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Jagat Ram and anr. Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1937All76; 166Ind.Cas.915
AppellantJagat Ram and anr.
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
- .....made on behalf of one of the accused before the court, jagat rarn, on 29th june 1936 in which the learned sessions judge was asked to act under section 532, criminal p.c. and quash the commitment under clause (2) of the said section or else refer this matter to this court. learned counsel for the accused now argues that section 532, criminal p.c. does not apply and he produces various rulings to this effect and he contended that action should be taken by this court under section 215, criminal p.c. to quash the commitment order on a point of law. now the point taken is that having once made a complaint under section 476, criminal p.c. the small cause court judge could not alter what is called his order under section 476 criminal p.c. no authority was produced for this proposition except.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Bennet, J.

1. This is a reference by the learned Sessions Judge of Saharanpur in which he has suggested that this Court should set aside an order of commitment under Section 478, Criminal P.C., by the Small Cause Court Judge to the Sessions Court and should direct a Magistrate to proceed with an enquiry into the same matter. The facts are as follows. The Small Cause-Court Judge had a suit before him brought by Atma Earn against Jagat Ram on a bahi khata account and Jagat Earn pleaded payment and filed a receipt for Rs. 23 alleged to have been given to him by the plaintiff Atma Ram on 10th November 1934. He gave evidence in support, of this and so did his witness, Mela Singh, who stated that he had written the receipt. The Small Cause Court Judge considered that the receipt was a forgery and made a complaint under Section 476, Criminal P.C., against Jagat Earn and against Mela Singh and sent it to a First Class-Magistrate on 14th September 1935. On 16th December 1935, the Magistrate addressed the District Magistrate in an order stating that besides his other duties he was at present engaged in enquiring into two big dacoity cases and that the complaints under Section 476 from the Small. Cause Court Judge were elaborate complaints and some of the sections were exclusively triable by the Court of Session, that is Section 476/109 and Section 471,. I.P.C., and only Section 193, I.P.C. was triable by a Magistrate. He suggested that the Small Cause Court should itself: commit the case for trial by the Court of Session under Section 478, Criminal P.C. On 20th December 1935 the District Magistrate referred this matter to the Small Cause Court Judge and asked him to make a commitment order himself under Section 478, Criminal P.C. On this order the Small Cause Court Judge wrote an order on 23rd December 1935:

Issue notice to Jagat Earn and Mela Rarn for 14th February 1936 to show cause why they should not be committed to Sessions. Summon Atma Rarn as a witness.

2. On 10th March 1936 the Small Cause Court Judge passed an order of commitment under Section 478, Criminal P.C., and in that order he sets out the above facts that the complaint was returned to him by the District Magistrate with the request that he should act under Section 478, Criminal P.C., and that he had therefore held a fresh enquiry which had confirmed him in the view he held in the civil suit and in his commitment order he sets out his grounds at considerable length. No objection is shown by learned Counsel for the accused to have been taken before the Small Cause Court Judge, but on 16th June 1936 a petition was made to the Sessions Judge alleging that the Small Cause Court Judge after he had made a complaint under Section 476, Criminal P.C. and the proceedings had been initiated under it, could not pass an order of commitment under Section 478, Criminal P.C. A further application was made on behalf of one of the accused before the Court, Jagat Rarn, on 29th June 1936 in which the learned Sessions Judge was asked to act under Section 532, Criminal P.C. and quash the commitment under Clause (2) of the said section or else refer this matter to this Court. Learned counsel for the accused now argues that Section 532, Criminal P.C. does not apply and he produces various rulings to this effect and he contended that action should be taken by this Court under Section 215, Criminal P.C. to quash the commitment order on a point of law. Now the point taken is that having once made a complaint under Section 476, Criminal P.C. the Small Cause Court Judge could not alter what is called his order under Section 476 Criminal P.C. No authority was produced for this proposition except a very ancient ruling reported in The Queen v. Mahomed (1869) 12 Suth. W.R. Cr. 41. In that case it was observed:

We think it was perhaps irregular in the Munsif committing the case himself after sending it to the Magistrate for investigation and commitment.

3. There is no clear finding that even under the law as it then stood the proceeding was irregular. Now Section 369, Criminal P.C., is the section in the Code dealing with the finality of judgments by criminal Courts and it states as follows:

Save as otherwise provided by this Code or by any other law for the time being in force or, in the case of a High Court, established by Royal Charter, by the Letters Patent of such High Court, no Court, when it has signed its judgment shall alter or review the same, except to correct a clerical error.

4. This section relates only to judgments. Learned Counsel argues that a complaint under Section 476, Criminal P.C. should be considered to be a judgment. 'Judgment' is dealt with in the two Sections 366 and 367 and it is specified how a judgment shall be delivered and what it shall contain. It is also specified in Section 367(6) that for the purpose of this section an order under Section 118 or Section 123(3) would be deemed to be a judgment, but it is not stated that a complaint under Section 476 would be deemed to be a judgment. A complaint is defined in Section 4(1)(h) as an

allegation made orally or in writing to a Magistrate with a view to his taking action under this Code that some person whether known or unknown has committed an offence, but it does not include the report of a police officer.

5. It is clear that a complaint cannot be a judgment even when the complaint is made by a Court under Section 476, Criminal P.C. Therefore Section 369 cannot apply to a complaint and does not therefore amount to a bar against a Court altering or reviewing the complaint under Section 476, Criminal P.C. Learned Counsel could not show any other section of the Code which prevented a Court from altering or reviewing an order except Section 369, Criminal. Order Therefore it appears to me that the Code does not bar a Court from altering or revising its complaint under Section 476, Criminal P.C. It appears to me therefore that it was open to the Small Cause Court Judge under these circumstances when the record was sent back to him by the District Magistrate to pass the order of commitment after the further enquiry which he made, and I consider that the commitment having been made no ground exists for this Court to set it aside in its revisional powers under Section 215, Criminal P.C. Accordingly I refuse this reference and direct that the Sessions Judge should proceed according to law on the commitment which has been made to his Court.


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