1. This is a revision petition directed against an order of the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Banganapalle, dated 16-2-1960 for making a complaint for perjury before him, acting under Section 479-A Cri.P.C.
2. The facts relevant for the purpose of this petition are these : The petitioner Dudekula Uastagiramma was a prosecution witness in P.R.C. 1 of 1960 on the file of the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Banganapalle, which was an enquiry for alleged offences punishable under Ss. 147, 148, 302 and 149 I.P.C. against six accused. It would appear that the petitioner had given a statement on oath before the Judicial Second Class Magistrate, Koilakunta under Section 164, Cri.P.C. of having witnessed the occurrence, giving out the names of the assailants and their attack on the deceased.
3. As a prosecution witness in P.R.C. 1 of 1960, she denied all knowledge of the occurrence. The Committing Magistrate thereupon proceeded to act under Section 479-A, recording his opinion that the petitioner had given false evidence before him with the intention of suppressing the truth. A complaint was duly made by the said Committing Magistrate to the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Nandyala.
4. The point urged in revision is that the Committing Magistrate could not lay the complaint under Section 479-A, Cri.P.C. This argument is put forth on the ground that the committal order of the Magistrate is not a Judgment or a final order within the meaning of Section 479-A, Cri.P.C. It is urged that the Criminal Proceeding against the accused had not terminated before the Committing Magistrate and that it is only when that proceeding against the accused terminated finally that a complaint could, be made.
5. Sri Jayachandra Reddy cites Hori Ram Singh v. Emperor, AIR 1939 FC 43 and Kuppuswarni Rao v. The King, AIR 1949 FC 1 in support of his argument.
6. Before I consider the decision T would appropriately read the relevant provision i.e., Section 479-A, Cri.P.C., here (so far as it is relevant) :
'Notwithstanding anything contained in Ss. 476 to 479 inclusive, when any Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court is of opinion, that any person appearing before it as a witness has intentionally given false evidence in any stage of the judicial proceeding ..... and that, for the eradication oi the evils of perjury .....and in the interests of justice, it is expedient that such witness should be prosecuted for the offence which appear to have been committed by him, the Court shall, at the time of the delivery of the judgment or final order disposing of such proceedings, record a finding to that effect stating its reasons therefor and may, if it so thinks fit, after giving the witness an opportunity of being heard, make a complaint thereof in writing signed by the presiding officer of the Court setting forth the evidence which in the opinion of the Court is false ..... and forward the same to the Magistrate of the first class having jurisdiction, and may, if the accused is present before the Court, take sufficient security for his appearance before the Magistrate and may bind over any person to appear and give evidence before such magistrate.'
7. A magistrate making an enquiry in a Preliminary Register Case is a Criminal Court and the proceedings before him are judicial.
8. In this context the illustration to Section 193 I.P.C. is apposite :
'A, in an enquiry before a Magistrate for the purpose of ascertaining whether Z Ought to be committed for trial, makes on oath a statement which he knows to be false. As this enquiry is a stage of judicial proceeding, A has given false evidence.'
9. There is therefore no doubt or dubiousness that the Committal Court proceedings were a stage of a judicial proceeding.
10. Now, I come to the point taken before me. The section expressly refers to the delivery by that court of a judgment or final order disposing of such proceedings.
11. Sri Jayachandra Reddy urges that the term 'judgment' of a criminal Court has received an interpretation of being a judgment of conviction or of acquittal, in AIR 1939 FC 43.
12. Resting on this interpretation the learned counsel seeks to urge the Committal order could not bo of the character of a final order in the judicial proceeding against the accused.
13. His further contention is that it must be taken that the proceedings against the accused in the case could not have terminated with the Committal proceedings. I shall be considering presently the implication of the term 'final order'.
14. The express language of the section specifies a witness who is alleged to have given false evidence in any stage of a judicial proceeding. If the proceeding before the Committing Magistrate was a judicial proceeding, this section is attracted, albeit that the proceeding against the accused may have subsequent stages. A proceeding against an accused for an alleged offence triable by a Court of Session has necessarily to go through an enquiry, a committal and a trial. It would not be correct to characterise the enquiry proceedings as incomplete so far as that court is concerned, for the reason that subsequent to the enquiry, the proceedings against the accused might continue in the form of a trial.
15. Now the decision of the Federal Court in the first case purported to say that a judgment ot a criminal Court meant a judgment of conviction or acquittal and that the term did not include an intevlocatary order, and for that reason an order of the High Court directing a rehearing of the criminal appeal by the Sessions Court was neither a judgment nor a final order within the meaning or Section 205(1) of the Govt., of India Act of 1935. In the course of the judgment it was also observed that the words 'final order' were ordinarily used in contrast with the interlocutory order.
16. That decision does not apparently lend support to the interpretation, which is sought to be given by the learned counsel to the expression 'final order disposing of such proceedings' occurring in Section 479-A, Cri.P.C.
17. It was stated in the latter case at page 5 thus :
'In our opinion, the term 'judgment' itself indicates a judicial decision given on the merits of the dispute brought before the court. In a criminal case it cannot cover a preliminary or interlocutory order.'
It seems to me that it is difficult to say that the committal order is a preliminary order or an interlocutory order. The Committal Court under the Criminal Procedure Code discharges the accused or commits the accused for trial by the Court of Session. Section 193, Cri.P.C. is clear. It expressly provides :
'(1) Except as otherwise expressly provided by this Code or by any other law for the time being in force, no Court of Session shall take cognizance of any offence as a Court of original jurisdiction unless the accused has been committed to it by a Magistrate duly empowered in that behalf.'
The Committal proceedings are final in so far as they result either in discharge or in committal. Such an order would certainly be a 'final order disposing of such proceedings' within the meaning of Section 479-A, Cri.P.C. The term 'such' must be given the grammatical meaning when reading the provision. It refers to the stage of the judicial proceeding, which the criminal court is seized of. Where the criminal court delivered its final order disposing of such proceedings, any action contemplated under Section 479-A may be rightly taken.
18. I perceive nothing detracting from this interpretation in the cases cited to me.
19. I would, therefore, find that there is no ground for interference with the making of the complaint by the Judicial First Class Magistrate, under Section 479-A, Cri. P.C.
20. The revision, therefore, fails and is dismissed.