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S. Srinivasulu Vs. P.V. Subbamma and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal;Constitution
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. Case No. 138 of 1957 and Criminal Revn. Petn. No. 104 of 1957
Judge
Reported inAIR1959AP517; 1959CriLJ1137
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 234 and 403; Constitution of India - Article 20
AppellantS. Srinivasulu
RespondentP.V. Subbamma and anr.
Appellant AdvocateK. Raghava Rao and ;I. Panduranga Rao, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateS. Suryaprakasam, Adv.;K. Kolanda Reddy, Adv. for ;Public Prosecutor
DispositionRevision dismissed
Excerpt:
.....second trial against petitioner - protection of section 403 claimed - accused charged of distinct offences - offences could not be clubbed together and thus two trials conducted - acquitted in one - cannot claim protection of section 403 as second trial is for distinct offences. - all india services act, 1951.sections 8 & 11 & a.p. buildings (lease, rent and eviction) control rules, 1961, rule 5: [v.v.s. rao, g. yethirajulu & g. bhavani prasad, jj] refusal by landlord to receive rent - deposit of rent in court - held, a tenant has the option to take recourse to section 8 in case of refusal or evasion by landlord to receive rent and if landlord were to not name a bank or refuse even the money order of rent, the tenant can deposit the rent in accordance with sub-rules (1) to (3) of..........at that time but had not been tried. in this case the accused has been charged with 6 offences with respect to two transactions and under section 234, criminal p. c., he could not have been tried at one trial.that apart, the case of forgery was considered only with respect to one document in the first trial. with respect to the other document, it is the subject-matter of the second trial and it cannot be said that the evidence in the two trials with respect to these two charges under sections 467 and 471, 1. p. c., would be the same. i am therefore of the view that this revision is untenable and is dismissed.
Judgment:
ORDER

Jaganmohan Reddy, J.

1. This is a revision to quash the trial against accused-petitioner applying the principle of Section 403, Criminal P. C.

2. A complaint was filed by one Subbamma on 22-9-1955 alleging that the accused, Sirigiri Sriniva-sulu, who was assisting her and occupying a position of confidence, pledged in a Bank on two different occasions certain jewellery entrusted to him on her behalf; i.e., on 4-1-1954, he pledged two silver plates and two gold pieces and one gold chain on 30-12-1954. The first pledge was redeemed in June, 1954 and the second one in April, 1955.

It was the case of the complainant that the accused forged two documents purporting to bear her signature, used them knowing them to he forged, got the jewels redeemed and committed criminal breach of trust. The Magistrate committed the accused having framed charges under Sections 406, 467 and 465 read with 471 in respect of the first transaction and with respect to the second the accused was charged under Sections 406, 467 and 465 read with 471, I. P. C. After the case was committed for trial, on an application presumably by the Public Prosecutor, the case was split up into two cases and the case relating to the breach of trust, forgery, etc., pertaining to the pledge of 4-1-1954 was tried first.

The accused was convicted but in appeal a Bench of this High Court acquitted the accused' of all the charges. On a charge of breach of trust it acquitted him relying on Ex. P-4 and on the evidence of D. W. 1. With respect to the forged letter, Ex. P-10, it was observed that except for the complainant's statement that it does not bear her signature, there was no other evidence of an expert and having regard to this lacuna it was stated that it was impossible to come to any conclusion either that Ex. P-10 was forgery or that it was dishonestly-used for any purpose.

3. The learned Advocate for the accused contends that the other case, which is now ready for trial, is also dependent upon the same evidence and therefore, the principle of autrefois acquit embodied in Section 403, Criminal P. C., must he applied. For this proposition he cited a judgment of Bhima-sankaram J., in Rainaehandra Chetty v. State, 1955 Andh LT (Cr.) 247: (AIR 1956 Andh 102), where the principle of autrefois acquit was held to be extended to cases to which strictly speaking Section 403, Criminal P. C., does not apply.

In arriving at this conclusion, reliance was placed on Sidh Nath v. Emperor, AIR 1929 Cal; 457 at p. 458; Emperor v. Anant Narayana, AIR' 1945 Bom 413; Chaman Lal v. Emperor, AIR 1943 Lah 304 and Emperor v. Chinna Kalappa, ILR 29 Mad 126. I have examined these cases and except the case of AIR 1943 Lah 304, all the other cases were of a nature where one trial could have taken place although there were distinct offences.

In AIR 1929 Cal 457 at p. 458, the prosecution had not grossed up the sums for each period for the purposes of distinct charges and after the accused was convicted, he was sought to be charged and tried concerning criminal broach of trust with respect to sums misappropriated during the period for which he was already charged and convicted. A Bench of the High Court held that if a person commits breach of trust or misappropriates different sums of money he commits so many offences but that it is not desirable that he should be tried as many times when he could have been tried for all of them at one trial.

In that case, they thought that the provisions of Section 222(2), Criminal P. C., should have been Utilised for purposes of grossing up the amounts for each of the three distinct periods for which he was charged in the first trial and in the circumstances they applied the principle of Section 403, Criminal P. C., while admitting that it did not strictly apply and quashed the proceedings. AIR 1945 Bom 413, was a case where the accused was charged with two offences and acquitted.

He was to be tried for a third offence and in the circumstances the accused's plea of autrefois acquit under Section 403, Criminal P. C., was held, though not technically available, to apply to him and he was acquitted on the third charge. The case of ILR 29 Mad 126, did not of course involve a question whether one trial could have been held for all the offences. That was on a different point, viz., the court was dealing with the question as to whether it was competent for a Magistrate after dismissing a complaint under Section 203, Criminal P. C., to rehear the same complaint while the order of the dismissal continued 'to be in force and had not been set aside by a higher court.

During the Course of the consideration of that point, Subrahmanya Ayyar J., who was in a minority, made certain observations obiter which supported the view that where the plea of autrefois acquit is not technically available, the principle of it is available for the accused when the interests of justice require its extension in his favour. In AIR 1943 Lah 304, the accused had committed certain offences for which he was tried. The subsequent offences were such that he could not have been tried at the previous trial.

A single Judge of the Lahore High Court, even though the charges in the first trial and the charges in the second trial could not have been properly the subject-matter of one trial, called for a report and on being satisfied that the same evidence as was adduced in the first trial was to be adduced in the second trial, quashed the second trial exercising the inherent powers under Section 561A, Criminal P. C. A Full Bench of the Calcutta High Court in Purnanancla Das Gupta v. Emperor, AIR 1939 Cal 65, clearly thought that the principles underlying the English Common Law plea of autrefois convict and autrefois acquit as embodied in Section 403, Criminal P. C., cannot be stretched nor the principles extended so as to give an accused the benefit of the spirit underlying the provisions of that Section as it would be bewildering and might result in great injustice to the community at large.

4. I have my own doubts whether this principle can be extended. Where a statute has embodied a principle, it may not be permissible to extend it to- cases which do not satisfy the conditions specified therein for its applicability. But even if the principle as laid down in several judgments and the judgment of this court is accepted as valid, that principle is not applicable to the facts of this case.

The principle, as I understand it, is this, viz,, that where an accused can be tried at one trial for several offences and has not been so tried for all the offences but only few, he should not be put again in jeopardy for the offences for which he could have been tried at that time but had not been tried. In this case the accused has been charged with 6 offences with respect to two transactions and under Section 234, Criminal P. C., he could not have been tried at one trial.

That apart, the case of forgery was considered only with respect to one document in the first trial. With respect to the other document, it is the subject-matter of the second trial and it cannot be said that the evidence in the two trials with respect to these two charges under Sections 467 and 471, 1. P. C., would be the same. I am therefore of the view that this revision is untenable and is dismissed.


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