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Shubrati Khan Vs. State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. No. 15 of 1959
Judge
Reported inAIR1960All394; 1960CriLJ865
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 204A, 204(1A) and 244
AppellantShubrati Khan
RespondentState
Appellant AdvocateHasin Ahmad, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateGopal Behari, Adv. for ;Anand Swarup Mathur, Adv. and ;Asst. Govt. Adv.
DispositionApplication dismissed
Excerpt:
criminal - summons - sections 204 (1a) and 244 of the criminal procedure code, 1898 - power of the magistrate to summon witnesses laid down in section 244 - witness's name not in the list prepared under section 204 (1a) - held, power of magistrate under section 244 wide enough to include issuing summons to witnesses other than those under section 204. - .....to be examined for the prosecution; this is in compliance with section 204 (1-a) which requires a list of witnesses. a summons was issued against the applicant and he appeared before the court and pleaded not guilty. the court started trial following the procedure prescribed in sections 241 etc. three witnesses were examined by the prosecution including the two mentioned in the report. the prosecution then applied for an adjournment to examine some more witnesses and in spite of the applicant's protest, the court has issued summonses against them. the applicant challenges the court's order on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to issue summonses against witnesses whose names were not to be found in the list given under section 204 (1-a). i do not find any force in the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.C. Desai, J.

1. The applicant is being prosecuted under the Motor Vehicles Act on a police report. The report contains the names of two witnesses to be examined for the prosecution; this is in compliance with Section 204 (1-A) which requires a list of witnesses. A summons was issued against the applicant and he appeared before the court and pleaded not guilty. The court started trial following the procedure prescribed in Sections 241 etc. Three witnesses were examined by the prosecution including the two mentioned in the report. The prosecution then applied for an adjournment to examine some more witnesses and in spite of the applicant's protest, the court has issued summonses against them. The applicant challenges the court's order on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to issue summonses against witnesses whose names were not to be found in the list given under Section 204 (1-A). I do not find any force in the contention.

2. The power of a Magistrate to summon witnesses in summons cases is fully and exhaustively laid down in Section 244. It contains no restriction upon his power, it does not restrict it to issuing summonses against the witnesses whose names are given in the list prepared under Section 204 (1-A). The power is wide enough to include issuing summonses against other witnesses also. The magistrate is bound to hear all witnesses produced by the complainant in support of the prosecution; the words used in Sub-section (1) are :

'The Magistrate shall proceed to take all such evidence as may be produced in support of the prosecution.'

He cannot refuse to examine a prosecution witness on any ground, even on the ground that his name was not mentioned in the list prepared under Section 204 (l-A). If he is bound to examine a witness, it present, even though his name was not mentioned in the list, it should not be held that he cannot issue a summons against a prosecution witness whose name is not mentioned in the list. The power given by Sub-section (2) to issue a summons to a witness also is a wide power, subject to no restrictions; its exercise is not made dependent upon whether his name was mentioned in the list or not.

There is no prohibition against the exercise of the power in respect of a witness whose name was not mentioned in the list. There is nothing to indicate that though the Magistrate must examine thewitness, if produced by the complainant (even though his name does not appear in the list), he is deprived of the power of issuing a summons to him. Whether he has the power to examine a prosecution witness, whose name does not appear in the list, should not depend upon whether he is present in court or not; in any case Section 244 does not suggest that it does.

3. Section 204 (1-A) simply requires that no summons shall be issued against the accused unless a list of the prosecution witnesses has been filed. That provision ceases to be of any applicability or use after a summons has been issued to the accused. It only imposes a condition on the issue of a summons against the accused and once a summons is issued it ceases to be of any relevancy and does not govern the subsequent procedure. It does not lay down that only those witnesses whose names are given in the list can be examined by the prosecution.

The legislature added this provision by the Amendment Act of 1955 but did not choose to make any amendment in Section 244. It was conceded, and rightly conceded, by Sri Hasin Ahmad that prior to the amendment it could not be said that the power of a Magistrate was confined to issuing summonses against the witnesses whose names were mentioned in the complaint or the report. Since the language of Section 244 remains the same, it must be given the same meaning which it bore before the Amendment Act of 1955.

Its meaning cannot change merely because the legislature added Section 204 (1-A), which does not deal at all with the power of a Magistrate to issue summonses against prosecution witnesses; if the legislature had intended that summonses should be issued only against the witnesses whose names are given id the list it would have made a suitable amendment in Section 244 also and when it did not do so it must he held that it did not intend to curtail the then existing power of a Magistrate to issue summonses against witnesses. The court, therefore, in the present case did not act illegally in issuing summonses against the additional prosecution witnesses.

4. The order is an interlocutory order and I donot wish to enter into the question whether the courtexercised its discretion of adjourning the case and issuing summonses to the witnesses soundly or not. The application is dismissed.


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