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Chaman Lal Chopra Vs. Mulakh Raj Pawa and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. No. 782 of 1965
Judge
Reported inAIR1967P& H51
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 197 and 197(1)
AppellantChaman Lal Chopra
RespondentMulakh Raj Pawa and anr.
Appellant Advocate Pitam Singh Jain, Adv.
Respondent Advocate Daljit Singh, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredBaijnath v. State of Madhya Pradesh
Excerpt:
.....settled that the jurisdiction of the court to proceed with the complaint emanates from the allegations made in the complaint and not from what is alleged by the accused or what is finally established in the case as a result of the evidence recorded'.it was no part of the official duty of any of the accused persons to detain the petitioner at the office of the general manager. no doubt the officials were engaged in their official duties when they are said to have committed the acts complained of, but this would not make these actions their official acts or acts done in the performance of official duties......general manager then asked the traffic manager shri jagdish chand, third respondent, to go to the police station and lodge a complaint against the petitioner. the third respondent forcibly took the petitioner to the police station in the company of the conductor in the general managers car. at the police station the petitioner met same acquaintances who enquired from him what the matter was. the petitioner narrated the whole incident. finding suitable opportunity, the petitioner then slipped away from the police station and caught another bus to reach his office in delhi.4. the complaint which was lodged by the petitioner under sections 342/308/506 and 426 of the indian penal code related principally to his detention in the general managers office and his forcible removal by the third.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Shamsher Bahadur, J.

1. The question for determination in this petition for revision is whether the complaint made by the petitioner Chaman Lal Chopra could have been proceeded with against the respondents who are Government officials without the sanction of the Government under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure ?

2. According to the complaint filed by the petitioner on 4th of August, 1964, he holds a monthly pass between Gurgaon and Delhi for travelling in the buses of the Punjab Roadways plying between these two places The petitioner resides in Gurgaon from where he has to travel to Delhi every day on official business. It happened that the petitioner had to return to Gurgaon after office hours on 28th of June, 1964. He could not find a seat in the bus although he had asked to conductor Kishan Lal, the first respondent, to reserve one for him. The petitioner reminded the first respondent about his request and was met with rude behaviour. The petitioner wanted to record a complaint and the conductor with great reluctance handed over the complaint book to him.

A complaint was recorded about this incident by another passenger who was travelling in the bus. The conductor still behaved rudely towards the complainant after the complaint had been lodged in the book and actually made threats to him. The monthly pass of the complainant was retained by the conductor after he had examined it. On reaching Gurgaon the petitioner reported about the behaviour of the conductor to the Inspector, Punjab Roadways, and the Inspector directed the conductor to return the complainant's pass and that was the end of the incident of that day

3. On the following day, i. e. 29th of June, 1964, at 8-30 a. m. the petitioner boarded the bus at Gurgaon for Delhi as usual. The first respondent was again the conductor of the bus and he demanded from the petitioner his monthly pass. The petitioner handed over the pass to him but the conductor refused to hand it back in spite of the petitioner's request. The conductor then asked the driver to take the bus to the General Manager's office where the petitioner was asked to alight from the bus and was taken to the office of the General Manager while the bus proceeded to Delhi. The petitioner was taken to the office of the General Manager Shri Mulak Raj Pahwa, the second respondent, where he was kept in detention for two and a half hours. According to the petitioner, he was asked to tender a written apology for his misbehaviour but he declined to yield to any threats.

The General Manager then asked the Traffic Manager Shri Jagdish Chand, third respondent, to go to the police station and lodge a complaint against the petitioner. The third respondent forcibly took the petitioner to the police station in the company of the conductor in the General Managers car. At the police station the petitioner met same acquaintances who enquired from him what the matter was. The petitioner narrated the whole incident. Finding suitable opportunity, the petitioner then slipped away from the police station and caught another bus to reach his office in Delhi.

4. The complaint which was lodged by the petitioner under Sections 342/308/506 and 426 of the Indian Penal Code related principally to his detention in the General Managers office and his forcible removal by the third respondent to the police station in the car of the second respondent. Can it be said that these acts of the accused persons were performed in the official capacity of the accused persons It is only when a person is accused of any offence 'alleged to have committed by him while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duty' that a sanction is called for under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. To judge what is an official act we have to look at the allegations in the complaint and not what the pleas of the accused persons may be. This was so observed by Mr. Justice Raghubar Dayal in the decision of the Supreme Court in Nagrai v. State of Mysore, AIR 1964 SC 269.

In the words of this authority, 'it is well settled that the jurisdiction of the Court to proceed with the complaint emanates from the allegations made in the complaint and not from what is alleged by the accused or what is finally established in the case as a result of the evidence recorded'. It was no part of the official duty of any of the accused persons to detain the petitioner at the office of the General Manager. Indeed, it is the case of the petitioner that this detention was illegal and wrongful, unwarranted by any provision of law. If the transport authorities had to lodge any complaint at the police station against the petitioner, they were not obliged to ask him to accompany him there. The allegation of the petitioner is that he was forcibly taken to the police station against his will. Again, this act of the accused persons which forms the gravamen of the complaint is not something which has been done in the discharge of the official duties of the accused persons.

Neither the detention nor the forcible removal of the petitioner, in other words, could conceivably be regarded as an act done in the discharge of official functions. As held by their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Baijnath v. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 1966 SC 220, it is not every offence committed by a public servant that requires sanction for prosecution under Section 197 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code; nor even every act done by him while he is actually engaged in the performance of his official duties. No doubt the officials were engaged in their official duties when they are said to have committed the acts complained of, but this would not make these actions their official acts or acts done in the performance of official duties.

5. In this view of the matter, the complaint should not have been dismissed on the ground that no sanction had been obtained. The trial Magistrate was wrong in discharging respondents 2 and 3 on this ground and the lower appellate Court also acted illegally in affirming that order. This petition will, therefore, be allowed and the case remanded to the trial Magistrate to proceed in accordance with law. All the three accused persons should be proceeded with in accordance with law. The counsel have been directed to cause their clients to appear before the trial Magistrate on 23rd May 1966.


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