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Mc Leod and Co. Ltd. and ors. Vs. Gummalla Narasimha Rao and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1973CriLJ1486
AppellantMc Leod and Co. Ltd. and ors.
RespondentGummalla Narasimha Rao and anr.
Excerpt:
.....the office and was making unsuccessful attempts to see the 3rd accused, that thereupon the complainant sent a letter dated 22-9-67 asking for early determination of his position with the company so as to enable him to return to the bar, as in the absence of termination of services, he was under a disability to assume practice at the bar, but no reply was received till 15-1-1968 and even the letter dated 15-1-1968 was silent about the termination of services and his claim for salary that the complainant again reiterated his demand and as no reply was further received for this letter also, he issued a notice through his solicitors on 22-4-1968 that thereupon, the company sent a letter dated 15-5-68 through its solicitors stating that on 27-3-1967 the complainant had handed over a..........468, indian penal code and using the forged documents as genuine under section 471, indian penal code. the complainant's case even in the complaint is that the forged and fabricated document in this case is the letter dated 3-4-67 by which the 1st accused company is alleged to have accepted his resignation and terminated his services. according to the complainant this was got fabricated at the head office of the company at calcutta, as a-2 who is said to have signed this letter, was not in india but was elsewhere in europe on the date the letter is purported to have been written. therefore the letter itself, according to the complainant, was forged and fabricated at the company's head office. relying on the term in section 179, criminal procedure code, i.e., 'within the local limits of.....
Judgment:

A.D.V. Reddy, J.

1. This petition is by the accused in C.C. No. 6/71 on the file of the Special Magistrate, Visakhapatnam against the dismissal of their petition filed under Sections 179 and 253(2), Criminal Procedure Code.

2. The complainant Sri Gummala Narasimharao was a practising lawyer till August, 1965 and he was appointed by the 1st accused company as an Assistant in their Jute Mills at Chittivalasa with effect from 1-9-1965. He was made permanent and thereafter transferred to the Head Office at Calcutta by a letter dated 30-12-66 and he had been working there as a Senior Assistant in the Law Department. In the complaint it is alleged that while working there, the relationships between him and Mr. R. S. Jain who was the Law and Personnel Officer of the Company became strained and the latter had insulted him on 25-3-1967 and asked him not to attend the office on the following day that in spite of this, as no notice of termination of services was issued and Sri R. S, Jain had no authority or competence to terminate his services, the complainant was attending the office and was making unsuccessful attempts to see the 3rd accused, that thereupon the complainant sent a letter dated 22-9-67 asking for early determination of his position with the company so as to enable him to return to the Bar, as in the absence of termination of services, he was under a disability to assume practice at the Bar, but no reply was received till 15-1-1968 and even the letter dated 15-1-1968 was silent about the termination of services and his claim for salary that the complainant again reiterated his demand and as no reply was further received for this letter also, he issued a notice through his solicitors on 22-4-1968 that thereupon, the Company sent a letter dated 15-5-68 through its solicitors stating that on 27-3-1967 the complainant had handed over a letter of resignation to A3 and the company had accepted the resignation and communicated it to the complainant by a letter dated 3-4-67 that the request of the complainant, the company sent to him a copy of the letter dated 3-4-67 alleged to have been sent to him accepting his resignation and this was received by him at Visakhapatnam.

3. It is the complainant's case now that the alleged letter dated 3-4-67 was dishonestly and fraudulently got up some time after the receipt of his registered notice dated 22-4-68, that the complainant had never tendered his resignation either orally or in writing and no letter accepting the resignation existed, that the letter purported to be dated 3-4-67 and signed in the name and on behalf of the 2nd accused in the capacity of the Director of the Company is a false document, as the 2nd accused was on leave of absence from 21-12-1966 to 20-4-67 and he was somewhere in Europe during the period, that the document was ante-dated with a fraudulent intention, and brought into existence in the middle of May, 1968 for the purpose of using it in a judicial proceeding, i.e. to defeat the complainant's threatened suit for a huge amount against the company, that the accused had also falsely represented that the 2nd accused was in office as director on that day and by such misrepresentation, induced the complainant to forbear from riling the intended suit in a Civil Court and thereby caused damage and anguish to the complainant, that he was cheated by false personation, that the accused had also conspired to bring into existence the impugned letter and therefore the accused had committed the offences under Sections 120-B, 193, 469, 465 read with 471, 468 etc., Indian Penal Code read with Section 34 Indian Penal Code. It is further alleged that as by the letter of the Solicitors of the ac- cused company dated 15-5-1968, the complainant for the first time became aware of the false document that was brought into existence and as this letter was received at Visakhapatnam and later the copy of the impugned letter of the termination of his services dated 3-4-1967 was sent along with the letter dated 14-9-68 and was received by him at Visakhapatnam, the consequences of the offences alleged ensued at Visakhapatnam, the Court at Visakhapatnam has jurisdiction to try the case.

4. After taking the sworn statement of the complainant, the case was taken on file only for offences under Sections 465, 468 and 471 against A2 and under Sections 465, 468 and 471 read with 109, Indian Penal Code against A-l and A-3 and summons were issued to the accused.

5. The accused then filed a petition under Sees. 179 and 253 (2), Criminal Procedure Code alleging that none of the offences can be enquired into or tried by that court as none of the alleged offences have been committed by any of the accused within the: jurisdiction of the Court.

6. The Magistrate on enquiry found' that the Court had jurisdiction to try the offences and dismissed the petition. On a revision being filed, Cr. R. P. 9/71, the Sessions Judge agreed with the Magistrate and dismissed the revision petition. Hence this, petition before this Court.

7. The case had been taken on file, as; already stated, under Sections 465, 468, and 471, Indian Penal Code against A-2, and under Sections 465, 468 and 471 read withi 109, Indian Penal Code against A-l and A-3.

8. It is now contended that (1) to' try the above said offences, the Magistrate Court at Visakhapatnam has no jurisdiction,, as alleged offences were not committed within its jurisdiction; (2) that A-l is a limited; company and' as such it cannot be prosecuted and cognizance should not have been taken as against A-l and A-3 as no allegation against A-3 was made at all in the complaint, no cognizance of any offence should have been taken as against him also.

9. The first of these contentions relates to the jurisdiction of the Court of the 1 Class Magistrate at Visakhapatnam to try the offences. Section 177, Criminal Procedure Code stipulates that every offence is to be ordinarily inquired into and tried by a court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction it was committed. Section 179, Criminal Procedure Code is however larger in scope and reads as follows:

When a person is accused of the commission of any offence by reason of anything which has been done, and of any consequence which has ensued, such offence may be inquired into or tried by a court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction any such thing has been done, or any such consequence has ensued.

10. The offences that the accused are said to have committed of which cognizance has been taken, are forgery under Section 465, Indian Penal Code forgery for the purpose of cheating under Section 468, Indian Penal Code and using the forged documents as genuine under Section 471, Indian Penal Code. The complainant's case even in the complaint is that the forged and fabricated document in this case is the letter dated 3-4-67 by which the 1st accused company is alleged to have accepted his resignation and terminated his services. According to the complainant this was got fabricated at the Head Office of the Company at Calcutta, as A-2 who is said to have signed this letter, was not in India but was elsewhere in Europe on the date the letter is purported to have been written. Therefore the letter itself, according to the complainant, was forged and fabricated at the company's Head Office. Relying on the term in Section 179, Criminal Procedure Code, i.e., 'within the local limits of whose jurisdiction any such thing has been done, or any such consequence has ensued', it is contended that the consequences had ensued at Visakhapatnam, where the complainant was residing, as a copy of this letter was communicated to him and was received by him at Visakhapatnam when he asked for such a copy. In the complaint it is stated 'the copy of the impugned letter dated April 3rd, 1967, enclosed with the letter dated September 14, 1968, was received at Visakhapatnam. Therefore, the consequences of the offences alleged ensued at Visakhapatnam. The alleged offences were committed partly in Calcutta and partly in Visakhapatnam within the jurisdiction of this Hon'ble Court.' In the term '...commission of any offence by reason of anything which has been done, and of any consequence which has ensued,' the consequences referred to should be a necessary part of the offence and one of the ingredients which goes to make up the offence, without which an offence would not have been complete and this is made clear by the illustrations given under Section 179, Criminal Procedure Code itself.

11. In In re Mohidin Pakkiri Mara-kayar AIR 1923 Mad 50 (2) : (23 Cri LJ 619) it was pointed out relying on an earlier decision in In re Rambilas, (1914) 38 Mad 639 : (15 Cri LJ 688), that the consequence contemplated in Section 179, Criminal Procedure Code must be an essential part of the offence charged. In Kashi Ram Mehta v. Emperor AIR 1934 All 499 (FB) again it was pointed out that Section 179, Criminal Procedure Code contemplates cases where the act done and the consequence ensuing therefrom together constitute the offence, that if the offence is complete in itself by reason of the act haying been done and the consequence alleged is a mere result of it which was not essential for the completion of the offence, then Section 179 would not be applicable, that where an offence under Section 403, Indian Penal Code is complete at D but actual loss falls or is likely to fall on a person residing at C, the Court at C. has no jurisdisction to entertain the complaint.

12. In Kali Charan v. State : AIR1955All462 also it was pointed out that offences under Sections 420, 468, 471 and 474, Indian Penal Code would be complete the moment they are committed at any place and such consequences at other places which would be the result of such conduct cannot be an ingredient of these offences and hence Section 179, cannot apply.

13. The cases relied on for the complainant are also all cases, where the consequences, which had ensued in a different place, were also such consequences as constitute an ingredient of the offence, without which the offence would not have been complete. Therefore, though one part of a set of transactions that contribute to make the offence is committed at one place and another part of it which would complete the offence is done at another place, the venue for prosecution available will be both the places. An extraneous consequence that follows therefrom which is not an ingredient of an offence, cannot determine the venue. For instance if an accused makes a false representation at Bombay and induced a person to part with a large sum of money at Madras on account of the false representation, both the false representation as well as the parting of the money are the necessary ingredients for the offence of cheating. Therefore the Courts at both the places will have jurisdiction to try the offence. If, on the other hand, the person cheated had become an insolvent on that account and had to file an insolvency petition at Bangalore, though this is a consequence of the cheating, this is not a necessary ingredient of the offence. Therefore the Court at Bangalore will have no jurisdiction.

14. In In re Sivaprakasam Pillai, (1948) 1 Mad LJ 21 : (49 Cri LJ 335), where the accused posted a letter at Kumbakonam addressed to the Inspector-General-of-Police at Madras, making a false allegation against the Village Munsif, and was later prosecuted under Section 211, Indian Penal Code at Kumbakonam, it was held that the offence can be said to be completed only when the letter reached the destination, i.e., the Inspector-General-of-Police at Madras, and therefore the court at Madras had jurisdiction. In In re Abdur Shukur Sahib, 1943-1 Mad LJ 409 : (44 Cri LJ 660) which is also a case of posting a letter at Polur to the District Superintendent of Police, North Arcot, at Vellore, which was received at Vellore, it was held that the Court at Vellore had jurisdiction. These cases show that the receiving of the letter containing the false allegation is the main ingredient of the offence, as otherwise the offences cannot be said to have been committed. Therefore the courts in the places where the letters had been received with the false allegation are held to be the courts which have jurisdiction to try the cases.

15. In re Antony D'Silva, 1948-2 Mad LJ 132 : (50 Cri LJ 70) is a case of cheating under Section 420, Indian Penal Code, where fabricated lottery tickets were printed in South Kanara and sent to Tfavan-core and sold there, it was held that the court at Travancore had jurisdiction as the false representation, as well as the parting of the money which are the ingredients of the offence were committed at Travancore. In L. Papayyaswamy, In re 1949-2 Mad LJ 152=(51 Cri LJ 34) where the accused posted at Vizagapatam his application for admission to a competitive examination to the Madras Public Service Commission with some forged documents intending to use them as genuine, it was held that the real user of the documents comes in only when the Madras Public Service Commission looks into the application and considers it, as it is always open to the accused to withdraw the application before it was considered by the Commission, that therefore the Court at Madras will have jurisdiction. It is therefore seen that the consequences contemplated under Section 179, Criminal Procedure Code are those consequences that form an integral part of the offence, without which the offence itself would not be complete. It is not any and every consequence, not being an essential ingredient of the offences as such, that would give jurisdiction to a Court.

16. In this case, the offence of forgery and fabricating of the document was admittedly committed in the Head Office of the Company at Calcutta. This is a document saying that the resignation of the complainant had been accepted and his services had been terminated. So the user of the document for termination of the services was also at Calcutta. The offence was complete on these allegations. No further act was necessary for these offences to have become so complete. Therefore the fact that some months later when the complainant asked for a copy of that letter it was sent to him by post, enclosed with another letter and he received it at Visakhapatnam, would not make any difference, as far as the alleged offence is concerned. This is not a consequence which is an ingredient part of the offence that had ensued at Visakhapatnam. It is contended that even the letter to the complainant was addressed to his Calcutta address and as he was not there it was re-directed and he received it at Visakhapatnam. If the complainant's contention is correct, the consequence would ensue wherever he happened to be at that time when the letter was received, i.e., if he had gone to Cape Como-lin or had left India and was in a foreign country, the consequences would have ensued at the place when he received that letter and the Court at that place would have jurisdiction. This is untenable. The scope of the term 'any consequence which has ensued', is limited to the consequences constituting an ingredient of the alleged offence. As the consequences alleged in this case do not form an ingredient of any of the offences under Sections 465, 468 and 471, Indian Penal Code, taken cognizance of by the Court and as these offences, even. according to the complainant had been committed at Calcutta long before the letter was sent to him, the Court at Visakhapatnam has no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint.

17. The two other grounds raised in this petition i.e., that A-1 a Limited Company cannot be prosecuted and as against A-3 there are no allegations made at all in the complaint to make out any offence against him, had not been raised before the Trial Court, and in view of the finding above, they need not be considered at this stage.

18. In the result, this revision petition is allowed and the orders of the Courts below are set aside. The complaint will be returned to the complainant to be presented to the proper Court.


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