1. This petition under Section 482, Cr.P.C. is directed against the proceedings under section 107, Cr.P.C. initiated by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Rajampet, in M.C. No. 24 of 1979. The petitioner is the sole accused in the case.
2. The facts of the case are few and they are :
The Revenue Inspector, Rajampet, submitted a report to the Tahsildar, Rajampet, alleging that he was slapped on his cheek by the petitioner in the Taluk Office, Rajampet, on 4-10-1979 at about 8.50 a.m. in the presence of the members of the staff. Under the letter dated 7-10-1979, the tahsildar forwarded the report of the Revenue Inspector to the Sub-Inspector of Police, Rajampet, and the same was received by the Sub-Inspector on 9-10-1979. The Sub-Inspector, Rajampet, thereupon registered a case under section 353, I.P.C. against the petitioner. While the Sub-Inspector was investigating into the case, the Revenue Inspector submitted a petition on 28-10-1979 to the Assistant Collector, Rajampet, reiterating the allegations in his report to the Tahsildar about the alleged assault on 4-10-1979 and further stating, 'In this connection, I submit that I am working as Revenue Inspector, Rajampet Firka. I have to move even in odd hours in the interest of Government work. Sri A. B. Chandra Reddy is a native of this place and he is wealthy and influential person in Rajampet taluk. I am afraid of the repercussions that may cause danger to my life. I request to inform all the authorities that the above Candra Reddy may be held responsible if anything causes danger to my life. I request that action under section 107, Cr.P.C. may also be taken against the above individual.' A. B. Chandra Reddy referred to in the petition is the petitioner herein. On receipt of this petition, the Assistant Collector, who is also the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Rajampet, instituted proceedings under section 107, Cr.P.C. and passed a preliminary order on 12-11-1979 under section 111, Cr.P.C. calling upon the petitioner to show cause as to why he should not be ordered to execute a bond for a sum of Rs. 5,000/- with two sureties each in a like sum to keep peace for a period of one year. On receipt of the preliminary order, the petitioner has come up to this Court with this petition for quashing the proceedings initiated by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Rajampet.
3. Sri V. Rajagopala Reddy, the learned Counsel for the petitioner, submits that all that was alleged against the petitioner is a mere assault on 4-10-1979 and that this solitary act has already been reported to the police and while the same is under investigation, it is an abuse of the powers of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate in favour of his subordinate to institute proceedings under section 107 Cr.P.C. on the basis of the very same allegation of simple assault on one occasion. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor, on the other hand, contends that the Sub-Divisional Magistrate has jurisdiction to take action under section 107, Cr.P.C. once he is satisfied that a person is likely to commit a breach of the public peace and that the preliminary order passed by him under Section 111, Cr.P.C. being quite in order, it is not a fit case for High Court's interference under Section 482, Cr.P.C.
4. Security proceedings are preventive and not punitive and they are of two kinds - one for keeping the peace and the other for good behaviour. Security to keep the peace can be demanded; (1) from a person convicted of an offence involving a breach of the peace or of abetting the same or of committing criminal intimidation (under Section 106, Cr.P.C.) and, (2) from a person likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity (Section 107, Cr.P.C.). Security for good behaviour can be demanded from persons disseminating seditious matters, (Section 108, Cr.P.C.) suspects and vagrants and habitual offenders or dangerous criminals whose presence at large without security may be hazardous to the community. In the instant case, the petitioner is being proceeded against under section 107, Cr.P.C. He is being demanded to show cause as to why he should not give security to keep the peace. A person can be demanded to give security for keeping the peace only if there is an apprehension that he may cause breach of peace or disturb public tranquillity or do any wrongful act which may result in breach of public peace or disturbance to public tranquillity. The proceedings are intended to secure public peace and tranquillity and cannot be resorted to as a measure of compensatory relief to any individual victim of a criminal offence nor can they be used as a by-pass for a bad prosecution, which may not have a fair prospect of ending in a conviction. No doubt, the proceedings under section 107, Cr.P.C. are not barred by reason of Section 300, Cr.P.C. on the ground that a person has been previously convicted or acquitted of a particular set of facts constituting an offence for which he was previously tried; but the proceeding being judicial, on general principles of justice, it may not be expedient to launch for the same act one police investigation for prosecution in a regular criminal Court to secure punishment and another proceeding for security in another Court at one and the same time. Though such a course does not strictly offend the rule of prohibition against double jeopardy, still, if a single act of assault, which is an offence under Section 353 I.P.C., is under investigation with regard to its truth, it is but proper that the investigation is allowed to be completed and a trial of the same is allowed to take place so that, if the allegation is true and if the assault is so potential that it causes an apprehension of future breach of public peace and tranquillity, the Court convicting the offender may apply Section 106, Cr.P.C. and take the necessary bond for security to keep the peace. May be there is no technical bar for the initiation of proceedings under section 107, Cr.P.C. on the basis of information which satisfies a competent authority that the person against whom the proceedings are initiated is likely to commit a breach of public peace and tranquillity, even if such information is the subject-matter of investigation by the Police for purposes of launching a regular prosecution in a criminal trial, but, such a course may not be conducive to proper and fair administration of justice.
5. Moreover, when an act of assault has been committed on a particular date in the course of a verbal quarrel and when there is no allegation of any prior similar assaults or subsequent assaults against either the same person, or others, it would not be reasonable to opine that the person, who committed the solitary act of assault, would be committing breach of public peace and tranquillity or would commit wrongful acts resulting in breach of public peace and tranquiflity in the future, in the absence of any other material indicating such future behaviour.
6. In the instant case, a Revenue Inspector submitted a report to the Assistant Collector that the petitioner herein slapped him one day in the Taluk Office, that he submitted a report to the Tahsildar, that the Tahsildar, in turn, forwarded the report to the Police, that the police are investigating into the matter, that he has to move about at odd hours in connection with his work as Revenue Inspector, that he apprehends danger to his life at the hands of the petitioner and that, therefore the Assistant Collector may take action against the petitioner under section 107, Cr.P.C. The Assistant Collector is also the Sub-Divisional Magistrate having powers to initiate proceedings under section 107 Cr.P.C. Exercising his powers as Sub-Divisional Magistrate, the Assistant Collector passed preliminary orders under section 111, Cr.P.C. He did not even call for any report from some responsible authority in regard to the truth or otherwise of the allegations in the complaint of the Revenue Inspector before he passed the preliminary order under section 111, Cr.P.C. He accepted the allegations made by his subordinate and initiated judicial proceedings in the exercise of judicial powers vested in him under the Code. The powers under Section 107, Cr.P.C. and some other provisions under which also the Sub-Divisional Magistrate has been invested, are to be exercised in the best interests of the maintenance of law and order, public peace and tranquillity and administration of justice and not to satisfy the feelings of vengeance of one's subordinates. Powers under the Code of Criminal Procedure are to be exercised judiciously by all Magistrates including the Executive Magistrates and it is regrettable that, on a mere complaint by a Revenue Inspector, the Assistant Collector, who is also the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, straightway initiated proceedings under section 107, Cr.P.C. against the person complained against by the Revenue Inspector when the complaint is only in regard to a mere assault by way of a slap and the same was under investigation by the Police who has already registered a case. The action of the Assistant Collector, under the circumstances, is an abuse of his powers as Sub-Divisional Magistrate and such action need not be over-emphatically disapproved. It is a cardinal rule of the administration of justice that justice is not only done, but is manifestly seen to be done. The scales between the members of one's own staff and others, who are not members of the staff, should be held even in the dispensation of justice - not only they should be held even, but they should be manifestly seen to be held even.
7. For the reasons recorded, the proceedings in M.C. No. 24 of 1979 are hereby quashed and this petition is allowed.
8. Petition allowed.