1. This is a criminal revision by Mr. B.B. Chandra on account of an accused person Satnarain Lal who has been convicted under Section 161, I.P.C., and sentenced by a Magistrate to four months' rigorous imprisonment and Rs. 50 fine or in default two months' further rigorous imprisonment and that sentence has been confirmed by the learned Sessions Judge in appeal. When the revision was filed in this Court a learned single Judge of this Court passed the order:
Admit only on the question of sentence. Record need not be sent for. Bail refused. Realization of fine will not be stayed.
2. When the revision began before me today learned Counsel claimed that he had a right to address me not only on the sentence but also on the merits of the finding and his argument was that the order of the learned Single Judge meant an admission of the revision and therefore it was open to him to argue the revision on all points. Now Section 440, Criminal P.C., provides:
No party has any right to be heard either personally or by pleader before any Court when exercising its powers of revision; provided that the Court may if it thinks fit when exercising such powers hear any party either personally or by pleader.
3. This Section shows therefore that counsel has not got any general right of being heard at all in this revision. Presumably, when the revision came before the learned Single Judge he heard counsel on the revision generally by granting a hearing under the proviso of Section 440. The learned single Judge then considered that counsel should not be heard further on the question of the finding but that there should be a further hearing on the question of sentence and for that reason the order was passed. It appears to me that the order which was passed by the learned single Judge was an order which was perfectly legal and which he had full jurisdiction to pass. I consider that counsel is not entitled to treat that order as a nullity and no authority for this proposition was shown to me. No doubt any Judge of this Court before whom a revision comes has powers to send for the record as is provided under Section 439(1) in the words 'or which otherwise comes to its knowledge.' But that matter is quite different from the right of counsel to be heard and an order has been passed under Section 440 limiting that right in the present case to the question of sentence. Some argument was made that the record was necessary for orders in revision. Under Section 435(1), Criminal P.C., it is provided:
The High Court...may call for and examine the record of any proceeding before any inferior Criminal Court...for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of any finding, sentence or order recorded or passed.
4. There are three matters in regard to which the revision may be heard. One is the finding, another is the sentence and the third is an order. In the present case the learned single Judge decided that the revisional powers should be exercised only by a hearing in regard to the sentence. In my opinion, the words 'finding, sentence or order' are three separate matters and are separated by the disjunctive conjunction 'or'-'finding or sentence or order.' For the purpose of a revision of the sentence, which has been upheld by the lower Appellate Court, what is required is the record of that Court and that record is shown by the certified copy of the order in appeal of the learned Sessions Judge. There is no other proceeding of which there is a record in the Sessions Court which would serve any purpose in the present case. Learned counsel for the applicant did not show any ruling in favour of his view. He made some argument to the effect that where the Court did not dismiss the revision summarily a notice issued and therefore the whole revision came necessarily before the Court. This argument is made in accordance with Section 422, Criminal P.C. But that Section deals only with appeals and there is no similar Section dealing with revisions, nor does any Section apply this procedure to revisions.
5. Having disposed of the preliminary objection, I now consider the merits of the question of sentence. The finding of the Courts below is that Satnarain Lal is a patwari and he was charged with accepting a five rupee note as a bribe from Ram Nihal who was a party in a mutation case. The defence was that the note had been put into his pocket by some one in order to implicate him. The principal witness for the prosecution was Mr. Udit Narain Srivastava, a Deputy Magistrate, to whom Pt. Sita Ram Shukla, M.L.A. made a complaint that the patwari was taking bribes. Accordingly Ram Nihal came to the Deputy Magistrate and the Deputy Magistrate recorded the statement of Ram Nihal and after consulting the District Magistrate the Deputy Magistrate wrote his name on a five rupee note and gave it to Ram Nihal Singh. Some hours later Ram Nihal Singh informed the Deputy Magistrate that the note had been accepted by the patwari and the Deputy Magistrate went to the tahsil compound and searched the accused Satnarain Lal in the presence of the Tahsildar and recovered the note from the bottom of the right pocket of his kurta below certain papers which were also in the pocket. It was for this reason that the Courts below held that it would not have been possible for anyone else to put the note into the pocket of the accused. Now the one argument which appeals to me on the question of sentence is one which learned Counsel did not make, namely that it is not an uncommon matter for a patwari to take small sums from parties in mutation eases and in other matters. I think therefore that the sentence is rather severe and accordingly I set aside the sentence of fine and I reduce the sentence of imprisonment from four months' rigorous imprisonment to three months' rigorous imprisonment. The revision is otherwise dismissed.