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Lotan Bhoji Patil and ors. Vs. the State of Maharashtra - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1975CriLJ1577
AppellantLotan Bhoji Patil and ors.
RespondentThe State of Maharashtra
Excerpt:
- - as well as the defence counsel, observed that the court did not know whether those documents which were asked for were relevant for the purpose of trial......first class, shirpur, regarding the production of documents be quashed but also that the learned magistrate 'be directed to issue summons under section 94 of the criminal procedure code to the superintendent of police, dhulia, the district magistrate, dhulia and the home minister, maharashtra state, bombay, requesting them to depute their clerk and to produce the statements recorded by thalner police station on 7-4-1972, 16-4-1972, 17-4-1972 and 10-5-1972.2. some 12 accused of village hisale taluka shirpur district dhulia, were prosecuted for offences committed under sections 7(c), 4 (iv) and 7(b) of the untouchability (offences) act, for having committed offences on 10-4-1972 and 11-4-1972. it appears that an application was made by some harijans of the village on 15-4-1972 to.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Bhole, J.

1. This is a reference by the learned Sessions Judge, Dhulia, recommending not only that the order of Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Shirpur, regarding the production of documents be quashed but also that the learned Magistrate 'be directed to issue summons under Section 94 of the Criminal Procedure Code to the Superintendent of Police, Dhulia, the District Magistrate, Dhulia and the Home Minister, Maharashtra State, Bombay, requesting them to depute their clerk and to produce the statements recorded by Thalner Police Station on 7-4-1972, 16-4-1972, 17-4-1972 and 10-5-1972.

2. Some 12 accused of village Hisale taluka Shirpur District Dhulia, were prosecuted for offences committed under Sections 7(c), 4 (iv) and 7(b) of the Untouchability (Offences) Act, for having committed offences on 10-4-1972 and 11-4-1972. It appears that an application was made by some Harijans of the village on 15-4-1972 to the District Superintendent of Police, to the District Magistrate and also to the Chief Minister, complaining about the offences committed by all these 12 accused. The D.S.P. appears to have forwarded the application to the P.S.I. Thalner for necessary action. As a result of this forwarding of the application, a formal complaint from one Narayan was recorded on 30-5-1972 at Thalner Police Station. He was one of the signatories to the application dated 15-4-1972 which was received by the D.S.P. After necessary investigation and recording of statements of witnesses, a charge-sheet was sent against the accused.

3. The accused were supplied with copies of statements of witnesses recorded after the offence was registered on 30-5-1972 and on which the prosecution relied. The accused, however, have filed an application in the Court pointing out that Thalner Police had recorded statements of the Harijans and other witnesses on 16-4-1972 and 17-4-1972. They claimed for copies of those statements and therefore they requested that those statements should be supplied to them for the purpose of giving them a fair opportunity in their defence. This was an application under Section 94 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

4. The learned Magistrate after hearing the P. P. as well as the defence counsel, observed that the Court did not know whether those documents which were asked for were relevant for the purpose of trial. Those documents were not with the prosecution also. The prosecution produced all the papers on which it relied and copies of those papers were submitted to the accused. The inquiry, if any done, by the Collector did not form part of the trial. He, therefore, passed an order rejecting the application. This order was challenged before the learned Sessions Judge, Dihulia. The learned Sessions Judge, differed from the view expressed by the learned Magistrate and observed that since the application by the Harijans dated 15-4-1972 addressed to the Superintendent of Police, was received by him, investigation must have been carried out after 15-4-1972. Moreover according to him, an information under Section 154 need not be given to the Police Station but that it may be given to any officer. Relying upon Section 161(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the learned Sessions Judge says that the prosecution did not say that some statements had been excluded under Sub-section (5) either because they were not relevant or because their disclosure was not essential and accordingly, therefore, the statements might have been recorded and if recorded, they must be supplied to the accused. Because of this view the learned Sessions Judge referred the matter to this Court for an order.

5. It is true that an application was made by some. Harijans on 15-4-1972 to the D.S.P., the Chief Minister and the District Magistrate complaining that the 12 accused have committed some offences under the Untouchability (Offences) Act on 10-4-1972 and 11-4-1972. The D.S.P. after receipt of the application appears to have sent that application to Thalner Police Station as a result of which an offence was registered on 30-5-1972. After registering the offence, the investigation was started and statements were recorded. Now the First Information can only be given under Section 154 to an officer in charge of the Police Station and he has to reduce to writing that information. In those circumstances, after the receipt of the Harijan's application from the D.S.P., one Narayan gave information at the Police Station on 30-5-1972. After that, statements of witnesses were recorded and the accused were charged. Now, therefore, the point is whether there were any statements recorded at all as alleged by the accused on 16-4-1972 and 17-4-1972 or thereafter. If we look at the applications of the accused for the supply of statements they neither give the names of any witnesses whose statements were recorded nor give the name of the officer who had recorded the statements. Can the accused in this vague manner make an application fishing for the production of some unnamed documents under Section 94 of the Criminal Procedure Code? Under Section 94, if the court has to issue a summons to produce a document or statement, it must be informed the name of the person in whose possession or power such document or statement is. If an application is made without mentioning the names of officers or witnesses can it be entertained under Section 94 of the Criminal Procedure Code? It certainly cannot be.

6. Apart from the above circumstance, there is nothing on record to show that such statements were either recorded under the directions of the Chief Minister or the District Magistrate or even the D.S.P. Nobody has stated so. How could then such statements be supplied to the accused? When there was an allegation against the accused persons and when an information was sent to the Police, the Police started investigation only after registering the offence. The prosecution did give to accused all the papers on which they rely; they cannot be expected to furnish papers on which they do not rely. The Court cannot also be expected to order papers to be furnished on omnibus allegations without any specific names of officers or witnesses. I do not know how the learned Sessions Judge can recommend for order, that summons be issued for some statements of persons without names from not one officer but from all the officers viz. the Superintendent of Police, the District Magistrate and the Home Minister, Maharashtra State, I think such vague order for fishing whatever possible will be of no use to the accused.

7. The order of reference by the learned Sessions Judge is, therefore, rejected. The papers be sent back to the trial Court immediately for the disposal of the case according to law. Rule discharged.


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