1. This is a petition filed under section 482 Cr.P.C. to set aside the order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Salem, clubbing S.C. Nos. 59 and 60 of 1979 on his file.
2. For an incident that took place on 21-4-1978 in Akkampalayan village, a charge sheet was filed in S.C. No. 59 of 1981 the first accused being the Vendikkara Muthu Naicken who is dead and fifteen other accused. Regarding the same incident Chinnammal, wife of the deceased preferred a complaint against seventeen persons which is the subject matter of S.C. No. 60 of 1981. Vendikkara Muthu Naicken who is an accused in S.C. No. 59 of 1979 is also an accused in S.C. No. 60 of 1981. On account of his death there are 16 accused in S.C. No. 60 of 1979. Except one Kondappan who is A-9 in S.C. No. 59 of 1979 all others are included as accused in S.C. No. 60 of 1979. A-9 Chinnu Naicken and A-10 Rangasamy in S.C. No. 60 of 1979 are not the accused in the other case and the rest of the accused are common in both the cases.
3. A petition was filed by the Additional Public Prosecutor on behalf of the State before the learned Additional Sessions Judge for making Accused 9 and 10 in S.C. No. 60 of 1979 as Accused 16 and 17 in S.C. No. of 1979 and the cases to be clubbed and tried together. The petition of the Additional Public Prosecutor was resisted as the two persons shown in S.C. No. 60 of 1979 are not made accused in S.C. No. 59 of 1979. It was also urged that clubbing of both cases is prejudicial to the accused and the clubbing is illegal. The learned Additional Sessions Judge allowed the petition of the State and made an order clubbing S.C. Nos. 59 and 60 of 1979.
4. Mr. T. S. Arunachalam, learned counsel appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the order of the learned Additional Sessions Judge, invoking Section 210 Cr.P.C. is erroneous. Where cognizance is taken on a police report which does not relate to persons against whom the complaint is pending, cognizance cannot be taken over again as though they are two different relating to different offence. The petitioners being included as Accused 16 and 17 in S.C. No. 59 of 1979 is illegal and without any legal basis. The original F.I.R. relates only to eight accused and now eighteen persons are alleged to be involved in the crime. Including of Accused 16 and 17 is an abuse of the process of court and is without legal sanction. Finally, he submitted, if they were to be tried together with the rest of the accused it would result in great prejudice.
5. The learned Public Prosecutor contended, that the occurrence regarding S.C. Nos. 59 and 60 of 1979 was one and the same and the order of clubbing together is justified though two persons are new in S.C. No. 60 of 1979. Section 210 Cr.P.C. provides for the procedure to be followed when there is a complaint case and police investigation in respect of the same offence. As the foundation of the charge is one and the same, there should be only one trial.
6. In support of his contentions, the learned Public Prosecutor relied on the decision in Ketra Basi v. Orissa State, : 1SCR880 . In that case there were two separate cases of which cognizance was taken separately. One was started on the basis of a police report while the other was on a private complaint. Their Lordships observed :
'As the accused in both the cases were said to have committed the offences in the course of the same transaction, the cases were clubbed together for the purpose of trial and such a course was clearly permissible under Section 239 Cr.P.C.'
The learned public prosecutor next drew my attention to the following observations of their Lordships of the Supreme Court made in Banwari v. State of U.P. 1962 3 SCR 180 : 1962 Cri LJ 278 :
'The committal order just gives the Sessions Court cognizance over the trial of the persons committed. The committal order does not bind the Sessions Judge to try those persons alone at one trial, who have been committed by the particular committal order. The question of the trial of the various committed persons does not depend on the number of committal orders, but on the provision of Sections 233 to 239 of Code. If one trial can be justified under those provisions and there is no prejudice to the accused, the Sessions Judge can certainly consolidate the committal orders in those cases any try the accused at one trial.'
The learned Public Prosecutor also placed before me regarding this aspect the decisions in Perumal v. Chithanathan : AIR1966Mad142 and Asokan v. Narayanan 1972 MLJ 680.
7. There is no dispute that the incident involved in S.C. Nos. 59 and 60 of 1979 is one and the same. There is no doubt there are two new names found S.C. No. 60 of 1979. It is permissible to hold a joint trial of the accused named in the police report and the accused named in the private complaint, amalgamating the two even though the accused in the police report may not all be the same as those in the complaint. It is better for the purpose of a proper appraisal if the two cases are clubbed together as the persons accused are involed in the same offence arising in the course of the same transaction. The foundation for the charge is one and the same and it is only just that there should be one trial. Section 210 Cr. PC is a procedure beneficial to the accused as there need not be two separate trials of the same offence. In the instant case, the learned Additional Sessions Judge is justified in making an order consolidating the two cases to try the accused at one trial as there is no prejudice caused to the accused. I see no reason to interfere with the order of the lower court and the petition stands dismissed.
8. As the incident in this case had taken place in the year 1978, the trial Court is directed to dispose of the case as expeditiously as possible.
9. Petition dismissed.