Srinivasa Aiyangar, J.
1. In this case I ordered originally that the matter might be posted before a Bench constituted by Venkata-subba Rao, J., and myself, because I was under the impression that the order made by that learned Judge directing notice to the Public Prosecutor amounted, as generally it is understood in criminal matters, to an order admitting the appeal. But I have since ascertained that the learned Judge never intended those words to convey that significance and that as a matter of fact the learned Judge did not admit the appeal and all that he directed notice about was whether once a criminal appeal had been dismissed by one Judge another appeal could be heard at the instance of the same appellant on the ground that on the previous occasion owing to some mistake, counsel did not appear for the appellant. In view, therefore, of there being no order of Venkatasubba Rao, J., admitting the appeal, it has become unnecessary for any matter being heard by a Bench of Judges.
2. The only question before me, therefore, is whether the earned Counsel for the appellant is entitled to be heard with regard to the appeal, that is to say, practically by way of reviewing the judgment previously delivered by me. Section 369 of the Criminal Procedure Code is decisive of the point and there is also the judgment of this Court in Tadi Somu Naidu and Anr. ILR (1923) Mad. 428 in which Odgers and Wallace, JJ. held that as soon as the judgment of the Court in a criminal matter is signed it becomes final and the Court is functus officio. The earned Counsel for the appellants wished to put it ingeniously in the following way. There was an order by Venkatasubba Rao, J., to the effect that the order of this Court dismissing the appeal should not be communicated to the Lower Court until further orders are made by me. But by some inadvertence and in spite of the order of Venkatasubba Rao, J., the order would appear to have been communicated to the Lower Court. Mr. Ethiraj argues that this was against the order of this Court and, therefore, must be treated as a nullity.
3. Assuming it to be so, it comes to this: Have I the power to review my own judgment on the ground that there has been no formal order issued by the Court or communicated by this Court to the Lower Court? For this purpose he referred me to the case in Queen-Empress v. Lalit Tiwari ILR (1899) All 177 where it was held in a criminal matter that a judgment or order of the High Court is not complete until it is sealed in accordance with Rule 83 of the Rules of Court and that up to that time may be altered by the Judge or Judges concerned therewith without any formal procedure by way of review of judgment being taken., This decision was in 1899 and before the present amendment of Section 369. It is, therefore, very doubtful whether after the present amendment the same Court would have adhered to the conclusion or decision set out in that case. Further, it appears to me that that decision is based upon a rule of the Allahabad High Court about the sealing of orders. I have not been referred to any such rule in this Court. In the absence of any such rule the words of Section 369 of the Criminal Procedure Code are clear and binding. Accordingto that section a judgment when it is signed becomes final. In the absence of any definition to indicate anything to the contrary, a judgment must be taken to mean and refer to the judicial act of the Court in finally disposing of the case and must, therefore, indicate only the order of the Court when it is read out and signed by the Judge and cannot be meant to refer to the formal order on the judgment subsequently drawn up and issued merely as a clerical act by the ministerial officers of the Court. I must, therefore, hold that when I delivered and signed the judgment it became final and that I have no power now to review my order or alter my judgment in any manner or to any extent.
This appeal petition is, therefore, rejected.