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Premanand Shridhar Kulkarni Vs. State of Maharashtra and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revision Application No. 320 of 1983
Judge
Reported in1984(1)BomCR561
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 252
AppellantPremanand Shridhar Kulkarni
RespondentState of Maharashtra and anr.
Appellant AdvocateK.S.V. Murthy and ;S.S. Lanke, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateP.M. Vyas, P.P. and ;C.K. Talekar, Adv. for respondent No. 2
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
- - '.the cryptic fashion in which the plea is recorded is clearly contrary to the letter and spirit of section 252 of the cri. indeed if shri patil was satisfied that the petitioner's plea was voluntary, nothing had prevented him from proceeding to convict and sentence him on its strength on 17th august, 1981 itself......facts are, the plea of the guilt was recorded by shri patil as early as on 17th august, 1981, and shri tekade has passed the order of conviction about two years later, i.e. in june 1983 relying on the said plea. it is difficult to appreciate how he could satisfy himself about the voluntariness or otherwise of a plea which was recorded by his predecessor symbolically as 'p.g.'. the cryptic fashion in which the plea is recorded is clearly contrary to the letter and spirit of section 252 of the cri.p.c. which requires the plea of guilty to be recorded as nearly as possible in the words used by the accused. indeed if shri patil was satisfied that the petitioner's plea was voluntary, nothing had prevented him from proceeding to convict and sentence him on its strength on 17th august, 1981.....
Judgment:

S.N. Khatri, J.

1. This Revision Petition by the original accused No. 1 challenges the order of the learned Metropolitan Magistrate, 45th Court, Kurla (Shri P.V. Tekade), convicting him for offences punishable under sections 341 and 448 read with section 114, I.P.C. and sentencing him to 7 days' R.I. and a fine of Rs. 100/-, in default 7 days' R.I.

2. The material facts are these : The present petitioner along with two others was prosecuted under sections 341 and 448 read with section 114, I.P.C. upon a private complaint filed by the present respondent No. 2 in November, 1979. The matter was originally before another Magistrate, Shri C.T. Patil. On 17th August, 1981, the petitioner was present in Court in person. The other two accused Rajan and Pradip were represented by their Advocate, Miss Mhatre. She represented the petitioner also. The record shows that on 17th August, 1981, the petitioner pleaded guilty (recorded in the proceedings as 'P.G.'). The other two, through their Advocate pleaded not guilty. Thereafter, the matter was adjourned from time to time without any progress till 11th January, 1983. Meanwhile on 12th August, 1982 the matter stood transferred to the present Magistrate, Shri P.V. Tekade. On 11th January, 1983, the petitioner made an application before Magistrate Tekade submitting that he had not pleaded guilty, and that in any case the said plea was not voluntary. The learned Magistrate by his order dated 9th February, 1983 held that in view of the fact that the petitioner had already pleaded guilty on 17th August, 1983 before his predecessor, he had no power to record his plea for the second time. The petitioner challenged this order by preferring a revision to the Sessions Court, Greater Bombay, which by its order dated 5th April, 1983, rejected it on the ground that the impugned order was interlocutory. Thereafter, on 23rd June, 1983, the learned Magistrate accepted the plea of the petitioner dated 17th August, 1981 as voluntary and convicted and sentenced him on its basis. It is this order which is now challenged in this revision before me. The complainant has also preferred a separate application for being heard. On this application he has been added as respondent No. 2 to the present petition.

3. I have heard the learned Advocates of both sides. It is obvious that the impugned order of the learned Magistrate cannot stand for more than one reason. Admittedly, the proceedings in which this order was passed were summary proceedings. The entire trial in summary proceedings has to go on before one and the same Magistrate. Here as the admitted facts are, the plea of the guilt was recorded by Shri Patil as early as on 17th August, 1981, and Shri Tekade has passed the order of conviction about two years later, i.e. in June 1983 relying on the said plea. It is difficult to appreciate how he could satisfy himself about the voluntariness or otherwise of a plea which was recorded by his predecessor symbolically as 'P.G.'. The cryptic fashion in which the plea is recorded is clearly contrary to the letter and spirit of section 252 of the Cri.P.C. which requires the plea of guilty to be recorded as nearly as possible in the words used by the accused. Indeed if Shri Patil was satisfied that the petitioner's plea was voluntary, nothing had prevented him from proceeding to convict and sentence him on its strength on 17th August, 1981 itself. This he did not do. It will be bold to pretend that the record provides enough materials to the successor Magistrate to hold that the plea recorded by his predecessor was voluntary. For these reasons, the impugned order cannot be sustained. Shri Tekade will have to proceed with the trial from first stage, viz. recording of plea.

4. The revision petition is allowed. The impugned order is set aside. The learned Magistrate is directed to proceed with the trial of the case in accordance with law as expeditiously as possible. The rule is made absolute. Parties to appear before the learned Magistrate on 13th February, 1984. Fine, if paid, will be refunded to the petitioner. Bail Bond cancelled.


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