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Mohan Singh Vs. State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1962CriLJ712
AppellantMohan Singh
RespondentState
Cases ReferredAdhik Gope v. Emperor
Excerpt:
.....section 366/109 and 368/109 of the indian penal code. since the prosecution allegation is that shamsher singh had abducted kusum lata in order to compel her to marry him against tier will, the acts attributed to the petitioner, namely, that he assisted in their marriage at delhi, were clearly part of the same transaction. 13. in a case like the present where the allegation is that the girl has been abducted by shamsher singh with a view, to compel her to marry, or to seduce her to sexual intercourse, any person who subsequently comes into the picture and helps the original abductor in achieving his purpose by arranging the marriage or in removing the girl from place to place would certainly be acting in fulfilment of the original design and the acts committed by him would be a part..........he assisted in her abduction and marriage at that place.7. section 182 of the criminal procedure code places the matter beyond the pale of controversy. it is stated therein that where an offence is a continuing one and continues to be committed in more- local areas than one, or where it consists of several acts done in different local areas, it may be inquired into or tried by the court having jurisdiction over any of such local areas.in the present case, shamsher singh is alleged to have abducted kusum lata, and the petitioner is stated to have abetted that offence. as held in gurdas v. state , and a largo number of other authorities, including gul mohammad v. crown a.i.r. 1951 ajmer 68, nanhua dhimar v-emperor a.i.r. 1931 all 55 and emperor v. prag a.i.r. 1933 oudh 45, an offence of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Gurdev Singh, J.

1. The petitioner, Mohan Singh, a Pleader of Delhi, is being prosecuted in the Court of the Additional District Magistrate, Karnal, along with bis relations, Shamsher Singh and Bishan Kaur, in connection with the abduction of Kanwari Kusum Lata, an unmarried girl of that place, who is stated to be less than 18 years of age. Mohan Singh questioned the jurisdiction of the Court to try him. The objection was rejected and the order has been upheld by the Additional Sessions Judge of Karnal.

2. In order to decide whether the learned Magistrate at Karnal had jurisdiction to try the petitioner Mohan Singh, it is necessary to refer to the prosecution allegations. It is alleged that the petitioner's co-accused Shamsher Singh, who was employed as Lecturer in the local College at Karnal and was privately coaching Kanwari Kusum Lata, abducted her from Karnal with intent that she may be compelled to marry against her will or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse; He took the girl to the house of his relation, Mohan Singh petitioner at,Delhi, and from there both of them removed her from place to place and ultimately compelled her to go through some form of marriage with Shamsher Singh. The Police report further discloses that the petitioner actively assisted Shamsher Singh in marrying Kusum Lata, and for that purpose obtained her statement. On the basis of these allegations, the trial in the Court of the Additional District Magistrate of Karnal is proceeding against Mohan Singh petitioner, Shamsher Singh and Bishan Kaur on charges Under Sections 363, 366, 368 and 109 of the Indian Penal Code.

3. The contention raised on behalf of the petitioner is that since there is no charge of conspiracy and there is no allegation that he had any hand in the abduction of the girl from Karnal, he could not be tried in any criminal Court at Karnal but only at Delhi where he is alleged to have assisted Shamsher Singh in marrying or abduction of Kusum Lata. It is true that the petitioner was not originally in the picture when Kusum Lata was abducted from Karnal, and it was only when she was brought by Shamsher Singh to Delhi that he accompanied them to various places and brought about their marriage. These allegations clearly go to show that he was an abettor and guilty of offences Under Section 366/109 and 368/109 of the Indian Penal Code. He is being tried with the principal offender Shamsher Singh who is charged with offences Under Sections 366/109 and 368 of the Indian Penal Code.

4. Section 239, Criminal Procedure Code re- fers to the cases in which several accused persons can be tried together though charged with different offences. Under Clause (b) of that Section persons, accused of an offence and those, accused of its abetment can be tried together, while under Clause (d) persons accused of different offences committed in the course of the same transaction can be jointly tried.

In view of these provisions it is not disputed that the petitioner who is alleged to have committed an offence Under Section 366/109, Indian Penal Code could be validly tried with the principal offender Shamsher Singh, who is alleged to have originally abducted Kumari Kusum Lata from Karnal. What remains to Be considered is the; forum of such joint trial. The provisions regarding the place of trial are contained in Sections 177 to 189, Criminal Procedure Code in Chapter 15 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

4a. The general rule with regard to the placer of trial, as contained in Section 177 of the Criminal Procedure Code, is that every offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and tried by a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction it was committed. This rule is, however, subject to several Exceptions, one of which is contained in Section 180 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which lays down that when an act is an offence by reason of its relation to any other act, which is also an offence, a charge of the first mentioned offence may be inquired into or tried by a court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction either act was done. Illustration (a) to Section 180 of the Criminal Procedure Code states:

A charge of abetment may be inquired into or tried either by the Court within the local limits pt whose jurisdiction the abetment was committed, or by the Court within the local limits of whose-jurisdiction the offence abetted was committed.

5. It is thus evident that the principal offender and the abettor can be tried together not only at the place where the abetment takes place but also at the place where the offence abetted is committed. Applying this rule to the present case, we find that since the petitioner is alleged to have abetted the offence of abduction, he could be tried at Karnal where the offence of abduction was. committed.

6. Illustration (c) to Section 180 of the Criminal Procedure Code is also relevant to the matter in controversy. It is stated therein that a charge of wrongfully concealing a person known to have been kidnapped can be inquired into or tried by a Court not only in the local limits of whose jurisdiction the wrongful concealment takes place but also by a Court within whose jurisdiction kidnapping takes place. This also fully covers the petitioner's case, since it is alleged that after Kumari Kusum Lata had been taken out of the guardianship of her parents, she was taken to the house of the-petitioner at Delhi and he assisted in her abduction and marriage at that place.

7. Section 182 of the Criminal Procedure Code places the matter beyond the pale of controversy. It is stated therein that where an offence is a continuing one and continues to be committed in more- local areas than one, or where it consists of several acts done in different local areas, it may be inquired into or tried by the Court having jurisdiction over any of such local areas.

In the present case, Shamsher Singh is alleged to have abducted Kusum Lata, and the petitioner is stated to have abetted that offence. As held in Gurdas v. State , and a largo number of other authorities, including Gul Mohammad v. Crown A.I.R. 1951 Ajmer 68, Nanhua Dhimar V-Emperor A.I.R. 1931 All 55 and Emperor v. Prag A.I.R. 1933 Oudh 45, an offence of abduction is a continuing offence, and thus in accordance with the rule laid down in Section 182 of the Criminal Procedure Code, it can be tried in any local area in which that offence continued to be committed.

In it was observed that a person is being abducted not only when he is removed from any place but also when he is removed from one place to another. In A.I.R. 1933 Oudh 45, it was held that the offence of abduction was a continuing offence, and when such an offence continued to be committed in more local areas than one, it may be inquired into or tried by a Court having jurisdiction over any such local area, and a person who joins subsequently can be tried in a Court within whose local jurisdiction tha offence was originally committed.

8. In A.I.R. 1931 All 55, it was held that the accused who had assisted the original abductor in removing a girl from place to place and subsequently selling her off could be tried along with the person who had first abducted the girl in a Court from the local limits of whose jurisdiction the girl had been originally taken out, i.e., where the principal offence of abduction took place. This decision is based on the reasoning that since the offence of abduction was a continuing one, the persons who subsequently joined also participated in the offence and as abductors have also to be tried along with the principal offender, they could be proceeded against in the Court within whose jurisdiction the offence originally took place.

To the same effect is the decision in A.I.R. 1933 Oudh 45, where an earlier decision of the Allahabad High Court reported as Badlu Shah v. Emperor A.I.R. 1924 All 454 was distinguished. Another authority on the point is A.I.R. 1951 Ajmer 68.

9. It is true that in the present case there is no allegation that the petitioner was originally concerned in the abduction of Kusum Lata from Karnal, but that would not affect the question under consideration. Since the prosecution allegation is that Shamsher Singh had abducted Kusum Lata in order to compel her to marry him against Tier will, the acts attributed to the petitioner, namely, that he assisted in their marriage at Delhi, were clearly part of the same transaction. The vord 'transaction', as used in Section 239 of the Criminal Procedure Code, implies a single scheme or design, or continuity of action and purpose and all acts committed with a view to achieve that design or in fulfilment of that scheme would be parts of the same transaction.

10. The sole argument of Shri H. L. Sibal, who appears for the petitioner, is that the provi- sions relating to the trial of the principal offender and the abettor are merely permissive, and it is not necessary that they should be tried together or at the place where the principal offence was committed.

He argues that since the offence of abduction is alleged to have been abetted by the petitioner at Delhi, it is only at that place that the principal offender and the abettor should be tried and not at Karnal. If this argument is accepted, it will lead to absurd results. Take the case where an abducted person is removed from place to place and at various places several other persons join and help the principal offender in concealing the girl or in her removal from one place to another. If the argument of the learned Counsel for the petitioner is accepted, it would follow that each abettor can insist that his trial should take place in a Court within whose jurisdiction he had abetted the offence, with the result that for the single offence of abduction and its abetment by various persons several trials would be held at different places, some of which may be far flung.

The provisions contained in Sections 181, 182 and 239 of the Criminal Procedure Code and similar provisions are intended exactly to meet such a situation and to avoid multiplicity of proceedings and harassment to the prosecutrix or the complainant. Even otherwise, when the principal offender and the abettors are under the law to be tried together there is no reason why their trial should be split up.

11. The contention that the petitioner as an abettor can be tried with the principal offender Shamsher Singh only at Delhi is based on the fallacy that a fresh offence of abduction was committed at Delhi, and it had no relation with the original act of abduction committed by Shamsher Singh when he removed Kanwari Kusum Lata from Karnal to Delhi. As has been held by this Court in , abduction is a continuing offence. The removal of an abducted person to several places one after the other by the original abductor constitutes one offence, and whoever assists him at any stage will be guilty of the abetment of that offence.

12. Though the learned Counsel for the petitioner was unable to cite any authority in support of his contention, I find that in Adhik Gope v. Emperor ILR 25 Pat 241 : A.I.R. 1947 Pat 17 it was observed that where some persons joined the original abductor later on, they could not be tried together unless it be alleged that the offences committed by all the persons were in the course of the same transaction. That decision, however, proceeds on the view that 'it could not be laid down that the offence of abduction was a continuing one'. This is contrary to the view that has been taken by this Court in and various other High Courts. Accordingly, I do not find it possible to subscribe to the general proposition that the persons who joined in the abduction after the girl had been once removed from her original place of residence could not be tried with the abductor.

13. In a case like the present where the allegation is that the girl has been abducted by Shamsher Singh with a view, to compel her to marry, or to seduce her to sexual intercourse, any person who subsequently comes into the picture and helps the original abductor in achieving his purpose by arranging the marriage or in removing the girl from place to place would certainly be acting in fulfilment of the original design and the acts committed by him would be a part of the same transaction that commenced with the removal of the girl from her original place of residence. Viewed in this light even according to the test laid down by the Patna High Court in ILR 25 Pat 241: (A.I.R. 1947 Pat 17) the petitioner Mohan Singh could validly be tried with the principal offender Shamsher Singh at Karnal.

14. For the reasons stated above I am of the opinion that the objection raised by the petitioner in the trial Court is without any substance and has been rightly rejected. The petition of accordingly dismissed. The record shall be returned to the Court concerned forthwith for expeditious disposal of the case.


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