1. The question in this case is as to the legality of an order under Section 250 of the Criminal Procedure Code for payment of compensation to the accused by the complainant on the ground that the complaint was false and vexatious. The illegality is alleged to consist in the fact that the Magistrate who made the order heard the case de novo and discharged the accused, although another Magistrate who first dealt with the case had framed a charge. This is said to be contrary to the terms of Section 350 of the Code.
2. The argument of the learned advocate for the applicant is that in a warrant case-and this was a warrant case-the proceedings are only an inquiry until the charge is framed and the trial only commences after the charge. Therefore, he says, if a charge has been framed and the trying Magistrate is succeeded by another Magistrate, the latter cannot re-commence 'the proceedings from the beginning; he can only re-commence the trial, i.e., re-commence the proceedings from the stage of the charge. For this proposition he relies on Sriramulu v. Veerasalingam I.L.R.(1914) Mad. 585. That was a case on Section 437 of the Code. The question before the Court was whether the District Magistrate had power to order further inquiry, which he can do only if there has been an order of discharge and not an order of acquittal. The Court held that if there has once been a charge framed there can be no order of discharge, only an order of acquittal. That finding might be accepted without necessarily making any difference to the present case, since an order under Section 250 for compensation may be made as well after an order of acquittal as after an order of discharge. However, I do not suggest that Sriramulu v. Veerasalingam can be distinguished. There is no doubt that the Court did take the view that in a warrant case the trial only commences from the framing of the charge and that view has been taken in other Madras cases, e.g., Ramanathan Chettiar v. King-Emperor I.L.R.(1922) Mad. 719. But, according to my experience of the administration of criminal justice in this Presidency, which is not inconsiderable, the Courts here have always accepted the definition of trial which has been given in Gomer Sirda v. Queen-Empress I.L.R.(1898) Cal. 863, that is to say, ' trial' has always been understood to mean the proceeding which commences when the case is called on with the Magistrate on the Bench, the accused in the dock and the representatives of the prosecution and, defence, if the accused be defended, present in Court for the hearing of the case.
3. A different view from that taken in Madras has been taken by the Lahore High Court in Sahib Din v. The Crown I.L.R.(1922) Lah. 115, where it has been held that for the purposes of Section 350 of the Code a trial cannot be said to commence only when a charge is framed. The trial covers the whole of the proceedings in a warrant case. This case was followed in Fakhruddin v. The Crawn I.L.R.(1924) Lah. 176 and the same view has been taken by the Judicial Commissioner's Court in Sind in Labhsing v. Emperor (1934) 35 CrI.L. J. 1261. With all deference to the learned Judges of the Madras High Court we prefer the view which has been taken in these cases and hold that there is no substance in Mr. Adarkar's main contention.
4. He has also taken the point that the provisions of the second clause of Section 250 have not been complied with. That clause requires that the Magistrate shall record and consider any cause which the complainant may show against the order of compensation. It appears, however, that the Magistrate has sufficiently complied with the law. The complainant's statement has been recorded in his own words. The only reasons he gave were that his complaint was true and that the accused are related to each other. He also produced a written statement of his reasons. There is no ground for supposing that these reasons were not considered by the learned Magistrate whose judgment explains clearly why it was that he held the complaint to be false and vexatious. We think there is no substance in this contention nor in the further contention that the complaint cannot be said to be false because on the first hearing of the evidence two witnesses were found to support the complaint. The Magistrate's order was confirmed on appeal by the Sessions Judge. There are no legal grounds on which we feel called upon to interfere in revision.
5. We discharge the rule.