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The State Vs. Amrutlal Prabhudas - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Ref. No. 12 of 1963
Judge
Reported inAIR1964Guj248; 1964CriLJ548; (1964)GLR1059
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1908 - Sections 201 and 346
AppellantThe State
RespondentAmrutlal Prabhudas
Appellant Advocate H.M. Choksi, Govt. Pleader
Respondent Advocate N.N. Gandhi, Adv.
Cases Referred and State v. Pokker
Excerpt:
- .....high courts have taken another view (vide amrendra nath v. raghu nath nandan : air1952cal849 district magistrate of cuddapah v. abdul kareem : air1943mad526 , and state v. pokker : air1959ker53 . in these cases the question whether section 201. cri. pro. code, applies or not hag not been considered. but in my opinion, section 201 cr. pro. code applies at any stage of the proceedings. if at a late stage of the proceedings, the magistrate feels that he has no territorial jurisdiction, he can act under section 201, cr. p. c. it is true that section 201 is in chapter xvi of the cr. pro. code. ordinarily, the absence of territorial jurisdiction is discovered at the beginning of the proceedings and therefore section 201 finds place in chapter xvi of the cri, pro. code. but there is.....
Judgment:
ORDER

V.B. Raju, J.

1. This is a reference by the learned Sessions Judge of Ahmedabad (Rural). The Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Dhandhuka, felt at a very late stage of a trial that he had no territorial; jurisdiction to try a complaint which was under Sections 175 and 204, Indian Penal Code. He therefore ordered that the complaint should be returned to the complainant. The learned Sessions Judge seems to have thought that to such a case Section 201, Cr. P. C. would not apply and that the-proper section to be applied is section 346, Cr. P. C., under which, the Magistrate has to send a complaint to another Magistrate. On the point whether Section 346, Cr. Pro. Code would apply to a case where a Magistrate feels that he has no territorial jurisdiction, the Calcutta High Court has taken one view and the Madras and Kerala High Courts have taken another view (Vide Amrendra Nath v. Raghu Nath Nandan : AIR1952Cal849 District Magistrate of Cuddapah v. Abdul Kareem : AIR1943Mad526 , and State v. Pokker : AIR1959Ker53 . In these cases the question whether Section 201. Cri. Pro. Code, applies or not hag not been considered. But in my opinion, Section 201 Cr. Pro. Code applies at any stage of the proceedings. If at a late stage of the proceedings, the Magistrate feels that he has no territorial jurisdiction, he can act under Section 201, Cr. P. C. It is true that Section 201 is in Chapter XVI of the Cr. Pro. Code. Ordinarily, the absence of territorial jurisdiction is discovered at the beginning of the proceedings and therefore Section 201 finds place in Chapter XVI of the Cri, Pro. Code. But there is nothing in that Chapter to restrict the application, of Section 201, at any stage of the trial. If at any stage of the proceedings the Magistrate feels that he has no territorial jurisdiction, he can act under Section 201, Cri. Pro. Code.

2. With great respect, I find it difficult to agree with the view taken by the Calcutta High Court, and agree with the view taken by the Madras and Kerala High Courts on the point whether Section 346, Cr. P. C. applies to a case where the Magistrate feels that he has no territorial jurisdiction. Section 346, Cr. P.C. reads as follows:

'(I) If, in the course of an inquiry or a trial before a Magistrate in any district outside Greater Bombay, the evidence appears to him to warrant a presumption that the case is one which should be tried or committed for trial by some other Magistrate in such district he shall stay proceedings and submit the case, with a brief report explaining its nature, to any Magistrate to whom he is subordinate or to such other Magistrate, having jurisdiction as the District Magistrate or Sessions Judge as the case may be, directs.

(2) The Magistrate to whom the case is submitted, may, if so empowered, either try the case himself, or refer it to any Magistrate subordinate to him having jurisdiction, or commit the accused for trial.'

The expression 'some other Magistrate in such district' has been used because it is quite possible that a third class Magistrate may not have jurisdiction to try a first class case and therefore the case will have to go to the first class Magistrate in the same district. The very fact that the Magistrate acts under Section 346, Cr. P. C. would mean that he has taken a cognisance. It is possible that a Magistrate may feel that he is not competent to impose an adequate sentence. In such a case also he can act under Section 346, Cr. P. C. Section 346, Cr. P. C. applies to cases where a Magistrate feels after regularly holding a trial in part that the case is one which should be tried or committed for trial by some other Magistrate. It does not apply to cases where the Magistrate cannot from the beginning try the case, but applies to cases where the Magistrate feels that the case should be fully tried by some other Magistrate, although he himself has properly commenced the trial. Section 346, Cr. P. C. does not apply to cases where the Magistrate is not competent to take cognisance, which expression is used in2 Section 201, Cri. Pro. Code, but applies to cases, where, although the Magistrate is competent to take cognisance, he feels that the case should be tried or committed for trial by some other Magistrate of his own district. Section 346, Cr. P. C. uses the words 'such district'. In other words, it does not apply to cases as between one district and another, while Section 201, Cr. P. C. would apply even to such cases. The words used in Section 201, Cr. P. C. are 'a Magistrate who is not competent to take cognisance of the case'. The words 'not competent' are not used in Section 346. If after taking some evidence the Magistrate finds that the offence appears to have been committed in another district he must act under Section 201, Cr. P. C, and not under Section 346 of the said Code. Therefore, with great respect, I find it difficult to agree with the view taken by the Calcutta High Court.

3. In the instant case, the learned Magistrate is right in following the provisions of Section 201, Cr. P. C. The learned Sessions Judge is not right in the view he has taken that Section 201 Cr. P. C. cannot apply after the Magistrate has taken evidence.

4. x x x x x x


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