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Ranjit Puri and ors. Vs. Uggar Sain - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1974CriLJ1229
AppellantRanjit Puri and ors.
RespondentUggar Sain
Cases Referred and Vadilal Panchal v. Dattatraya Dulaji Ghadigaonkar
Excerpt:
.....as to the truth of the complaint so as to justify the issue of process against any of the accused. there is, therefore, a failure on the part of the magistrate to record these reasons as required by law but the only ground for not issuing the process and for directing preliminary investigations could have been that on the basis of the evidence examined, the magistrate felt that no prima facie case for issuing process forthwith had been made out against any of the accused. he has issued process to the petitioners on the basis of the indifferent evidence which had failed to satisfy him about the truth of the complaint on 8-12-1969 and which stood weakened or undermined further by the negative police report......magistrate for picking out the petitioners for prosecution and for letting off the other three accused described by the complainant as equally guilty. the magistrate, who was supposed to record his reasons again at this stage for dismissing the complaint against the petitioners' co-accused, has not even cared to refer to the result of the preliminary police investigations. the petitioners appear to have been picked out for prosecution simply because they were office bearers in the sugar mill and the attempt to bring them down to the level of their workmen may have been commendable on political considerations as a socialistic measure but would not represent the correct judicial approach to the case by the magistrate who has not applied his judicial mind and has singled out the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

C.G. Suri, J.

1. Three officers of the Saraswati Sugar Mills, Yamunanagar, have filed this revision petition against the trial Magistrate's order dated 26-5-1970, directing, on the complaint of one of their ex-employees, Shri Uggar Sain respondent, that the petitioners should be summoned even though three other persons, who were alleged in the complaint to have joined the netitioners in the commission of the same offences under Sections 323 and 506, Indian Penal Code, had not been proceeded against by the Magistrate.

2. According to the complaint filed by the respondent the management of the Saraswati Sugar Mills were always on the look out to harm the complainant because he had been an active member of a labour union and had been agitating against the management. Some cases had been started against him and were either pending or had resulted in his acquittal. A Civil case for the vacation of the quarter had also been instituted against him.

3. The offences at present complained of were that on the evening of 29-10-1969, the three petitioners along with their co-aecused had come to the complainant while the latter was sitting at a tea-stall in front of the mill premises. Sadhu Singh accused was described to have caught hold of the complainant by his collar while petitioners Ram Parkash and Joginder Singh had given him fist blows. Petitioner Ranjit Puri was then described to have exhorted his co-accused to set fire to the complainant's stall and to have threatened that the complainant would be taught a lesson for having become a nuisance to the management. All the six accused were then described to have formed an unlawful assembly and to have attacked and threatened the complainant. There is nothing on record to suggest that the complainant had any marks of injury on his person or had undergone any medico-legal examination.

4. The complainant and. two of the four witnesses named in the complaint were examined by the Magistrate on 8-12-1969. The Magistrate was apparently not satisfied about the truth of the complaint as he directed preliminary investigations to be carried out by a police officer under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Police Officer examined the witnesses produced by the parties and submitted a report to the effect that the complaint had been made to ventilate some other personal grievances and should not be proceeded with. Without recording any further evidence, the learned trial Magistrate recorded the impugned order on 26-5-1970.

5. The evidence recorded on 8-12-1969 had apparently not satisfied the Magistrate as to the truth of the complaint so as to justify the issue of process against any of the accused. He was supposed to record his reasons for postponing the issue of process at that stage and for directing a preliminary investigation by a Police Officer under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for the purpose of ascertaining the truth or falsehood of the complaint. There is, therefore, a failure on the part of the Magistrate to record these reasons as required by law but the only ground for not issuing the process and for directing preliminary investigations could have been that on the basis of the evidence examined, the Magistrate felt that no prima facie case for issuing process forthwith had been made out against any of the accused. The negative police report had not improved matters for the complainant and had further weakend the indifferent evidence that had been examined by him in the initial stages. This evidence had sought to incriminate or tar all the six accused in the same dark shade with one brush and no distinction was sought to be drawn between the culpability of the petitioners as compared to that or their co-accused who have been let off even though some of them had been assigned an active part in the making of the assault and in the holding out of the threats. The six accused were on the other hand described to have committed the offences in prosecution of the common object of their unlawful assembly. No satisfactory reasons have however, been given by the learned Magistrate for picking out the petitioners for prosecution and for letting off the other three accused described by the complainant as equally guilty. The Magistrate, who was supposed to record his reasons again at this stage for dismissing the complaint against the petitioners' co-accused, has not even cared to refer to the result of the preliminary police investigations. The petitioners appear to have been picked out for prosecution simply because they were office bearers in the Sugar Mill and the attempt to bring them down to the level of their workmen may have been commendable on political considerations as a socialistic measure but would not represent the correct judicial approach to the case by the Magistrate who has not applied his judicial mind and has singled out the petitioners for prosecution on arbitrary grounds. The reasons that weighed with the Magistrate for dismissing the complaint against three accused were applicable with the same force to the case of the petitioners. The rule of thumb adopted by the Magistrate in coming to a decision may seem to vitiate the order that has been challenged in this revision petition. The Magistrate having acted with material irregularity, the order deserves to be quashed.

6. Shri Anand Sarup, the learned Counsel for the complainant had relied upon Chandra Deo Singh v. Prokash Chandra Bose : [1964]1SCR639 and Vadilal Panchal v. Dattatraya Dulaji Ghadigaonkar : [1961]1SCR1 . The ratio of these rulings would have a bearing only if the Magistrate was shown to have applied his judicial mind to the present case. He had not even cared to refer to the police report after having directed the preliminary investigations under Section 202 of the Code. He has issued process to the petitioners on the basis of the indifferent evidence which had failed to satisfy him about the truth of the complaint on 8-12-1969 and which stood weakened or undermined further by the negative police report.

7. This revision petition is accordingly allowed and the impugned order is quashed.


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