G.B. Pattnaik, J.
1. The petitioner impugns the order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate Keonjhar dated 5. 1.1982 by which order the petitioner was charged for an offence under section 477A I. P. C.
2. According to the prosecution case, which was initiated on the basis of an F. I. R. lodged by the Subordinate Judge, Keonjhar on 29:8.73, the petitioner was the Accountant, one K. D. Ghosh was the Nazir and there was a defalcation of Rs. 743/- in the year 1971. The Police after investigation filed charge-sheet both against Shri K. D. Ghosh as well as the petitioner, Sri K. D. Ghosh being charge-sheeted under section 409 I. P. C. and the petitioner under section 477A I. P.C. The learned Magistrate on perusal of papers framed charges against Shri Ghosh as well as the petitioner.
3. The learned counsel for the petitioner challenges the aforesaid order of framing of charge on two grounds firstly the entire materials on record do not establish any offence under section 477A I. P. C. so far as the petitioner is concerned particularly when the petitioner has no roll to play in the matter. It is difficult to accept this contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner at this stage. It appears that the petitioner was the Accountant during the relevant period and he had made some entries in the Cash Book and, therefore, it is not possible at this stage for this Court to accept the contention of the learned counsel for the petitioner that the materials so far on record do not prima facie establish such an offence under section 477A. I. P. C. Accordingly I reject the said submission of the learned counsel. Secondly, the learned counsel for the petitioner has contended that in view of the inordinate delay in the matter, it would not be in the interest of justice to proceed with the trial According to the learned counsel, the F. I. R. was lodged on 29. 8.73, the charge-sheet was submitted on 12. 4.81 and .charges were framed on 5. I. 82, in respect of the alleged misappropriation and false entries appertaining to the period-January and February, 1971. According to the learned counsel it would really be futile to persue this matter after lapse of 11 years and, therefore, this is a fit case where this Court should quash the charges framed as well as the proceedings. In support of his contention, the learned counsel placed reliance on a number of decisions. In the case of State of U. P. v. Kapil Deo Shukla, A. I. R. 1973 S. C, 494, the Supreme Court quoted with approval the observations in an earlier case reported in A. I. R. 1971 S. C. 1367 : (Chajoo Ram v. Radhey Shyam) to the effect :
'...lapse of long time, in that case of ten years was a proper ground for holding that launching of a prosecution was inexpedient.'
This decision was followed by this Court in the case of P. Chiranjiyi v. Principal, M. K. C. G. Medical College, Berhampur and Anr., 47 (1979) C. L. T. 126 wherein Ray, J. observed :
'...To allow the criminal proceeding to continue further after a long lapse of time of fourteen years from the date of alleged commission of offence would amount to permitting a Court proceeding to degenerate into a weapon of harassment and would not, at this stage, achiel any savlutary public purpose. On the facts and circumstances obtaining in the. instant case, such continuance constitutes gross abuse of process of Court. It is, thus imperative for securing the ends of justice that this criminal proceeding should no longer be allowed to stand.'
In another decision of this Case reported in 52(1981) C.L.T. 473 : (Sri Harekrushna MahataB v. Republic of India), where a Bench of this Court noted a large number of authorities and ultimately came to hold :
'Continuing the prosecution in these cases against the petitioners would be a harassment and it is meet and proper that in exercise of inherent powers the charges and the proceedings are to be quashed to relieve them therefrom'.
In this case, the events which led to framing of charge were of the years 1958 to 1960 and the charge-sheet had been filed in 1977. Applying the ratio of the aforesaid case to the facts of the present case, I find much substance in the contention of he learned counsel for the petitioner. The F. I. R. itself is dated 29. 8. 73, but the case was registered as G. R. case in the year 1978 and thus the matter remained with the police for long five years for reasons not known to anybody. Then the investigation continued for three more years and . charge-sheet was submitted in the year 1981 and ultimately charges were framed by the learned Magistrate on 5. 1. 82. In my opinion, in the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case, it would be in the interest of justice to quash the proceeding in exercise of inherent powers as I am fully satisfied that proceeding with the trial would be an undue harassment to the accused and would be achieve any public purpose.
4. In the result, therefore, I would set aside the order dated 5. 1. 82 of the learned Judicial Magistrate, in G. R. Case No..510/78 and also quash the said proceeding so far as the petitioner is concerned .
5. The Criminal Revision is accordingly allowed.