1. This is an application to revise the order of the District Magistrate of Chickmagalur passed in Cr. R. P. No. 3 of 1950-51.
2. The facts leading to the case, briefly stated, are as under: One Marigowda filed a complaint on 30-12-1949 before the District Magistrate for assault in an attempt to extract a bribe of Rs. 300/-against a police constable and a Sub-Inspector, the petitioner before this Court. The District Magistrate took cognizance of the case and recorded the sworn statement of the complainant. As per the request in para 12 of the complaint petition to direct the medical authorities to examine the complainant as they were alleged to have declined to issue a medical certificate, a direction was sent to examine the complainant which was done on 30-12-1949 and a medical certificate regarding the injuries said to have been sustained by the complainant was produced before the District Magistrate on 3-1-1960. Thereupon, the District Magistrate acting under Section 192 of the Code of Criminal Procedure transferred the complaint petition along with the medical certificate to the Special First Class Magistrate, Chickmagalur 'for disposal according to law.' The said records reached the trial Magistrate on 8-1-1950. On 17-1-1950, the Special Magistrate directed notice to the complainant. On 25-2-1950, he further examined the complaint and directed him to produce witnesses for a preliminary enquiry under Section 202, Criminal Procedure Code, to ascertain the truth or falsehood of the complaint and ultimately dismissed the complaint petition under Section 203 for the reason that there were not sufficient grounds to proceed with the trial. In the revision petition against that Order, the District Magistrate reversed the order of dismissal of the trial Court and directed the case to be re-taken to the file for disposal according to law.
3. The case was evidently transferred 'for disposal according to law' after recording the sworn statement of the complainant by the District Magistrate; it was unnecessary for the Special Magistrate to have examined the complainant again, and having done so, the Special Magistrate could have proceeded under Section 204, Criminal Procedure Code, but instead, he himself conducted a preliminary enquiry under Section 202, Criminal Procedure Code. The Special Magistrate may, if he thinks fit for reasons to be recorded in writing, postpone the issue of process and direct an enquiry for ascertaining the truth or falsehood of the complaint; taut he is bound to record his reasons in writing for doing so. Admittedly, he has not done so in this case. It is argued that failure on the part of the Special Magistrate to record reasons under Section 202 is at the most an irregularity which does not vitiate the proceedings, unless, in fact it occasions a failure of justice (See 'Krishnamachariar v. Appaswami Mudaliar', 25 Mad 545 and 'Dharmadas Lilaram v. F.H. Pilcher', AIR (18) 1931 Sind 113. In the order under consideration, the District Magistrate has found that the preliminary enquiry is incomplete as the Special Magistrate has ignored altogether to record the medical evidence which, in his opinion, had occasioned injustice and held that the dismissal of the complaint was premature and that the complainant deserved a fuller opportunity to prove his case. It is not disputed that, despite the duty cast upon the Court to protect the accused, ordinarily it will not be justified in throwing out a complaint without giving an opportunity to the complainant to substantiate his allegations.
4. Another important point that arises for consideration is whether the Special Magistrate had jurisdiction to proceed under Sections 202 and 203, in the circumstances of the case. Any District Magistrate or Sub-Divisional Magistrate may transfer a case which he has taken cognizance of, for enquiry or trial, to any Magistrate subordinate to him. There is no impediment to transfer a case at any stage either before or after recording the sworn statement, and the transferee Magistrate has the same authority to deal with the case which has been transferred to him as regards the issue of process and other matters connected with the enquiry or trial as vested in the superior Magistrate. The term 'enquiry' in Section 192 is interpreted to refer to such enquiries as are held under Chapters VIII, XII and XVIII of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and does not include the 'enquiry' contemplated under Section 202 the scope of which is limited to the purpose of ascertaining the truth or falsehood of a complaint, with a view to take action under Section 203, as observed by Edgley, J., in 'Hafizar Rahman v. Aminal Hoque : AIR1941Cal185 . In this view, the case under reference was transferred not for 'enquiry' but 'for disposal according to law.' The transferee Magistrate should have followed the procedure under Section 204, as the District Magistrate himself had already acted under Section 202 and satisfied himself that there were sufficient grounds for proceeding with the case. The transferring Magistrate had taken cognizance of the case, recorded the sworn statement of the complainant and received the medical certificate in support of the complaint and then transferred the case for disposal according to law. All these indicate that the District Magistrate had satisfied himself that there were grounds to proceed with the trial and directed the subordinate Magistrate to dispose of the case according to law. This could only mean that the Magistrate should proceed under Section 204, Criminal Procedure Code, and complete the trial according to law. When it could be gathered by the circumstances that the action taken by the Magistrate who transferred the case under Section 192 gives rise to the indication that the stage for the preliminary enquiry under Section 202 had passed, the Magistrate to whom the case was transferred ceased to have jurisdiction for making enquiry under Section 202, Criminal Procedure Code, and he was bound to proceed under Section 204, Criminal Procedure Code, to complete the trial. This view is supported by the decision reported in 'Kasturi Chand v. Vaikumtan', A.I.R. (29) 1942 Mad 426. The order of the District Magistrate is, therefore, upheld.
5. This petition thus fails and is dismissed.