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Chhotey Lal and ors. Vs. State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. No. 1358 of 1964
Judge
Reported inAIR1967All229; 1967CriLJ674
ActsUttar Pradesh Panchayat Raj Act, 1947 - Sections 52(1), 55(1) and 55(4); Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 190; Indian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 332
AppellantChhotey Lal and ors.
RespondentState
Appellant AdvocateGopal Behari, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateLalji Sinha, Adv.
DispositionApplication allowed
Excerpt:
.....of summons - judicial officer (city) opined case prima facie under section 323 in jurisdiction of 'nyaya panchayat' - revision before additional district magistrate - direction to judicial officer (city) to try case and not to transfer to nyaya panchayat - revision petition - held, judicial officer not competent to try case for want of jurisdiction and nyaya panchayat to deal with case. - - considering the circumstances of thecase, however, it would in my opinion be better if the case is tried by a regular courtinstead of being sent to nyaya panchayat. the only course open to him in these circumstances was that he should have sent the case for trial to the nyaya panchayat, as was rightly done by the judicial officer city, vide his order dated 6-5-64, strangely enough, the..........accused. therefore, by his order of that date the magistrate directed the case to be sent to the nyaya panchayat concerned, inasmuch as this offence was exclusively triable by the nyaya panchayat.4. it appears that before the record of the case could be transmitted to the nyaya panchayat, the accused went up in revision before the additional district magistrate (judicial) who sent for the record. however by his order dated 31-7-64 he dismissed the revision. but in the operative portion, he observed as follows:'considering the circumstances of thecase, however, it would in my opinion be better if the case is tried by a regular courtinstead of being sent to nyaya panchayat. thecase having been instituted in the court of amagistrate it is not obligatory for him to transfer it to the nyaya.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Gyanendra Kumar, J.

1. This is a revision by the accused against the order of the Additional District Magistrate (Judicial) Bareilly dated 31st July, 1964 passed in a criminal revision filed by the complainant before him.

2. Briefly stated the facts of the case are that a charge-sheet dated 10-8-63 submitted by the Police under Section 332 I. P. C. against the accused was received in the court of the Judicial Magistrate (City) Bareilly on 24-4-64, which was duly recorded in the order sheet, The Magistrate registered the case. However, before he could issue summons of warrant, the accused made their appearance in court on that very date. They were accordingly supplied copies of the documents referred to in Section 173 Cr. P. C. The Magistrate then fixed 5-5-64 for the statement of the accused and framing of the charge.

3. On 5-5-64 the Magistrate, after hearing the parties, came to the conclusion that at the time of the occurrence the complainant was not engaged in the discharge of his public duties and as such no case under Section 332 I. P. C. was made out. He further found that an offence under Section 323 I. P. C simpliciter prima facie existed against the accused. Therefore, by his order of that date the Magistrate directed the case to be sent to the Nyaya Panchayat concerned, inasmuch as this offence was exclusively triable by the Nyaya Panchayat.

4. It appears that before the record of the case could be transmitted to the Nyaya Panchayat, the accused went up in revision before the Additional District Magistrate (Judicial) who sent for the record. However by his order dated 31-7-64 he dismissed the revision. But in the operative portion, he observed as follows:

'Considering the circumstances of thecase, however, it would in my opinion be better if the case is tried by a regular courtinstead of being sent to Nyaya Panchayat. Thecase having been instituted in the court of aMagistrate it is not obligatory for him to transfer it to the Nyaya Panchayat and he is competent to try the case himself. The file is sentback to the court of Judicial Officer City andthe parties are directed to appear before himon 7-8-1964.'

When the parties appeared before the Judicial Officer City on 7-8-64, the statement of the accused was recorded. The accused persons then came up in revision before this Court and obtained an order dated 20-8-64 staying further proceedings meanwhile.

5. The main contention of Mr. Gopal Behari is that after having dismissed the revision by his order dated 31-7-64, the Additional District Magistrate (Judicial) had no jurisdiction to direct the Judicial Officer City not to transfer the case to the Nyaya Panchayat but to retain and try the same himself. I think there is considerable force in this contention.

6. On behalf of the applicants reliance has been placed upon the provisions of Sections 52 and M of the U. P. Panchayat Raj Act. Section 62 provides that, inter alia, an offence under Section 328, I. P. C., if committed within the jurisdiction of a Nyaya Panchayat, shall be cognizable by such Nyaya Panchayats. On the other hand. Section 66 (1) of the said Act provides that where a Nyaya Panchayat has been established 'no court, except as otherwise provided in this Act shall take cognizance of any case triable by such Nvaya Panchayat.'

7. On the other hand learned counsel for the complainant has particularly drawn my attention to the provisions of Sub-section (4) of Section 55 of the Act, which runs as under:

'Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 52 and Sub-sections (1) to (3) of this section but subject always to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 1898, where any court has taken cognizance of any offence referred to in the said section and a summons or warrant, as the case may be, has issued for the appearance of the accused in such case, the offence may he enquired into and tried by such court.'

The argument is that where a Magistrate has already taken cognizance of an offence referred to in Section 52 (1) and has issued summons or warrant for the appearance of the accused, the offence may be enquired into and tried by such court instead of its being sent to the Nyaya Panchavat.

8. Applying the above provisions to the facts of the present case it was, in the first place, necessary that the Magistrate should have taken cognizance of the offence in question under Section 323 I. P. C., which does notappear to be the case here. As pointed out at the outset, the Police had submitted a charge sheet only under Section 388 I. P. C. and the Magistrate had taken cognizance of the case and had even commenced the trial within the meaning of Section 261-A (1) Cr. P. C. by furnishing copies of the requisite documents to the accused and then by fixing a date for their statements and framing of the charge. The result, therefore, is that here the cognizance had been taken by the Magistrate of an offence under Section 382 I. P. C., and not under Section 323, I. P. C. It is also noteworthy that in the instant case, he had not issued any summons or warrant to enforce the appearance of the accused but they had presented them selves in court as soon as the charge sheet was received by the Magistrate. On the very next date, that is 5-5-1964, the Magistrate came to the conclusion that it was not really a case under Section 332 I. P. C. of which he had taken cognizance, but it was a case under Section 323 I. P. C. simpliciter. Under the circumstances, the Magistrate was not competent to retain this case for trial before him, inasmuch as the necessary ingredients entitling him to do so under Section 55 (4) of the Panchayat Raj Act were wanting. The only course open to him in these circumstances was that he should have sent the case for trial to the Nyaya Panchayat, as was rightly done by the Judicial Officer City, vide his order dated 6-5-64, Strangely enough, the Additional District Magistrate (Judicial) while dismissing the revision against the aforesaid order also added an order expressing his opinion that it was better if the case was tried by the Magistrate himself instead of sending it to the Nyaya Panchayat and further expressed the view that it was not obligatory for the Magistrate to transfer the case to the Nyaya Panchayat and that he was competent to try it himself. I am afraid the Additional District Magistrate (Judicial) has clearly overstepped his jurisdiction. If he was of the view that the case should be tried by the Judicial Officer instead of the Nyaya Panchayat, he should have made a reference to this Court for necessary directions rather than making the same himself. The opinion of the Additional District Magistrate (Judicial) that even though the offence merely fell under Section 323 I. P. C yet the Judicial Officer was competent to retain the case on his file and decide the same is wholly against the clear provisions of Sections 52 (1), 55 (1) and 55 (4) of the U P Panchayat Raj Act.

9. In the result, I allow this revision, modify the order of the Additional District Magistrate (Judicial) dated 31-7-64 and restore that of the Judicial Officer City dated 6-5-64 He shall now send the case to the Nyaya Panchayat concerned as soon as the record is received back him.

10. Let the record be sent down to the Judicial Officer, Bareilly, for necessary action as early as possible.


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