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Emperor Vs. Ganga - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1912)ILR34All451; 15Ind.Cas.991
AppellantEmperor
RespondentGanga
Excerpt:
criminal procedure code (act v of 1898), section 177 - offence committed at a place in british india--subsequent transfer to an independent state--jurisdiction of court of the place--territorial jurisdiction of state. - .....present case out of section 177. at the time when the offence was committed by ganga, it was an offence committed' within the local limits ' of the jurisdiction of the magistrate of the district of mirzapur; and, as a necessary result upon the arrest, the case would, in the ordinary course, have been committed to the court of session at mirzapur. it matters little to what place the offender betakes himself after he has committed the crime. to take an ordinary instance, an accused commits an offence within the jurisdiction of the district magistrate of mirzapur, he absconds, remains in hiding for a year or more, passes through several districts in the course of his flight and is eventually arrested for that offence within the district--say, of the 24-pergunahs. upon his arrest he is,.....
Judgment:

George Knox, J.

1. The attention of the Court has been called by the learned Government Advocate to the case of King-Emperor v. Ganga, charged with an offence under Section 892, read with Section 75 of the Indian Penal Code.

2. The offence is said to have been committed on the 18th of March, 1910. Two men have already been convicted as having been concerned, in the offence. Ganga was said at the time to have absconded and the case proceeded without his appearance in court.

3. So far as I can learn from the papers which have accompanied the record, he was arrested within the Bengal Presidency as being a person without any ostensible means of livelihood. He found his way to prison at Mymensingh. From this prison he was sent for, it does not appear by what authority, and produced before the Joint Magistrate of Mirzapur. The Joint Magistrate inquired into the case falling under Section 392 of the Indian Penal Code. The inquiry began on the 6th of November, 1911, and ended in the committal to the Court of Session for trial on the 4th of December, 1911.

4. The Sessions Judge of Mirzapur, holding that the Joint Magistrate had no jurisdiction to inquire into the case, and that his court had no jurisdiction to try the case, directed that Ganga be returned to the custody of the District Magistrate and treated for the purpose of this charge as a prisoner of the Benares state in custody in British territory. It is with this order that the learned Government Advocate asks this Court to interfere.

5. The attention of the learned Judge was directed to the case of Mahabir v. King-Emptror (1), also to the case of Ram Prasad (2), and lastly, to the case of King-Emperor v. Lachmi (3).

6. In all these cases this Court held that the British Court had jurisdiction to try the several cases concerned. The learned Judge, however, considered that those cases could be distinguished from the present on the ground that the cases above cited related to persons who had been committed to the Court of Session before the 1st of April, 1911, the date on which certain parganas of the district of Mirzapur were constituted a state and granted to the Raja of Benares. He doubts their force as precedents in the present case, where the accused was not arrested until the 8th of October, 1911, and the case was not instituted against him until same date. Section 177 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1898 enacts that every offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and tried by a court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction it was committed, The sections which follow, 178-189, do not take the present case out of section 177. At the time when the offence was committed by Ganga, it was an offence committed' within the local limits ' of the jurisdiction of the Magistrate of the district of Mirzapur; and, as a necessary result upon the arrest, the case would, in the ordinary course, have been committed to the Court of Session at Mirzapur. It matters little to what place the offender betakes himself after he has committed the crime. To take an ordinary instance, an accused commits an offence within the jurisdiction of the District Magistrate of Mirzapur, he absconds, remains in hiding for a year or more, passes through several districts in the course of his flight and is eventually arrested for that offence within the district--say, of the 24-Pergunahs. Upon his arrest he is, as a matter of course, upon proper request made, transferred to the court of Mirzapur, his case investigated there, and if it is committed to the Court of Session that court proceed to try and pronounce judgement in the case. No question can arise as to jurisdiction.

7. In the present case the offence was an offence against British Indian law committed by Ganga at a time when he was a British Indian subject at a place which, at the time when the crime was (1) (1911) I. L. R., 83 All., 578. (2) (1912) 9 A. L. J., 51. (3) Reference No. 838 of 1911, made by the Sessions Judge of Mirzapur, to this Court committed, was within the local jurisdiction of the Mirzapur courts. It has never been said that Ganga has at any time, since he committed the crime, ceased to be a British Indian subject. So far as the record goes, he has apparently since the crime resided in British territory up to the time he was produced before the courts of Mirzapur. The mere accident that from the 1st of April, 1911, the spot where he committed the crime has ceased to be British territory appears to me quite irrelevant.

8. Wheaton in his Elements of International Law says :-' The judicial power of every independent state extends to the punishment of all offences against the municipal laws of the state by whomsoever committed within the territory also to the punishment of all such offences by its subjects whosesoever committed ' (Edition 1886, p. 179). To the same effect is Phillimore's International Law, 3rd Edition, Vol. I, p. 216. According to Mr. Mayne in his Criminal Law, 3 Ed., p. 956, ' the jurisdiction of the mofussil courts depends upon the offence having been committed within their local limits.' See Hursee Mahapatro v. Dinobundo Palro (1).To hold otherwise would lead, it seems to me, to endless complications and might result in very serious miscarriages of justice.

9. So far as the present case is concerned, the jurisdiction of the Mirzapur courts which may be said to have commenced with the commission of the offence has neither been suspended nor unbroken.

10. I, therefore, set aside the order of the learned Sessions Judge of Mirzapur, and direct him to try at an early date the prisoner Ganga, who has been committed to him, for the offence for which he was committed.


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