D.P. Uniyal, J.
1. This revision is from the judgment of the Civil and Sessions Judge Agra, dated June 9, 1964, upholding the order of the Additional District Magistrate (Judicial) dated 22-2-1964 dismissing an objection of the applicant(accused) against the validity of a complaint in respect of offences under Sections 153, 295A and 500 I. P. C.
2. In the city of Agra there are two sects of the Radha Soami faith; one of whom is represented by the Dayal Bagh group and the other by the Swami Bagh group of the same faith. There was a dispute between the said two groups over possession of a plot of land in village Jaganpura, distrct Agra. The Soami Bagh group had obtained possession over this plot on 17-7-1962 by an order of the consolidation authority. On 12-10-1963 Babu Ram Jadaun Secretary of the Dayal Bagh Satsangh Sabha, sent a letter to Shital Chand Datta, Secretary, Soami Bagh saying that the crop in the above-mentioned plot had been sown by the Dayal Bagh group and so they had a right to harvest the same. He requested the Soami Bagh people to remove the wire fencing and allow his group to cut and remove the crop. In the letter it was hinted that if barbed wire was not removed some one might get hurt and in that event the Soami Bagh group would be responsible for it.
3. In reply to the above a telegram followed by a letter dated 16-10-1963 was sent by Shital Chand Datta (accused) to Babu Ram Jadaun, Secretary of Radha Soami Satsangh Sabha. The said letter, so far as material, reads as follows:
'We have proof that Sri Gur Charan Das Mehta Ji Maharaj has incited the residents of Dayal Bagh to commit criminal trespass over the land in possession of the Soami Bagh and commit robbery in respect of crops .....'
4. On receipt of the above letter four persons including Babu Ram Jadhaun Secretary of Radha Soami Satsangh Sabha applied to the State Government for sanction to prosecute the applicant Shital Chand Datta under Section 295A I. P. C. On 30-12-1963 the Government of Uttar Pradesh accorded sanction to prosecute the applicant in the following words.... ...
'Now therefore as required by section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1898 the governor of Uttar Pradesh, is hereby pleased to authorise the Radha Soami Satsangh Sabha, Dayal Bagh, Agra, through its Secretary Sri Babu Ram Jadaun and others, to institute a complaint against the writer of the said telegram and the letter, Sri Shital Chand Datta, under Section 295A of the I. P. C. in the court of the competent jurisdiction.....'
5. In pursuance of the authority granted by the State Government to four persons including Babu Ram Jadaun, Secretary of Radha Soami Satsangh Sabha, they instituted a complaint against Shital Chand Datta out of which this revision has arisen.
6. Two points were urged before me by the learned counsel for the applicant. First, that the sanction accorded by the Government under Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code is vague and indefinite in that it does not specify the name of persons who have been authorised to file the said complaint and, secondly, that a complaint instituted by more than one person is not one contemplated by the Code ofCriminal Procedure and therefore all proceedings consequent on such complaint are illegal and liable to be set aside.
7. Taking the first objection first, it appears from the order of the Governor sanction-Ing the institution of a complaint against the applicant that the said order was passed on the allegations contained in the application made by the above four persons. By the said order authority was given to Sri Babu Ram Jadaun and three others to institute a complaint under Section 295A I. P. C. The terms of the order are unambiguous and make it clear that the Governor had intended to authorise all the four opposite parties to institute the complaint. The objection, therefore, must fail and is overruled.
8. The second objection is founded on the ground that a joint complaint by more than one person is not contemplated by the provisions of Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code. In this connection reference was made to Sashadhar Acharjya v. Sir Charles Tegard, reported in : AIR1931Cal646 . In that case a doubt was expressed but not resolved, about the validity of a joint complaint by two or more persons.
In a later Calcutta case, Uzal Khan v. Purna Chandra, reported in (1939) 43 Cal WN 527 there was a written complaint signed by two persons but the Magistrate examined only one of them before issuing process. The Sessions Judge felt that the procedure was illegal and that the Magistrate should have examined both the complainants before issuing process. Their Lordships observed that under Section 4(h) of the Criminal Procedure Code a complaint is defined as an allegation made against certain persons in respect of an offence. Even if such complaint is made by two or more persons, it is competent for the Magistrate to examine any one of the complainants before issuing process. If, however, the Magistrate considers it necessary to examine all the complainants he may do so, but there is no illegality if he chooses not to examine every one of them.
9. There is nothing in the Code to suggest that a complaint must be made by one person only. No doubt Section 200 refers to a 'complainant' in the singular. But Section 13 of the General Clauses Act provides that in all Central Acts and Regulations, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, words in the singular shall include the plural, and vice versa. There is nothing repugnant in the subject or context of Section 200 which would make it obligatory that the complaint must be made by one person only.
10. In Abdul Karim v. Nangoo, 43 Cri LJ 731: (AIR 1942 Oudh 407) the Oudh Chief Court, as it then was, agreed with the view adopted in the later Calcutta case mentioned above. The court held that there was no legal objection to a joint complaint being filed and that it was competent for the Magistrate not to examine all the complainants before issuing process. I respectfully agree with the view adopted by the Oudh Chief Court and the Calcutta High Court in the case of Uzal Khan, (1939) 43 Cal WN 527 (supra). The second objectionis in my opinion equally without force and must be rejected.
11. For the reasons given above I see noforce in this revision application and it is accordingly rejected.Application dismissed.