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Shri Krishan Dev Vs. Lal Chand and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revision Appeal No. 5 of 1968
Judge
Reported inILR1969Delhi783
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 195; Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 471
AppellantShri Krishan Dev
RespondentLal Chand and anr.
Advocates: M.L. Kapur and; B.S. Grewal, Advs
Cases ReferredKuldip Sing v. State of Punjab and
Excerpt:
.....cr. p.c., for complaint in respect of offence under section 471 i.p.c. dismissed by subordinate judge--appeal competent to district judge--section 479-a nto applicable to such a case--latter section concerned in respect of complaint under sections 193 and 196 i.p.c.; during the course of the trial of a suit, the petitioner filed an application under section 476 criminal procedure code read section 195 criminal procedure code, for filing a complaint against the respondents for offences under sections 193, 196, 199, 200 and 471 indian penal code. the trial court decreed the suit filed by respondent no. 1 and also refused to file a complaint against the respondents although it was held that the documents exhibits p.2 and p2/a were suspicious and unreliable. against the decree of the..........of the district judge under section 476-b cr, p.c. which, as stated above, was dismissed by the learned district judge holding that no such appeal was competent.(5) as the petitioner's appeal was dismissed by the learned district judge on a purely legal objection with regard to its maintainability the arguments in revision before me were confined to that aspect alone. according to the learned district judge both the respondents had appeared as witnesses in a civil proceeding in which the offences were alleged to have been committed. the evidence given by the respondents and the documents and affidavits produced by them before the trial court thereforee amounted to an offence of perjury and intentionally fabricating false evidence for the purpose of its being used in any stage of the.....
Judgment:

Hardayal Hardy, J.

(1) This criminal revision is directed against an order made by Shri C. G. Suri the then District Judge, Delhi, (now Hon'ble Mr. Justice C. G. Suri of the High Court of Punjab & Haryana) whereby the appeal filed by the petitioner was dismissed on a preliminary objection raised by the respondents that no such appeal was competent under section 476-B of the Criminal Procedure Code.

(2) The facts are nto in dispute. Respondent No. 1 is the landlord while the petitioner is his tenant in respect of a portion of the building in East Patel Nagar, New Delhi. Respondent No. 2 is also a tenant of respondent No. 1 in respect of another portion of the property. There was a dispute between the petitioner and respondent No. 1 aut the petitioner's tenancy in respect of a barsati on the terrace of the building. Respondent No. I who challenged the right of the petitioner to use and occupy the said barsati instituted a suit for grant of a permanent injunction against the petitioner in the Court of a Subordinate Judge, 1st Class, valuing the suit for purposes of court-fee and jurisdiction at Rs. 130.00 During the course of the trial both the respondents appeared as witnesses against the petitioner. They also filed certain affidavits in support of an application for grant of a temporary injunction. Respondent No. 1 also filed a rent note allegedly executed by respondent No. 2 in his favor on 5-5-1963. The said rent note which had already been placed on file was duly proved by respondent No. 2 when he appeared as a witness and was marked Exhibit P2. On 18-4-1966 one other document which purported to be a schedule to Exhibit P2 and was claimed to have been executed on the same date i.e. 5-5-1963, was also produced and was marked Exhibit P2/A.

(3) During the course of the trial of the suit, the petitioner filed an application under section 476, Criminal Procedure Code, read with Section 195, Criminal Procedure Code, for filing a complaint against the respondents for offences under sections 193, 196, 199, 200 and 471 Indian Penal Code. The trial Court decreed the suit filed by respondent No. 1 and also refused to file a complaint against the respondents although it was held that the documents Exhibits P2 and P2/A were suspicious and unreliable. Against the decree of the trial Court the petitioner preferred an appeal in the Court of the Senior Subordinate Judge which was heard by the Additional Senior Subordinate Judge and was dismissed. The Additional Senior Subordinate Judge also refused the petitioner's prayer for filing a complaint against the respondents under sections 193, 196, 199, 200 and 471 IPC.

(4) The petitioner thereupon preferred an appeal in the Court of the District Judge under section 476-B Cr, P.C. which, as stated above, was dismissed by the learned District Judge holding that no such appeal was competent.

(5) As the petitioner's appeal was dismissed by the learned District Judge on a purely legal objection with regard to its maintainability the arguments in revision before me were confined to that aspect alone. According to the learned District Judge both the respondents had appeared as witnesses in a civil proceeding in which the offences were alleged to have been committed. The evidence given by the respondents and the documents and affidavits produced by them before the trial Court thereforee amounted to an offence of perjury and intentionally fabricating false evidence for the purpose of its being used in any stage of the judicial proceedings and as such action for prosecuting the respondents could only be taken in accordance with the provisions of section 479-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure which had been specially inserted in the Code by the Code of Criminal Procedure Amendment Act 26 of 1955 to provide a summary remedy for such offences affecting administration of justice. Sub-section (6) of section 479-A lays down that no proceedings shall be taken under sections 476 to 479 inclusive, for the prosecution of a person for giving cr fabricating false evidence, if in respect of such a person proceedings may be taken under the newly inserted section. Learned District Judge thereforee held that it was primarily for the trial Court to order the prosecution of the respondents and if that Court had refused to file a complaint the same power could be exercised by the appellate Court which in this case was the Court of the Additional Senior Subordinate Judge. The petitioner having failed to persuade that Court, sub-section (6) of section 479-A was a complete bar to the taking of any action against the respondents under sections 476 to 479 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

(6) The correctness of the District Judge's order was nto challenged by the learned counsel for the petitioner so far as sections 193 and 196 Indian Penal Code are concerned and it was conceded by him that under section 479-A Cr.P.C. a complaint with respect to those offences could only be filed by the trial Court and failing that by the Court of the Additional Senior Sub Judge which was concerned with the appeal from the decree as provided for under sub-section (5) of section 479-A. The attack of the learned counsel was, however, directed against that part of the order where it was held that a complaint in respect of offences under sections 199, 200 and 471 Indian Penal Code could also be filed either by the trial Court or by the Court of the Additional Senior Subordinate Judge. The contention urged by the learned counsel was that offences under sections 199, 200 and 471 Indian Penal Code do nto amount to perjury and fabrication of false evidence and as such a complaint in respect of such offences can only be filed-by the trial Court and failing that by the Court to which such court is subordinate. It was argued that offences under these three sections are nto covered by sub-section (6) of section 479-A and thereforee the authority of the Court to act under section 476 is nto impaired by that provisions.

(7) It appears to me that there is a great deal of force in the argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner in so far as an offence under section 471 Indian Penal Code is concerned. Whatever doubt may have existed at one time as a result of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Shabir Hussain Bholu v. State of Maharashtra(1) there can be no scope for any further doubt on the point in view of the later decision of the same Court in Babu Lal v. State of Uttar Pradesh(2) where it was held that the observations of the court in Shabir Hussam's case at page 820 of the report in relation to section 471 Jpc had crept in by over-sight and that section 479-A was restricted to the offence of intentionally giving false evidence in any stage of judicial proceedings. While dealing with section 471 Jpc Shah J. who spoke for the court put the matter completely beyond doubt by observing :

'AN offence punishable under section 471 Indian Penal Code being one of fraudulently or dishonestly using as genuine any document which the accused knows or has reason to believe to be a forged document does nto fall within the category contemplated by section 479(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and thereforee the authority of the Court to act under section 476 of the Code is nto impaired by sub-section (6) of section 479A. It is true that some of the ingredients of the act of fabricating false evidence which is penalised under section 193, Indian Penal Code and of making a false document and thereby committing forgery within the meaning of sections 463 and 464 Indian Penal Code are common. A person by making a false entry in any book or record or by making any document containing a false statement may, if the prescribed conditions of section 463 are fulfillled, commit an offence of forgery. But the important ingredient which constitutes fabrication of false evidence within the meaning of section 192, Indian Penal Code beside causing a circumstance to exist or making a false document-to use a compendious expression-is the intention that the circumstance so caused to exist or the false document made may appear in evidence in a judicial proceeding or before a public servant or before an arbitrator, and lead to the forming of an erroneous opinion touching any point material to the result of the proceeding. The offences of forgery and of fabricating false evidence for the purpose of using it in a judicial proceeding are thereforee distinct, and within the description of fabricating false evidence for the purpose specified in section 479-A, Criminal Procedure Code, the offence of forgery is nto included. In any event the offence penalised under section 471 Indian Penal Code can never be covered by sub-section (1) of section 479-A. thereforee, for taking proceeding against a person who is found to have used a false document dishonestly or fraudulently in any judicial proceeding, resort may only be had to section 476 Code of Criminal Procedure.'

(8) According to section 195(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure when an offence under section 471 is alleged to have been committed by a party to any proceeding in any Court in respect of a document produced or given in evidence in such proceeding, a complaint in respect of that offence can only be filed by the Court in which the said proceeding was being held or by some other courts to which such court is subordinate. In the instant case the Court of the District Judge Delhi was the only court in which an appeal could be filed by the petitioner under section 476-A when the trial court had refused to file the complaint. This is clear from the language of sub-section (3) of section 195 which lays down that for the purposes of that section a court shall be deemed to be subordinate to the Court to which 'appeals ordinarily lie from the appealable decrees or sentences of such former court.' It was held by the Supreme Court in Kuldip Sing v. State of Punjab and another^) that under the Punjab Courts Act, 1918, an appeal from an appealable decree of a subordinate Judge 1st Class ordinarily lies to the Court of the District Judge and nto to the Court of the Senior Subordinate Judge. It thereforee follows that the petitioner's appeal against the order of the trial Court refusing to file a complaint against the respondents in respect of an offence under section 471 I-PC lay to the Court of the District Judge alone and in-as-much as the learned District Judge has erroneously held that the appeal before him was nto competent his order has to be set aside. As regards false affidavits which the respondents were alleged to have filed before the trial Court the petitioner appears to me to be labouring under a mis-apprehension. As laid down by the Supreme Court in Baban Singh and another v. Jagdish Singh and others') the offence in such a case would fall either under section 191 or 192 Ipc and nto under sections 199 and 200 Indian Penal Code and would thus attract the provisions' of section 479-A Cr.P.C. The decision to file a complaint could in the circumstances be taken either by the trial Court or by the appellate court in which an appeal against the decree was filed.

(9) It follows that the petitioner's appeal in respect of an offence under section 471 Indian Penal Code only was dismissed by the learned District Judge on an erroneous view of law. His appeal in respect of that offence was competent and should thereforee have been disposed of on merits.

(10) Learned counsel for the respondents finally contended that even on merits the petitioners had no case. It was submitted that the suit filed against the petitioner by respondent No. 1 had been decreed by the trial court and an appeal against the same had also been dismissed by the Additional Senior Subordinate Judge. In the judgments of both the courts there is no positive finding about the documents Exhibits P. 2 and P. 2/A being false documents. All that was said by the trial court was that the circumstances under which Exhibit P. 2 was executed were quite suspicious. The submission made by the learned counsel for respondents deserves consideration. I am however disinclined to deal with the submission at this stage as I have nto heard any arguments from the learned counsel for the petitioner on the merits of the case. The important consideration which a court ordering prosecution of a party to a proceeding before it is always required to keep in view is whether it is expedient in the interest of justice that such action should be taken. It will thereforee be for the learned District Judge to whom the appeal is being remitted for decision on merits to come to an independent conclusion untrammelled by any observation made by me.

(11) The result of the foregoing discussion is that the revision is accepted and the case is remitted to the Appellate Court below for decision of the appeal on merits. The parties are directed to appear before the learned District Judge on 15th October, 1969.


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