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B.G. Keskar Vs. S.N. Reddy and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1958CriLJ857
AppellantB.G. Keskar
RespondentS.N. Reddy and ors.
Excerpt:
- - 1. an organisation of about one thousand men armed, equipped and ranked like the state police and other concerned departments exists in hyderabad. that report showed that there was no organisation of men armed, equipped and ranked like the .state police as alleged by the informant; that they are not armed like the police but wear distinctive uniforms and badges;.....now runs thus:1. an organisation of about one thousand men armed, equipped and ranked like the state police and other concerned departments exists in hyderabad.2. this organisation has no legal sanction.3. this organisation works as a parallel force within the jurisdiction of the state police and other departments.4. the fire-arms possessed by this organisation are not licenced.5. this organisation has three divisions or branches.a) policeunder the command of shxiyut s. n. reddy, barrister and ex-oommissioner of city police.b) golkonda infantry under the command of col. ameeruddin.c) maisram infantry under the command of maj. asraf.6. informant approached the police department first and when he was convinced that it had no desire to take up such a serious matter which concerns the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Basi Reddy, J.

1. This is a petition filed by Shri B. G. Keskar to revise an order passed by the District Magistrate, Hyderabad City, in Cri. C. No. 77/5 of 1956, refusing to take action on certain information laid by the petitioner under Section 190(1)(c) Cr.PC The facts leading up to this revision petition may be briefly stated:-

2. On 11-6-1956 the petitioner lodged what he styled as 'information', making certain allegations about the existence in Hyderabad City of 'an illegal organisation which is a nucleus of a fifth columnist armed force of an anti-Bharat country, which is capable of dangerous subversive activities'', maintained by H. E. H. The Nizam and equipped with unlicensed firearms'. That 'information' was for the most part a tirade against H. E. H. The Nizam on the one hand and a denunciation of the 'Congress Raj' and the Prime Minister on the other. It must be mentioned here that at that time H. E. H. The Nizam was the Rajpramukh of the erstwhile Hyderabad State.

3. On receipt of the aforesaid 'information', the Dt. Magistrate directed the petitioner to delete all irrelevant and objectionable passages and amend the 'information' suitably so as to enable him to take action. The petitioner accordingly filed an amended 'information' on 27-6-1956, the contents of which are as follows:-

Sub: Information Under Section. 190(1)(c) Cr. Pro. Code, of offences under the Arms Act etc.

Ref: this Court's Order dated 18-6-56.

Informant respectfully states:

As per order of this Court referred above the original information dated 11-6-1956 is amended with a view to make it technically formal one and to facilitate cognisance by this Hon'ble Court.

The amended information (which is not a Complaint as presumed by this Court) now runs thus:

1. An organisation of about one thousand men armed, equipped and ranked like the State Police and other concerned departments exists in Hyderabad.

2. This organisation has no legal sanction.

3. This organisation works as a parallel force within the jurisdiction of the State Police and other departments.

4. The fire-arms possessed by this organisation are not licenced.

5. This organisation has three divisions or branches.

a) PoliceUnder the command of Shxiyut S. N. Reddy, Barrister and Ex-Oommissioner of City Police.

b) Golkonda Infantry Under the command of Col. Ameeruddin.

c) Maisram Infantry Under the command of Maj. Asraf.

6. Informant approached the Police Department first and when he was convinced that it had no desire to take up such a serious matter which concerns the safety of the Country, informant had to seek the help of the Judiciary.

7. This is not a formal and technical complaint but information under Section 190(1)(c) CrIPC and hence the names and sections respectively of the accused and the laws are not necessary. Even in a complaint the names of the accused are not essential as the very definition of a complaint in the Criminal Procedure Code contemplates that it can be against 'A person known' or unknown'.

8. Informant has done his duty in the capacity of a layman citizen and in the interest of the country. He is confident that this Hon'ble Court will apply the proper section of the proper Act, in the light of the inquiry it orders upon this information.

Informant knows that the Raj Pramukh is immune from Criminal proceedings till he occupies, that august chair and hence even in his information of 11th June, 1956 he had not requested this Hon'ble Court to take any step against the Rafr Pramukh. Dated 27th June, 1956. Sd. B. G. Keskar,Hyderabad-Deccan. Informant'

Thereupon the learned Dt. Magistrate, acting presumably under Section 156(3), Or. P. C, forwarded the 'information'' to the police for investigation. The Commissioner of the City Police investigated into the matter and submitted his report. That report showed that there was no organisation of men armed, equipped and ranked like the .State Police as alleged by the informant; that it is true there is an organisation consisting of a large number of men who perform watch and ward duties at the palace of the Rajpramukh; that they are not armed like the Police but wear distinctive uniforms and badges; that this organisation has been in existence for a long time as a personal privilege of the Ruler and with the approval of the Government of India and the State Government; that there is no truth in the allegation that this organisation has been exercising the powers of the State Police and functioning as a parallel force] that it is true that the fire-arms possessed by this organisation are not licenced but that is by virtue of a privilege of the Rajpramukh recognised by the Government of India and the State Government.

4. On receipt of that report the learned District Magistrate passed an order the operative portion of which is as follows:

Thus it is seen that the facts contained in the information to the extent of being objectionable are denied by the Police. There is no necessity to take any action in the matter. File be closed and consigned to records.

5. It is this order that is challenged in revision. Learned Advocate for the petitioner, in a somewhat meandering argument, complains that neither the Police nor the Dt. Magistrate have discharged the duties enjoined on them by law; that there was no investigation worth the name by the Police and that the Dt. Magistrate has erred in accepting the report of the Commissioner of Police at its face value.

6. In my opinion there is no substance in the contention raised by the learned Advocate for the petitioner. In the circumstances of the case the Dt, Magistrate had no alternative but to drop the proceedings. The allegations in the 'information' read in the light of the report submitted by the Commissioner of Police, made it abundantly clear that the 'information' lodged by the petitioner was in truth and substance an information against the Rajpramukh, in whatever manner that information was sought to be camouflaged. That being the true import of the 'information', Article 361(2) of the Constitution was at once attracted and was a bar to further action being taken by the Magistrate inasmuch as the said provision afforded absolute protection to the Ra jprarmjkh against all criminal proceedings. Clause 2 of Article 361(2) lays Qown:

No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the President, or the Governor or Rajpramukh of a State, in any Court during his term off office.

There is no gainsaying the fact that in this case criminal proceedings were sought to be instituted against the Rajpramukh, and the constitutional immunity was sought to be circumvented.

7. It is, however, contended on behalf of the petitioner that the Rajpramukh was not the target of the ''information', but that his underlings who are admittedly in possession of unlicensed fire-arms, are liable under Section 19(f) of the Indian Arms Act. Even on that assumption it is evident that the Dt. Magistrate could not have taken cognizance of the offence because Section 29 of the Arms Act stood in the way. Section 29 enjoins that no proceedings shall be instituted against any person in respect of an offence punishable under Section 19, Clause (f), without the previous sanction of the Magistrate of the District, or, in a presidency town, of the Commissioner of Police.

8. In any view of the matter, the order of the learned District Magistrate is correct and unassailable. The revision petition is accordingly dismissed.


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