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Kartar Singh and anr. Vs. the State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revision Appeal No. 128 of 1980
Judge
Reported in19(1981)DLT206
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 210
AppellantKartar Singh and anr.
RespondentThe State
Advocates: H.K. Gaur,; K.L. Sabarwal,; Harish Gulati and;
Cases ReferredSatish Kumar v. State and
Excerpt:
the case dealt with the permissibility of joint trial in a complaint case - the police investigation was held in respect of the same offence - the court discussed the procedure in such case under section 210 of the criminal procedure code, 1973. - - in the matter before me the police had submitted a challan before mohan singh instituted his complaint and an essential condition of section 210 being not thus satisfied there was no question of the complaint case being sent up by the magistrate to the court of session for being amalgamated with the case intiated on the police report. 582 of 1978, decided on 25.5.1979). (4) before the amendment of the code in 1973, if the police submitted a report in respect of an offence triable by the court of session exclusively the magistrate seized of..........to the matter, the complaint case should have been treated as if the same had been instituted on a police report and committed together with the police case. consequently he set aside the impugned order and remanded the complaint case for further proceedings according to law in the light of the observations made by him. on receipt of that order the magistrate directed on 27.2.1980 issue of non-bailable warrants for the appearance of avtar singh and kartar singh. aggrieved by this action, kartar singh and avtar singh have filed the revision petition under consideration for the order of the additional sessions judge being set aside and the proceedings pending against them being quashed. (2) i may quote section 210 of the code of criminal procedure here for the ease of reference : '.....
Judgment:

M.S. Joshi, J.

(1) On the death of Mrs. Gurmeet wife of Avtar Singh, a case under Section 302 Indian Penal Code . was registered at Police Station Gandhi Nagar, Delhi, and on completion of the investigation a charge-sheet for trial under the said provision of law was put up against Ranjit Kaur wife of Kartar Singh and mother-in-law of the deceased. Later on, Mohan Singh lodged a complaint in the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate Shahdara and attributed the murder of Gurmeet to Avtar Singh and Kartar Singh aforesaid, apart from Ranjit Kaur. This complaint was instituted on 9.5.1979 and on 19-5-1979 Magistrate committed Ranjit Kaur alone to the Court of Session. It was represented to Shri R. L.Chugh, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Shahdara, with whom the complaint mentioned above was pending that in view of the dictates of Section 210(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 the two persons other than Ranjit Kaur accused in the complaint be also committed to the Court of Session so that the police case and the complaint case can be tried together. The plea was, however, rejected by the Magistrate and it was directed that the complaint be enquired into in the manner prescribed by Chapter Xv of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The complainant Mohan Singh filed a revision petition against this order and the Additional Sessions Judge concluded that Section 210(2) being applicable to the matter, the complaint case should have been treated as if the same had been instituted on a police report and committed together with the police case. Consequently he set aside the impugned order and remanded the complaint case for further proceedings according to law in the light of the observations made by him. On receipt of that order the Magistrate directed on 27.2.1980 issue of non-bailable warrants for the appearance of Avtar Singh and Kartar Singh. Aggrieved by this action, Kartar Singh and Avtar Singh have filed the revision petition under consideration for the order of the Additional Sessions Judge being set aside and the proceedings pending against them being quashed.

(2) I may quote Section 210 of the Code of Criminal Procedure here for the ease of reference :

' 210.Procedure to be followed when there is a complaint case and police investigation in respect of the same offence. (1) When in a case instituted otherwise than on a police report (hereinafter referred to as a complaint case), it is made to appear to the Magistrate, during the course of the inquiry or trial held by him, that an investigation by the police is in progress in relation to the offence which is the subject-matter of the inquiry or trial held by him, the Magistrate shall stay the proceedings of such inquiry or trial and call for a report on the matter from the police officer of conducting the investigation.

(2)If a report is made by the investigating police officer under Section 173 and on such report cognizance of any offence is taken by the Magistrate against any person who is an accused in the complaint case, the Magistrate shall inquire into or try together the complaint case and the case arising out of the police report as if both the cases were instituted on a police report.

(3)If the police report does not relate to any accused in the complaint case or if the Magistrate does not take cognizance of any offence on the police report, he shall proceed with the inquiry or trial, which was stayed by him, in accordance with the provisions of this Code.'

(3) It is evident from the clear language of the aforesaid section that it comes into operation when the Magistrate is holding an inquiry or a trial in relation to a complaint case and it is brought to his notice that the offence which forms the subject-matter of that inquiry or trial is under investigation with the police. In such circumstances the Magistrate stays the proceedings in the complaint case and awaits the result of the investigation. If the police report does not relate to any person accused in the complaint case or if he does not take cognisance of any offence on the police report the inquiry or trial stayed by him gets going again in accordance with the provisions of the Code. On the other hand, if the Magistrate takes cognisance of any offence on the police report submitted in due course against any person who is accused in the complaint case also he has to inquire into or try the complaint and the police cases together and the procedure to be followed is that applicable to cases instituted on police report. In the matter before me the police had submitted a challan before Mohan Singh instituted his complaint and an essential condition of Section 210 being not thus satisfied there was no question of the complaint case being sent up by the Magistrate to the Court of Session for being amalgamated with the case intiated on the police report. The same view of the matter was taken by Prithvi Raj, J. in Satish Kumar v. State and others, (Criminal Misc. (Main) No. 582 of 1978, decided on 25.5.1979).

(4) Before the amendment of the Code in 1973, if the police submitted a report in respect of an offence triable by the Court of Session exclusively the Magistrate seized of the said report enquired into the matter and committed the case to the Court of Session only if he was satisfied as to the existence of a prima facie case against the accused. In order to simplify the procedure the legislature has done away with the magisterial inquiry and if according to the police report the accused appears to have committed the offence the Magistrate does not have to satisfy himself independently of the police report that there is evidence to make out a prima facie case against the accused. The holding of a trial by a Sessions Court is a serious affair and nobody is made to undergo one unless there is tangible material available against him. In the case of a complaint disclosing an offence triable by the Court of Session it is the bounden duty of the Magistrate vide proviso to Sub-section (2) of Section 202 of the Code to call upon the complainant to produce all his witnesses and examine them on oath before the matter can be committed to the Court of Session. As was disclosed by the Joint Committee in its Report, presented to the Rajya Sabha on 4.12.1972, they had a specific purpose behind the introduction of Section 210 and they put it in the following words:

'IThas been brought to the notice of the Committee that sometimes when a serious case is under investigation by the police, some of the persons concerned file a complaint and quickly get an order of acquittal either by collusion or otherwise. Thereupon the investigation of the case becomes infructuous leading to miscarriage of justice in some cases. To avoid this, the Committee has provided that where a complaint is filed and the Magistrate has information that the police is also investigating the same offence, the Magistrate shall stay the complaint case. If the police report is received in the case, the Magistrate should try together the complaint case and the case arising out of the police report. But if no such report is received the Magistrate would be free to dispose of the complaint case. This new provision is intended to secure that private complainants do not interfere with the course of justice.'

The considerations which led to the legislation of Section 210 are totally alien to the facts of the present case and that is why I have said that the aforesaid Section will not apply here.

(5) The view of the scope of Section 210 taken by the learned Additional Sessions Judge would produce such results as could never have been in the contemplation of the Parliament. For instance, after the police has conducted an investigation and come to the conclusion that only a particular person is guilty of the alleged offence a complainant who may have no personal knowledge of the relevant offence may approach the court with a petition that not only the person mentioned by the police, certain other persons too have been parties to the commission of the crime. Such an allegation may be made mala fide without the least regard for the ends of justice and because a police report is already before the Magistrate may find himself under compulsion to commit absolutely innocent persons arraigned in the complaint as the accused to the Court of Session. The charge against them may ultimately be disproved but they must, by the time their innocence is established, have undergone a lot of botheration and expense. Nothing could be farther from the mind of the Parliament than the creation of such a situation.

(6) Section 210 speaks of the complaint case and the police case being inquired into or tried together where a complaint is lodged in respect of a particular offence before the police has submitted its report after investigation into the said offence, and some accused person eventually reported against by the police figures in the complaint also. In the complaint case enquired into or tried together with the police case the procedure applicable to police cases is followed and it is not necessary for the Magistrate to examine all the witnesses of the complainant on oath before a charge is framed against the persons alleged by the complainant to have been guilty of the offence. Vide proviso to Sub-section (2) of Section 202, the cases triable exclusively by the court of session must be treated differently because in such cases it is indispensible on the part of the Magistrate to call upon the complainant to produce all his witnesses and to examine them on oath. There is nothing in Section 210 to suggest that it overrules the proviso to Sub-section (2) of Section 202.

(7) To my mind, the learned Magistrate had adopted the right course of action when he directed that the complaint be enquired into as per the procedure in Chapter Xv of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the learned Additional Sessions Judge misdirected himself in accepting the revision petition against the Magistrate's order and suggesting that the complaint case be treated as if it was instituted on a police report and committed Along with the police case. This revision petition is, thereforee, accepted, the order of the Additional Sessions Judge is set aside and that of the Magistrate is restored. The Magistrate shall, however, hold his inquiry expeditiously so that in the event of his committing to the Court of Session Kartar Singh or Avtar Singh or both, the person/persons committed by him in the complaint case may be tried by the Sessions Court Along with Ranjit Kaur.

(8) The parties are directed through their counsel to appear before the Magistrate concerned on 24.10.1980.


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