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Baij Nath Vs. Raja Ram - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in16Ind.Cas.512
AppellantBaij Nath
RespondentRaja Ram
Excerpt:
criminal procedure code (act v of 1898), sections 200, 202 - presentation of complaint--duty of magistrate--preliminary inquiry, how to be conducted--local investigation. - - the complaint is certainly, as it stands, a rambling document with a good deal of irrelevant matter. this was all the more necessary inasmuch as the complainant was a minor, who had just attained majority, and the person against whom he was making the complaint is the munim of the firm, presumably a man well acquainted with the business procedure of such firms. anyhow, the matter went up to the learned sessions judge who has, very properly in my opinion, ordered a further inquiry in this matter which had been dismissed under section 203. i am asked to revise this order, but the grounds taken are precisely the very..........is entitled to have it properly considered by the magistrate in whose court he made it. the duty of a magistrate receiving such a complaint is set out in section 200 of the criminal procedure code. it is the magistrate's duty at once to examine the complainant on oath and to reduce the substance of that examination to writing. in the present instance, there was a most perfunctory carrying out of these important provisions of the code. i doubt, myself, whether the magistrate did examine the complainant. if he did, and if the substance of the examination has been correctly reduced to writing, the magistrate could have been at no pains to find out what really was the complaint made before him. this was all the more necessary inasmuch as the complainant was a minor, who had just.....
Judgment:

George Knox, J.

1. Raja Ram, a young man who, it is said, has just attained his majority, filed a complaint in the Court of a Magistrate of the first class at Agra, The complaint was laid against two persons, one of them being Makhan Lal, who is said to be a munim of the firm of which the complainant says he is the proprietor. The complaint is certainly, as it stands, a rambling document with a good deal of irrelevant matter. It is, however, a complaint and the complainant is entitled to have it properly considered by the Magistrate in whose Court he made it. The duty of a Magistrate receiving such a complaint is set out in Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It is the Magistrate's duty at once to examine the complainant on oath and to reduce the substance of that examination to writing. In the present instance, there was a most perfunctory carrying out of these important provisions of the Code. I doubt, myself, whether the Magistrate did examine the complainant. If he did, and if the substance of the examination has been correctly reduced to writing, the Magistrate could have been at no pains to find out what really was the complaint made before him. This was all the more necessary inasmuch as the complainant was a minor, who had just attained majority, and the person against whom he was making the complaint is the munim of the firm, presumably a man well acquainted with the business procedure of such firms. I do not say that the Magistrate was to go out of his way, and in any way to partizan the complainant. This would be a serious error, but he is there to do justice between the parties, and it was his duty to find out whether there was any matter which called for investigation by a Criminal Court. The Magistrate contented himself with the four or five lines of a very perfunctory examination, and he then directed an investigation by one Seth Suraj Bhan, who is, I believe, an Honorary Magistrate. Now, if the Magistrate had ever studied Section 202, he would find that the duty of making such an inquiry, as is here contemplated, lies upon him. This was no case for a local investigation. There was no quarrel about boundaries or any matter of that kind, and it is only a local investigation which the Magistrate after examining the complainant can pass on to some one else. The order of the Magistrate passed under Section 202 was an illegal order and every thing that followed from it is illegal. The Magistrate, however, seeing in this case through the eyes of the said Honorary Magistrate, Suraj Bhan, came to the conclusion that the matter was one to be dealt with, as he describes it, under the more difficult procedure of the Civil Court. Why the procedure of the Civil Court should thus be characterized, I do not know. Anyhow, the matter went up to the learned Sessions Judge who has, very properly in my opinion, ordered a further inquiry in this matter which had been dismissed under Section 203. I am asked to revise this order, but the grounds taken are precisely the very grounds which should be urged in favour of a more full and legal inquiry. It is, really owing to the Magistrate's having neglected to carry out a proper inquiry in the first instance, that all this trouble is due. I do not know why Baij Nath and Makhan Lal are so keen in opposing this order. No process up to the present moment has been issued against them, there has not been any injury to them and they are in the position of persons running out to meet a danger which has not yet come to their door. It may well be that when a proper inquiry has been held under Sections 200 and 202, that the Magistrate may still find that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding or it may be that he will find that there is good ground for proceeding. Upon that matter, I make no pronouncement. The order of the Sessions Court is upheld. The case will go back for a further inquiry according to law.


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