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State of Hyderabad Vs. Somalingadu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1956CriLJ216
AppellantState of Hyderabad
RespondentSomalingadu
Excerpt:
- .....took up the plea that the commitment was not in order inasmuch as the case was triable by the district magistrate, adilabad, who was invested with the powers under section 30, cr. p.c. this contention appears to have commended itself to the learned sessions judge who has made this reference,section 215, cr. p.c. merely contemplates the quashing of a committal order only on a point of law. in our view there is no legal flaw in the order of the magistrate committing the case to the sessions court having jurisdiction to try the offence. we may observe that several benches of this high court, namely this bench in - 'state v. hanmappa', cri ref. no. 64/6 of 1951-52 (hyd) (a), bench of manohar pershad and siadat ali khan, jj., in-'khanda v. state'. cri ref. no. 427/6 of 1952-53 (b); and.....
Judgment:

Jaganmohan Reddy, J.

1. This is a reference by the learned Sessions Judge of Adilabad, moving this Court to quash a commitment order made by the Magistrate in a case where the accused was charged under Section 304 I.P.C. It appears that on the day when the case was ready for trial and all the witnesses were present, the learned Advocate for the Government took up the plea that the commitment was not in order inasmuch as the case was triable by the District Magistrate, Adilabad, who was invested with the powers under Section 30, Cr. P.C. This contention appears to have commended itself to the learned Sessions Judge who has made this reference,

Section 215, Cr. P.C. merely contemplates the quashing of a committal order only on a point of law. In our view there is no legal flaw in the order of the Magistrate committing the case to the Sessions Court having jurisdiction to try the offence. We may observe that several Benches of this High Court, namely this Bench in - 'State v. Hanmappa', Cri Ref. No. 64/6 of 1951-52 (Hyd) (A), Bench of Manohar Pershad and Siadat Ali Khan, JJ., in-'Khanda v. State'. Cri Ref. No. 427/6 of 1952-53 (B); and in - 'Kalidas v. State', Cri. Ref. No. 634/6 of 1952-53 (C), and of Sripat Rao, C.J. and Siadat Ali Khan, J. in - 'Venkat Rao v. State'. Cri Ref. No. 645/6 of 1952-53 (D), had after the promulgation of the Indian Criminal Procedure Code rejected the references to quash committal proceedings on the ground that District Magistrates had been invested with powers under Section 30, Cr. P.C.

In the aforecited cases, we had expressed the view that the prosecuting agency has a right to choose the forum either of filing a challan before a District Magistrate invested with powers under Section 30, Cr. P.C. or have the case committed to the Court of Session by filing the challan before a First Class Magistrate. In our view the 8th column of Sch. II to the Criminal Procedure Code makes an offence under Section 304, I. P. C triable by a Court of Session and by reason of the District Magistrate being invested with Section 30 powers the offence not being punishable with death, can also be tried by him.

The investment of powers under Section 30, Cr. P.C. on the District Magistrate by the State Government does not in our view oust the jurisdiction of the Sessions Court to try offences committed to it nor are the powers of the Sessions Court and that of the District Magistrate under Section 30, Cr, P.C. mutually exclusive. Where a District Magistrate tries an offence which is triable also by a Court of Session he can only award a sentence up-to seven years while the Court of Session can award any sentence upto the maximum.

It is for this reason the prosecuting agency is give the option to choose the forum of the trial having regard to the seriousness of the offence. Even when the forum of the District Magistrate is chosen by the prosecution, the District Magistrate may, if he considers that the case is one in which a sentence exceeding seven years should be imposed, commit the case to the Court of Session.

2. The learned Government Advocate has cited before us a judgment of the Supreme Court in - 'Budhan Chowdhry v. State of Bihar' (S) : 1955CriLJ374 , in support of his contention that when once the District Magistrate is vested with Section 30 powers, the Sessions Court has no jurisdiction to try any offences other than those punishable with death. This submission is in our view untenable.

Their Lordships of the Supreme Court in the aforecited judgment were not dealing with the question whether the Sessions Court, had jurisdiction to try offences which could be tried by District Magistrate, who was invested with powers under Section 30, Cr. P.C., but were merely considering the constitutionality of Section 30 in view of Article 14 of the Constitution.

There is nothing, in our view, to warrant the conclusion that their Lordships have laid down that when once District Magistrates were invested with powers under Section 30, Cr. P.C. the Sessions Court cannot exercise jurisdiction to try offences which were exclusively triable by it under the 8th column to Sch. II. There being nothing illegal in the commitment we are unable to accede to the request of the learned District and Sessions Judge to quash the order. Let the reference be rejected.


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