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Sunder Lal Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1932All26
AppellantSunder Lal
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
- - that objection was overruled by the magistrate, and an application in revision made to the sessions judge questioning the correctness of the magistrate's view was unsuccessful. 1,036 it was his duty to have paid an equal sum to or to the credit of his master, and having failed to do so and having obtained the bonds, for himself he should be deemed to have misappropriated that amount. 1036 was misappropriated is well founded......has been made was separately misappropriated. as is usual in such cases, it is alleged that the applicant received a number of items on various dates and subsequently embezzled the entire sum or part thereof in his hands. in any case it is open to the complainant and the magistrate to consolidate all the items which the applicant is alleged to have received, and to frame a charge under section 222(2) in respect of only one offence, instead of many, offences, as would be the case if each item received by him is to be the subject of a separate charge. the combined effect of sections 222(2) and 181(2) is that the applicant can be 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 by him. as shown.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Niamatullah, J

1. This application for revision raises a question of jurisdiction in a case of criminal breach of trust against the applicant pending in the Court of the Sub-divisional Magistrate, Baheri, District Bareilly.

2. The applicant Sunder Lal was the agent of Udainath Shah, who is the owner of a number of villages in the Bareilly district lying in various tahsils and including some in tahsil Baheri. A complaint was filed on his behalf against the applicant in the Court of the Sub-divisional Magistrate, Baheri, charging the applicant with embezzlement of large sums of money which he is said to have collected in all the villages in the Bareilly District. The question is whether the Sub-divisional Magistrate, whose territorial jurisdiction is limited to Tahsil Baheri, had jurisdiction to try him for embezzlement of what might have been collected in villages situate in other tahsils. The proceedings having so far advanced that a charge has been framed against the applicant. It was some time after the charge was framed that the applicant took objection to the Court having jurisdiction in respect of all the sums alleged to have been misappropriated by him. That objection was overruled by the Magistrate, and an application in revision made to the Sessions Judge questioning the correctness of the Magistrate's view was unsuccessful. The present application for revision was then filed, and the correctness of the view taken by the learned Sessions Judge in agreement with the Magistrate has been impugned in this Court. A learned Judge of this Court had the occasion to hear this case twice, and in view Of obscurity regarding certain material facts the asked for an explanation from the Magistrate who framed the charge. That explanation is now before me.

3. It appears that the applicant has been charged with criminal breach of trust in respect of a gross sum consisting of five items, three of which were received by him in villages situate in tahsils other than Baheri. Item 4 is part of a larger sum received by him as rent paid by tenants in a number of villages situate in different tahsils including some in Baheri. He credited the major part of the sums thus received, but is alleged to have misappropriated Rs. 44 odd. Thus it cannot be said with certainty whether this sum is part of what he had collected from tenants of villages situate in Tahsil Baheri. It is equally doubtful whether it represents part of collections made in villages situate in tahsils other than Baheri. Item 5 is one of Rs. 1036 which was not actually received by the applicant from the tenants, but represents consideration of certain bonds which were executed by the tenants in lieu of arrears payable by them. The applicant is alleged to have obtained the bonds in his own name and not in that of his master. The process of reasoning by which this sum of Rs. 1036 is probably considered to have bean misappropriated by the applicant is that having become the creditor of the tenants to the extent of Rs. 1,036 it was his duty to have paid an equal sum to or to the credit of his master, and having failed to do so and having obtained the bonds, for himself he should be deemed to have misappropriated that amount. It is premature to consider the precise criminal liability, if any, of the applicant as regards this sum of Rs. 1036. At the present stage I merely assume that the complainant's allegation that Rs. 1036 was misappropriated is well founded. It is not disputed that the tenants who executed bonds in favour of the applicant were all from villages situate in Tahsil Baheri.

4. The charge which has been framed by the Magistrate is one under Section 222(2), Criminal P.C. and specifies merely the gross sum made up of the five items above referred to without mentioning the dates on which criminal misappropriation of the particular items occurred. It follows, in terms of Section 222(2), that the applicant is charged with one offence in respect of the gross sum and not with five offences each having reference to a specific item.

5. Section 181(2), Criminal P.C., provides that

the offence of criminal misappropriation or of criminal broach 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.

6. It should be observed that according to the provision quoted above the place where the sum has been received may determine the forum even though the actual embezzlement might have taken place outside the jurisdiction of the Court before whom the accused is being tried.

7. It is nowhere alleged on behalf of the prosecution that each of the five items to which reference has been made was separately misappropriated. As is usual in such cases, it is alleged that the applicant received a number of items on various dates and subsequently embezzled the entire sum or part thereof in his hands. In any case it is open to the complainant and the Magistrate to consolidate all the items which the applicant is alleged to have received, and to frame a charge under Section 222(2) in respect of only one offence, instead of many, offences, as would be the case if each item received by him is to be the subject of a separate charge. The combined effect of Sections 222(2) and 181(2) is that the applicant can be 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 by him. As shown already, he is alleged Ito have received a part of the gross sum which he is alleged to have criminally misappropriated in villages situate in Tahsil Baheri within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate before whom the case against him is pending,

8. The learned advocate for the applicant has referred to Emperor v. Mohan Singh [1920] 42 All. 522, in support of an ingenious contention. He argues that as held in that case, no charge under Section 222(2); can be framed if the accused was an agent not only entitled to receive the money on behalf of his principal but empowered also to make disbursement, and if the charge relates to the balance left in his hands after proper disbursement. I express no opinion as regards the soundness of the legal proposition involved in this contention. If it is a correct view of law and if it appears in course of the trial that the applicant was an agent who was empowered not only to receive but also to make disbursements on behalf of the complainant, the prosecution will have to take the consequences of a charge under Section 222(2), if it is not applicable. So far as the question of jurisdiction is concerned, it has to be determined on the assumption that the charge framed by the learned Magistrate at the instance of the complainant is not open to any fatal objection. On that assumption, as I have already stated, the Magistrate has jurisdiction, and this application is dismissed.


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