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Mahendra Singh Vs. Kesar Singh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Criminal Revision No. 78 of 1979
Judge
Reported in1980WLN243
AppellantMahendra Singh
RespondentKesar Singh and ors.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredKochu Mohammed v. The State of Kerala
Excerpt:
.....pending but process issued when new code commenced--case committed to sessions court--held, sessions judge is empowered to examine witnesses not examined by magistrate before committal.;for an enquiry which was pending under chapter xviii, cr. p.c. (1898 or when the new code came into force with effect from 1-4-1974, in a case in which the stage of issue of process has passed, and the process has been issued, the magistrate, cannot be asked to examine the witnesses of the complainant before committing the case to the court of sessions, if the offence is triable exclusively by a court of sessions. it also appears that by virtue of the proviso to sub-section (2.a) of section 484 of the new code, the magistrate, is only required in such cases to comply with section 208, and commit..........moved a complaint on november so, 19/0 in the court of munsif magistrate, hanumangarh the learned magistrate, after holding a preliminary enquiry, took cognizance of the offence under section 307/149, i.p.c. against the eight accused persons. it appears that two of the accused bakhsis and biban singh have died. the committal enquiry under chapter xviii, cr. p.c. (1898) was pending when the code of criminal procedure, 1973 came into force with effect from 1.4.74. in view of the proviso to sub-section (2) of 3. 484, cr. p.c., 1973, the committal enquiry was dealt with by the learned magistrate under section 208, cr. p.c., 1973, and the case was committed to the court of learned additional sessions judge, hanumangarh. during the course of trial before tie. learned additional senior.....
Judgment:

Mahendra Bhushan, J.

1. In this revision petition, an important point has arisen as to whether on commitment of case on complaint, the Sessions Judge has power to examine those witnesses who Were not examined in the committing Court before the issue of process

2. The petitioner filed a report in P S. Tibi about the incident of an attempt to murder, but the S.H.O. of the police station concerned did not file a report Under Section 173, Cr. P.C. and as such the petitioner moved a complaint on November SO, 19/0 in the court of Munsif Magistrate, Hanumangarh The learned Magistrate, after holding a preliminary enquiry, took cognizance of the offence Under Section 307/149, I.P.C. against the eight accused persons. It appears that two of the accused Bakhsis and Biban Singh have died. The committal enquiry under Chapter XVIII, Cr. P.C. (1898) was pending when the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 came into force with effect from 1.4.74. In view of the proviso to Sub-section (2) of 3. 484, Cr. P.C., 1973, the committal enquiry was dealt with by the learned Magistrate under Section 208, Cr. P.C., 1973, and the case was committed to the court of Learned additional Sessions Judge, Hanumangarh. During the course of trial before tie. Learned Additional Senior Judge, Hanumangarh, the petitioner sought to examine three witnesses, viz., Kripal Singh, Sunder Singh and the doctor. An objection was taken on behalf of the accrued persons that because there persons were not examined as witnesses on behalf of the complainant before the issue of process cannot be examined by the Additional Session Judge. The Learned Additional Sessions Judge under the impugned order upheld the objection so for as two witnesses Kripal singh and Surdersingh are concerned,

3. The contention of the Learned Advocate for the accused is that when the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 came into force on 1-4-74, the committal proceedings were pending, & the stage of deciding whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused under Section. 200 and 202, Cr. P.C. had passed, Therefore, the Learned Magistrate could not have examined the remaining witnesses for the complainant and he had no option but to commit the case to the Court of Sessions after complying with Section, 208, Cr. P.C. 1973. In support of his submission, be has placed reliance on a judgment of the Kerala High Court (D.B. ) Kochu Mohammed v. The State of Kerala 1977 Cr. LJ 1867 In that case, the complaint was filed on 19-4-76 with a schedule of witnesses. On being called upon by the Learned Magistrate, the complainant only examined himself. The Learned Magistrate registered the case and directed summons to be issued to all the accused persons. Since the offence was triable exclusively by the Court of Sessions, after teeing that the copies of the documents were furnished to the accused persons, the case was committed The committal order was challenged in the High Court on (he ground that Sections 200, & 202 Cr. P.C. of the new Code have not been followed, in as much as neither all the witnesses for the complainant were examined, nor copies of their statements have been furnished to the accused persons. It was held that it is a discretion of the Magistrate, to postpone the issue of process against the accused till an enquiry is made Under Section 202(1) of the new Code. Therefore if the Magistrate feels that no enquiry is necessary, he can straight away issue a process after examining the complaint. This authority relied upon by Mr. Purohit does not throw any light on the controversy which is involved in the case. But that apart, to my mind, the complainant cannot be compelled to produce all his witnesses even in an enquiry under Section 200(1), Cr. P.C. for an offence which is exclusively triable by a court of Sessions The words, 'produce all his witnesses' to my mind, only mean to produce such witnesses which he thinks necessary on having been called upon by the Magistrate, to produce all his witnesses It Is not disputed that when the New Code came into force with effect from 1-4-74, the committal enquiry under the old Code was pending The stage of a preliminary enquiry under Section 202(1), Cr. P.C, 1973 had passed and the process had been issued. The accused persons were already present before the Court. Therefore, the proviso to Section 302(1) and provision to Sub-section, (2) were not attracted to the facts of the instant case, and at that stage the Magistrate could not have called upon the complainant to examine his witnesses in order to decide whether as not there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused All that was expected of him was to see that the copies of the statements recorded Under Section 100 or 282, Cr. P.C. 1973 of all such persons examined by him and of any documents produced before him on which the prosecution relies were furnished to the accused. That apart, Under Section 311 of the New Code, a Court has got power at any stage of the trial to summon any person as a witness and the court is bound to summon and examine any such person, if his evidence appears to it to be essential for the just decision of the case.

4. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has placed reliance on Saramjadha Udhav and Ors. petitioners v. State end others Respondents (2) Though the complaint was pending when the New Code came into force with effect from 1-4 1974, but the case was committed without following proviso to Sub-section (2) of Section 202, Cr. P.C. it was held that it was not permissible and the commitment was quashed. With due respect, I find myself unable to agree with the view taken by the learned Judge. As stated earlier, if the cognizance of an offence exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions is taken on complaint before 1-4-74, then the stage of preliminary enquiry to ascertain whether or not there was sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused has passed and merely because by virtue of proviso to Section 484(2)(a), the pending enquiry under Chapter XVIII of the old Code was to be dealt with the & disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the New Code, It does not mean to revert to the stage before issuing process Under Section 484, Cr. P.C. All that is meant is that from the stage which was existing on 1-4-74, the inquiry is to be dealt with under the New Code, therefore, all that was required of the Magistrate was to have complied with Section 208, Cr. P.C. and to commit the case to the Court of Sessions No doubt, the accused will in such a case be deprived of any previous statement of a witness recorded under Section 202(1) Gr. P.C. but for that matter reverting to the stage of enquiry in a case where cognizance, of an offence has been taken, process issued and accused appears, is not called for under the law.

5. Therefor, I am of the opinion that for an enquiry which was pending under Chapter XVIII, Cr. P.C. (1898) or when the New code came into force with effect from 1-1-74, in a case in which the stage of Issue of process has passed, and the process has been issued, the Magistrate, cannot be asked to examine the witnesses of the complainant before committing the case to the Court of Sessions if the offence is triable exclusively by a Court of Sessions. It also appears that by virtue of the proviso to tub Section (2-A) of Section 484 of the New Code, the Magistrate is only required in such cases to comply with Section 208, and commit the case to the Court to Sessions, if the offence is to be tried by it. The Sessions Judge has powers to examine any of the witnesses, who have not been examined by the Magistrate before issuing the proces.

6. In the result, this revision petition succeeds. The order of the learned Magistrate refusing to summon Kripal singh and Surendra Singh is set aside, and the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Hanumangarh is directed to summon and examine Kripal singh and Surendra singh as witnesses for the complainant in the Sessions trial.


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