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K.K. Pandey Vs. Narpat Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1973CriLJ1640; 1972()WLN980
AppellantK.K. Pandey
RespondentNarpat Singh
Cases Referred and Raghunath Pun v. Emperor
Excerpt:
.....there must be a document which is, or purports to be, a will, or an authority to adopt a son, or a valuable security;;2. the accused must have cancelled, destroyed, defaced such document or attempted to do so or secreted, or attempted to secrete such document or committed mischief in respect of such document; and;3. the accused must have done such act fraudulently or with intent to cause damage or injury to the public or to any person.;a mere invitation to candidate possessing the specified qualifications to apply for selection for recruitment to a certain post does not create a legal right. the candidates in fact do not get any manner of right by applying for the post, and perhaps, even after the selection much less by receiving an invitation for interview.;a mere correction in the..........proposal created a legal right for the complainant to be called for an interview. it was a valuable security. the complainant, in the end, prayed that k. k. pandey should be prosecuted under section 477, i. p. c, for tampering with the valuable security.3. on receipt of the above complaint learned munsiff-magistrate, khetri, examined narpat singh as p. w. 1, chandra prakash p. w. 2 and k. b. chohan p. w. 3. thereafter the court ordered on december 15, 1971, that process be issued against k. k. pandey, personnel manager, khetri copper project, in connection with the alleged offence under section 477, ipc4. against the above order a revision petition was filed in the court of sessions judge, jhunjhunu. learned sessions judge is of the opinion that the contents found in the attached.....
Judgment:
ORDER

L.S. Mehta, J.

1. This is a reference, submitted by learned Sessions Judge, Jhunjhunu, recommending that the order for the issue of process against the petitioner, K. K. Pandey, for the offence under Section 477, I. P. C, be quashed.

2. Narpat Singh Deora, it is alleged, made a complaint to the Court of Munsiff-Magistrate, Khetri, on October 5, 1971, to the effect that the complainant had been working as U. D. C, in the Administration Wing of Khetri Copper Project since January, 1969. K. K. Pandey was working as Personnel Manager there. In the aforesaid Project the post of Estate Supervisor fell vacant. Applications from prospective candidates for the post were invited by K. K. Pandey from the employees of the Corporation. In pursuance of the above invitation the complainant submitted an application. A scrutiny of the applications was made by the Assistant Personnel Officer (Recruitment) and after a searching look he recommended the name of the complainant along with one more candidate. The recommendation was duly endorsed by the Personnel Industrial Relations Officer. Thereafter the file was sent to the Chief Town Administrator for perusal and he in his turn recommended a number of names including the complainant. The Chief Town Administrator then sent the file to K. K. Pandey for the approval of the proposal. Personnel Manager, Khetri Copper Project, K. K. Pandey agreed with the recommendations of the Chief Town Administrator and reduced into writing that the candidates recommended by him be called for interview. Soon after the accused changed his mind and fa order to accord benefit to another candidate and to cause damage to the complainant, he. with fraudulent and dishonest intention, completely defaced his own endorsement by pasting a chit thereon and thereby committed mischief with the document. The pasted piece of paper contained a different endorsement. The complainant after that defacement was not called for interview. The complainant was the most suitable person for the post as he was equipped with all the requisite qualifications. Had the accused not disfigured his own endorsement, the complainant stood a fair chance of selection. The endorsement made by the accused on the Chief Town Administrator's proposal created a legal right for the complainant to be called for an interview. It was a valuable security. The complainant, in the end, prayed that K. K. Pandey should be prosecuted under Section 477, I. P. C, for tampering with the valuable security.

3. On receipt of the above complaint learned Munsiff-Magistrate, Khetri, examined Narpat Singh as P. W. 1, Chandra Prakash P. W. 2 and K. B. Chohan P. W. 3. Thereafter the Court ordered on December 15, 1971, that process be issued against K. K. Pandey, Personnel Manager, Khetri Copper Project, in connection with the alleged offence under Section 477, IPC

4. Against the above order a revision petition was filed in the Court of Sessions Judge, Jhunjhunu. Learned Sessions Judge is of the opinion that the contents found in the attached slip were identical with the endorsement originally made by Mr. Pandey in Ex. P.I. Both the endorsements bear the same date, i.e., August 30, 1971. It was not mentioned in the original endorsement that Narpat Singh should also be called for interview. Learned Sessions Judge then pointed out that no prima facie case could possibly be made out under Section 477, IPC and the trial Court should not have issued process against the accused. Learned Sessions Judge, therefore, recommends that the impugned order of Munsiff-Magistrate, Khetri, passed on December 15, 1971, be quashed.

5. I have perused the reference submitted by learned Sessions Judge and have also heard at length the arguments put forth by learned Counsel representing both the parties. The most important point in the case is whether there existed some material on the record to enable the Court to proceed under Section 477, IPC Section 477, I. P. C, reads as under:-

Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly, or, with intent to cause damage or injury to the public or to any person, cancels, destroys or defaces, or attempts to cancel, destroy or deface, or secretes or attempts to secrete any document which is or purports to be a will, or an authority to adopt a son, or any valuable security, or commits mischief in respect to such document, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

6. The essential ingredients of the above section are:

1. there must be a document which is, or purports to be, a will, or an authority to adopt a son, or a valuable security;

2. the accused must have cancelled, destroyed, defaced such document or attempted to do so or secreted, or attempted to secrete such document or committed mischief in respect of such document; and

3. the accused must have done such act fraudulently or dishonestly or with intent to cause damage or injury to the public or to any person.

7. The most important question for the purpose of the disposal of this revision petition is to determine whether the endorsement of K. K. Pandey on Ex. P.I constitutes a valuable security. The document is admittedly neither a will nor is an authority to adopt a son. The endorsement runs as under:-

Discussed with C. T. A. Only SI. Nos. 1 and 7, who fulfil the requisite qualifications and experience (experience of land acquisition and also estate work) be called for interview. SI. No. 8 does not possess the requisite minimum qualifications and need not be called. Age relaxation in respect of the candidate at SI. No. 7 approved.

8. It is now to be determined whether the above note is a valuable security. What is a valuable security is given in Section 30. IPC It is in the terms following :-

The words 'valuable security' denote a document which is, or purports to be, a document whereby any legal right is created, extended, transferred, restricted, extinguished or released, or whereby any person acknowledges that he lies under legal liability, or has not a certain legal right.

Illustration.

A writes his name on the back of a bill of exchange. As the effect of this endorsement is to transfer the right to the bill to any person who may become the lawful holder of it, the endorsement is a 'valuable security.

The characteristic feature of a valuable security, as defined in the above legal provision, is that it creates, extinguishes, etc. a legal right or liability and does not merely serve as evidence of such right or other matter. A legal right is one which is either enforceable or recognized by a rule of law. Where a document has no effect with reference to a legal right, as described in the section, it will not be a valuable security.

9. Assuming that a part of the document was defaced by K. K. Pandey including the name of the complainant, does it mean that the endorsement in question in respect of calling the candidates for interview constituted a legal right. A mere endorsement for calling a particular candidate for interview does not, in my opinion, hold out any promise that the selection would be made or even if it was made, the selected candidate would be appointed. A mere invitation to candidates possessing the specified qualifications to apply for selection for recruitment to a certain post does not create a legal right. The candidates in fact do not get any manner of right by applying for the post, and parhaps, even after the selection much less by receiving an invitation for interview. They would be entitled to the post only if they are appointed by the competent authority pursuant to the selection. In the absence of any obligation statutory or otherwise, it is open to the competent authority to call or or not to call the candidate for an interview. In this connection, a reference is made to Ahmed Thonnan Thodi v. State of Kerala, 1970 Serv LR 34, in which the Kerala High Court observed thus:

The notification issued by the Public Service Commission in this case was duly an invitation to candidates possessing the specified qualifications to apply for selection for recruitment to certain posts. It did not hold out any promise that the selection would be made, or if it was made, the selected candidates would be appointed.

A reference in this connection is also made to Ramaswamy v. I. G. of Police : (1970)ILLJ649SC . In that case his Lordship Wanchoo, J., speaking for the Court, observed :

The first two questions that fall for consideration are whether the fact that a Sub-Inspector's name is put in the eligibility list gives an indefeasible right to him to promotion, and whether after such promotion on a temporary or officiating basis he gets a right not to be reverted under any circumstances. We are of opinion that the fact that a Sub-Inspector's name is in the eligibility list gives him no right of the kind urged on behalf of the petitioners.... It follows therefore that the mere fact that a Sub-Inspector's name is once put in the eligibility list does not give him an indefeasible right to promotion as a Circle Inspector.

10. A perusal of the endorsement in question Ex. 1 in the instant case shows that some portion thereof was corrected. Probably the accused made some mistake and that mistake was rectified on the spot. In the circular dated July 5, 1971, issued by the Personnel Officer, Khetri Copper Project, it was clearly mentioned that the Estate Supervisor should be below 30 years of age. In spite of the recommendation made by the Assistant Personnel Officer or the Chief Town Administrator, K. K. Pandey did not agree or issue an order that the age of Narpat Singh, who was 39 years old then, should be relaxed. The original endorsement as well as the corrected typed endorsement bore the same date. That shows that the typed endorsement was written that very day, i. e., on August 30, 1971. A mere correction in the original endorsement under no stretch of imagination will constitute a forgery. P. W. 3 Kami Singh produced on behalf of the complainant has positively stated that after seeing the recommendation it is for the Personnel Manager to decide as to which person should be called for an interview. The Personnel Manager passed appropriate orders It does not follow that the order passed by him was not within his competance. He was in fact the final authority to take decision in the matter in question. That apart, none of the witnesses has said that K. K. Pandey relaxed the age of the complainant and thereafter he called him for interview and then that order was changed. The complainant himself does not throw sufficient light as to when the alleged forgery was committed. learned Counsel representing Narpat Singh has cited Krishan Chander v. Central Tractor Organization : (1963)ILLJ661SC . That case dealt with a Writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution and not with Section 477, IPC This authority speaks that the fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution was not only to make an application for the post under the Government, but it guarantees further right to be considered on the merits for the post for which the application has been made. This ruling has got nothing to do with the provisions of Section 477, IPC learned Counsel then relied upon Chandra Deo V. Prokash Chandra : [1964]1SCR639 in which amongst other observations it has been made clear that one of the objects behind the provision of Section 202, Criminal P. C, is to enable the Magistrate to scrutinise carefully the allegations made in the complaint with a view to prevent a person named therein as accused from being called upon to face an obviously frivolous complaint. The learned Magistrate has, in the present case, not carefully scrutinised the allegations made by the complainant. This authority instead of rendering any assistance to the complainant makes his case quivering with infirmity.

11. Before I part with this case, it may be pointed out that the learned Munsiff-Magistrate, Khetri, had had no satisfactory material for the issue of process for the prosecution of K. K. Pandey for the offence under Section 477, IPC Ordinarily if the Magistrate has ordered an accused to be tried, the trial has to proceed. But when this Court is satisfied that the accused is being prosecuted without there being any material before it, it will be abdicating its function if it did not interfere to stop patent injustice calling for a prompt redress: see Jagat Chandra Mozumdar v. Queen Empress, (1899) ILR 26 Cal 786 and Raghunath Pun v. Emperor AIR 1932 Pat 72 : (33 Cri LJ 349). The Court has to administer the law as it stands and not as it likes it to be.

12. For the foregonig reasons, the reference is accepted and the order dated December 15, 1971, of the Munsiff-Magis-trate, Khetri, is set aside, K. K. Pandey is discharged of the offence under Section 477, IPC


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