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J.P. Sanghi Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1963CriLJ108
AppellantJ.P. Sanghi
RespondentState of Andhra Pradesh
Excerpt:
.....challan in the office of controller, tenant shall be deemed to have committed wilful default. - 3 of 1960 on the ground that the offences complained of may be tried by the court of session. when the prosecution is satisfied with one charge-sheet for all the offences alleged to have been committed by the accused, there is no necessity for the court to have several cases before it for the said offences......j.p. sanghi. the police filed two charge-sheets against him and two others in the court of the 3rd city magistrate, hyderabad. of them c.c. no. 1033/4/60 related to offences in connection with forgery of some cheques and misappropriation of the amounts concerned under sections 409, 467 and 471 read with section 109 i.p.c. the other charge-sheet in c.c. no. 1026/4/60 was under sections 477 and 420 i.p.c. the learned 3rd city magistrate, after registering the above two charge-sheets, clubbed them together for joint trial. the two (clubbed) s.cs. were subsequently transferred to the 2nd city magistrate, who took them on file as p.r.c. no. 3 of 1960 on the ground that the offences complained of may be tried by the court of session. before the enquiry in p.r.c. no. 3 of 1960 was started, the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Anantanarayana Ayyar, J.

1. The petitioner is J.P. Sanghi. The police filed two charge-sheets against him and two others in the Court of the 3rd City Magistrate, Hyderabad. Of them C.C. No. 1033/4/60 related to offences in connection with forgery of some cheques and misappropriation of the amounts concerned under Sections 409, 467 and 471 read with Section 109 I.P.C. The other charge-sheet in C.C. No. 1026/4/60 was under Sections 477 and 420 I.P.C. The learned 3rd City Magistrate, after registering the above two charge-sheets, clubbed them together for joint trial. The two (clubbed) S.Cs. were subsequently transferred to the 2nd City Magistrate, who took them on file as P.R.C. No. 3 of 1960 on the ground that the offences complained of may be tried by the Court of Session. Before the enquiry in P.R.C. No. 3 of 1960 was started, the Police Prosecuting Officer (hereafter referred to for convenience as P.P.O.) raised a contention before the learned 2nd City Magistrate that it was not permissible to file a single charge-sheet for all the cases of misappropriation, and that the Court had to issue a direction that seven separate charge-sheets should be filed in respect of the seven cheques so that all the offences alleged to have been committed regarding each particular cheque may be tried as one case, without including the offences regarding any other cheque. The learned 2nd City Magistrate accepted the contention of the P.P.O. and directed that the trial in the two cases should be separated and that the prosecution should file seven fresh charge-sheets confining each charge-sheet to all the offences alleged to have been committed in respect of one cheque. The accused filed Criminal Revision Case No. 166 of 1960 against the order of the 2nd City Magistrate in the Court of the Chief City Magistrate-cum-Additional Sessions Judge and District Magistrate, Hyderabad. The latter made an observation and passed the following order:

I do not understand why the Magistrate should direct the police to file several cases. When the Prosecution is satisfied with one charge-sheet for all the offences alleged to have been committed by the accused, there is no necessity for the Court to have several cases before it for the said offences. It is not the case of the prosecution that by mistake only two charge-sheets were filed and that seven charge-sheets ought to have been filed. But still I cannot interfere in revision and it is only the High Court that can interfere in revision and set aside the order in question. I dismiss the petition with an observation that the accused can take advantage of any illegality or irregularity,

2. It is not difficult to understand why the 2nd City Magistrate passed the order. The police of course filed only two charge-sheets, but the P.P.O. who represented the prosecution, raised the contention already referred to and stated that seven charge-sheets were required - one charge-sheet regarding each cheque covering all the offences in connection with that cheque. The learned P.P.O. seems to have acted in such manner because he was under the impression that there could not be a joint hearing by the Magistrate for the offences relating to the seven cheques and the a joint enquiry into the alleged offences regarding the seven cheques would be illegal. He quoted and relied on the decision in Tirupathi Rayudu v. Venkateswarulu 1955 Andh WR 697 : AIR 1956 Andhra 79 wherein Bhimasankaram, J. held as follows;

It is to be noticed that Section 222 Cr.P.C. is an enabling section which, while recognising that several independent acts of misappropriation constitute distinct offences, permits the 'framing of a single charge specifying the gross sum made up of several items. Such a charge is deemed to be a charge of one offence only for the purpose of Section 234 Cr.P.C. But Section 222, Cr.P.C. does not provide that the acts so charged shall be deemed to be one transaction within the meaning of Section 235 Cri.P.C.

Bhimasankaram, J. observed that it is clear that there cannot be a single charge for the offence of falsification of accounts in respect of the gross sums alleged to have been misappropriated. The) order of the learned 2nd City Magistrate mentions that the learned advocate for the accused does not dispute the correctness of the position of law as stated in the above decision. That decision relates to framing of charges in trial by Court. The enquiry would have to be held by the Magistrate under Section 207-A Cri.P.C. The stage of framing charges would be arrived at only under Sub-section (7), after recording the evidence referred to in Sub-section (4). Even after he frames the charges, he cannot try the accused on those charges. The Magistrate will have to commit the accused for trial by the Court of Session as mentioned in Sub-section (10). The trial on those charges will have to be held by the Court of Session and at that stage would arise the question of joinder of charges permissible under the Code, Under Section 234 Cr.P.C. an accused. person may be charged with, and tried at one trial for any number of offences not exceeding three. Under Section 235 Cr.P.C. if in one. series of acts so connected together as to form the same transaction, more offences than one are committed by the same person, he may be charged with, and tried at one trial for, every such offence. The provisions in the Code of Criminal Procedure regarding the joinder of ckarges relate only to a joinder in a trial and do not apply to an enquiry in a P.R. Case or to the filing of charge-sheets by Police. Section 207-A Cr.P.C. occurs in Chapter XVIII under the heading 'of Inquiry into Cases Triable by the Court of Session or High Court', Chapter XXIII begins with the heading 'Of Trials Before High Courts and Courts of Session'. It is beyond doubt that if the learned '2nd City Magistrate heard P.R.C. No, 3 of 1960 as P.R. Case, he would not be holding a trial.

3. The word 'charge-sheet' is only a common expression to denote a report of the Police under Section 173 Cri.P.C. that there is a case against the accused for prosecution. Filing of charger sheets is not governed by the provisions in Section 233 Cri.P.C. onwards which relate to charges to be framed by Court in trial. There was nothing illegal in the police filing two charge-sheets. There would be nothing illegal if the Magistrate held an enquiry in one P.R.C. relating to all those charges. But, it is open to him to hold separate enquiries if he considered it necessary for the purpose of convenience and without causing embarrassment or hardship to the prosecution and the accused.

4. The learned Public Prosecutor says that he finds that seven charge-sheets have already been filed by the Police before the learned Magistrate as per his order dated 25-7-1960. The position of law has been explained above. There is nothing illegal when the Third City Magistrate clubbed the two charge-sheets concerned in C.C. Nos. 1023/4/1960 and 1026/4/60 in one case as P.R.C. No. 3 of 1960. There is also nothing illegal in the 2nd City Magistrate subsequently splitting the trial into two. Seven charge-sheets have been filed before him as ordered by him. The learned 2nd City Magistrate may hold an enquiry according to law in the light of the observations made above. With those observations, the revision is dismissed.


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