Srinivasa vs Annasami And Ors. on 10 October, 1891

Madras High Court
Srinivasa vs Annasami And Ors. on 10 October, 1891
Equivalent citations: (1892) ILR 15 Mad 41
Bench: A J Collins, Kt., Wilkinson

JUDGMENT

1. The only question which is before us is whether the Sessions Judge was right in holding that there had been no such disposal of the minor as would bring the accused under Section 372, Indian Penal Code. The Acting Head Assistant Magistrate was of opinion that no offence had been committed, because there was no evidence of the tying of the bottu, which in his opinion forms the important ingredient of the offence. The Sessions Judge would appear, from paragraph 2 of his order, to have been of the same opinion. In our judgment there may be such disposal of a minor as is contemplated by Section 372 even though bottu is not tied. The facts of this case have not been set forth either by the Acting Head Assistant Magistrate or by the Sessions Judge. If they had been attentively considered, we hardly think the lower Courts would have come to the conclusion that there was no ground for proceeding against the accused. The facts to be gathered from the report of the Second-Class Magistrate of Tirupattur, are as follows:

2. In November 1889, fourth accused, a dancing girl of Thirukoshtiyur Devastanam, falsely styling herself the mother of a girl, Pichaimuthu, petitioned the first accused, the devastanam manager, to “appoint her daughter” to her (fourth accused’s) kothu miras. The first accused, without, so far as appears from the record, making any inquiry, endorsed on the petition that the applicant’s request might be complied with if there was no objection. The Tahsildar of the temple replied that the applicant had no objection, and that he had accordingly ordered that “Pichaimuthu should be entered in the pay abstract like other dancing girls.” It is not denied that the first accused received this communication, nor that Pichaimuthu was entertained and employed about the temple. From November 1889 to May 1890 Pichaimuthu’s name was accordingly entered in the pay abstracts along with the names of the other dancing girls and she performed work in the temple. We consider that these facts constituted prima facie such a disposal of the minor with the knowledge that it was likely that she would be employed or used for immoral purposes as to justify the Magistrate in putting the accused upon their trial, and that the rejection of the complaint on the ground that there had been no such disposal as was contemplated by Section 372 was illegal. We set aside the orders of the Courts below; but as the Acting Head Assistant Magistrate has already expressed an opinion on the case, we order it to be transferred to the District Magistrate of Madura for disposal.

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