Ahmed Ali Khan, J.
1. The petitioners were prosecuted before the City Magistrate, Mysore, for offences under Section 58 (b) of the Prohibition Act. They were convicted and each was sentenced under Section 58 (b) of the Prohibition Act, to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a term of three months. In an appeal by the accused, the Sessions Judge, Mysore, confirmed the conviction and sentence passed by the Magistrate and disallowed the appeal. It is against the order of the Sessions Judge that the accused have preferred this revision petition.
2. It has been strenuously argued by Shri Sabeel, on behalf of the petitioner that the plea of guilt which has been recorded by the Magistrate is in contravention of the provisions of Sections 242 and 243 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. He argued that the joint plea of both the accused has been recorded by the Magistrate and therefore this joint recording of the statement amounts to irregularity and thus vitiates the whole trial. His second contention was that the material before the Magistrate was insufficient to base a conviction. The arrack which was stated to be in the possession of the accused has not been produced in the cage, nor, the same has been sent to the Chemical Examiner for examination. He submitted that the Magistrate was not right in convicting the accused on such in. sufficient record. His third contention was, in view of the nature of the offences, if it is held to be established against the accused, the sentence passed by the Magistrate is rather harsh.
3. I find substance in the first contention. The statements of the accused have been recorded by the Magistrate jointly. It reads as follows:
Yes. We two together were manufacturing arrack. And after it was manufactured, 8 drama of arrack was in the bottle. It was wrong. We accept the wrong.
4. The law enjoins and that for a very good reason that the admission shall be recorded as nearly as possible in the words used by the accused. Omission to comply with the law in this respect cannot be countenanced and such an omission would vitiate the trial. That was the principle enunciated by the Supreme Court in Kaushalya Das v. State of Madras : 1966CriLJ66 wherein it has been observed that the requirements of Section 243 are mandatory in character and a violation of these provisions vitiates the trial and renders the conviction invalid.
In this case joint statements of both the petitioners have been recorded by the Magistrate. It cannot be said by that the statement of each of the accused has been recorded 'as nearly as possible' in the words used by him. That apart, where there are more than one accused, the plea of each of the accused should be separately recorded 'as nearly as possible' in the words used by him. What the Magistrate hag recorded in this case is a joint statement of the accused-petitioners which cannot be said to serve the purpose of what the magistrate had to do under Section 242 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. This omission clearly amounts to illegality which vitiates the whole trial. It was incumbent upon the Magistrate that the plea of each accused should be recorded separately. If any or all of them had made an admission in the case it should be recorded as nearly as possible in the words used by the accused. The procedure adopted by Magistrate was therefore in contravention to the mandatory provisions of Section 243 of the Criminal Procedure, which vitiates the trial. In view of this conclusion of mine, it is not necessary to consider the other two contentions that has been raised on behalf of the petitioners.
5. This revision petition is allowed. The order of conviction and sentence passed by the courts below are set aside. The case will now go back to the trial court for fresh disposal in accordance with law.