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Baboolal and ors. Vs. the Additional Munsiff Magistrate No. 1 and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 232 of 1968
Judge
Reported in1970WLN238
AppellantBaboolal and ors.
RespondentThe Additional Munsiff Magistrate No. 1 and ors.
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
penal code - section 427--offence covered by section 427--whether nyaya panchayat competent to try complaint.;the jurisdiction of a court to try a particular case depends upon the statements of the complainant irrespective of the truth of such statement which is a question of evidence. when the allegations made in a complaint disclose a particular offence which is not triable by the nyaya panchayat, then it is the duty of the nyaya panchayat to scrutinise the allegations made in the complaint to determine whether it had jurisdiction to entertain such complaint or not. in the present case, even after the evidence was recorded, the nyaya panchayat was of opinion that the extent of damages exceeded rs. 50/- and therefore it was not competent to try the case which definitely falls within the..........and ten other persons have challenged their conviction under sections 352, 504, 447 and 426 indian penal code ordered by the nyaya panchayat, semore by filing this writ application under article 226 of the constitution, inter alia, on the ground that the nyaya panchayat had no jurisdiction to try the petitioners and, therefore, their conviction is bad.2. respondent no. 3 raghveer singh was allotted land bearing khasra no. 1.85/1.2 under the rajasthan land allotment rules and that land was cultivated by him. it is alleged that the petitioners did not like this allotment. on 13th of august, 1966, when the complainant-respondent no. 3 went to watch his crop on the field, he found all the eleven accused petitioners grazing cattle under his field. they were all armed with lathis when the.....
Judgment:

V.P. Tyagi, J.

1. Babulal and ten other persons have challenged their conviction under Sections 352, 504, 447 and 426 Indian Penal Code ordered by the Nyaya Panchayat, Semore by filing this writ application under Article 226 of the Constitution, inter alia, on the ground that the Nyaya Panchayat had no jurisdiction to try the petitioners and, therefore, their conviction is bad.

2. Respondent No. 3 Raghveer Singh was allotted land bearing Khasra No. 1.85/1.2 under the Rajasthan Land Allotment Rules and that land was cultivated by him. It is alleged that the petitioners did not like this allotment. On 13th of August, 1966, when the complainant-respondent No. 3 went to watch his crop on the field, he found all the eleven accused petitioners grazing cattle under his field. They were all armed with Lathis When the complainant-respondent reached his field he was informed by the accused petitioners that they would not permit him to cultivate the land. It is said that the petitioners then all started demolishing the water channel through which the complianant's field was irrigated. It is further alleged that when the complainant requested the petitioners not to behave in that manner, four out the eleven petitioners, namely, Sundras, Udaisingh, Kishanlal and Chandna proceeded to beat the complainant with lathis. Apprehending a danger to his life, the complianant somehow made his escape from that place and then filed a complaint before the Nyaya Panchayat alleging that the petitioners had committed offences under Sections 354, 457, 426 and 504 Indian Penal Code. It was also mentioned in the complaint that the accused petitioner caused damage to the complainant's crop to the extant of Rs. 250/-.

3. After the trial by the Nyaya Panchayat, Semore, all the eleven petitioners were found guilty of offences under Sections 352, 504, 447 and 436 Indian Penal Code and each one of them was sentenced to a fine of Rs. 40/-. The Nyaya Panchayat further observed in its judgment that since to complianant has succeeded in proving that he had suffered damages to the tune of Rs- 75/-at the hands of the accused petitioners, he may be paid Rs. 75/-from the fine money realised from the petitioners. The petitioners preferred a revision application against the order of the Nyaya Panchayat in the court of Additional Munsiff-Magistrate No. 1, Dholpur who, after hearing the parties, upheld the judgment of the Nyaya Panchayat. It is against these two judgments that the present writ application has been filed by the petitioners. The main ground of challenge is that the Nyaya Panchayat had no jurisdiction to try the case as the compliant reveals the commission of an offence under Section 427 Indian Penal Code which is exclusively triable by a Magistrate.

4. In the complaint it was mentioned by the complainant in para No. 6 that he had suffered a damage of Rs. 250/- because the petitioners allowed the crop of the complianant to be destroyed by their cattle. The finding recorded by the Nyaya Panchayat in its judgment dated 27th June, 1967, shows that the damage caused to the complainant was not to the extent of Rs. 250/but the complainant suffered a damage of Rs. 75/- only. Nyaya Panchayat, therefore, ordered that out of the fine money realised from the petitioners, the complainant may be paid Rs. 75/-.

5. The argument of learned counsel for the petitioners is that from the complaint as well as from the decision given by the Nyaya Panchayat it is clear that the offence of the petitioners fell under Section 427 Indian Penal Code. It was only to bring the matter under its jurisdiction that the Nyaya Panchayat after having recorded the finding that the complainant had suffered damages of Rs. 75/-convicted the petitioners under Section 426 Indian Penal Code.

6. Section 28 of the Rajasthan Panchayat Act, 1953, lays down the extent of the criminal jurisdiction of a Nyaya Panchayat and specifies that a Nyaya Panchayat shall take congnizance of any offence and abetment of or attempt to commit any offence specified in the First Schedule. The First Schedule mentions an offence under Section 426 which is triable by a Nyaya Panchayat. Section 427 does not find a place in the Schedule and, therefore, the Nyaya Panchayat had no jurisdiction to try a case which obviously fell within the purview of Section 427 Indian Penal Code. In the instant case, the allegation as well as the finding of the Nyaya Panchayat brings the offence under Section 427 Indian Penal Code as the extent of damages alleged to have been caused to the complainant exceeds Rs. 50/-.

7. Learned counsel for the petitioners further urged that it is the allegation made in the complaint which determines the forum and not the evidence which is subsequently produced by the complainant Mr. Lodha is correct to make this submission, The jurisdiction of a court to try a particular case depends upon the statements of the complainant irrespective of the truth of such statement which is a question of evidence. When the allegations made in a complaint disclose a particular offence whith is not triable by the Nyaya Panchayat, then it is the duty of the Nyaya Panchayat to scrutinise the allegations made in the complaint to determine whether it had jurisdiction to entertain such complaint or not. In the present case, even after the evidence was recorded, the Nyaya Panchayat was of opinion that the extent of damages exceded Rs. 50/-and therefore it was not competent to try the case which definitely falls within the four corners of Section 427 Indian Penal Code.

8. For the reasons mentioned above, the conviction and sentences awarded to the petitioners by the Nyaya Panchayat and upheld by the Additional Munsiff-Magistrate No 1, Dholpur, cannot be sustained as they have been passed by a forum which had no jurisdiction to entertain the case.

9. The writ petition is, therefore, allowed, the order passed by Nyaya Panchayat convicting and sentencing the petitioners is set aside and the order passed by the learned Additional Munsiff-Magistrate ' No. 1, Dholpur is also quashed.


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