1. This is an unusual criminal revision case filed against an unusual order made by the learned Additional Sessions Judge of Tiruchirapalli division in Crl.M.P. No. 82 of. 1952 in Sessions Case No. 53 of 1951.
2. Before entering into the merits of this case, I may point out that in a circular issued. by the High Court of Madras dated 10th. January 1951 interlocutory petitions of this nature are thoroughly deprecated and the Honourable-Judges point out as follows:
'Instances have come up to the High Court which disclose that a system of procedure not contemplated by the Code is developing in the subordinate criminal courts. la warrant cases (and a fortiori in Sessions eases also) accused persons before they are charged and put upon their defence anticipate their defence by petitions raising preliminary points upon which the court passes judgment. These are then brought up on revision to the High Court pending which, the trialof the case is adjourned. The High Court desires to impress upon.' the lower courts that, this procedure is unwarranted and makes for delay and extra work. An accused person has no right to raise a preliminary point before he is charged. He must wait to defend himself till he is charged and it he is convicted, his first remedy is in most cases by way of appeal.'
I need not dwell upon the mischief caused by such a procedure. The trial of a case degenerates rates into trials within a trial, and the trial Judge is compelled to prematurely commit himself to one view or another, and what is more, when the matter is taken up to the High Court, the High Court by going into the merits of these contentions increases the risk of premature disposals on points which ought to be really disposed of at the end of the case and considered at the time of writing the judgment and the due reasons: given for the conclusions arrived at by the Judge, which will enable the appellate court to be fully seized of the matter and bring its own mind to bear upon the points in controversy and satisfactorily dispose of the entire case against the accused, be it one-of conviction or of acquittal.
3. It is, therefore, really astonishing that: the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Mr, B... R. Chakravarti, has allowed himself to embark upon such a detailed exposition of the-points raised before him, which ought to be really relegated to the time when these matters should its considered, viz., after hearing: the defence and while writing the Judgment. I must attribute it only to the comparative inexperience in criminal work of the Additional Sessions Judge and it is to be hoped that there will be no further repetition either by him or by other subordinate courts of this State.
4. The Additional Sessions Judge is trying; what is popularly known as the Tiruchirapalli Conspiracy case and the prosecution case has been closed and the Judge has started recording the statements of the accused under Section 342, Criminal P.C. It is at this stage the accused invited the Judge to pass orders on three specific points before the statements were recorded. I directed the Additional Sessions Judge to get along with the recording of the statements under Section 342, Criminal P.C. and promised to pass orders on Monday on this case.
5. The three points raised before the Additional Sessions Judge were (1) that the entire proceedings before the committing Magistrate were void for want of necessary sanction as required by Sections 196 and 196(a), Criminal P.C. and consequently the trial before that court was void; (2) that the court had no jurisdiction to try this case because the conspiracy was hatched in Calcutta and (3) 160 documents which had been admitted in evidence must, on the evidence of the Investigating Officer, be held to have come not from proper custody and therefore a ruling should be given on this matter.
6. The learned Additional Sessions Judge, I am glad to state, has carefully and temperately and with a wealth of justifiable legal learning discussed all these points and shown that points (1) and (2) are devoid of substance and that point (3) is a matter of assessment of the probative value of these documents and that this aspect of the case will have due regard when the case comes to be decided.
7. This is not the stage where I should discuss once more the points for and against the three contentions raised by the accused because if I were to decide these points now the learned Sessions Judge would feel himself precluded from going into these matters again at the time he comes to hear the arguments at the Bar after both sides have closed their case. But that is proper stage when all these matters have to be carefully considered even though the learned Additional Sessions Judge has now passed this interlocutory order. Therefore my examination must consist of nothing more than, at this stage, to find whether acceptable or unacceptable reasons have been given by the learned Additional Sessions Judge for his conclusions and whether a prima facie case has or has not been made out for interfering or not interfering with these conclusions at this stage. If the legality and propriety of these conclusions are prima facie satisfactory at this stage, there will be no necessity to interfere in revision now. It is on that basis I shall examine the findings for this limited purpose.
8. Taking the most important of the three points first, viz., the contentions relating to the 160 documents, the point taken is simply this. These documents were seized by the Police long anterior to this case from different sources and have been in their custody for a shorter while or a longer while before they had been put into court in connection with this case. Be it noted that these documents have all been properly proved and they have been admitted and there is no dispute about their relevancy. The only point taken is that by reason of their being in the custody of the police for a shorter or longer while instead of being produced before the court then and there which it is stated must be done under Section 523, Criminal P.C., a case has been made out for the court to give a ruling. The request is made in this vague language because the lower court has rightly pointed out that the learned counsel for the accused Mr. Kailai Anandar fairly conceded that the mere fact that these documents have been in the custody of the Police officers for sometime, or that some of the documents being typewritten or cycles tyled and interpolations were possible, was not a ground for rejecting all these documents en bloc or the court being asked to deal with each document and say whether or not it accepts the proof adduced by the prosecution or what weight the court is going to attach to its contents. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has, therefore, pointed out
'Beyond, therefore, observing that the custody of the documents with the Police before they actually came into court will be borne in mind in considering whether the evidence adduced by the prosecution in regard to each of them is sufficient and satisfactory. No further order can be properly made at this stage and I do not therefore make any.'
This conclusion is prima facie correct and merits no interference in revision.
9. The second point taken regarding the committal being void for want of necessary sanction as required by Sections 196 and 196(a), Cr. P.C., has been fully dealt with by the learned Additional Sessions Judge. In fact in regard to this contention, the only aspect pressed before me is that the memorandum of the Government dated 22-8-1950 signed by the Deputy Secretary to Government in modification of Ex. P. 252 was neither properly proved nor admissible and that the lower court ought to have held that the order of His Excellency the Governor could not be modified by the Deputy Secretary. This point has been dealt with in para 20 of the Order of the lower court and the Add. Sessions Judge has shown how the first clause of the sanction clearly covered an offence under Section 120-B read with Section 153-A and similarly the second clause covered an offence under Section 121-A although Section 120-B too has been added to it unnecessarily and that these are the only two offences in regard to which objection can be raised and has been raised. The reasons given by the Additional Sessions Judge for this conclusion are prima facie acceptable and merit no interference in revision.
10. The final point taken is that the conspiracy was hatched in Calcutta, and that therefore this case could not have been launched in Tiruchirapalli. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has carefully considered this point and states as follows:
'There is little substance in the contention raised under this point, and I am not quite sure if the counsel for the accused himself was very serious in his arguments on this point. It is not the case of the prosecution nor is it the evidence adduced in the case--I am not here referring to the truth Or otherwise of the evidence adduced, this being a matter to be dealt with only in the judgment, but only to the trend of it--that the accused are to be convicted in regard to a conspiracy which took place at Calcutta. What took place at Calcutta was the 2nd party congress of the communist party of India. The decision in that congress is referred to in the evidence only for the purpose of rendering the prosecution case probable, namely, that the accused, or many of them, who are communists, were parties to a conspiracy or conspiracies which took place in the District of Tiruchirapalli among other places, for the purpose of implementing the decision of that congress, as also other directives of the party issued from time to time. The purport of the evidence so far adduced in this case is--I repeat I am not concerned with the truth of the evidence at this stage--that the accused or several of them met or otherwise conspired to commit the offence set out in the charge in the District of Tiruchirapalli. Moreover, where the conspiracy alleged is a continuous thing ranging over a period of two years and the offence is committed in many places including Tiruchirapalli district, this court will have undoubtedly jurisdiction to try this case under Section 182, Cr. P.C.'
The reasons given are prima facie correct and merit no interference in revision.
11. In the result this criminal revision case is dismissed and the learned Additional Sessions Judge is directed to proceed with the disposal of the case expeditiously and according to law.