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Present: De Sampayo J.
THAMPU t>. NAGAN.188—P. a Jaffna, 21,869.
Penal Code, s. 180—False information—Information must de voluntarilygiven—Answer to questions put by headman when inquiring intoa crime.
Giving false information under section 180 of the Penal Codeimplies volunteering a statement to a public servant, and does notcover a case where answers are given to questions put by someauthority at the happening of some event.
'J'HE facts are set out in the judgment.
* J. Joseph, for the accused, appellant.—The accused did not makeany charge against any one. He was questioned by the headman,and it was in answer that he made the statement in question.He cannot be convicted under section 180 of the Penal Code in thecircumstances. Counsel cited Gour, vol. p. 876.
May 7,1923. De Sampayo J.—
I think I must interfere in this case. The charge against theaccused in this case arose under the circumstances. A man namedKathiran appeared to have been stabbed by somebody, and waslying bleeding. The headman was at once informed, and hewent to the spot. The injured man said that it was one Velu whostabbed him, and added that one Sinnetamby and M. Nagan sawthe stabbing. The headman then questioned these two, whosenames were mentioned by the injured man. The accused is M.Nagan, and in answer to the inquiries of the headman stated that itwas Velu who stabbed Kathiran, but when the police took up thematter, M. Nagan withdrew his statement to the headman and saidthat the statement was false. He repeated the denial in. the PoliceCourt when Kathiran charged Velu. Now M. Nagan is charged inthe present case under section 180 of the Penal Code with havinggiven to a public servant, namely, the headman, information whichhe knew to be false, intending thereby to cause the public servantto use his lawful power to the injury or annoyance of Velu. Theaccused appears to have been without any legal assistance, and hepleaded guilty, and added : “ I said what the complainant told meto say. It was false.” Thereupon, the Police Magistrate convictedthe accused, and sentenced him to two months’ rigorous imprison-ment. Under these circumstances the sentence appears to me to
Thttmpu v.Nag an
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be unduly severe. But there is a still deeper objection to thisconviotion. In my opinion, giving information under section 180implies volunteering a statement to1 a public servant, and does notcover a case where answers are given to questions put by Borneauthority at the happening of some event. In this case it is quiteclear, more especially when the evidence of the police headman inthe previous case is considered, that the accused did not come for*ward and volunteer any information to the headman, but answeredquestions put to him by the headman in the course of his inquiries.Whatever other offence the accused may be said to have committed,I do not think he, at all events, committed the offence under section180 of the Penal Code, under which he has now been charged. Iam supported in my view of the scope of section 180 by the com–ment made by Dr. Gour at page 876 of Volume I. of his book on theIndian Penal Code. Although the accused purported to pleadguilty, I am bound to take notice of the point of law which I havejust indicated and to set aside the conviction. I accordingly setaside the conviotion and acquit the accused.
TAMPU v. NAGAN