1. This is an application to revise an order of discharge passed by the Second Class Magistrate, Trivellore. The petitioner preferred to him a complaint of offences under Sections 447 and 323, I. P. C. The case was taken up under Section 323 only and process issued. The accused then put forward a petition that a complaint on the same facts had been put in by the petitioner to his local Village Magistrate and that the Village Magistrate had dismissed it for default of appearance. Accused contended that that dismissal barred the jurisdiction of the Sub-Magistrate to entertain the complaint. The Sub-Magistrate holding that the dismissal of the complaint by the Village Munsif amounted to a dismissal of a complaint under Section 203, Criminal Procedure Code, held that it was not open to him to proceed with the case so long as the dismissal remained in force, and he therefore discharged the accused. The petitioner comes up in revision.
2. Now the Magistrate is obviously wrong in holding that Section 203, Criminal Procedure Code, has any application to the proceedings of a Village Magistrate. The Code itself, except in a very few specific instances, does not apply to Village Magistrates. Therefore the dismissal of the complaint by the Village Munsif is not, so far as the Criminal Procedure Code lays down, any bar to the Magistrate proceeding with the case.
3. It is argued, however, by the accused that the principle of autrefois acquit will apply generally, apart from the Criminal Procedure Code. To apply such a principle to this case involves two propositions, first, that the dismissal by a Village Munsif of a complaint for default of appearance tantamounts to an acquittal; and second, that the acquittal by a Village Court, which is not a recognised tribunal under the Criminal Codes, will attract the application of the general principle. Neither of these propositions is self-evident, and I am not prepared to accept them without further consideration. It does not seem to me however necessary to settle this point in the present case. Instead of coming up here to have the Village Magistrate's order set aside, the petitioner has chosen to come up here to have the Sub-Magistrate's order set aside. He has not chosen the easier remedy but the more difficult and complex one. The case is after all a very petty one which the petitioner chose in the first instance to have decided by the Village Magistrate. I am not prepared to pass in his favour an order which will have the effect of bringing the case into a forum where the petitioner did not in the first instance desire it to be tried. I therefore decline to interfere and dismiss this petition.