1. This an application in revision against an order of the Additional Sessions Judge of Cawnpore directing further inquiry into the case of certain accused who have been discharged. The order for further inquiry was not made on the ground that on the merits there was reason for thinking that the accused had been wrongly discharged. The learned Additional Sessions Judge expressly says that he is far from suggesting that the complainant has got a good case. His order is based on the ground that the discharge order passed by the Magistrate was illegal. In order to see whether this is so it will be necessary to state some facts.
2. The case was under Sections 147 and 426 against fourteen accused. The case was instituted on 2nd June 1925. Before issuing process against the accused the Magistrate ordered the complainant to produce his witnesses under Section 202 of the Criminal P.C. The hearing took place on 16th June, and process was issued against the accused. On the very date on which process was issued it was brought to the Magistrate's notice that on a telegram from the accused the District Magistrate had ordered a police inquiry. The Court was, therefore, asked to postpone further proceedings until the result of that inquiry was before it. The case was accordingly adjourned and on the result of the police inquiry being received the Court, after considering it in connexion with the evidence which it had already recorded, came to the conclusion that the charge was groundless and discharged the accused under the last clause of Section 253. The reasoning of the learned Additional Sessions Judge is that though admittedly a Court is entitled to take into account the result of a police inquiry in discharging the accused under Section 203, it cannot do so when once a summons or warrant has issued. This appears to unduly restrict the meaning of the words 'for reasons to be recorded' in Section 253(2). The argument before me has been that the provisions of Section 252 which require the Magistrate to hear the complainant and take all the evidence produced in support of the prosecution are imperative and that it is only after such evidence has been recorded that an order of discharge under Section 253 can be passed. The language of Section 253 itself appears to mo fatal to this contention. The section begins by referring to the evidence to be recorded under Section 252 and says that after recording that evidence and taking the examination of the accused the Magistrate will discharge the accused if he finds that no case has been made out. This is the normal procedure. Then follows the proviso contained in Clause 2 that nothing in the section shall prevent the Magistrate from discharging the accused at any previous stage, if, for reasons to be recorded, ha considers the charge to be groundless. In this case the Magistrate had actually before him all the evidence which the complainant was prepared to produce in support of his complaint. It is not suggested by the learned Judge that on the merits the order of discharge was improper, and I cannot agree with the learned Additional Sessions Judge that it was illegal. I, therefore, allow this revision, set aside the order of the Additional Sessions Judge and restore that of the Magistrate.