Skip to content


Jagannath Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1934All127
AppellantJagannath
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
- - the complainant went on a tour into allahabad district to make collections and failed to' bring to the shop at mirzapur the sums which he had collected......in mirzapur. but in the present case the accused persons were not employed to collect money for a shop in jhansi nor were they employed to bring money to jhansi which they had collected; on the contrary they were employed to look after a business in calcutta and their only connexion with jhansi was to render annual accounts. it is not shown how the profits, if any earned in calcutta, were to be received by the owner in jhansi; but even if it were shown that the profits should be remitted by the accused annually from calcutta to jhansi i do not consider that that would be a sufficient criterion to bring the case within section 179, criminal p.c. for the offence of criminal breach of trust there is a provision in chap. 15 which deals with the jurisdiction of criminal courts. that.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Bennet, J.

1. This is an application in revision raising a point of the jurisdiction of criminal Courts on a charge under Section 408, Penal Code. The Magistrate held that he had no jurisdiction to try the charge under that section and the learned Sessions Judge of Jhansi has upheld that order. The complainant Jagannath resides in Jhansi District where he has a shop and he opened a branch in Calcutta and placed it under the charge of the accused, Mukhram. The other accused Debi Sahai is a nephew of Mukhram. The complaint sets forth that accounts of the Calcutta shop were to be rendered in Jhansi district. Apparently these accounts were to be rendered annually and the account is a statement of account and it was not intended that the account books were to be sent. As no accounts were rendered for the Sambat 1985-1986 the complainant suspected the accused and went to Calcutta and got the account-books of the shop and had them examined and found that the accounts were apparently falsified and he came to Jhansi and filed a complaint under Section 408, Penal Code, for criminal breach of trust and under Section 477(a), Penal Code, for falsification of account books. The lower Courts have upheld that the case under Section 477(a), Penal Code, was triable at Jhansi in view of the provisions of Section 179, Criminal P.C., but they have held that that section cannot be extended to include the alleged facts of cri. minal breach of trust and that that offence is only triable in Calcutta and is not triable in Jhansi. Learned Counsel for the appellant argued that Section 179, Criminal P.C., would apply and would enable the Jhansi Courts to have jurisdiction. That section states:

When a person is accused of the commission of any offence by reason of anything which has been done, and of any consequence which has ensued, such offence may be inquired into or tried by a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction any such thing has been done, or any such consequence has ensued.

2. Learned Counsel argued that a consequence had ensued in Jhansi, namely, the complainant had suffered wrongful loss. None of the illustrations in the section deals with the question of criminal breach of trust. But it is obvious that that is a very considerable extension of the words in the section if the Courts are going to hold that the suffering of wrongful loss by the complainant in the place he happens to reside is going to give the Courts of that place jurisdiction to try offences no matter where those offences are committed. If the complainant residing in Jhansi, owned a horse in Calcutta and that horse was stolen in Calcutta, there is no doubt that the complainant residing in Jhansi would suffer a wrongful loss. But it does not appear to me that Section 179, Criminal P.C., can be extended to hold that a trial for the theft of the horse in Calcutta can be held in Jhansi merely because the owner happens to reside in Jhansi. I do not think therefore that the criterion of the residence of the person who suffers wrongful loss is a correct criterion. For example if the branch firm' in Calcutta in the present case had been owned by a headquarters firm located in Japan, it does not seem reasonable to hold that jurisdiction to try the present offence would lie in the Japanese Court merely because the owner resided in Japan and because accounts were to be forwarded to Japan. Section 179, Criminal P.C., is a section which must be applied to jurisdiction both within British India and outside British India as Illustration (d) shows that that relates to an offence in an Indian State. The learned Counsel relied on the Full Bench ruling in the case of Shed Shanker v. Mohan Sarup A.I.R. 1921 All. 12. In that ruling the Full Bench refrained from giving an expression of opinion on Section 179, Criminal P.C., generally and the decision was given only on the particular facts of the case before the Court. Those facts were that the accused was a servant of a cloth shop in Mirzapur and it was his duty to collect certain sums owing to the shop and to bring those sums to the shop at Mirzapur. The complainant went on a tour into Allahabad district to make collections and failed to' bring to the shop at Mirzapur the sums which he had collected.

3. It was held that the offence of Section 408, Penal Code, could be inquired into in Mirzapur. But in the present case the accused persons were not employed to collect money for a shop in Jhansi nor were they employed to bring money to Jhansi which they had collected; on the contrary they were employed to look after a business in Calcutta and their only connexion with Jhansi was to render annual accounts. It is not shown how the profits, if any earned in Calcutta, were to be received by the owner in Jhansi; but even if it were shown that the profits should be remitted by the accused annually from Calcutta to Jhansi I do not consider that that would be a sufficient criterion to bring the case within Section 179, Criminal P.C. For the offence of criminal breach of trust there is a provision in Chap. 15 which deals with the jurisdiction of criminal Courts. That provision is contained in Section 181(2), Criminal P.C., which states:

The offence of criminal misappropriation or of criminal breach of trust may be inquired into or tried by a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction any part of the property which is the Subject of the offence was received or retained by the accused person, or the offence was committed.

4. There is no provision in the sub-section which would bring the present case under the jurisdiction of the Jhansi Courts. There have been numerous rulings on the question of jurisdiction and one of these rulings deals with a case similar to the present and is reported in the case of Ganesh Lal v. Nand Kishore (1912) 34 All. 487. In that case the head office of a firm was in Cawnpore and a branch was opened in Sultanpur district and the accused was appointed a gumashta of that branch. The complainant considered that'the accused had misappropriated money and he filed a complaint for criminal breach of trust in the Cawnpore Court. It was held by this Court in revision that the Cawnpore Court did not have jurisdiction and at p. 489 it stated:

The loss to the principal firm at Cawnpore is therefore not a consequence of the act of the accused committed at the branch of the firm within the meaning of Section 179, Criminal P.C.

5. That ruling was based on a ruling Babu Lal v. Ghansham Das (1908) 5 A.L.J. 333. For these reasons I hold that the decision of the lower appellate Court was correct and therefore dismiss this application in revision.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //