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Ganga Prasad Jaiswal Vs. Chhotelal Jain - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. No. 175 of 1962
Judge
Reported inAIR1963MP128; 1963CriLJ445
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 179
AppellantGanga Prasad Jaiswal
RespondentChhotelal Jain
Appellant AdvocateR.S. Dabir, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateS. Awasthy and ;J.P. Upadhyaya, Advs.
Cases ReferredBarkat Ali v. Imperial Bank of India
Excerpt:
- - 9. this brings me to the question whether the offence of cheating committed at allahabad can be tried at jabalpur as well. it was contended that the trial was bad inasmuch as the magistrate at lahore had no jurisdiction......on november 22, 1960, messrs. shri gopal rameshwar das, jabalpur, entrusted to the complainant a bank draft for rs. 15,000/- payable to shri uma shankar oil mills, allahabad, by handing over to the said mills against delivery of 400 tins of mustard oil. the complainant went to allahabad. there he met the accused gangaprasad in the premises of the mills and informed him of having brought the aforesaid draft with the aforesaid instructions.as the complainant was not willing to hand over the draft without delivery of the oil, the accused sent for a truck and loaded it with cans containing the requisite weight of oil. the accused instructed the driver of the truck to carry it to jabalpur under the complainant's direction. when this was done, the complainant handed over the draft to the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. Chhotelal filed a complaint in the Court of Magistrate First Class, Jabalpur, against Gangaprasad Jaiswal, Partner of Messrs. Shri Uma Shankar Oil Mills, Allahabad, under Sections 417, 420 and 500 of the Penal Code. In short the allegations were these. On November 22, 1960, Messrs. Shri Gopal Rameshwar Das, Jabalpur, entrusted to the complainant a bank draft for Rs. 15,000/- payable to Shri Uma Shankar Oil Mills, Allahabad, by handing over to the said Mills against delivery of 400 tins of mustard oil. The complainant went to Allahabad. There he met the accused Gangaprasad in the premises of the Mills and informed him of having brought the aforesaid draft with the aforesaid instructions.

As the complainant was not willing to hand over the draft without delivery of the oil, the accused sent for a truck and loaded it with cans containing the requisite weight of oil. The accused instructed the driver of the truck to carry it to Jabalpur under the complainant's direction. When this was done, the complainant handed over the draft to the accused. No sooner the accused got the draft than he ordered the truck to be unloaded and in spite of complainant's vehement protests the oil cans were removed from the truck and it was sent away. The complainant was threatened with dire consequence if he did not leave Allahabad immediately. The entire atmosphere was charged with menace so that he immediately left for Jabalpur. In the mean time, the Jabalpur firm had informd the accused by telegram about having sent the draft and requested him for despatch of the oil. The accused denied the fact of receipt of the draft. He encashed it on the 24th November.

2. It is further alleged in the complaint that the accused informed Messrs. Shri Gopal Rameshwar Das that the complainant had entered into a bargain with the accused in his own name and on his personal account and had also given the draft as his own money and, further, that the complainant was indebted to the accused to the extent of Rs. 2,500/-.

3. It is then stated in the complaint that on January 6, 1961, the complainant was called at the premises of Messrs. Satya Narayan and Company, Jabalpur, and asked to sign as a witness on an agreement between Messrs. Shri Gopal Rameshwar Das of the one part and the accused of the other, in which the aforesaid false story was repeated. The complainant was reluctant to sign even as a witness but eventually he was persuaded to do so on the ground that Messrs. Shri Gopal Rameshwar Das would lose Rs. 15,000/- if the complainant did not sign the document. It is alleged that the complainant signed the agreement as a witness under undue influence.

4. On these allegations, it is said in thecomplaint that the offences of cheating were committed (1) at Allahabad when there was a false representation and the draft was obtained from the complainant, and (2) at Jabalpur when the complainant was made to sign the agreement of the 6th January; and the offence of defamation was committed when the accused deliberately and falsely informed the Jabalpur firm that the complainant had given the draft as his own and had entered into a bargain on his own account and that he was indebted to the extent of Rs. 2,500/-.

5. By way of a preliminary objection the accused challenged the jurisdiction of the Jabalpur Court. It was overruled by the trial Magistrate. Me went in revision which has been dismissed by the First Additional Sessions Judge, Jabalpur. Hence this revision.

6. Shri R. S. Dabir, learned counsel for the accused contends that the case does not fall within the purview of Section 1 79 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and since on the complainant's own showing the offence was committed at Allahabad, the Court at Jabalpur has no jurisdiction to try the offence of cheating. As to the offence of defamation he contends that no case is made out even on the allegations made in the complaint and, at any rate, the accused was protected under Exception (9) to Section 499 of the Penal Code.

7. Regarding the offence of defamation I would guard myself against expressing any opinion as to whether it is constituted or not and whether the accused is entitled to the benefit of Exception (9). Those are matters which can again be agitated by the accused before the trial Magistrate on an appropriate occasion. It will not be proper to dismiss the complaint with regard to the charge of defamation at this stage. The learned Magistrate does not seem to have seriously applied his mind to that question, perhaps for want of adequate material. It will be open to the accused to move the trial Magistrate again. Quite apart from the question whether the offence of defamation is constituted or not, I have no doubt that the Court at Jabalpur has jurisdiction to try it inasmuch as the imputation was published here.

8. As regards the offence of cheating alleged to have been committed at Jabalpur, I have carefully perused paragraph 8 of the complaint which contains the incident of the 6th January. It does not disclose that the accused played any part in that incident. His presence is not mentioned there. It is vaguely alleged that the complainant signed the agreement as a witness under the undue influence of 'persons present there including Shri Radheshyam Agrawal' (proprietor of Messrs. Shri Gopal Rameshwar Das, Jabalpur). Radheshyam is not an accused. Learned counsel for the complainant is unable to satisfy me that paragraph 8 contains any accusation of cheating against the accused. This part of the complaint must, therefore, be dismissed outright as it does not disclose any offence to have been committed by the accused.

9. This brings me to the question whether the offence of cheating committed at Allahabad can be tried at Jabalpur as well. The trial Magistrate has disposed of this point in a very slipshod manner and his order does not disclose any serious application of the mind. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has gone into the question elaborately and has decided it against the accused, relying on a decision of the Allahabad High Court reported in Emperor v. Atma Ram, AIR 1934 All 846. Reliance is placed by the learned counsel for the complainant on Section 179 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which confers jurisdiction on Courts constituted at the place where the act constituting the offence was committed as also at the place where the consequence ensued. The argument is that although the misrepresntation took place at Allahabad and the complainant was also made to deliver the bank draft at Allahabad, the real consequence of the offence, that is to say, the loss which flowed from cheating occurred to the firm Shri Gopal Rameshwar Das at Jabalpur.

10. On a careful perusal of Section 179 it is quite clear to me that the word 'consequence' occurring therein connotes only that consequence which is an integral part of the offence and not a consequence which is not material to the culpability of the accused in relation to that particular offence. On an analysis of Section 179 it must be said that it confers jurisdiction on :

(1) the Court within whose territorial jurisdiction anything was done by reason of which a person is accused of the commission of the offence; and

(2) the Court within whose territorial limits any consequence ensued by reason of which the person is accused of the commission of any offence.

The expression 'by reason of which' is of the utmost significance and it governs both the clauses, i.e., anything which has been done, and any consequence which has ensued. The latter has been made undoubted by the use of the word 'of, meaning 'by reason of. It is, therefore, not every consequence which may flow from a crime which may confer jurisdiction to the Court within whose local limits it ensued. This I would illustrate by two examples. A assaulted B at X. He was removed to the hospital at Y where he died. At Z resides the family of B. Although the Courts at X and Y will have jurisdiction to try the offence because the assault is the act which is an integral part of the offence and the death is also an integral part of the offence of murder or culpable homicide, yet the Court at Z will have no jurisdiction simply because in consequence of the murder, B.'s family suffered there.

Another instance is found in the decision of Mr. Justice Desai (as he then was) in Ibrat Hussain v. The State, (S) AIR 1955 All 363. That was a case under Section 494 of the Penal Code. It was held that the offender could be tried at the glace where he married the complainant's wife but not at the place where the complainant suffered the consequence, namely, the deprivation of the consortium of the wife at his own house. Although the last mentioned consequence undoubtedly flows from the offence, yet it is not its ingredient so that it is immaterial for the constitution of that offence. Instances can be multiplied but I considerit wholly unnecessary in view of the clear language of the law.

11. Learned counsel for the complainant relies on Ishar Das v. Emperor, 8 Cri LJ 75 (Lah). In that case one D of Lahore presented a forged draft and got it cashed at the Bombay Office of the Mercantile Bank of India having no branch in the Punjab. On another date one I of Amritsar presented another forged draft and got it cashed with the help of D at Multan Branch of the Punjab National Bank. Both the drafts purported to have been signed 'and issued by the Manager of the Amritsar Branch of the Punjab National Bank which had no branch at Bombay and of which the Head Office was at Lahore, Both the accused D and I were jointly tried by a Magistrate at, Lahore. It was contended that the trial was bad inasmuch as the Magistrate at Lahore had no jurisdiction. It was held with the aid of Section 179, Cri. P. C., that the Lahore Court had jurisdiction inasmuch as the loss to the Bank, which occurred at Lahore where the Head Office of the Punjab National Bank was situate, was the consequence contemplated in that section. If that case lays down such a broad proposition as to say that it is the loss which is occasioned as a consequence of the cheating which confers jurisdiction on the Court, I respectfully disagree. A remote loss or consequence which is not an integral part of the offence is not contemplated by Section 179, Cri. P. C.

12. Applying the above test to the present case it must be said that the alleged offence of cheating was committed at Allahabad when the complainant was made to deliver the Bank Draft to the accused by loading the oil cans in the truck not with the intention of delivering the goods but solely for the purpose of taking the draft from him. The act of the accused in making the representation to the complainant and in taking the draft from him were committed at Allahabad. By reason of these things done, the applicant may be accused of having committed cheating. The consequence which ensued was the handing over of the Bank Draft by the complainant which he would not have delivered to the accused, if he had not been deceived by the accused. It was 'by reason of this consequence -- the delivery of the draft --that the applicant may be accused of having committed cheating.

But the remote pecuniary loss which was ultimately occasioned to the principal firm is not an integral part of cheating inasmuch as it was not by reason of the loss suffered by the principal that the offence of cheating was constituted. Since the offence was complete in itself by reason of the act having been done at Allahabad and the consequence of the pecuniary loss to the Jabalpur firm is a mere result which was not essential for the completion of the offence, Section 179 is not applicable. This is all the more clear from the illustrations to that section. All the consequences mentioned in each of those illustrations are such as are integral part of the offence, that is to say, without which the offence is not complete.

13. Payment by draft essentially differs from payment by cheque. When a Bank issues a draft payable on another 'Branch of the sameBank or on some other Bank, a debit entry is made in the accounts of the issuing Bank, in ad-vance, in anticipation of the fact that the draft would be cashed and payment would be made to the holder at the Bank named in the draft. If actually such payment is not had and the draft is not cashed, then the debit entry is accordingly corrected. A draft differs from a cheque firstly in that it can be drawn only by a Bank on another bank or another Branch of the same Bank but not by a private individual as in the case of cheques and, secondly, in that it cannot so easily be countermanded as a cheque, either by the person purchasing it or by the Bank to which it is presented. It was held in Barkat Ali v. Imperial Bank of India, AIR 1945 Lah 213, that the purchaser of a draft is not entitled to ask the issuing Bank to stop its payment on the grounds such as matters relating to the consideration in respect of which the draft was issued at his instance.

14. In the present case the offence became complete as soon as, because of the alleged deception ' 'practised on the accused, the complainant delivered the draft to him. In the case of AIR 1934 All 846 (supra) although the contract of sale was entered into at Dehradun by the agent of the complainant, on the latter's advice the firm in which he was a partner and which carried on business of' commission agents at Muzaffarnagar the Bijaks were purchased at Muzaffarnagar. It was held that the complainant's firm' at Muzaffarnagar was deceived into purchasing the Bijaks in consequence of misrepresentation made by the accused through the complainant and that but for his misrepresentation the purchase would not have been made at Muzaffarnagar, so that the consequences ensued at Muzaffarnagar. On those facts Section 179 was applied. In the present case the firm at Jabalpur of which the complainant was an agent did nothing at Jabalpur in consequence of the deception practised upon the agent at Allahabad. The learned Additional Sessions Judge erred in taking aid of the said decision of the Allahabad High Court.

15. In the result I hold that the Magistrate at Jabalpur has no jurisdiction to try the offence of cheating. That part of the complaint is not triable at Jabalpur. The case is sent back to the trial Magistrate for proceeding with the complaint as regards the offence of defamation in accordance with the law. The revision is partly allowed.


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