V. Ramasami Naidu vs Chella Naidu on 3 February, 1891

Madras High Court
V. Ramasami Naidu vs Chella Naidu on 3 February, 1891
Equivalent citations: (1896) 6 MLJ 254
Author: M Aiyar


Muthusami Aiyar, J.

1. The question referred for our opinion is whether in cases in which a married woman is defamed by imputing unchastity to her, her husband is a person aggrieved by the defamation, upon whose complaint the Magistrate may take cognizance of the offence under Section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. I am of opinion that our answer must be in the affirmative. The words ” aggrieved by such offence” include the husband in their ordinary meaning and his reputation is so intimately connected with that of his wife that it would be unreasonable to hold that the defamation would ordinarily not be as much hurtful to the feelings of the former as it is to those of the latter. It is true that under Section 345 the wife may without the consent of the husband and : even contrary to his wish compound the offence as ” the person defamed ” thereby rendering the complaint made by the latter liable to be dismissed. But it must be observed that generally the husband and the wife will act in concert and that the difference in the language used in Section 345 and Section 198 is therefore not a sufficient ground for. putting a narrower construction on Section 198. I answer the question in the affirmative.

Wilkinson, J.

2. I am of the same opinion and would only add that in this case the husband charged that the article had been published with the intention of injuring the reputation of the husband and of his wife. He was entitled to a finding on the charge of defamation against himself and that charge no one but himself could compound.

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