Basi Reddy, J.
1. I fail to see any illegality or impropriety in the order made by the learned District Judge affirming the order passed by the Principal District Munsif, directing the laying of a complaint against the first petitioner for offences under Sections 193, 196, 465 and 471 I. P. C. and (or offences under Sections 465, 193 and 196 read with Section 109 I. P. C. against the 2nd and 3rd petitioners.
2. The two points taken in this revision petition are : (1) that the District Munsif has acted without jurisdiction in laying a complaint in the exercise of his powers under Section 476, Criminal Procedure Code because the appropriate provision of law applicable to this case is Sub-section 5 of Section 479A, and in such a case, action under Section 476 is prohibited by Sub-section 6 of Section 479-A, Cr. P.C. and (2) that in the circumstances of the case and particularly having regard to the long iapse of time, the courts below have erred in holding that it is expedient in the interests of justice to launch a prosecution against the petitioners.
3. As regards the first point, I am clearly of opinion that Sub-section 5 of Section 479-A has no application to the facts of this case and consequently the prohibition contained in Sub-section 6 of that section is not attracted. The judgment in O. S. 455 of 1947 was delivered by the District Munsiff on 21-12-1948. It was in that suit that the 'hand-letter' Ex. A. 5, the alleged forged document, was filed to support the case of the plaintiff therein (the 1st petitioner in this Crl. R. C.).
The appeal from that judgment was disposed of by the Principal Subordinate Judge, Guntur, in A. S. No. 318 of 1949 by his judgment dated 6-7-1950. The second appeal from that judgment (Second Appeal No. 505 of 1950) was disposed of by the Andhra High Court on 2-3-1956.
4. Section 479-A is a new section which was inserted by the Amendment Act XXVI of 1955, which came into force on 1-1-1956. It is obvious, therefore that neither the District Munsiff who disposed of the suit nor the Subordinate Judge who disposed of the first appeal, could have taken action under Section 479-A (1). It is true that the High Court disposed of the Second Appeal on 2-3-1956 by which date Sec, 479-A had come into force; but the High Court could not have acted under Sub-section 5 of that section inasmuch as by the provisions of that sub-section the appellate court is empowered to make a complaint only in a case where the subordinate court could have made a complaint under Sub-section 1 of that section and has not done so.
The appellate court merely exercises the power conferred on the subordinate court where such cower has not been exercised by the latter. It follows that what the subordinate court could not have done, could not be done by the appellate court either, under Sub-section 5. The sub-section runs thus :
'In any case, where an appeal has been prefer-red from any decision of a Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court but no complaint has been made under Sub-section (1), the power conferred on such Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court under the said subsection may be exercised by the appellate court; and where the appellate court makes such complaint the provisions of Sub-section (1) shall apply accordingly, but no such order shall be made, without giving the person affected thereby an opportunity of being heard.'
Now, Sub-section 6 provides :
'No proceedings shall be taken under Sections 476 - 479 inclusive for the prosecution of a person for giving or fabricating false evidence, if in respect of such a person proceedings may be taken under this section.''
It necessarily follows that if proceedings cannot be taken under Section 479-A, there is no bar for the taking of proceedings under Section 476, and that is what has been done in this case. Therefore the first point taken by the learned Advocate for the petitioners must fail.
5. The petitioners' second contention is equally untenable. It is said that since there has been a delay of nearly ten years and none of the three courts which had to deal with this matter had thought it fit to direct the prosecution of the petitioners, the present prosecution does not subserve the ends of justice. The statute does not prescribe a period of limitation in this regard and therefore the question whether or not a prosecution is expedient in the interests of justice, must necessarily depend on the facts and circumstances of each case; and in considering that question, the time factor is no doubt a relevant consideration but it is by no means a conclusive one.
In this case both the courts below have applied their mind to this aspect of the matter and have found that, having regard to the gravity of the offence, the interests of justice do require that a prosecution should be launched. It cannot be said that the discretion vested in the lower courts has been exercised arbitrarily or capriciously. Such being the case, the revisional court will not interfere with the concurrent finding of the courts below as to the expediency of laying a complaint.
6. This revision case is accordingly dismissed.