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Poosala Venkateswarlu Vs. Batchu Narasamma - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1957CriLJ1229
AppellantPoosala Venkateswarlu
RespondentBatchu Narasamma
Excerpt:
- .....accused and discharged him accordingly.the complainant filed a revision to the sessions court. the sessions judge, after going through the evidence, came to the conclusion that, the case being one triable exclusively by the court of session and as there was evidence which might be accepted by another court and if accepted would establish the case of the complainant, the taluk magistrate wag wrong in discharging the accused. on that finding, he set aside the order of discharge and directed the district magistrate to enquire into the case himself or send it to a competent magistrate to make further enquiry and commit the accused to the court of session.4. the first question is whether the sessions judge was wrong in setting aside the order of discharge made by the taluk magistrate under.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Subba Rao, C.J.

1. This is a revision against the judgment of the Sessions Judge, Guntur, setting aside the order of the Taluk Magistrate refusing to commit the first accused to the Court of Session and discharging him under Section 209(1), Criminal Procedure Code.

2. The prosecution case may be briefly stated thus : The 1st accused borrowed a sum of Rs, 80, from the respondent on a promissory note executed prior to 2nd August, 1954. That promissory note was attested by Bellamkonda Peda Lakshmiah (P. W. 5) and Sheik Mahaboob (D. W. 4). The scribe was one Madala Venkata Satya-narayana (P. W. 4). When the respondent showed it to P. W. 2, he told her that it would get barred in ten days, whereupon she demanded the accused for the money. At his request, she went to his house.

The second accused took the promissory note from her hands and, asking the first accused to repay the money, gave it to the first accused, who tore away the promissory note into pieces and threw the pieces into the oven. On those allegations, she filed a complaint against the first accused and the second accused for an alleged offence under Sections 477 and 109, Penal Code. After recording the sworn statement of the complainant, the complaint against the second accused was dismissed under Section 203, Criminal Procedure Code.

3. The case is triable exclusively by the Sessions Court. The complainant examined five witnesses. P. W. 1 is the complainant and she gave her version of the borrowing, the execution of the promissory note and the destruction of it. P. W. 2 spoke to the fact that he told her that the promissory note was about to become barred. P. W. 4 is the scribe and P. W. 5 is the attestor of the promissory note. P. W. 3 spoke to the fact that the first accused tore away the promissory note. The first accused examined four wit- nesses stating the circumstances which prompted the complainant to file a false case and also filed documents to establish that he was not in the village at the time the promissory note was alleged to have been executed. The Taluk Magistrate held, on the evidence, that no prima facie case was made out against the accused and discharged him accordingly.

The complainant filed a revision to the Sessions Court. The Sessions Judge, after going through the evidence, came to the conclusion that, the case being one triable exclusively by the Court of Session and as there was evidence which might be accepted by another Court and if accepted would establish the case of the complainant, the Taluk Magistrate wag wrong in discharging the accused. On that finding, he set aside the order of discharge and directed the District Magistrate to enquire into the case himself or send it to a competent Magistrate to make further enquiry and commit the accused to the Court of Session.

4. The first question is whether the Sessions Judge was wrong in setting aside the order of discharge made by the Taluk Magistrate under Section 209, Criminal Procedure Code. Section 209. Criminal Procedure Code, reads:

1. Where the evidence referred to in Section 208, Sub-sections (1) and (3) has been taken and he has if necessary examined the accused for the purpose of enabling him to explain any circumstances appearing in the evidence against him such Magistrate shall if he finds that there are not sufficient grounds for committing the accused person for trial, record his reasons and discharge him unless it appears to the Magistrate that such person should be tried before himself or some other Magistrate in which case he shall proceed accordingly.

2. Nothing in this Section shall be deemed to prevent a Magistrate from discharging the accused at any previous stage of the case if for reasons to be recorded by such Magistrate he considers the charge to be groundless.

5. The terms of the section are very wide and comprehensive. Under this section, the Magistrate can discharge an accused if he finds that there are no grounds for committing him for trial. But the case law has placed limitations on the exercise of that power in an attempt to reconcile two facts : (i) the trial is by the Sessions Court and (ii) the Magistrate is empowered to discharge an accused for sufficient grounds. This reconciliation is effected by laying down the following test. If there is credible evidence which, if accepted, may lead to a conviction, the Magistrate ought to commit the accused. If, on the other hand, he is convinced that the evidence is such that no Court would ever convict, he should not commit. See Rama Chandra Babaji Core v. Emperor ILR 59 Bom 125 : AIR 1935 Bom 137 (PB) (A).

While it is important for the committing Courts to take the responsibility of throwing out frivolous cases, it is also necessary that, in cases triable exclusively by a Court of Session, they should commit the accused to Sessions, if there is a prima facie case on which the accused can be put on trial or if there is credible evidence on record. In the present case, the Sessions Judge came to the conclusion that there was credible evidence on record, which another Court might accept and that the Taluk Magistrate was wrong in discharging the accused. After going through the judgment of the Sessions Judge, I cannot say that he was not justified in his conclusion. There are no grounds, therefore, to interfere with the said order.

5-a. Even so, it is contended that the Sessions Judge exceeded his powers in directing the District Magistrate to commit the accused after making an enquiry. The learned Counsel contends that, on a combined interpretation of Sections 436 & 437 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Sessions Judge should either himself commit the accused for trial or direct the Magistrate to make an enquiry. In support of this contention, reliance is placed upon the judgment of Govinda Menon J., in Karuppiah Ambalam v. Andiappa Servai : AIR1950Mad462 . The learned Judge observed, at page 340 (of Mad LJ) : (at pp. 462-463 of AIR):

Reading Sections 436 and 437 together it is seen that only two courses are open to the Sessions Judge namely either to straightway order the committal of the accused or direct the Magistrate to enquire into the matter afresh, the result of adopting the latter course being that all the previous proceedings and the examination and cross-examination of witnesses and the other evidence let in would be wiped off the record. Now what the Sessions Judge has done here is to direct a charge to be framed which the Magistrate can do under Section 210....It is not open to the Sessions Judge to make an order by which part of the preliminary enquiry proceedings are to be confirmed and the other part is to be set aside.

6. Following this decision, I hold that the Sessions Judge was wrong in directing the District Magistrate to commit the accused. I, therefore, modify the order of the Sessions Judge and delete the direction to the District Magistrate to commit the accused. The District Magistrate or any other competent Magistrate to whom the case is transferred will dispose of the case without being oppressed or influenced by any of the observations made by the Sessions Judge or by me.


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