1. This is an application in revision in a case in which the learned Sessions Judge, acting under the provisions of Section 437, Criminal Procedure Code, has set aside an order of discharge passed under Section 209 and directed the commitment of the accused to the court of session. The case was one under Section 218 of the Indian Penal Code, triable exclusively by the court of session, in which a patwari was accused of intentionally framing an incorrect record with a view to cause injury to the complainant. The Magistrate who heard the case came to the conclusion that on the evidence befere him there was absolutely no material on which he could hold that the patwari intentionally prepared a wrong record or that he did so with the intention of injuring the complainant. He was indeed so strongly satisfied that the prosecution was without foundation that he directed proceedings to be taken against the complainant under Section 476 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Holding this view, he discharged the accused, as he was bound to do, under the provisions of Section 209. That section lays down that if the Magistrate finds that there are not sufficient grounds for committing the accused person for trial, he shall record his reasons and discharge him. The learned Sesisons Judge has set aside this order on the ground, to quote his own words, that 'there have been several rulings to the effect that such cases, if made out prima facie, should be committed to the sessions court and nor discharged by a Magistrate.'
2. As the learned Sessions Judge has nowhere said that the reasons given by the Magistrate for discharging the accused are insufficient, I understand his view to be that if the prosecution makes statements which, if accepted at their face value, might make out a case against the accused, he is bound to commit him to sessions, even though he is satisfied that no grounds for so doing exist and that the charge is a baseless one. If this is the learned Sessions Judge's view, it is entirely erroneous. It is true that there are one or two old cases, e.g. Chiranji Lal v. Ram Lal Weekly Notes 1904 p. 5, in which this proposition has been laid down, but it has been dissented from in a long series of cases, of which I may instance Fattu v. Fattu (1904) 12 I.L.R. 26 All. 564, Shahzad v. King-Emperor (1913) 12 A.L.J. 150, Dharam Singh v. Joti Prasad (1915) I.L.R. 37 All. 355 and Muhammad Abdul Hadi v. Baldeo Sahai (1921) I.L.R. 44 All. 57. It is now settled law that if a Magistrate is satisfied that the charge is without foundation and that there are no sufficient grounds for committing the accused person for trial, he is entitled, and indeed it is his duty, to discharge him.
3. For the above reasons, I accept this application and set aside the order of the court below.