1. Smt. Manju Gupta, the petitioner herein, and her husband Surinder Nath, were summoned by Shri Om Parkash Metropolitan Magistrate, New Delhi, by the order dt. 23rd June, 1979, for an offence under Section 467/471 read with S. 34 of the Penal Code on a complaint filed by Lt. Col. M. S. Paintal.
2. At the outset it may be noted that the petitioner herein had challenged the said order by filing a revision petition in the Court of Sessions Judge, Delhi. The said petition was dismissed by Shri S. R. Goel, Additional Sessions Judge, vide his order dated 23rd January, 1981, on the ground that the petition was time-barred. The petition was filed on 17th September, 1980, i.e., after one year and three months of the passing of the impugned order. From the judgment of the learned Additional Sessions Judge, it appears that after conclusion of arguments an application was filed under Section 5 of the Limitation Act seeking condensation of delay in filing the revision petition. While rejecting the petition and the said application, the Additional Sessions Judge has come to the finding that the revision petition was an abuse of the process of the Court and was an effort to avoid appearance in Court by Smt. Manju Gupta in compliance with the order dated 23rd June, 1979, i.e., the order summoning her to appear as an accused.
3. The complainant is the owner and landlord of premises bearing Municipal No. C-221, Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi. He had let out the ground floor of the said premises to South Delhi Public School through Surinder Nath accused No. 1 at a monthly rent of Rs. 1,000/-. The said school is run by a Registered Society known as Cosmopolitan Society of Education Research and Child Welfare. It appears that there is civil litigation pending between the parties. The complainant Mr. Paintal has filed eviction petition against accused Surinder Nath and the Society and has also filed a suit for recovery of arrears of rent against them.
4. The allegation of the complainant in a nutshell was that Shri Surinder Nath in furtherance of the common intention of the three accused had forged two receipts dated 7th June, 1975, and 18th October, 1977, and had filed them in the proceedings pending before the respective Rent Controllers to show that no rent was due from the tenants. In the complaint it was submitted that those forged receipts had been fraudulently and dishonestly used by the accused as genuine. It was stated at the bar that certified copy of the Memorandum of Association of the above said Society showed that Mrs. Manju Gupta and her husband were not only the members of the Society as per the provisions of the Societies Registration Act but had also been shown as Secretary and Joint Secretary respectively of the said Society. A copy of the Memorandum of Association certified by the office of the Registrar of Societies was produced before me. The submission is borne out from this copy. It was further stated that another certified copy of the said Memorandum is part of the lower Court's record.
5. Mr. D. P. Singh, learned counsel for the petitioner raised questions controverting certain facts. He stated that it was not made out from the complaint and the evidence led before the trial Court that the petitioner herein was connected with the offence in any way. The guilt if any, it is submitted could not be brought home to her. He took me through the copy of the complaint which has been annexed with this petition. Mr. Singh is right to the extent when he says that in the three proceedings which are pending Mrs. Gupta, petitioner herein, was not a party. The proceedings were between the complainant on the one hand and Surinder Nath and the Society on the other. He is also right when he says that in the complaint it has not been stated that Mrs. Gupta had anything to do with the negotiation when this house was taken on rent for running the school. However, these questions of facts cannot be gone into at this stage by this Court while exercising jurisdiction under S. 482 of Criminal P.C., specially so when the revision petition challenging the impugned order has been dismissed. Suffice it to say that a reading of the impugned order passed by the learned Magistrate shows that the petitioner has been summoned in furtherance of the common intention of the accused. At this stage it has to be held that she is the Secretary of the Society which is running the school.
6. Mr. Singh, however, did raise a question of law which is permissible to be taken in a petition under Section 482, Cr.P.C. The proposition is that the cognizance of the offence taken by the Magistrate under Sections 467/471 of the Penal Code was without jurisdiction. Relying on sub-clause (ii) of Clause (b) of sub-Section (1) of S. 195 of the Cr.P.C. Mr. Singh contended that cognizance of these offences could only be taken on a complaint in writing of the Court concerned in which the proceedings were pending and forged receipt was filed.
7. The argument though attractive has no merit, sub-Section (3) of S. 195 of the Code shows that the Court of 'Controller' is not a Court within the meaning of S. 195 of the Code; amended sub-Section (3) reads as follows :-
'(3) In Clause (b) of sub-Section (1), the term 'Court' means a Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court, and includes tribunal constituted by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act if declared by that Act to be a court for the purposes of this section.'
8. Reliance by Mr. Singh on decisions wherein sub-Section (2) of S. 195 of the old Code has been analysed is of no avail. In the said sub-section the term 'Court' included a Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court. In the present Code the 'Court' means Civil, Revenue or a Criminal Court. For any other Tribunal which has been constituted by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act, the Act constituting the said Tribunal has to specifically lay down that the Tribunal is a Court for the purposes of S. 195 of the Code. The Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958, does not specify that the Court of Rent Controller is a 'Court' for the purposes of the said provision.
9. In view of the above discussion, the present petition has no merit and the same is dismissed. The parties through their counsel are directed to appear before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Delhi, on 1st February, 1982 for further proceedings.
10. Petition dismissed.