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Jaintendra Kumar Aggarwal Vs. Lakshmi Kant Mukt. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 95 of 1969
Judge
Reported in1974CriLJ1140; ILR1974Delhi295; 1974RLR167
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1973 - Sections 195(1); Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 38(4)
AppellantJaintendra Kumar Aggarwal
RespondentLakshmi Kant Mukt.
Advocates: R. Dayal and; Hara Singh, Advs
Cases ReferredSmt. Ujjam Bai v. State of U.P. A.I.R.
Excerpt:
criminal procedure code - section 195 (1)(b) -- rent control tribunal -- whether a 'court' and competent to make complaint in respect of false affidavit filed before it -- delhi rent control act, (1958), section 38(4).; that rent control tribunal dealing with an application under sub-section (4) of section 38 of the delhi rent control act, 1958 is a 'court' for the purposes of clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 195 of the code of criminal procedure but not a 'civil court' within the meaning of section 476, cr. p.c.; that according to the latter part of sub-section (2) of section 36 of the act for the purposes of section 193 and 228 the controller is intended by the legislature to be a 'court' competent to make a complaint in respect of offence under section 193 in relation to.....s.n. shankar, j. (1) the question referred to the full bench for decision is whether the rent control tribunal while dealing with an application under sub-section (4) of section 38 of delhi rent control act, 1958 (hereinafter called 'the act') is a 'court' for purposes of clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 195 of the code of criminal procedure and a 'civil court' within the meaning of section 476 of the said code. (2) jaintendra kumar, appellant filed an application for eviction against the respondent lakshmi kant mukt under section 14 of the act. while the application was pending, the respondent applied under section 38(4) for transfer of the case (jaintendra kumar aggarwal v. lakshmi kant mukt) from shri d. c. aggarwal, controller, delhi before whom the application was pending to.....
Judgment:

S.N. Shankar, J.

(1) The question referred to the full bench for decision is whether the Rent Control Tribunal while dealing with an application under sub-section (4) of section 38 of Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (hereinafter called 'the Act') is a 'Court' for purposes of clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and a 'Civil Court' within the meaning of section 476 of the said Code.

(2) Jaintendra Kumar, appellant filed an application for eviction against the respondent Lakshmi Kant Mukt under section 14 of the Act. While the application was pending, the respondent applied under section 38(4) for transfer of the case (jaintendra Kumar Aggarwal v. Lakshmi Kant Mukt) from Shri D. C. Aggarwal, Controller, Delhi before whom the application was pending to some other Additional Controller for trial. In paragraphs (5) and (7) of the transfer application and the affidavit filed in support of it he made certain allegations casting aspersions on Shri D. C. Aggarwal. The Tribunal while deciding the application found that these allegations were absolutely false to the knowledge of the respondent but acting on the view that the Additional Rent Controller did not constitute either a Civil Court or a Criminal Court or a Revenue Court, declined by order dated December 17, 1968 the appellant's oral request lor prosecuting the respondent for committing perjury. The appellant, thereupon, on February 13, 1969 filed an application under section 476 read with section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and prayed that a complaint under section 193 of the Indian Penal Code be filed against the respondent. The Tribunal rejected this application also. It held that while dealing with application under sub-section (4) of section 38, the Tribunal was not a Civil Court. Aggrieved from this order, the appellant filed an appeal in this Court under section 476B of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The learned single Judge, in view of the importance of the question involved, referred the matter to a larger bench. The Division Bench in turn directed it to be placed before a still larger bench and that is how this appeal is now before us.

(3) Section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with proccedings in prosecution for contempts of lawful authority of public servants. Provisions relevant for the purpose of the controversy before us are clause (b) of sub-section (1) and sub-section (2) of this section. They are in the following terms:--

195.'(1) No Court shall take cognizance- (b) of any offence punishable under any of the following sections of the same Code, namely, sections 193, 194, 195, 196, 199, 200, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211 and 228, when such offence is alleged to have been committed in, or in relation to, any proceeding in any Court, except on the complaint in writing of such Court or of some other Court to which such Court is subordinate. (2) In clauses (b) and (c) of sub-section (1), the term 'Court' includes a Civil; Revenue or Criminal Court, but docs not include a Registrar or Sub-Registrar under the Indian Registration Act, 1877.' (3).......................................... (4).......................................... (5).........................................

(4) Section 193 and all the other sections mentioned in clause (b) of sub-section (1) fall in Chapter Xi of the Indian Penal Code. This Chapter deals with false evidence and offences against public justice. Section 193 Indian Penal Code . provides punishment for false evidence given at any stage of a judicial proceeding or the fabrication of false evidence for the purpose of being used in any stage or judicial proceeding. The expression 'judicial proceeding' is defined in section 4(1)(m) of the Code of Criminal Procedure as under :-

JUDICIALproceeding' includes any proceeding in the course of which evidence is or may be legally taken on oath.'

(5) The proceedings in question were under sub-section (4) of section 38 of the Act. Section 38 provides for an appeal before the Tribunal. Sub-section (3) of this section lays down that the Tribunal shall have all the powers vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 when hearing an appeal. Sub-section (4) then states that 'without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (3)' the Tribunal shall have the power to order transfer of any proceedings pending before any Controller or additional Controller to another Controller or additional Controller. Proceedings for transfer, thereforee, like other proceedings before the Tribunal are governed by the Code of Civil Procedure in the course of which evidence can legally be taken by the Tribunal on oath. They are, thereforee, judicial proceedings and provisions of section 193 of the Indian Penal Code would be attracted to them.

(6) The question then is whether the Tribunal is also a Court within the meaning of section 195 of Code of Criminal Procedure. The expression 'Court' is not defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure. Section 3 of the Evidence Act defines 'Court'. But that definition is not exhaustive and has been framed for purposes of that Act. Sections 19 and 20 of the Indian Penal Code define 'Judge' and 'Court of Justice'. 'Judge', according to section 19, denotes not only every person who is officially designated as a Judge, but also every person who is empowered by law to give, in any legal proceeding, civil or criminal, a definitive judgment, or a judgment which, if not appealed against, would be definitive, or a judgment which, if confirmed by seme other authority, would be definitive, or who is one of a body of persons, which body of persons is empowered by law to give such a judgment. According to section 20 of this Code the expression ''Court of Justice' denotes a Judge who is empowered by law to act judicially alone, or a body of Judges which is empowered by law to act judicially as a body, when such Judge or body of Judges is acting judicialty To constitute a Court. thereforee, the Tribunal has to be possessed of a number of attributes.

(7) In Brajuandan Sinha v. Jyoti Narain : 1956CriLJ156 , after referring to sections 19 and 20 of the Penal Code, referred to above, on page 70 of the report, the Court said :-

'THEpronouncement of a definitive judgment is thus considered the essential 'sine qua non' of a Court and unless and until a binding and authoritative judgment can be pronounced by a person or body of persons it cannot be predicated that he or they constitute a Court.'

(8) The decisions in Shell Co. of Australia v. Federal Commissioner of Taxation 1931 A.C. 275 (2) where the expression 'judicial power' was defined, Rex v. Electricity Commissioners 1924 1 Kb 171 (3) where the position of an administrative tribunal as distinguished from a court was noted, Bharat Bank Ltd. v. Employees of Bharat Bank Ltd. : (1950)NULLLLJ921SC and Maqbool Hussain v. State of Bombay : 1983ECR1598D(SC) where the test of a judicial tribunal as laid down in a passage at page 340 in Cooper v. Willson 1937 2 Kb 309 (6) was approved and the decisioin in S. A. Venkataraman v. Union of India : 1954CriLJ993 were all noticed by the Court. After a review of this case law, the Court said :-

'IT is clear, thereforee, that in order to constitute a Court in the strict sense of the term. an essential condition is that the Court should have, apart from having some of the trappings of a judicial tribunal, power to give a decision or a definitive judgment which has. finality and authoritativeness which are the essential tests of a judicial pronouncement.'

(9) In Virindar Kumar Satyawadi v. 'The State of Punjab : 1956CriLJ326 the question arose in the context of an alleged false declaration made by the appellant before the Returning Officer acting under the Representation of the People Act (XLIII of 1951). The question was whether the Returning Officer was a Court within the meaning of section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. While deciding this question the Supreme Court referred to the same decisions which were noticed in Brajaandan. Sinha's case and on page 157 said :-

'IT is unnecesrary to traverse the same ground once again. It may be stared broadly that what distingushes a Court from a quasi-judicial tribunal is that it is charged with a duty to decide disputes in a judicial manner and declare the rights of parties in a definitive judgment. To decide in a judicial manner involves that the parties are entitled as a matter of right to be heard in support of their claim and to adduce evidence in proof of it. And it also imports an obligation on the part of the authority to decide the matter on a consideration of the evidence adduced and in accordance with law. When a question thereforee, arises as to whether an authority created by an Act is a Court as distinguished from a quasi-judicial tribunal, what has to be decided is whether having regard to the provisions of the Act it possesses all the attributes of a Court.'

(10) Reference was then made to the provisions of the Representation of the People Act and it was found that though the power of the Returning Officer in examining the nomination paper under section 36(2) of that Act was judicial in character but he was authorised by the Act to give a decision 'after such summary enquiry, if any, as he thinks necessary' which meant that the parties had no right to insist on producing evidence which they may desire to adduce in support of their case, and that the Returning Officer was also entitled under the Act to act suo moto. The Court also noticed that there was no machinery provided for summoning of witnesses, or of compelling production of documents in any enquiry under section 36. At the stage of examination of the nomination paper under section 36, the Court also found that there was 'no lis' in which persons with opposing claims were entitled to have their rights adjudicated in a judicial manner. In view of all these features it was held that the Returning Officer deciding on the validity of the nomination paper was not a 'Court' for purposes of section 195(1)(b) of the Code.

(11) In Thakur Jugal Kishore Sinha v. The Sitamarhi Central Co-operative Bank Ltd. and another : 1967CriLJ1380a the same question came up for determination in the background of certain contemptuous allegations made against the Assistant Registrar discharging functions of Registrar under section 48 read with section 6(2) of Bihar and Orissa Co-operative Societies Act (6 of 1935). Having regard to the provisions of this Act, the Court held that while exercising powers under section 48, the Registrar must be held to discharge the duties which would otherwise have fallen on the civil and revenue courts of the land. The Registrar under the Act, the Court found, had not merely the trappings of the court but in many respects had been given the same powers as are given to the ordinary civil courts of the land by the Code of Civil Procedure including the power to summon and examine witnesses on oath etc., etc. Reference was then made to Halsbury's Laws of England (Third Edition-Vol. 9) passage at page 342 where it is stated that originally the term 'Court' meant, among other things, the sovereign's palace; that it had acquired the meaning of the place where justice was administered and had further come to mean the persons who exercised judicial functions under the authority derived either immediately or mediately from the sovereign. The criteria laid down in Brajnandan's case : 1956CriLJ156 , extracted above, were affirmed and because of the presence of these attributes it was held that the Assistant Registrar discharging functions of the Registrar under section 48 read with section 6(2) of Bihar and Orissa Co-operative Societies Act, was a court.

(12) In Lalji Haridas v. The State of Maharashtra and another : 1964CriLJ249 , the question examined was whether an Income-tax Officer was a 'Court' within the meaning of section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The majority held that the Income-tax Officer was a court within the meaning of this provision. The decision in this case was based mainly on the provision in section 37(4) of the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922 that any proceeding referred to in the section was to be deemed to be judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 195 and 228 and for the purpose of section 196 of the Indian Penal Code.

(13) The question was also considered by a Division Bench of this Court in Ram Nath Monga v. Hem Chand . Proceedings in this case were before a Controller acting under the Rent Act. The Bench held that the Controller acting under the Act was a 'Court' under section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The considerations that led to this conclusion were the same which we have referred to above.

(14) A full bench of the Punjab and Havana High Court in Smt. Vidya Devi v. Firm Madan Lal Prem Kumar 1971 P.L.R. 61 (12), relying on the criteria laid down in Thakur Jugal Kishore Sinha v. The Sitamarhi Central Co-operative Bank Ltd. : 1967CriLJ1380a and Brajnandan Sinha v. Jyoti Narain : 1956CriLJ156 , held that the Controller and the appellate authority acting under the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act (III of 1949) were 'Courts' for purposes of section 195. The Bench further held that for purposes of section 476 also they were 'Civil Courts'. With utmost respect, for reasons to be stated presently, we are unable to subscribe to the latter conclusion. This question also came up for consideration before the Supreme Court in Jagannath Prasad and another v. State of Uttar Pradesh : [1963]2SCR850 . The Court held in this case that the Sales-tax Officer was not a Court within the meaning of section 195(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, because the Court found that the Sales-tax Officers acting under the U. P. Sales-tax Act, 1948 were only 'instrumentalities of State' for collection of certain taxes. In this process the Court found that they had to perform duties which were of a quasi-judicial nature and certain other duties which were administrative duties. The mere fact, in such a situation, that a Sales-tax Officer also performed quasi-judicial function, it was held not enough to make it a 'Court'. Section 7 of this Act was specifically noticed. This section provided that if the Sales-tax Officer after making such enquiries as he thinks necessary was satisfied that a return made is correct and complete he shall assess the tax on the basis of the return and if no return is submitted he could make such enquiries as he considered necessary. Other provisions of that Act and the Rules framed there under were also noticed which the Court said indicated that the Sales-tax Officer under the Act was merely an instrumentality of the State. It was in these circumstances held that he could not be equated with ''Court'. The nature of duties and functions that the Tribunal has to discharge thus is also a relevant consideration for the determination whether it is or is not a 'Court'.

(15) In Ramrao and another v. Narayan and another : 1969CriLJ1064 the question before the Supreme Court was whether the nominee of Registrar appointed under section 95 of Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act (24 of 1961) was a 'Court' within the meaning of section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The Court found that even though the nominee of the Registrar was required to act judicially i.e. fairly and impartially but to discharge his function to make an award under section 96 of that Act the nominee derived his authority not from the statute but from investment by the Registrar in his individual discretion so that the power so invested was liable to be suspended and withdrawn. The nominee for this reason was held not to be 'entrusted with the judicial power of the State' but was 'merely an arbitrator authorised within the limits of the power conferred to adjudicate upon the dispute referred to him'. His position was held to be analogous to that of an arbitrator designated under a statutory arbitration to which the provisions of section 47 of the Arbitration Act would apply. To be a Court, thereforee, as distinct from any other tribunal acting judicially, fairly and impartially, the tribunal must also have the authority of the statute or the State to determine the 'lis' before it.

(16) It would thus be seen that a Tribunal is not necessarily a 'Court' simply because it gives a final decision, has the power to take evidence on oath and is called upon to decide a lis' and its decision affects the rights of the parties or that the same is subject to appeal in a Court: (see Ramrao and another v. Narayan and another : 1969CriLJ1064 ). To be a 'Court' for purposes of section 195(1)(b), in addition to all these characteristics it must also have the trappings of a Court and it must derive its authority to judicially decide the- 'lis' before it from the statute or the Legislature and no other body or person,

(17) In this background, reference to the provisions of the Act would show that the Controller as also the Tribunal acting under the Act have all the trappings of a 'Court'. They are constituted to decide a 'lis' by a definitive order. They derive their authority to do so from the statute i.e. the Act enacted by Parliament. In their decision they are to act fairly, impartially and judicially and while doing so they are bound by the provisions of the Act.

(18) Chapter Vi of the Act deals with the appointment of the Controllers and their powers and functions and appeals. Section 35 in this Chapter provides for the appointment of Controllers and additional Controllers by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette. Section 36 lays down the powers of the Controller, which expression, according to section 2(b) of the Act, includes an additional Controller. Sub-section (2) of this section lays down that the Controller shall have the same powers as are vested in a Civil Court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 in respect of matters specified in clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d). After clause (d), the sub-section states:

'.........ANDany proceeding before the Controller shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of section 193 and section 228 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860), and the Controller shall be deemed to be a civil court within the meaning of section 480 and section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 1898 (5 of 1898).'

(19) Section 37 then lays down the procedure to be followed by the Controller. Sub-section (1) of section 37 provides that no order which prejudicially affects any person shall be made by the Controller under this Act without giving him a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the order proposed to be made until his objections, if any, and any evidence he may produce in support of the same have been considered. Sub-section (2) prescribes that subject to any roles that may be made under this Act, the Controller shall while holding an enquiry in any proceeding before him, follow as far as may be the practice and procedure of a Court of Small Causes, including the recording of evidence. Code of Civil Procedure applies to a Court of Small Causes and is, thereforee, attracted to proceedings before the Controller also: (see Subhash Chander v. Rehmat Ullah 1972 R.C.R. 977 on page 983 para 7) (15). According to section 50(1) of the Act, jurisdiction of a civil court is barred in respect of matters provided to be decided by the Controller under the Act. This means that the matters to be decided by the Controller under the Act are matters which but for section 50, would have ordinarily been heard and decided by a civil court of the land. According to section 38(1) an appeal from every order of the Controller made under the Act lies to the Tribunal. Sub-section (3) of this section provides :-

'THETribunal shall have all the powers vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), when hearing an appeal.'

(20) The Tribunal, thereforee, has all the powers conferred on a Civil Court by the Code of Civil Procedure. Sub-section (4) empowers the same Tribunal on an application made to it, or otherwise by order to transfer any proceeding pending before any Controller or additional Controller to another Controller or additional Controller. The subsection opens with the words 'without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (3)'. Thus even while deciding an application for transfer under sub-section (4) the Tribunal has the powers vested in a court under the Code of Civil Procedure. The Controller as well as the Tribunal, thereforee, in our view, for all these reasons, are 'Court' within the meaning of section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

(21) It is argued on behalf of the respondents that the Act provided no appeal from the order passed by the Tribunal under sub-section (4) of section 38 and, thereforee, the Tribunal was not a 'Court'. This submission cannot be accepted. As stated earlier, the Tribunal exercising powers under section 38(4) is the same Tribunal on which sub-section (3) of section 38 confers all the powers of civil court when hearing the appeal. While conferring power to order transfer sub-section (4) in terms provides that this is 'without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (3)'. Right of appeal is a creature of statute. The mere fact that the Legislature chose not to confer this right in case of an order for transfer docs not change the nature of the Tribunal passing the order.

(22) Our attention was also drawn to Parkash Textile Mills Ltd. v. Messrs Mani Lal and other A.I.R. 1055 P&H; 197 (16) where the full Bench considered the question whether an ordinary civil court could decide the status of a person who claimed to be a displaced debtor under section 5 or section 11(2) of the Displaced Persons (Debts Adjustment) Act, 1951 when his application was pending before a Tribunal constituted under that Act. Kapur, J. (as he then was) while dealing with the question said that the Tribunal acting under that Act was not a 'Court'. This observation was made in the background of the scheme of the Act and its provisions. On page 200 of the report, the learned Judge observed that the Debts Adjustment Act authorised the Tribunal to decide cases 'not merely by the application of legal principles' but 'by consideration of policy also'. The Tribunal thus. the learned Judge said, could do what no court could otherwise do. as for example in discharge of its functions it could add to terms of a contract and also vary the effect of a decree. This obviously is not so in the case of a Controller or the Tribunal acting under the Act. This case, thereforee, docs not help the respondent.

(23) Tara Chand v. The State and another and Ram Parashad Rastogi v. Jagdish Narain (1966) 68 P. L. R. 287 (Delhi Section) (18) were cited on behalf of the respondent. In the former case. it was held that 'neither the Rent Controller nor Appellate Authority under the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act. 1949, is a court and, thereforee, they cannot be held to be Civil Courts within the meaning of S. 476. Criminal P. C.' and in the latter case it was held that the Rent Controller acting under Delhi Rent Control Act. 1958 i.e. the Act with which we are concerned. was not a 'Civil Court' within the meaning of section 476 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In Tara Chand's case unfortunately there is no discussion on the question why the Rent Controller was not a 'Court' as distinguished from a 'Civil Court'. In fact that point was not before the Court in that case. The question for consideration, as would be seen on reference to para 2 of the judgment, was whether the Rent Controller or the Appellate Authority under the East Punjab Urban Rent Restriction Act of 1949 was a 'Civil Court' within the meaning of section 476 Code of Criminal Procedure. In Ram Parshad's case also the only point before the Court was whether the Controller was a 'Civil Court' within the meaning of section 476. For reasons to be presently stated, we are in respectful agreement with the conclusion in both these cases that these Tribunals are not 'Civil Courts' within the meaning of section 476 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but that is different from saying that these Tribunals are also not 'courts' within the meaning of section 195(1)(b). The latter question was not considered in either of these cases. They do not, thereforee, help the respondent.

(24) Reliance was also placed on behalf of the respondent on Tirloki Nath Shambhu Nath v. The State (19) and Sumer Chand v. Daya Sarup Saxena (1970) 6 Delhi Law Times 145(20). In Tirloki Nath's case the question before the Court was whether the competent authority acting under the Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearance) Act, 1956 was a Court for purposes of section 195(1)(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The answer was in negative. On page 409 of the report, after noticing the provisions of section 19 of that Act, the Court said:-

'PERUSALof S. 19 reproduced above goes to show that though the competent authority has to give an opportunity to the tenant of being heard in the matter and though it has to make an inquiry into the circumstances of the case, it is also clear that the inquiry has to be of a summary nature and to be such as is considered fit by the competent authority. This would go to show that the parties have no right to insist on producing evidence and summoning witnesses or of compelling production of the documents. It cannot, thereforee, be said that the competent authority posses all the attributes of a Court.'

(25) We are not called upon in this case to examine the exact scope of inquiry under section 19 of the Slum Areas (Improvement and Clearanee) Act and nothing, thereforee, need be said on the scope of section 19, but the extracted passage shows that the competent authority was held not to be a court because of the special features mentioned in the extracted para.

(26) In Sumer Chand's case, the decision was primarily based on observations in Ram Parshad's case 1966 P.L.R. 237 and Ved Parkash Kapur v. Harish Chander Rastogi : 3(1967)DLT341 (21). We have already said that in Ram Parsad's case the question whether Controller was a 'Court' within the meaning of section 195(1)(b) was not at all considered by the Court. This case, thereforee, is no autliority for tlic view that the Controller was not a 'Court'. Ved Parakash Kapur's case 1967 DLT 341, in our view, was also not relevant. The facts there were that Ved Parkash filed an application under Order I rule 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure read with section 151 of the Code before the Controller alleging that he was in occupation of the premises which formed the subject matter of the pending eviction proceedings with the consent of the landlord and was, thereforee, a necessary party to the proceedings. The application was dismissed by the Rent Controller. An appeal from this order was dismissed by the Rent Control Tribunal. Against this order, a revision was filed in High Court. A preliminary objection as to the competency of revision was raised. It was, in this context, held that the Controller and the Tribunal were not 'Civil Courts' subordinate to the High Court to attract section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(27) In Sumer Chand's case the learned single Judge did notice the decision in Thakur Jugal Kishore Sinha v. The Sitamarhi Central Cooperative Bank Ltd. and another : 1967CriLJ1380a (9) and Virindar Kumar Satyawadi v. The State of Punjab : 1956CriLJ326 (8) which laid down considerations relevant for the point in issue but observed that the language of section 14 showed that the Legislature intended to maintain a distinction between the Controller and a Court and the intention was that the Controller should not be regarded as a Court. It was also said that sub-section (2) of section 36(2) conferred on the Controller not all but only some of the powers of a Court under the Code of Civil Procedure and, thereforee. the Controller was not a Court. It is true that according to section 14 of the Act the Controller is intended to be different from 'Civil Court' but that docs not mean that the Controller is also not a 'Court' for purposes of section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. As we have shown in the later part of this judgment, the concept of a 'Court' for purposes of section 195(1)(b) is different from that of a 'Civil Court' so that if a Tribunal is not a 'Civil Court' it docs not necessarily mean that it is also not a 'Court'. Regarding section 36(2) also it would be seen that the latter portion of this sub-section (extracted earlier) does not support the conclusion arrived at in this case. It was observed that the omission of section 193 by the Legislature in this part of the sub-section indicated that the Controller was not to be treated as a Civil Court. This, as stated earlier, does not mean that the Controller is also not a 'Court'. That the Controller was intended to be a 'Court' is borne out by the first part of this portion which says that 'any proceeding before the Controller shall be deemed to be a judicial proceeding within the meaning of section 193 and section 228 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)........ .'. This clearly means that for purposes of sections 193 and 228 the Controller is intended by the Legislature to be a 'Court' competent to make a complaint in respect of offence under section 193 in relation to proceedings before it as envisaged in section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure The latter part of this sub-section only means that the Controller will not be a 'Civil Court', an expression which, as would presently be seen, is different from 'Court' within the meaning of section 195(1)(b). The omission of section 193 in the latter part, thereforee, does not warrant the conclusion that the Controller is not a 'Court' for purposes of section 195(1)(b). It appears that the distinction between the term 'Court' and a 'Civil Court' was not kept in view. Further, it would be seen that section 36 noticed in the judgment provides only for the powers of a Controller but it is section 37 which prescribes the procedure to be followed by the Controller. The latter provision is also important for purposes of determining the nature of the Tribunal. We have already dealt with the relevant part of this provision. This section, however, was not at all noticed in the case. For all these reasons, we are of the opinion that the view taken in Summer Chand's case that the Controller was not a 'Court' cannot be sustained.

(28) In Subhash Chander v. Rehmat Ullah 1972 R. C. R. 977 (15) a division Bench of this Court held that the Controller acting under the Act was not 'Court' within the meaning of the Limitation Act. This decision related only to the application of the Limitation Act to proceedings under the Act. One of the question before the Bench was whether the Controller was a Court in the strict sense as constituted by law to which the statute prescribing the periods of limitation application. It is in this context that it was said that the Conroller was not a Court. In para 27 at page 992 of the report, the Bench said:-

'WEhave pondered, so far as we could, the conseqacnces resulting from our view. Had we held that the Limitation Act 1963 applied, there is very little in it that could have applied to proceedings before the Controller. The First 'and Second Divisions of the Schedule to that Act deal with suits and appeals, and can have no application to such proceedings; at best, only sonic of the Articles in the Third Division may possibly have applied. That could well have been one of the reasons why the Limitation Act was not applied.'

(29) This decision, thereforee, cannot be used to support the view that the Controller was not a Court for purposes of section 195(1)(b) also.

(30) Now, we deal with the concept of ''Court' or purposes of section 195 as distinct from a 'Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court' envisaged in section 476 of the Code of Criminal of Procedure. The two concepts are different. This would be clear on reference to subsection (2) of section 195. This sub-section provides that the term 'Court' for purposes of clauses (b) and (c) of sub-section (1) includes a Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court. The word 'includes' in the sub-section was substituted for the word 'means' by the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act 18 of 1923. This necessarily means that prior to the amendment the expression ''Court' used in this sub-section meant nothing but the Civil, Criminal or Revenue Court (the three categories of courts mentioned in section 476) but after the amendment it included something more than the said Civil. Criminal or Revenue Court : (see Jagannath Parasad and another v. State of Uttar Pardesh : [1963]2SCR850 ). In Balwant Singh and another v. L, C. Bharupal, Income-Tax Officer. New Delhi and another (1968) 70 I.T.R. 89, the Supreme Court held that though an authority may be a 'Court' for purposes of section 195 hut it need not necessarily be 'Civil Court' for purposes of section 476. In this case, proceedings before the Income-lax Oflieer for the registration of a firm under section 26A of the Income-tax Act. 1922 were held to be judicial proceedings in a Court and section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure was held to be applicable. But it was held that the Income-tax Ofiiccr could not he treated as a ''Revenue Court' and so neither section 476 nor section 479A of the Code of Criminal Procedure applied,

(31) While examining the question whether a Sales-tax Officer was a Court for purposes of section 476 Code of Criminal Procedure, in Jagannath Prasad and another v. State of Uttar Pradesh : [1963]2SCR850 the Supreme Court referred to the following passage from Smt. Ujjam Bai v. State of U.P. A.I.R. 1962 SC 1621 ( 22) and then concluded that the Sales-tax Oflieer was not a 'Court' for purposes of section 476 :

'THEtaxing authorities are instrumentalitics of the State. They are not part of the legislature, nor arc they a part of the judiciary. Their functions are the assessment and collection of taxes and in the process of assessing taxes, they follow a pattern of action which is considered judicial. They are not thereby converted into Courts of Civil Judicature. They still remain the instrumentalities of the State and are within the definition of 'State' in Art. 12.'

(32) This reference was significant. It shows that Civil, Revenue or Criminal Courts envisaged in section 476 could only be the Courts constituted as such by the legislature. Section 18 of the Punjab Courts Act. 1918 provides the classes of courts which alone are the constituted ''Civil Courts'. Section 6 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887 provides classes of Revenue officers who alone are 'revenue courts' and section 6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure enumerates the classes of Criminal Courts which alone are the duly constituted Criminal Courts of the land. It is only these courts, constituted as such by law, that are envisaged in section 476 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

(33) It was then urged that if the Controller was not a Civil Court for purposes of section 476. the present appeal under section 476 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was not maintainable because an appeal under this section lay only when the Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court as envisaged in section 476 refused to make a complaint under this section or section 476A. The submission is correct but we think that provisions of section 561A of the Code are attracted to this case and this Court in exercise of its inherent powers is competent to examine the matter.

(34) In the result, thereforee, in our opinion, the Tribunal was in error in taking the view that it was not a 'Court' within the meaning of section 195(l)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and was not competent to make a complaint in respect of the false averments made in the transfer application and the supporting affidavit. But having regard to the fact that a period of over five years has already lapsed, we do not consider it proper, in the circumstances of the case, to order that the matter be pursued by lodging the complaint at this late stage.

(35) Criminal appeal No. 95 of 1969 is thus disposed of in these terms.


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