitted the  case for enquiry.  It was reported that the  allegation was  false.   The High Court came to a like  conclusion  and ordered   the  Registrar  to  file  a  complaint   for   the prosecution of the appellants.  At the hearing,  preliminary objections  were raised about the competency of the  appeal, but  were subsequently withdrawn when we intimated  that  we were  not disposed to interfere with the order of  the  High Court on merits. This Court will not ordinarily do more than examine in  such cases whether the High Court has fairly considered a case to reach  the conclusion that prima facie there is good  reason to launch the prosecution, that there is reasonable prospect of  conviction and that it is expedient in the  interest  of justice  to order a prosecution.  Judged from this angle,  I am satisfied that the High Court correctly viewed the case. It  is, however, contended that s. 211 of the  Indian  Penal Code cannot apply because no offence under s. 211 can 242 prima  facie be held to be committed by the appellants  when they  made the application which has led to  their  prosecu- tion.  S. 211 reads as follows:- "211.  False charge of offence made with intent to injure-               Whoever,  with intent to cause injury  to  any               person, institutes or causes to be  instituted               any  criminal proceeding against that  person,               or  falsely  charges any  person  with  having               committed an offence, knowing that there is no               just  or lawful ground for such proceeding  or               charge against that person, shall be  punished               with imprisonment of either description for  a               term  which may extend to two years,  or  with               fine,  or  with  both; and  if  such  criminal                             proceeding  be instituted on a false c harge  of               an offence punishable with death, imprisonment               for  life, or imprisonment for seven years  or               upwards, shall be punishable with imprisonment               of  either  description for a term  which  may               extend  to  seven  years, and  shall  also  be               liable to fine." It  is  quite clear that prima facie the  intention  of  the appellant  would  be to cause injury to the  respondents  if their report to the High Court was false.  The only question really is whether they instituted a criminal proceeding.  An application to take proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act  undoubtedly  can  be regarded  as  causing  a  criminal proceeding  to be instituted.  There is no substance in  the contention   that  the  application  neither   charged   the respondents  with  any offence, nor  instituted  a  criminal proceeding  against them.  There may be some dispute  as  to whether it charged the respondents with an offence and as to that  I  say nothing, but, in my judgment there  can  be  no doubt  that  it  amounted to the insitution  of  a  criminal proceeding  because a contempt of court can be  punished  by imprisonment  and  fine  and  that  ’brings  an   accusation charging a man with contempt of court within the wide  words ’criminal proceedings’.  Such proceedings were described  as quasi criminal proceedings by the Privy Council because such proceedings are not tried under the Criminal Procedure Code. That  does not render it any the less a criminal  proceeding



because  the Criminal Procedure ’Code is not  exhaustive  of criminal proceedings and punishments of contempts by summary procedure  before the superior courts are  special  criminal proceedings which the :Criminal Procedure Code does not even seek to regulate.  If there was no just or lawful ground for commencing  this proceeding for contempt in the  High  Court (and it is held by the High Court that there was none)  then the requirements of                             243 s.   211 of the Indian Penal Code must be taken to be  prima facie  satisfied.  In my opinion, the High Court acted  with jurisdiction  to  order a prosecution under s.  211  of  the Indian  Penal  Code  in the present case.   Of  course,  the appellants will be entitled to raise any plea of law or fact in  the case and I will only say that what has been said  by the  High Court or by this Court in relation to  the  facts, should not stand in their way of substantiating any plea  or pleas.   I  agree  for  these reasons  that  the  appeal  be dismissed. MUDHOLKAR,  J.-The question raised before us in this  appeal by  a  certificate  granted by the Calcutta  High  Court  is whether that Court was right in directing a complaint to  be filed against the appellants for offences under ss. 199  and 211 of the Indian Penal Code. The  matter  arose like this.  The respondents 2,  3  and  4 purchased  at a sale held for the realization of rent,  plot No.  365  of village Jagdispur, district 24 Parganas  on  or about  April  7, 1951 and obtained  delivery  of  possession through  court.  But apparently they were able to  get  only paper possession.  On September 25, 1951 the appellant No. 1 Haridas  Das  instituted a suit in the court  of  Munsif  at Sealdah for a declaration that his right, title and interest had not been effected by  the sale, for confirmation of  his possession  over  the land and for  a  permanent  injunction restraining  the  respondents  2 to 4  from  disturbing  his possession.   He  also made an application for  a  temporary injunction  restraining the respondents from disturbing  his possession.  The application was, however, dismissed by  the Munsif  and  his order was affirmed in appeal by  the  Third Additional   District  Judge  at  Alipore.   The   appellant thereupon  preferred an application for revision before  the High Court from the order of the Additional District  Judge. By order dated May 3, 1954 B. K. Guha, J., granted temporary injunction   to   the  appellant  No.  1   restraining   the respondents 2 to 4 from disturbing,, his possession till the disposal  of  the  suit and observed in his  order  that  no serious  inconvenience would be caused to them if they  were asked in substance to possess the property jointly with  the appellant No. 1. On  or  about  June 12, 1956 the appellant No.  1  filed  an application  in the High Court under the Contempt of  Courts Act, 1926 alleging, inter alia, that on June 7, 1956 respon- dents 2 to 4, along with others, attempted to enter forcibly into  the plot with respect to which an injunction had  been -,ranted  by the High Court.  In the course of that  attempt they broke open the gate and cut down a tree standing on the plot.   He further averred that the police then  arrived  on the  scene  and  restored  peace.   According  to  him   the respondents 2 to 4 had by this action committed a breach  of the injunction 244 granted by the High Court.  This application was verified by an affidavit affirmed by the second appellant Jyotish  Kumar Seal  who said that the facts set out in all the  paragraphs of  the application were true to his knowledge.   After  the



application  was made the Court issued a rule  calling  upon the respondents 2 to 4 to show cause why they should not  be committed  and punished for contempt of court for  violating the order of injunction.  The parties were heard on July 25, 1956  and the Bench which heard it directed the  Subordinate Judge,  Alipore to make an enquiry and submit a report.   In accordance   with  this  direction  the  Subordinate   Judge examined the witnesses named by the appellants and in  addi- tion examined as court witness the Officer-in-charge of  the Police  Station, Rajarhat, to whom a report of the  incident had also been made by the appellants.  The Subordinate Judge then  submitted  his report to the High  Court.   After  its receipt  the  High Court heard the parties,  considered  the report on August 30, 1957 and made an order discharging  the rule.  In the course of the order the High Court observed as follows: --               nate  Judge,  the  allegations  made  by   the               petitioner  are not true.  We  have  ourselves               gone  through the evidence and agree with  the               view   obviously   taken   by   the    learned                             Subordinate  Judge.   It may be, as  s tated  by               Jyotish  Kumar Seal, that some persons of  the               opposite  parties  did go to  the  garden  and               enquire  who authorised him to  construct  the               hut,  which he was doing, but the  story  that               the members of the opposite parties broke open               the  gate,  and  cut  down  the  tree,  cannot               reasonably  be believed.  Inspite of what  the               witnesses    have   spoken,   it   is    worth               remembering,   as  pointed  by   the   learned               Subordinate  Judge that in the report  to  the               Officer-in-charge, Rajarhat, nothing was  said               about any golmal or any looting or any  damage               done to the garden or to the trees." On  September  17,  1957 the respondents 2  to  4  filed  an application  under  s. 466 read with s. 195 of the  Code  of Criminal  Procedure  before  the High  Court  for  making  a complaint against appellants under s. 211, I.P.C. and/or any other  appropriate section in relation to the proceeding  in the  contempt matter before the High Court.  The High  Court issued a rule to the appellants, heard them in answer to the application and come to the conclusion that it was expedient in the interests of justice that a complaint should be made. The  High  Court,  therefore, made  the  rule  absolute  and directed the Registrar, Appellate Side to file a com-                             245 plaint  against the appellants under ss. 211 and 199  I.P.C. and/or any other appropriate section to the Chief Presidency Magistrate,  Calcutta.  In pursuance of this  direction  the Registrar  lodged a complaint on January 16, 1959 under  ss. 193,  199  and  211,  I.P.C.  in  the  court  of  the  Chief Presidency  Magistrate,  Calcutta.  The appellants  made  an application before the High Court under Arts. 133(1)(c)  and 134(1)(c) of the Constitution for grant of a certificate  of fitness  for  appeal to this Court.  By Order dated  May  8, 1959 the High Court granted the certificate, overruling  the objections made on behalf of the respondents.  The ground on which  the High Court granted the certificate was  that  the decision in The Empress v. Jamoona(1) where it was held that for  a  conviction  under s. 211 of the Penal  Code  it  was necessary  that the false charge should have been made to  a Court  or an officer having jurisdiction to investigate  and send  it  up for trial, was not noticed by the  High  Court. With  regard  to  the  objection raised  on  behalf  of  the



respondents that the order of the High Court directing  that a complaint be lodged was not a final order, the High  Court held  that  whether it is a final order or not is  not  free from  doubt and that the benefit of that doubt ought  to  be given to the appellants. Before  us  Mr. Sarjoo Prasad has placed reliance  upon  the decision referred to in the order of the High Court granting certificate and also on the decision of Ranade, J., in Queen Empress  v. Karigowda(2).  In the first of these  cases  one Jamoona  appeared  before Captain  Simpson,  Adjutant,  11th M.N.I.,  and  Station  Staff  Officer  and  charged  a  non- commissioned  officer  with rape.  An enquiry  was  held  by Captain  Simpson and the charge was found to be false.   The Commanding Officer caused the appellant to be prosecuted  in a  criminal court under s. 211 I.P.C. She was committed  for trial  and was convicted by the Judicial  Commissioner  with respect to that offence.  On appeal the High Court held that the  Station  Staff Officer having neither  magisterial  nor police  powers, s. 211 was not attracted.  In the course  of his judgment Mitter, J., observed:               "We do not think it unduly refining the  words               to say that the false charge must be made to a               Court  or  to  an officer who  has  powers  to               investigate and send up for trial."               Section 211, I.P.C. reads thus:               "Whoever,  with intent to cause injury to  any               person, institutes or causes to be  instituted               any  criminal proceeding against that  person,               or falsely               (1)(1881) I.L.R. 6 Cal. 620. (2) (1895) I.L.R.               19 Bom. 51.               246               charges  any person with having  committed  an               office,  knowing  that  there is  no  just  or               lawful  ground for such proceeding  or  charge               against  that person, shall be  punished  with               imprisonment of either description for a  term               which  may extend to two years, or with  fine,               or with both;               and if such criminal proceeding be  instituted               on  a  false charge of an  offence  punishable               with   death,   imprisonment   for   life   or               imprisonment for seven years or upwards, shall               be  punishable  with  imprisonment  of  either               description  for  a term which may  extend  to               seven  years,  and  shall also  be  liable  to               fine." Breaking  up the section, it is clear that before it can  be invoked three things have to be proved: (a) that the accused had  intended to cause injury to any person; (b)  that  with that  object  he  instituted or caused to  be  instituted  a criminal   proceeding   against  that  person  or   in   the alternative  falsely  charged him with having  committed  an offence and (c) that he did so with the knowledge that there may  be  no  just or lawful ground for  such  proceeding  or charge  against that person.  Does the section mean  that  a false charge made before any person is punishable thereunder or  is it restricted to such charge being made to  a  person holding  a particular position?  It seems to me  that  since making of a false charge before any person, whosoever he may be, is covered by s. 499, I.P.C., it would be appropriate to construe  this  section as being applicable only to  a  case where  a false charge is made by the accused person  against another before a person who is competent to enquire into  it and either take proceedings himself or cause proceedings  to



be  initiated.  I do not, however, think that it is  limited to false charges made to a person who also has the power  to try  the accused or commit him for trial by  another  court. Such   an  interpretation  is  sufficient  to  prevent   any overlapping of the provisions of this section with those  of s. 500 and it is not necessary to go further than this. In the other case the facts were these: One Karigowda was tried for an offence under s. 211.  Indian Penal  Code  for having falsely deposed in an  enquiry  into bribery  by a District Magistrate that he had paid bribe  of Rs.  300 to a Magistrate in the District of  Bijapur,  named Jehangir.  After the conclusion of the enquiry Jehangir  ob- tained permission from the Government to prosecute Karigowda for  an  offence under s. 500, I.P.C. A complaint  was  also made  against  him of an offence under s.  211,  I.P.C.  The trying magistrate, at, the end of the trial, struck out the 247 charge under s. 500 and convicted him of an offence under s. 211  only.  On appeal the Joint Sessions Judge reversed  the conviction  under s. 211.  The Government then preferred  an appeal  before the High Court.  The High Court reversed  the acquittal  of  Karigowda  under s. 500  and  maintained  the conviction under s. 211, I.P.C. Jardine, J., one of the  two Judges  who heard the case, referring to  Jamoona’s  case(1) said that that case was inapplicable and then observed:               "The present case, however, seems to me to  be               taken  out  of section 211 by  the  fact  that               Karigowda did not apparently intend to set the               criminal law in motion.  He had been  produced               before  Mr.  Monteath against  his  will;  and               though  what  he said is  ’information’  under               section 191, clause c. of the Procedure  Code,               and ’defamation’ under the Penal Code, I am of               opinion,  after  considering  the  Full  Bench               case(2) that the imputations do not make up  a               ’false charge’." (p. 61-62).               Ranade   J.,   however,   has   made   certain               observations upon which Mr. Sarjoo Prasad  has               placed  strong reliance.   Those  observations               are:               "The  words  ’falsely charging’ used  in  that               section must be construed along with the words               which    speak   of   the   ’institution    of               proceedings’.    These   latter   words    are               obviously  used in a technical  and  exclusive               sense,  and by parity of reasoning,  the  same               restricted  sense must be given to  the  words               which relate to a false charge." (p. 69). He also agreed with Jardine, J., that Karigowda had not made a complaint of his own accord and what he said was simply in answer  to certain question put to him at  the  departmental enquiry.   In my judgment it would not be right to read  the words "or falsely charges" as being in any way restricted by the  words  "institutes  or  causes  to  be  instituted  any criminal proceeding".  The legislature has clearly  provided for  two kinds of acts: one the institution  of  proceedings and  the  other  of  making a false  charge  and  I  see  no compelling reason for reading the section as if it is limit- ed  to the institution of a complaint upon a  false  charge. Such  an interpretation would completely shut  out  criminal proceedings in which no charge of an offence has been  made. 1, therefore, agree with the view taken by the Full Bench in Karim Bux’s case(2), to which Jardine, J., had referred. (1) (1881) I.L.R. 6 Cal. 620.   (2) I.L.R. 17 Cal. 574. 248



With regard to the interpretation to be placed upon the  two phrases used in s. 211 Wilson, J., who delivered judgment of the court in that case observed, inter alia:               "I    agree  that  we must take  it  that  the               legislature  did  not regard the  two  phrases               (that  is, ’institutes  criminal  proceedings’               and  ’falsely  charges’)  as  coextensive   in               meaning  but  considered that  there  were  or               might  be cases to which one would  apply  and               not the other." (p. 578). As  illustrations  of proceedings in which no charge  of  an offence  is  made Wilson, J., has  referred  to  proceedings under  s. 107 and s. 109 of the Code of Criminal  Procedure. As  an illustration of a false charge which does not  amount to institution of a criminal proceeding, he has referred  to a  charge made to a judge of civil court in order to  obtain sanction to prosecute another (which was a prerequisite  for prosecution  before  the amendment by Act 18  of  1923)  and pointed  out  that this would not be the  institution  of  a criminal  proceeding.  In my opinion, therefore,  the  point raised by Mr. Sarjoo Prasad must fail. Apart  from the offence under s. 211, the complaint  against the appellants embraces two more offences: one is for giving false  evidence  which is punishable under s.  193  and  the other of making a false statement in a declaration which  is by  law  receivable as evidence under s. 199,  I.P.C.  There could be no impediment to a complaint being made with regard to  these  two offences.  Mr. Sarjoo Prasad,  however,  says that  the  High Court, after it received the report  of  the Subordinate Judge, did not find that it was wholly false but found that it was partly false and in this connection  draws our  attention  to the following observations  of  the  High Court:               "It  may be, as stated by Jyotish Kumar  Seal,               that some parties did go to the authorised him               to  construct the but which he was  doing  but               that  the  members of  the   opposite  parties               broke  open  the gate, an cut down  the  tree,               cannot reasonably be believed." It  is true that the High Court has not said that  the  res- pondents  2  to  4 did not visit the plot at  all;  but  the injunction  did  not restrain them from visiting  the  plot. What  they  were restrained from doing was  to  disturb  the possession of the appellant No. 1 and, therefore, there  was no  question  of  their  rendering  themselves  liable   for contempt because they visited the plot.  Indeed that was not the  gravamen  of  the charge against him  in  the  contempt application made by 249 the  appellant  No. 1. The gravamen of the charge  was  that -they in fact disturbed his possession and caused damage  to property.    This  was  the  crucial  allegation  and   this allegation has not been found to be true by the High  Court. In  the -circumstances there was clearly a prima facie  case for proceeding against the appellants not only under s.  211 but also under ss. 193 and 199, I.P.C. Mr.  Sarjoo Prasad, however, said that he would be  able  to show  by  reference  to the evidence recorded  by  the  Sub- ordinate  Judge  during  the enquiry made by  him  that  the statement  of the Station Officer upon which the High  Court has placed reliance is not correct and that his statement to the  effect that in the report made to him nothing was  said about  "any golmal or any looting or any damage done to  the garden or to the trees." It is sufficient to say that we are not sitting in judgment over the order of the High Court  by



which  the  rule for committing the respondents 2 to  4  for contempt  was discharged.  The appeal before us  is  against another order and that is the order directing a complaint to be filed against the appellants. Mr.  Sarjoo  Prasad  then contended that  the  false  charge referred  to  in s. 211 must be with respect to  an  offence under   the  Indian  Penal  Code  and  that  by  making   an application  of the kind which the appellant No. 1  made  he had  not  charged the respondents 2 to 4  with  any  offence under the Penal Code.  The word ’offence’ is described in s. 40  of  the  Indian Penal Code.  The relevant  part  of  the definition runs thus:                "Except   in   the  chapters   and   sections               mentioned in clauses 2 and 3 of this  section,               the  word  ’offence’  denotes  a  thing   made               punishable by this Code.                In   chapter  IV,  chapter  VA  and  in   the               following  sections, namely, sections  64,  65               211,  213,.. ... the word ’offence’ denotes  a               thing punishable under this Code, or under any               special   or   local   law   as    hereinafter               defined ...................." It  will thus be clear that the word offence used in s.  211 would  also include a thing punishable under a special  law. Special  law  is defined in s. 41 as a law applicable  to  a particular  subject.   The law of contempt is  a  particular subject  and the High Court has inherent power to  punish  a person  for  the  offence of contempt committed  by  him  by disobeying  an injunction issued against him.   Disobedience of  an injunction issued by the High Court is not  something with  respect  to which action under s. 24 or s. 95  of  the Code  of  Civil  Procedure could alone be  taken  but  being contempt of the 250 High Court’s order, is punishable by it in its discretion in exercise of its inherent powers.  The only limitation  which the statute has placed is with regard to the punishment that the High Court can meet out to the contemner.  I am, there-- fore,  satisfied that the Order of the High Court was  right and, accordingly, I dismiss the appeal. Upon  the  view which I have taken, it is not  necessary  to consider whether the proceeding before the High Court was  a criminal  proceeding.  In support of the contention that  it is  not a criminal proceeding, Mr. Sarjoo Prasad has  placed reliance  upon  the decision of the Privy Council in  S.  N. Bannerjee  v. Kuchwar Lime and Stone Co., Ltd.(1).  In  that case, their Lordships held that a committal for contempt for breach of an injunction was not criminal in its nature,  and referred to the decisions in Radha Krishna Das v. Rai Krishn Chand(2) and Scott v. Scott(3).  Since we did not hear  full arguments  upon this question, I do not feel called upon  to express any opinion on the point. Before  parting with the appeal, I would like to  point  out that two preliminary objections were raised before usone  by Mr.  Niharendu Dutt Majumdar on behalf of respondent  No.  1 and the other by Mr. S. C. Majumdar on behalf of respondents 2  to 4. Mr. Dutt Majumdar’s preliminary objection was  that the  order  of the High Court was not a final order  and  he addressed  a long argument in support of it.  The  objection of Mr. S. C. Majumdar was that the appellants had failed  to prefer their appeal within the time allowed by the rules  of the  Court  and  that they had  made  false  allegations  in support  of their application for condoning the  delay  and, therefore the condonation be revoked.  We have heard both at considerable  length on these points.  At the conclusion  of



Mr.  Sarjoo  Prasad’s  arguments we made  it  clear  to  the respondents that we did not want to call upon them to  reply on  merits  and enquired whether in the  circumstances  they pressed  their  preliminary objections.  Both of  them  said that  in the circumstances they did not want to press  those objections.   No order on these two  preliminary  objections is, therefore, necessary.                      Appeal dismissed. (1) I.L.R. 17 Pat. 770. (2) 28 I.A. 182. (3)  (1913) A.C. 417 at 456. 251