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2023 (9) TMI 584 - MADRAS HIGH COURT
Loss of reputation / Defamation - Allegation of Smuggling - 30,24,000 sticks of cigarettes - allegation of illegal import/smuggling of foreign cigarettes by concealing the same in the cargo - HELD THAT:- In the instant case, as per the allegations made in the complaint, the petitioner is said to have played deception against the respondents and induced them to process customs clearance formalities, which they would not have done, if they were not induced and as a result, the DRI found in the impugned consignment that cigarettes were being smuggled and due to that, the second respondent was also roped in as an accused, who suffered harm to body, mind and reputation. Thus, the ingredients of the offence of cheating are prima facie made out on a reading of the complaint along with other materials.
In the instant case, none of the ingredients under Section 499 of the IPC is satisfied. The loss of reputation of the respondents, by itself, will not constitute an offence of defamation. Such loss of reputation is also one of the ingredients in the offence of cheating.
This Criminal Original Petition is partly allowed and the cognizance taken by the Court below for the offence under Section 500 of the IPC is set aside.