1. The essential facts connected with this application for revision are simple The applicant Rahmatullah was sent up for trial on a charge under Section 295, Indian Penal Code, and in the course of his trial evidence was given against him by a Sub-Inspector of Police of the name of Jaigobind Pershad. His defence was that a false case had been got up against him and that the Sub-Inspector had lent himself to the prosecution knowing it to be false. He gave certain reasons for the alleged conduct of the Sob-Inspector--reasons which involve specific allegations of fact. The Sub-Inspector in the witness-box denied the existence of the facts thus alleged. The trying Magistrate came to the conclusion that the charge against Rahmatullah was not proved. He seems to have thought that a false case had been brought against the man and with regard to the matters of fact as to which the Sub-Inspector had been cross-examined he recorded his opinion that the Sub-inspector had not spoken the truth.
2. Rahamatullah having been acquitted on these findings presented a petition to the Magistrate for sanction to prosecute the Sub-Inspector on a charge framed under Section 193, Indian Penal Code, in respect of certain statements on matters of fact made by the Sub-Inspector in the course of his evidence. That application was rejected by the Magistrate and I may say at once that the reasons given for rejecting it are not adequate or valid in law. I think it unnecessary to say more than this Rahmatullah thereupon brought the matter before the Sessions Judge under Clause (6), Section 195, Criminal Procedure Code. Under that section the Sessions Judge had discretion to give or to refuse the sanction which the Magistrate had refused to grant. He evidently thought that the matter was one which called for further investigation before a sanction was rather given or refused. He accordingly proceeded to hold a very thorough and searching enquiry in the course of which he examined the Sub-Inspector on oath and recorded a quantity of other evidence. Having done this he rejected Rahmatulla's application. For the petition of revision presented to this Court by Rahmatullah there are a number of paragraphs which challenge the soundness of the conclusion arrived at by the learned Sessions Judge on the merits i.e., on the materials before him and actually used by him in arriving at his conclusion. With regard to all these pleas I am content to say that even supposing matters of this sort could with propriety be gone into by this Court on an application like the present, I am of opinion that the learned Sessions Judge has given strong, and satisfactory reasons for holding that the prosecution of the Sub-Inspector on this matter ought not to be sanctioned. What remains for my consideration is whether my interference is called for either by reason of the unsatisfactory nature of the order passed by the Magistrate or by reasons of the alleged impropriety of the Sessions Judge's conduct in instituting an enquiry and taking evidence in the manner already explained. Section 195 of the Criminal Procedure Code does not in itself lay down anything as to the materials upon which a Court is to proceed when considering an application for sanction. It does not say that the Court is bound to proceed on such materials as may be on the record at the time when sanction was applied for, neither on the other hand does it in terms empower the Court to hold an enquiry before granting or refusing sanction: at the same time it does invest the Court with a discretion to proceed either by way of sanction or by way of complaint and Section 476 of the same Code expressly empowers a Court to make any preliminary enquiry that it may consider necessary before taking action under that section. The matter now in question had certainly been brought under the notice of the Sessions Judge in the course of a judicial proceeding. If he had seen fit to record a memorandum to the effect that under the circumstances, he was not prepared either to grant the sanction asked for by Rahmatullah or to confirm the Magistrate's order refusing sanction without first making some enquiry, with a view to satisfying himself whether the matter was not one in which it was more expedient for him to proceed by way of complaint under Section 476, Criminal Procedure Code, there could not, in my opinion, have been any doubt as to the legality of his action. It seems to me that the Sessions Judge in the present case adopted in substance a course which was legally open to him and I also incline to the opinion that it was a very proper course for him to adopt under the circumstances. The Magistrate had expressed in clear terms his opinion that the evidence given before him by the Sub-Inspector was false on plain matters of fact well within the knowledge of the witness. At the same time he had refused to sanction the prosecution of that witness and had given no valid reasons for so refusing sanction. The Sessions Judge can scarcely be blamed for thinking that he had better make some enquiry not merely into the facts, but with regard to the nature of the evidence available in the event of a prosecution being instituted before either granting or refusing the application made by Rahmatullah to his Court. In this view of the matter I am satisfied that my interference is not called for. I reject this application.