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When the act of the doer is justified by any governing legislation, the act possibly an offence in every other legislation, the doer is ready to get defence beneath 79 of Indian Penal Code

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When the act of the doer is justified by any governing law, the act maybe an offence in any other law, the doer is able to get defence under 79 of Indian Penal Code written by Avdhesh Parashar student of Maharashtra National Law University Aurangabad

RAJ KAPOOR VS. LAXMAN (1980) 2 SCR 512 (SC)

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The appellant, Raj Kapoor, is the producer of the film “Satyam Shivam Sundaram” that was released in year 1978. A viewer of the film filed a suit against the producer, director, actor, case team etc. for showing the contents that is against the public morals and alleging that the title of the movie misguiding the public and showing obscene material. The complainant filed the complaint under section 292 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. The trial court after examining some witnesses issued notice to the producer/present appellant. The producer moved to High Court under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. against the order of trial court accusing that the criminal proceeding is abuse of law and contended that the film has been duly considered for public show. The Central Board of Film Censors grant the ‘A’ certificate to the film under section 5(A) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952. The High Court dismissed the appeal of the producer saying that there is nothing frivolous in the appeal to quash the proceedings. Aggrieved by the order of High Court, the producer (appellant) comes to this Court under defence of Section 79 of Indian Penal Code to neutralise the Section 292 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. 

ISSUES:

Whether the certificate issued by Central Board of Film Censors under section 5 (A) of Cinematograph Act, 1952 considered as ‘Justified’ under law and grant defence to appellant under section 79 of Indian Penal Code?

RULE OF LAW:

  • Section 5(A) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952
  • Section 79 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860
  • Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860

CONTENTIONS:

Contention by appellant: 

The appellant argued that the film has been granted ‘A’ certificate by the Central Board of Film Censors under section 5 (A) of the Cinematograph Act, 1952 and the act of appellant comes under defence of Section 79 of Indian Penal Code. The act of appellant justified under the purview of section 79 of IPC. There was no intention to hurt the sentiments of the public at large by showing the film. The appellant had reasonable belief that his act was justified by law. 

Contention by Respondent:

The respondent argued that the film was showing obscene content in the name of a Good title. The producer, actor, director misguided public by way of fascinating title and showing obscenity, indecency that is offense under Section 292 of Indian Penal Code. 

JUDGEMENT:

The Hon’ble Court held that the section 79 of IPC provides defence to a doer who has done an act, that is amount to offence in other sense, under the good belief that he is justified by law in doing that act. The weapon of section 79 immune the doer of an act who is under good belief to do that act justified by law. Furthermore, the Hon’ble Court held that the film was certified by Central Board of Film Censors after considering all the points of section 292 of IPC under section 5 (b) of the Act. IPC is general law and Cinematograph Act is special law. The members of the Board have a high calibre and expertise. The court held that the certification was issued after checking all the essentials of section 292. So, the Hon’ble Court held that the appellant’s act was considered as justified by law and comes under the purview of section 79 of IPC. Thus, the appeal allowed and it is right to discharge the accused from charges as it is groundless and the prosecution extinguish from the proceeding.

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