Sunil Kumar Garg, J.
1. This Criminal revision petition under Section 397 Cr.P.C. has been filed by the accused petitioner against the order dtd. 13.4.2004 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track), Chittorgarh in Sessions Case No. 130/2003 by which he ordered that charges for offence under Section 411, 413 and 120B be framed against the present accused petitioner as well as other accused persons, namely, Manoj, Badal, and Madan Mohan and also directed framing of charges against Virdi Chand for offences under Sections 411, 413, 120B under Section 379-401 I.P.C.
2. It arises in the following circumstances:
i) On 18.2.1998, one Deep Chand lodged a report in the Police Station Rawat Bhata District Chittorgarh stating inter alia that on the night of 15.2.1998, idol of Natraj had been stolen away from the temple and upon this, a case for the offence under Section 379 I.P.C. was registered and FIR No. 41/98 was chalked out and investigation was started.
ii) During investigation of the case, the accused petitioner was got arrested on 14.8.2003 and other accused persons, namely, Manoj, Badal, Madan Mohan and Virdi Chand were also got arrested.
iii) During investigation, the police found that duplicate stolen idols were got prepared by the accused petitioner and some other accused persons so that fact of stolen of original idols might remain in secret. The alleged duplicate idol of Natraj was seized by the police on. 13.11.1998 and the original idol was first sold to Madan Lal, Manoj and Badal and thereafter it was purchased by the accused petitioner for a consideration of Rs. 20 lacs and thereafter the accused petitioner sold it to Kasmin, an English people for a heavy consideration and for the recovery of original idol, which is at present lying at London, proceedings under Section 166A Cr.P.C. have been initiated by the Police.
iv) The police further came to the conclusion that the accused petitioner along with other accused persons was dealing with sale and purchase of stolen idols and he used to sell them for a valuable consideration:
v) After usual investigation, the police submitted challan for the offences under Sections 379, 401, 411, 413 and 120B I.P.C. against the accused petitioner and other accused persons in the Court of Magistrate and from where the case was committed to the Court of Sessions.
vi) Thereafter the learned Additional Distt. Judge (Fast Track), Chit-torgarh through order dtd. 13.4.2004 directed framing of charges against the accused petitioner and other accused persons as stated above and this order dtd. 13.4.2004 has been challenged in this revision petition.
3. In this revision petition, the main submissions of the learned counsel for the accused petitioner are as under:
i) That there is no evidence on the record to show that the accused petitioner has committed the offence under Section 413 l.P.C. for which he has been charged.
ii) That the sheet on which charges were framed is dtd. 25.11.2003, . though the charges were framed against the accused petitioner on 13.4.2003, meaning thereby that the charges were drawn on 25.11.2003 and thus, order dtd. 13.4.2004 whereby charges were directed to be framed against the accused persons was futile exercise as the learned Additional Sessions Judge had already made up his mind for framing of charges without hearing the. accused petitioner.
4. On the other hand, the learned counsel for the respondent has supported the order dtd. 13.4.2004 and submitted that same does not suffer from any basic infirmity or illegality and hence does not call for any interference by this Court.
5. Heard and perused the case file. POINT NO. 1.
6. So far as point No. 1 is concerned, there is statement of one Satya dev recorded by the police under Section 161 Cr.P.C. and he has stated that near about five years back, another accused Madan Agarwal and the accused petitioner came to him and they gave him photograph of idol of Natraj and asked him to prepare the same and another accused Madan took a sum of Rs. 5000A from the accused petitioner andthen, gave it to him as advance for preparing the idol of Natraj and thereafter, that idol was prepared by him and handed over to them.
7. There is another statement of Abhay Singh recorded by the Police under Section 161 Cr.P.C. and he has stated that he had remained driver with the accused petitioner since 1984 to 2000 and he has further stated that the accused petitioner used to deal with the sale and purchase of stolen idols etc. He has also admitted the fact that the accused petitioner gave order for preparing duplicate idol of Natraj and the accused petitioner used to purchase stolen idols.
8. Thus, from the above, evidence to say at this stage that no case for framing charge under Section 413 I.P.C. is made out cannot be accepted because it is settled law that at the stage of framing the charge, the Court has to prima facie consider whether there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused. The Court is not required to appreciate the evidence and arrive at the conclusion that the materials produced are sufficient or not for convicting the accused. If the Court is satisfied that a prima facie case is made out for proceeding further, then a charge has to be framed. The charge can be quashed if the evidence which the prosecutor proposes to adduce to prove the guilt of the accused, even if fully accepted before it is challenged by cross-examination or rebutted by defence evidence, if any, cannot show that the accused committed the particular offence. In such case, there would be no sufficient ground for proceeding with the trial. For the above proposition, the judgment of Hon'ble Supreme Court in State of M.P. v. S.B. Johari and Ors. (1), may be referred to.
9. In another case State of Delhi v. Cyan Devi and Ors. (2), the Hon'ble Supreme Court has held that High Court's power to quash the charge should not be exercised except for strong reasons to hold that in the interest of justice and in order to avoid the abuse of process of Court, the charge needed to be quashed. In that case, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has further held that High Court should not sift the available medical evidence and quash the charge.
10. In another case Smt. Omwati v. State (3), Hon'ble Supreme Court has held that observations and opinion incorporated in post-mortem report cannot be a ground to deprive the prosecution from proving that accused was guilty of offence and order discharging accused on that basis in respect of offence under Section 302 I.P.C. was found illegal. In that case, the Hon'ble Supreme Court further held that High Court should not interfere at initial stage of framing of charges merely on hypothesis, imagination and far fetched reasons.
11. In another case Ram Kumar Laharia v. State of Madhya Pradesh (4), the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that at the stage of charge, evidence could not be weighed.
12. Thus, if the above principles of law as laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in catena of judgments are minutely observed, the submissions which have been raised by the learned counsel for the accused petitioner are not at all to be appreciated at this stage because as stated above, there is prima facie evidence available against the accused petitioner and hence, the point No. 1 raised by the learned counsel for the accused petitioner stands rejected.
POINT NO. 2.
13. No doubt that there is no dispute on the point that the order-sheet by which the learned Additional Sessions Judge framed of charges against the accused petitioner is dated 25.11.2003 and order by which charges were framed against the accused petitioner and other accused persons is dated 13.4.2004. A copy of order-sheet dtd. 25.11.2003 has been filed by the learned counsel for the accused petitioner which shows that on that day an order was passed that the case be listed for hearing the arguments on charge on 9.12.2003 and in fact, the charge arguments were heard on 13.4.2004 and on that date, charges were ordered to be framed against the accused persons including the present petitioner. Thus, so far as the case of the petitioner is concerned, the mistake which has been committed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge may reflect about negligence in performance of his duty, but it would not make any difference on the point that no case for framing charges has been made out against the accused petitioner. Apart from this the order of framing of charges which was passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge on 13,4.2004 is a detailed order and thus, if the charges were framed on the basis of order dtd. 13.4.2004 against the accused petitioner on the same day and if by mistake, the sheet on which charges were framed is dated 25.11.2003 it would not lead to the conclusion that no case for framing charges is made out against the accused petitioner and hence, the second argument also stands rejected. Had the detailed order of framing of charges dtd. 13.4.2004 would not have been passed, the argument of the learned counsel for the accused petitioner would have been accepted.
14. The High Court's power under Section 397 Cr.P.C. should be exercised only when there exists manifest illegality in the judgment or order or there is grave miscarriage of justice.
15. In the present the order dtd. 13.4.2004 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge does not suffer from manifest illegality and there is no miscarriage of justice and hence the order dtd. 13.4.2004 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge does not require any interference by this Court and this revision petition deserves to be dismissed.
16. Before parting with this judgment, it may be stated here that there is dereliction of duty on the part of Presiding Officer of the Court of Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track), Chittorgarh, namely, Sh. K.C. Nahar, RHJS and he should remain more careful in future.
For the reasons mentioned above, the present revision petition is dismissed.