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Shiv Pujan Misra Vs. the State of U.P. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1961CriLJ58
AppellantShiv Pujan Misra
RespondentThe State of U.P.
Excerpt:
.....investigation is the failure of sri abdul rahman khan to send such information to the additional district magistrate (j), lucknow. it is not contended that the failure of sri khan to send the requisite information mentioned above has caused any miscarriage of justice. putting the applicant's case at its highest, if the applicant succeeds in satisfying the court that he has suffered any prejudice on account of sri khan's failure to send the requisite information to the additional district magistrate (j), under the proviso to section 5-a, prevention of corruption act, the trial court would direct this defect to be cured by asking sri abdul rahman khan to comply with the requirements of the proviso to section 5-a of the act. from the affidavit of sri abdul rahman khan and the..........khan, applied for permission to investigate the case and it was granted by the learned additional district magistrate (j), lucknow, on the 8th may, 1958. after completing the investigation sri khan filed a charge-sheet against the applicant as stated above on the 28th of january, 1959.5. it has been argued on behalf of the applicant that the investigation of the case had really begun on the 14th of april, 195s, when the s.p., s.p.e. received information that the applicant was demanding a bribe and when the s.p.e. deputed sri abdul rahman khan, inspector, to enquire into the matter and not when the sanction to investigate had been obtained from the additional district magistrate (j) on the 8th may, 1958.it is further contended that before the additional district magistrate (j) granted.....
Judgment:
ORDER

R.A. Misra, J.

1. This is an application under sen-tion 561-A, Cr. P. G. by one Sri Shiv Pujan Misra who is being tried before the learned Special Judge, Anti Corruption, Lucknow, for an offence under Section 161 I.P.C. read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act Act No. 11 of 1947. It is prayed that the prosecution be quashed as it is illegal and it amounts to an abuse of the process of the Court.

2. The case started against the appellant on a charge-sheet which was filed by the Special Police Establishment, Delhi, on the 28th of January, 1959. On a, consideration of the documentary evidence produced before him, the learned Special Judge framed a charge against the applicant on the 22nd September, 1959, and adjourned the case for recording the prosecution evidence on the 19th November, 1959.

On the 19th November, 1959, the applicant presented an application alleging that the case had been investigated by Inspector Sri Abdul Rahman Khan without legal authority, hence the applicant's prosecuticon which was based on such defective and unauthorised investigation was bad in law and the case could not proceed against him. The applicant, therefore, prayed that the proceedings against him be quashed. The learned Judge overruled this objection by his order dated the 16th January, 1960. Hence the present application.

3. The question for consideration in the present case is whether the investigation in the case which was carried on by Sri Abdul Rahman Khan, S.P. E. was unauthorised and against law? If so, does this illegality vitiate the proceedings now being taken against the applicant?

4. For a correct decision of the question posed above it is necessary to consider in brief the circumstances under which the prosecution had started against the applicant. The applicant was posted as a clerk in the office of the Chief Engineer, N, E. Railway, Gorakhpur. On the 13th October, 1958, Sri Ram Autar Singh, Assistant Vigilance Officer, N. E. Railway, Gorakhpur, informed the S.P., S.P. E. Lucknow that the applicant was demanding a bribe of Rs. 400/- from one Ram Adhar Carpenter for securing him a job in the Loco Workshop, N. E. Railway, Gorakhpur.

The S.P., S.P. E. Lucknow Sri Arjun Singh, deputed Sri Abdul Rahman Khan, one of his inspectors, to go to Gorakhpur and explore the matter. Sri Khan reached Gorakhpur on the 18th April, 1958, and after meeting Shri Ram Autar Singh, contacted Ram Adhar carpenter on the 19th April, 1958. Ram Adhar gave Sri Khan a complaint in writing stating that the applicant was demanding: Rs. 400/- from him for getting him appointed to the job for which he had applied, and as he Ram Adhar had expressed his inability to pay Rs, 400/-in a lump sum, the applicant had agreed to receive this amount in small instalments.

The first instalment of Rs. 40/- was settled to be paid by Ram Adhar to the applicant on the 19th April, 1958. Sri Khan, therefore, arranged for a trap and it is alleged that Rs. 40/- in currency notes which was the bribe money given by Ram Adhar to the applicant was actually recovered from the applicant in the presence of independent witnesses. Sri Abdul Rahmani Khan prepared a raid report and on its basis a first information report was registered on the 20th April, 1958, with the S.P. E. Lucknow.

As required by Section 5 A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Sri Abdul Rahman Khan, applied for permission to investigate the case and it was granted by the learned Additional District Magistrate (J), Lucknow, on the 8th May, 1958. After completing the investigation Sri Khan filed a charge-sheet against the applicant as stated above on the 28th of January, 1959.

5. It has been argued on behalf of the applicant that the investigation of the case had really begun on the 14th of April, 195S, when the S.P., S.P.E. received information that the applicant was demanding a bribe and when the S.P.E. deputed Sri Abdul Rahman Khan, Inspector, to enquire into the matter and not when the sanction to investigate had been obtained from the Additional District Magistrate (J) on the 8th May, 1958.

It is further contended that before the Additional District Magistrate (J) granted the necessary permission, all the important links in the investigation had been Completed by Sri Khan and, therefore, the entire investigation was illegal and urn Authorised being hit by Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

(6-7) Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act reads as follows:

Notwithstanding anything contained in the Coda of Criminal Procedure, 1898 Act V of 1898, no police officer below the rank:

(a) in the presidency towns of Madras and Calcutta of an Assistant Commissioner of Police,

(b) in the presidency town of Bombay, of a Superintendent of Police, and

(c)elsewhere, of a Deputy Superintendent of Police.

shall investigate any offence punishable under Section 161, Section 165. or Section 165-A of the Indian Penal Code Act XLV of 1860 or under Sub-section (2) of Section 5 of this Act, without the order of a Presidency Magistrate or a Magistrate of the first class, as the case may be, or make any arrest therefor without a warrant:

Provided that a police officer of the Delhi Special Police Establishment, not below the rank of an Inspector of Police, who is specially authorized by the Inspector General of Police of that establishment may, if he has reasons to believe that, on account of the delay involved in obtaining the older of a Magistrate of the First Class, any valuable evidence relating to such offence is likely to be destroyed or concealed, investigate the offence without such order, but in every case where he makes such investigation, the police officer Khali, as soon as may be, send a report of the same to a Magistrate of the first class, together with the circunstances in which the investigation was made.'

8. It will be observed that according to this section no officer of the police below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent in non-presidency towns can investigate an offence punishable under Section 161 and Section 5 Sub-section (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act without the order of a Magistrate, first class. However, by the proviso attached to this section, it is provided that an inspector of the police of the Delhi Special Establishment, if he is specially authorised by the Inspector-General of Police of that Establishment, may investigate a case for the above noted offences even without the order of a Magistrate of the first class, if he has reasons to believe that on account of the delay involved in obtaining the order of such a Magistrate any valuable evidence relating to such offence is likely to be destroyed or concealed. But in such a case the law enjoins upon the Inspector the observance of a further condition that he shall, as soon as it may be, send a report of the same to a Magistrate of the first class together with the circumstances in which the investigation was made.

9. On the 19th November, 1959, when the legality of the investigation was questioned by the applicant on account of the breach of the mandatory provisions of Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the prosecution contended that they had documentary evidence in their possession to satisfy the Court that Sri Abdul Rahman Khan had acted in accordance with this proviso and that he had submitted the requisite report dated 19th April, 1958, to the Additional District Magistrate (J) Lucknow on the 20th April, 1958, and asked for time to produce the same.

The learned trial Court, therefore, adjourned the case to 2nd December, 1959, and asked the prosecution to show that on or about the 19th April, 1958, the investigating officer Sri Abdul Rahman Khan had indicated in writing that he had reasons to believe that on account of the delay involved in obtaining the order of a Magistrate, first class, some valuable evidence relating to offences was likely to be destroyed or concealed and further that Sri Khan had sent a report to that effect immediately after the raid to the Additional District Magistrate (J), showing the circumstances in which the investigation was made,

10. On the 2nd December, 1959, the Assistant Public Prosecutor showed the learned Special Judge the general authority of the Inspector General S, P. E., Delhi, dated 15/28th June, 1957, authorising Sri Abdul Rahman Khan, Inspector, to investigate cases falling under Section 5(2) of Act II of 1947 without the previous permission of a Magistrate of the first class. To ascertain the truth of the plea raised on behalf of the prosecution, the learned Special Judge sent a requisition to the Additional District Magistrate (J) Luclcnow, asking him to send the alleged report of Sri Khan to his Court but the requisition was sent back with the remark that no such report was traceable in that Court.

On 2nd December, 1959, the A.P.P. produced a report which purported to be a carbon copy of the original report which had been submitted to the Additional District Magistrate (J), Lucknow, by Sri Abdul Rahman Khan on the 20th April, 1958, under the provision to Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act and which could not be traced as mentioned above.

The defence objected to the genuineness of this copy and contended that it was a forgery which had been got prepared only to meet the applicant's objection. The Court, therefore, directed Sri Khan to file an affidavit in support of the fact that the original report had been submitted to the Additional Distinct Magistrate (J) on the 20th April, 1958, and that the Carbon copy produced in Court was its true copy,

11. Sri Khan was allowed time to file his affidavit by the 12th December, 1959, and the accused was permitted to file a counter affidavit if he so desired, not later than the 19th December, 1959. Sri Khan filed an affidavit dated 11th December, 1959 swearing that after laying the trap against the applicant Sri Shiv Pujan Misra on the 19th April, 1958. at Gorakhpur, he had personally submitted the original report on the 20th April, 1958, to the Additional District Magistrate (J) mentioning all the circumstances under which he had laid the trap without obtaining the previous permission of the Magistrate, first class, and that the carbon copy of the said report was in the police file and that he had not received any. acknowledgment from the additional District Magistrate (J) on the carbon copy when he submitted its original.

The applicant Shiv Pujan Misra filed a counter affidavit in which he pointed certain circumstances to show that the claim of Sri Khan that he had presented the original report required under Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act to the Additional District Magistrate (J) on the 20th April, 1958, could not be correct. Obviously the applicant could not contradict Sri Khan's averment to the effect that he had personally presented the report to the Additional District Magistrate (J) on the 20th April, 1958, from personal knowledge because it is not alleged nor claimed that the applicant Sri Shiv Pujan Misra was present before the Additional District Magistrate (J.), Lucknow, when Sri Khan presented the report.

12. The trial Court while it preferred the affidavit of Sri Khan as being more definite than the affidavit of the applicant, did not choose to rely on the carbon copy of the report on the ground that no copy of the same had been supplied to the applicant even till the date of the framing of the charge-sheet. He, however, overruled the objection of the applicant on the ground that the investigation really commenced after the 8th May, 1958, and not before, hence there was no illegality in it.

13. I have heard the learned Counsel for the applicant at considerable length but in my opinion uo case has been made out for quashing the prosecution of the applicant. Even without deciding the legal question whether the investigation would be deemed to commence on the 14th April, 1958, or after the 8th May, 1958, I hold that the investigation conducted by Sri Khan does not suffer from illegality at any stage which would vitiate the applicant's prosecution. In my opinion, there has-been no contravention of the provisions of Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

14. There is pf course force in the contention of the applicant that the provisions of Section 5~A of the Prevention of Corruption Act are mandatory and their non-observance amounts to an illegality. This view finds complete support from a decision of the Supreme Court reported in H. N. Rishbud v. State of Delhi : 1955CriLJ526 in which their Lordships after discussing the relevant provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure held that this section was enacted with a definite policy behind it.

The policy underlying this section, as observed by their Lordships, was that public servants, who had to discharge their functions -often enough in difficult circumstances - should not be exposed to the harassment of investigation, on information levelled possibly by persons affected by their official acts, unless a Magistrate is satisfied that investigation is Called for and, on such satisfaction, authorises the same Giving their decision on the point their Lordships held:

We are, therefore, clear in our opinion that Section 5(4) and Proviso to Section 3 of the Act and the corresponding Section 5-A of Act 59 of 1953 are mandatory and not directory and that the investigation conducted in violation thereof bears the stamp of illegality.

15. In the present case the permission to investigate the case was given by the Additional District Magistrate (J), Lucknow, admittedly on the 8th May, 1958. IS the claim of Sri Abdul Rahman Khan that he had sent the requisite information to the Additional District Magistrate (J), on the 20th April, 1958, in compliance with the proviso contained in Section 5'A is not substantiated, there can be no doubt that the investigation that was carried on by him before the 8th May, 1958, and which in a substantial measure covers the entire case, will be deemed illegal.

16. Before deciding whether Sri Khan had actually sent the information required under the Proviso to Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act to the Additional District Magistrate (J) on the 20th April, 1958, another question which needs decision is whether the prosecution before the Court which follows an unauthorised and illegal investigation is vitiated. Their Lordships of the Supreme Court had to decide this question also in the case of : 1955CriLJ526 noted above. On this point thier Lordships held that

trial follows cognizance and cognizance is preceded by investigation. This is undoubtedly the basic principle of the Code in respect of the cognizable offences but it does not necessarily follow that an invalid investigation nullifies the cognizance of trial based thereon.

Proceeding further their Lordships observed:

A delect or illegality in the investigation, however serious, has no direct bearing on the competence or the procedure relating to cognizance or trial. No doubt a police report which results from an investigation is provided in Section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as the material on which cognizance is taken but it cannot be maintained that a valid and legal report is the foundation of the jurisdiction of the Court to take cognizance.

Lastly, their Lordships held that:

If the cognizance is taken in fact on a police report vitiated by the breach of a mandatory provision relating to investigation, there can be no doubt that the result of the trial which follows it cannot be set aside unless the illegality in the investigation can be shown to have brought about a miscarriage of justice. That an illegality committed in the course of investigation does not affect the competence and the jurisdiction of the Court for trial is well-settled, as appears from the cases of Prabhu v. Emperor and Lumbhardar Zutshi v. The King AIR 1950 PC 26.

Proceeding to consider the effect of the illegality committed in the investigation, their Lordships have held that such an illegality Cannot be completely ignored by the Court during the trial. Their Lordships have directed that when the breach of such a mandatory provision is brought to the knowledge of the Court at a sufficiently early stage, the Court while not declining cognizance will have to take the necessary steps to get the illegality cured and the defect rectified by ordaining such investigation as the circumstances of an individual case may call for.

17. It is, therefore, clear from the observations quoted above that a mere illegality in the investigation does not affect a trial unless the illegality is shown to have caused a miscarriage of justice. And even such an illegality in the investigation: does not vitiate the trial but only the illegality in the investigation should he cured by ordering a fresh investigation from the stage from which the investigation is held defective.

18. In the instant case, in view of the provisions of Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the investigation carried on by Sri Abdul Rahman Khan would be deemed to be completely valid only if it can be shown that he had complied with the requirements of the Proviso to that section by sending the requisite information to the Additional District Magistrate J, in time.

Assuming that he did not do so, the only illegality which shall be deemed to have been committed in his investigation is the failure of Sri Abdul Rahman Khan to send such information to the Additional District Magistrate (J), Lucknow. It is not contended that the failure of Sri Khan to send the requisite information mentioned above has caused any miscarriage of justice.

The illegality in the investigation in the present case, if any, therefore is inconsequential and does not affect the validity of the trial. Putting the applicant's case at its highest, if the applicant succeeds in satisfying the Court that he has suffered any prejudice on account of Sri Khan's failure to send the requisite information to the Additional District Magistrate (J), under the proviso to Section 5-A, Prevention of Corruption Act, the trial Court would direct this defect to be cured by asking Sri Abdul Rahman Khan to comply with the requirements of the proviso to Section 5-A of the Act.

But as observed above, no miscarriage of justice in fact has resulted in this case even if it be assumed that Sri Khan did not send the said information to the Additional District Magistrate (J), Luck-now, on the 30th April, 1958, and therefore the illegality in the investigation, if any, has no effect on the trial of the applicant before the learned Special Judge.

19. On facts also the applicant has no case. From the affidavit of Sri Abdul Rahman Khan and the circumstances of the case, I am satisfied that Sri Abdul Rahman Khan had submitted the requisite information to the Additional District Magistrate (J), on the 20th April, 1958, in compliance with the proviso to Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, as claimed by him.

20. The affidavit filed by the applicant Sri Shiv Pujan Misra does not directly contradict the statement of Sri Khan which is to the effect that he had personally delivered the written information to the Additional District Magistrate (J), Lucknow, on the 20th April, 1958, and that he had retained the carbon copy of the same which has now been produced before the trial Court Sri Shiv Pujan Misra has only given some circumstances in support of his contention that Sri Khan did not and could not have submitted the information to the Additional District Magistrate (J), on the 20th April, 1958.

Sri Abdul Rahman Khan is a fairly senior and experienced police official. No personal animus or bias is suggested by the applicant against him. No reason has been shown, as to why Sri Abdul Rahman Khan should stoop to swear a false affidavit against the applicant who does not even allege any personal bias against him. On the 19th November, 1959, as soon as the objection was raised on behalf of the applicant questioning the legality of the investigation, the prosecution replied the same day that they had in their possession documentary evidence to show that Sri Abdul Rahman Khan had furnished the requisite information as required under Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act to the Additional District Magistrate (J), on the 28th April, 1958.

It is true that the original document containing the information could not be traced in the office of the Additional District Magistrate (J), but the fact that even before reference was made to the Additional District Magistrate (J), on the subject Sri Khan had the courage to assert that such a document was present in the Court of the Additional District Magistrate (J) induces belief in the strength of his assertion.

Unless it was true that he had submitted such information to the Additional District Magistrate (J) and he honestly believed that the same was present in his office and would be produced when summoned, it is difficult to understand that Sri Khan would make such a bold claim on the 19th November, 1959. It was unfortunate that the original report for some reasons, not known, could not be found out.

But I am satisfied that the carbon copy produced by Sri Khan in support of his contention that its original had been delivered to the Additional District Magistrate (J), Lucknow, on the 20th April, 1958, is correct. There is absolutely no reason to doubt the truth of the statement of Sri Khan contained in his affidavit in this regard.

21. The learned Counsel for the applicant has cited some of circumstances to support his argument that the carbon copy produced by Sri Khan is a forgery. In iny opinion, none of the circumstances whether taken individually or taken together are sufficient to support this contention. It is firstly pointed out that no copy of this report which was submitted by Sri Abdul Rahman Khan to the Additional District Magistrate (J), Lucknow, was supplied to the accused, when he was furnished with copies of the remaining record under sec-tion 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

In my opinion, the prosecution are required to supply to the accused copies of only those documents or relevant extracts thereof on which the prosecution propose to rely including the statements and confession recorded under Section 164 and the statements recorded under Sub-section (3) of Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of all the persons whom the prosecution propose to examine as their witnesses. The information in question is not one of the kinds of documents of which it copy should have been supplied to the applicant under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

22. It is again pointed out that the raid report prepared on the 20th April, 1958, which had been bodily incorporated in the first information report does not mention that Sri Khan had sent the information required under the proviso to Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act to the Additional District Magistrate (J). This circumstance, according to the learned Counsel, supports his argument about the doubtful nature of the carbon copy produced. I see no force in this argument also, Sri Abdul Rahman Khan could have mentioned if he liked that he had sent the information to the Additional District Magistrate (J), also as required under the proviso to Section 5-A, but in my opinion it was not necessary for him to do so and his omission to mention the same in the raid report does not raise any doubt about the correctness of his assertion made in his affidavit. No other circumstance or evidence has been pointed out to me to doubt the genuineness of the carbon copy produced by Sri Abdul Rahman Khan.

23. In the result, I hold that after carrying out the raid Sri Abdul Rahman Khan, in compliance with the requirements of the proviso to Section 5-A of the Prevention of Corruption Act, had submitted the necessary report to the Additional District Magistrate (J), Lucknow, on the 20th April, 1958, and that the carbon copy produced before the learned Special Judge is a genuine copy of that original report. I hold that the investigation of the case was carried out according to law and it does not suffer from any illegality.

24. As a result of the findings and discussion given above, I do not see any force in this petition and no case has been made out for quashing the prosecution of the applicant pending before the learned. Special Judge, Anti Corruption, Lucknow.

25. This application is dismissed. The record of the case shall be sent back to the trial Court for disposal according to law.


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