Gangadhara Rao, J.
1. This revision petition is filed questioning the correctness of the order of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Hyderabad in Criminal Revision Case No. 56/1976.
2. On the intervening night of 9th and 10th January, 1974, two Lorries carrying bags of rice into Karnataka State from the State of Andhra Pradesh were intercepted by the Vigilance Cell Officers at Chincholi Road within the belt area. Cases were registered for contravention of Clause 3 of the Southern States (Regulation Export of Rice) Order 1964. The Officer seized the rice and submitted a report to the District Revenue Officer, Hyderabad Under Section 6-A of the Essential Commodities Act. The District Revenue Officer, Hyderabad issued a show cause notice to the driver of the Lorry, Nadimmiyan, the 1st Petitioner herein and others. The 1st petitioner filed affidavits of petitioners 2 to 6 herein before the District Revenue Officer. In those affidavits, petitioners 2 to 6 stated that the rice belonged to them and they were transporting the rice within the Karnataka State, It is the case of the prosecution that the affidavits of petitioners 2 to 6 are false. Therefore, the Vigilance Inspector filed Criminal Case No. 501/1975 against, the petitioners 1 to 8 herein alleging that they had committed offences Under Section 207 and Section 465 read with Section 471 I. P. G. The learned Magistrate took cognizance of the case against the petitioners only Under Section 207, I. P. C. Thereupon, the petitioners filed a petition before the learned Magistrate contending that since the complaint was not filed by the District Revenue Officer, he was not entitled to take cognizance of the offence in view of the provisions of Section 195 Cr. P. C. The learned Magistrate held that the District Revenue Officer is a Court and, therefore, the complaint by the Vigilance Inspector could not be entertained.
3. Aggrieved by that order, the State preferred a revision before the Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Hyderabad. The learned Judge held that the District Revenue Officer was not a Court and, therefore, the learned Magistrate could take cognizance of the complaint filed by the Vigilance Inspector.
4. Questioning that order, the accused have filed this revision.
5. In this revision, the learned Counsel for the petitioner has submitted that since the appeal lies to a criminal Court and a revision to this Court, the District Revenue Officer is a Criminal Court. Even otherwise, the District Revenue Officer is an Additional District Magistrate and, therefore, is a criminal Court. He also submitted that, in any event, Under Section 195, Cr. P. C. the complaint should be filed only by a Court but not by a complainant. Under Section 195, Cr. P. C. no Court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable Under Section 207, I. P. C. when such offence is alleged to have been committed in or in relation to, any proceeding in any Court, except on the complaint in writing of that Court or of some other Court to which that Court is subordinate. In Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of that Section, it is stated that the term 'Court' means a Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court and includes a tribunal constituted by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act, if declared by that Act to be a Court for the purposes of that Section.
6. Therefore, the question is whether the Revenue Divisional Officer who takes proceedings Under Section 6-A of the Essential Commodities Act is a Court within the meaning of Section 195(1)(b) Cr. P. C. If he is a Court, then the complaint should be made only by him, but not by a complainant. Under Section 6-A of the Essential Commodities Act, it is the Collector that is given the power to confiscate the Essential Commodities, if there has been a contravention of an order made Under Section 3 of that Act. It is not disputed that the power of the Collector under that Section is delegated to the District Revenue Officer. It is not also disputed that the District Revenue Officer is not a Civil Court or a Revenue Court. He is not also a tribunal declared by the Essential Commodities Act to be a Court for the purpose of Section 195.
7. Under Section 6-C, an appeal lies to the judicial authority appointed by the State Government against an order of confiscation made by the District Revenue Officer Under Section 6-A of the Act. Under Section 6-C of the Act, the State Government has appointed the District and Sessions Judge as the judicial authority. Therefore, he acts as a Court, but not as a persona designata. Since he is an inferior Criminal Court in relation to the High Court Under Section 397 Cr. P. C. a revision is maintainable to the High Court against his order Under Section 397 and Section 401 Cr. P. C. -- Vide Full Bench decision of this Court in Public Prosecutor v. L. Ramayya 1974 2 APLJ 305: 1975 Cri LJ 144 (FB), But it does not mean that the District Revenue Officer is a Criminal Court. In fact before the Full Bench, it was submitted that the District Collector acting under Section 6-A of the Act acts as a persona designata and that submission was not negatived by the learned Judges.
8. No material is placed before me to show that the District Revenue Officer is also an Additional District Magistrate. Even otherwise, when he takes proceedings Under Section 6-A of the Essential Commodities Act, he is not functioning as a District Magistrate. Therefore, I hold that the District Revenue Officer is not a criminal Court within the meaning of Section 195, Cr. P. C.
9. I do not agree with the learned Counsel for the petitioner that when an offence punishable Under Section 207, I. P. C. is committed, the complaint should be filed only by a Court but not by a complainant. That is not the intendrnent of Section 195 Cr. P. C. Under that Section, when an offence Under Section 207 I. P. C. is committed in or in relation to any proceeding in any Court, then that Court alone should file the complaint. If such an offence is not committed in or in relation to any proceeding in any Court, then the question of that Court filing the complaint does not arise and even a private person can file a complaint.
10. The learned Counsel for the petitioner relied upon Ramaswarmi lyengar V. Panduranga Mudaliar AIR 1938 Mad 173 : 39 Cri LJ 1 and submitted that a private complaint is not maintainable. That was a case where the defendant moved the Court-to prosecute the Clerk of the plaintiff's vakil alleging that his signature on the reverse of the Court Notice was forged by the Clerk of the plaintiff's Advocate and the forged document was used to stifle his objections to attachment before Judgment. The defendant also filed a private complaint against that clerk and also applied Under Section 95, C. P. C. for compensation against the plaintiff. The Court declined to prosecute the plaintiffs vakil's Clerk and also dismissed the application for compensation Under Section 95 C. P. C. But the defendant's private complaint against the plaintiffs vakil's clerk was taken cognizance of by the Fourth Presidency Magistrate. The High Court held that the principle underlying Section 195, Cr. P. C. is that where an act amounts to an offence of contempt of the lawful authority of Public Servants (Sections 172-188, I. P. C.), or to art offence against public justice such as giving false evidence (Section 193, etc. I. P. C.), or to an offence relating to documents actually used in a Court (Section 471, Etc.), private prosecutions are barred absolutely and only the Court in relation to which the offence was committed may initiate proceedings. But that decision is distinguishable on facts. That was a case where an offence was committed in relation to a proceeding in a Civil Court. So. there was no difficulty in holding that the prosecution should be launched only by the Court. Since in this case I have held that the District Revenue Officer is not a Court, that decision has no application.
11. In the result, I see no ground to interfere with the order of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Hyderabad and I dismiss this revision.