1. These are two petitions for setting aside the orders of the Sessions Judge of Madras in Crl. M.P. Nos. 7 and 9 of 1957, on his file, transferring C. C. Nos. 96 and 2014 of 1957 from the file of the V Presidency Magistrate, Madras, to the Chief Presidency Magistrate, Madras, for being tried and disposed of by himself or by some Magistrate named by him other than the V Presidency Magistrate, These petitions first came up for hearing before Somasundaram J. but, owing to an important constitutional question raised by the petitioners, viz, the alleged absence of jurisdiction in the Sessions Judge, Madras, to entertain transfer applications in respect of cases pending before the Presidency Magistrates of Madras, Somasundaram J. directed these two cases to be posted before a Bench. That is how these petitions have come before us.
2. We may now state briefly the facts which are a bit tangled and go back to a period of more than a year and are necessary, according to Mr. Vaz, the learned counsel for the petitioners, to understand the background and setting of these cases. The petitioners here, Abdus Samad Khan and Ahmed Moideen Khan had filed C. C. Nos. 11194 and 12153 of 1956 on the file of the V Presidency Magistrate, Madras, under Sections. 324 and 325 I. P. C. against a Sub Inspector of Police, V. P. Natarajan, and a Head Constable and some Constables of Madras, alleging that these police officials had entered their houses at mid-night and dragged them out and beaten them with a view to extort confessions from them regarding some bucket-shop offences.
The learned Fifth Presidency Magistrate took the complaints on file, and inquired into them under Section 202 Crl. P. C., in order to satisfy himself that they deserved to be proceeded with and not dismissed under Section 203 Crl. P. C. During the course of his inquiry under Section. 202 Crl. P C., the learned Magistrate was requested by the police officials to examine the complainant's advocate, and some other witnesses, and to refer to some records which would show the complaints to be false and frivolous.
The learned Magistrate rightly refused to do so at that stage. After completing the inquiry under Section 202 Crl. P. C he issued summonses to the accused. He is also stated to have told the accused that though the offences mentioned in the complaints were only those under Sections. 324 and 325 I.P.C. the complaints, if believed in, would also disclose offences under Section 330 I.P.C. and that they should be prepared to face that charge also.
The Sub Inspector V. P. Natarajan, one of the accused, thereupon filed two applications before the Sessions Judge, Madras for transferring the cases from the file of the Fifth Presidency Magistrate to the file of some other Presidency Magistrate, as he apprehended that the conduct of the Fifth Presidency Magistrate in not examining the complainant's advocate, and other witnesses, and the records mentioned by the accused, and in telling him that an offence under Section 330 I.P.C; not mentioned in the complaints, might also arise if the complaints were believed in, showed that the Magistrate was prejudiced against the accused.
3. The complainants (the present petitioners) opposed those petitions on two grounds. The first was that the learned Sessions Judge had no jurisdiction under Madras Act XXXIV of 1955 to entertain transfer applications for transferring cases from the files of the Presidency Magistrates of Madras, as only the Original Side jurisdiction of the High Court regarding the trial of sessions cases committed to that court had been transferred to him by the Act, and the Appellate Side jurisdiction to transfer had not been transferred to him expressly or by necessary implication. The second was that even if the Sessions Court, Madras had jurisdiction to entertain transfer applications, the allegations against the Fifth Presidency Magistrate were not correct and would not show any prejudice on his part and justify the transfers.
4. The learned Sessions Judge, Madras, overruled the first objection, treating it as a preliminary point, and held that he had jurisdiction to entertain such transfer applications. The complainants took up the matter in revision before this court. Ramaswami J. heard the revision petitions and observed that they might prove unnecessary to be decided in case the learned Sessions Judge refused the transfer of the cases on the second point, as the petitioners' main object was only to prevent the transfer. In that view, he dismissed the two criminal revision petitions as premature. The learned Sessions judge of Madras eventually held that, on merits, there were no grounds for transferring the cases from the file of the Fifth Presidency Magistrate, and dismissed the transfer applications.
5. The Sub Inspector, V. P. Nataraian, filed Crl. M. P. Nos. 478 and 4SO of 1957 in this court for transferring the cases from the file, of the Fifth Presidency Magistrate to some other Presidency Magistrate, and also obtained a stay. Eventually, Somasundaram J. who heard the petitions, agreed with the learned Sessions Judge that there were no merits in the transfer applications and dismissed! the two petitions.
6. According to Mr. Vaz, the learned counsel for the petitioners before us, the present Commissioner of Police, Madras, Mr. Arul, is a fanatic in booking bucket-shop cases, and, is, therefore prejudiced against any person even falsely accused of such transactions. The police filed against the petitioners C. C. Nos. 90 and 2014 of 1957, a bucket shop case and an assault case, alleged to be entirely false and without any foundation and fabricated by the subordinate police, in revenge for the two cases filed against them by these petitioners whose transfer was refused by the learned Sessions Judge, Madras, and by Somasundaram J.
The assault case was filed before the Seventh Presidency Magistrate, but, was transferred by the Chief Presidency Magistrate, Madras, to the file of the Fifth Presidency Magistrate, as it was contended before him that it was a kind of countercase to the two cases against the police filed by the petitioners. At the instance of the Inspector of Police, D. Division, said to be moved by Sub Inspector Natarajan, one of the accused in the two cases filed against the police by these petitioners, two transfer applications, Crl. M. P. Nos. 7 and 9 of 1957, were filed by the State Prosecutor before the Sessions Judge, Madras, for transferring these two cases from the file of the Fifth Presidency Magistrate to that of any other Presidency Magistrate.
Before the Sessions Judge, these two petitioners, the accused, raised the contention that the transfer applications were bad in law, as they were not filed at the instance of the State which was the complainant and prosecut, or by the accused, but at the instance of some police officers, whose instructions could never be accepted by the State Prosecutor or made the basis of his filing the transfer applications, and that on merits too, there was no ground for transferring the cases from the file of the Fifth Presidency Magistrate, against whom no allegation was proved, and to whose file these cases had been transferred by the Chief Presidency Magistrate for being heard along with the two cases filed by them against the police.
7. The learned Sessions Judge overruled the objection regarding his absence of jurisdiction to entertain such transfer applications filed by the State Prosecutor at the instance of the police and held that though the applications wore filed at the instance of the Inspector of Police, it was clear to him that he could file such transfer applications, as any party interested could file transfer applications.
Then, after discussing the allegations made against the Fifth Presidency Magistrate, and after perusing the learned Magistrate's report, he held that it was only natural for the prosecution to feel that the Fifth Presidency Magistrate was prejudiced against the prosecution, by reason of certain facts which he set out. He was of opinion therefore, that it was a proper case for directing the transfers. He accordingly transferred the cases from the file of the Fifth Presidency Magistrate to the file of the learned Chief Presidency Magistrate for trying the cases himself or have them transferred to the file of some Magistrate other than the Fifth Presidency Magistrate.
8. The petitioners thereupon filed Crl. M. P. Nos. 1103 and 1104 of 1957 in this court for setting aside the orders of the Sessions Judge, Madras. They added before Somasundaram J. another ground, viz., that the Sessions Judge had no jurisdiction to entertain transfer applications, and that Act XXXIV of 1955 only transferred to him the Original side jurisdiction of this Court to try eases committed to it, and not the Appellate Side jurisdiction of entertaining applications For transferring cases from one Presidency Magistrate to another.
Before us, a petition, Crl. M, P. No. 1191 of 1957, was filed by the petitioners on 19-11-1957 for leave to file an additional ground, viz, that the constitution and establishment of the Sessions Court in the City of Madras under Mad. Art XXXIV of 1955 is ultra vires of the powers of the State Legislature under the Constitution of India. We allowed the additional ground to be raised and gave notice to the learned Advocate General also to appear and argue on behalf of the State, as two important questions of Constitutional law, viz, validity of the establishment of the Court of Session, Madras, under Madras Act XXXIV of 1955 and the ques- tion of its jurisdiction to entertain transfer applications regarding presidency Magistrates, were involved.
9. We have perused the entire records and heard Mr. Vaz, the learned counsel for the petitioners and the learned Advocate General and the learned Public Prosecutor contra. The arguments on both sides have been very interesting, lucid, full and helpful. Mr. Vaz raised three main contentions. The first was that the constitution and establishment of the Sessions Court in the City of Madras under Act XXXIV of 1955 was ultra vires of the powers of the State Legislature under the Constitution of India.
Though this was a new ground raised by him at a late stage, and though such a contention has not been raised in any case till now, and though a similar Sessions Court has been established in Bombay another presidency town, under Bombay Act XXXII of 1948, and in Calcutta, the third presidency town, under West Bengal Act XX of 1955, Mr. Vaz had no doubt whatever that he was right in this contention. Of course, he urged, quite rightly, that the fact that it was not raised for the last two years will not preclude him from raising it now. He is also right when he says that if he succeeds in this contention which goes to the root of the matter, the orders of transfer passed by the learned Sessions Judge would automatically fall down, as when the tree is cut the branches fall off by themselves.
10. Mr. Vaz urged that the Original Side jurisdiction of the High Courts of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta, the old Presidency Towns, to hear and decide cases committed to them by the Presidency Magistrates, and the Appellate side jurisdiction of those High Courts to entertain transfer applications regarding cases pending with Presidency Magistrates are powers dating from tho time of the Supreme Court in these three presidency towns and were more than 150 years old, and have been confirmed by the Indian High Courts Act of 1861 and the Letters Patent of 1862 and 1865, and that the Acts of Parliament giving those powers cannot be touched by local legislatures, like the Madras Legislature, especially in view of the provisions of the Constitution of India safeguarding all the existing powers of the High Courts at the commencement of the Constitution.
He said that the Original Side jurisdiction, Civil and Criminal, of the High Court of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta, is not based on the mere accident of Madras, Bombay and Calcutta being the capitals of presidencies or States, since other such capitals, like Patna, Nagpur, Allahabad, Lncknow, etc., have no such Original Side jurisdiction, but on the fact of a very large number of Britishers and other foreigners resident in these three presidency towns and the need to have separate courts and laws, consistent with their standards, for them, as opposed to the Indians, who resided largely in the mofussil though a few of them also happened to live in these presidency towns.
He instanced the case of Nand Kumar who was hanged for forgery. He pointed out that at the impeachment of Warren Hastings it was urged by Burke, Fox and Sheridan that it was not proper to apply to this Indian the English laws prevailing in the Supreme Court of Calcutta, regarding forgery, as though that offence was regarded as a capital one by Englishmen, it was considered to be a minor and venial offence by the Indians. We are afraid that there is no use referring to these-dead historic things. The old order has changed, giving place to new.
The privileges of Maharajas, Nawabs, Englishmen and foreigners civil and criminal, have all disappeared now-a-days. Especially after the enactment of the Constitution of India, which aims at a casteless and classless society and at a society on the socialistic pattern, these things of past times have no legal force. Feudal relics cannot prevail against the clear provisions of law negativing them, though they may survive wherever they have not been abolished either expressly or by necessary implication.
Even the ancient Hindu law-givers recognised the necessity and inevitableness or change. Thus, they said that in the Krita ago the laws of Manu prevailed, in the Treta age, the laws of Gaurama; in the Dwapara age, the laws of Sankha and Likhita, and in the Kali age, the laws of Parasara, meaning that the law would change with the times. Tho old unchanging laws of the Medes and the Persiand will have few supporters among thinking men or jurists.
11. Then the question is whether Mr. Vaz is right in contending that under the Constitution of India, there was no power in the Madras Legislature to take away any part of the jurisdiction of the High Court of Madras, civil and criminal, either on the Original Side, like trial of cases committed, or on the Appellate side, like the power to transfer eases pending with the Presidency Magistrates. Mr. Vaz relied on Article 214 of the Constitution which says, "There shall be a High Court for each State," at the very beginning of Chap. V, and contended that that is a pillar of the Constitution, anil a corner-stone, and that if the Madras Legislature, and even the Parliament of India, is allowed, without the amendment of the Constitution, to derogate from any of the powers of this High Court existing at the commencement of the Constitution, viz, 26-1-1950, it will be ultra vires.
He urged that if such diminution of or derogation from the powers of the High Court were allowed, Parliament and the Madras Legislature may soon take away all the powers of this High Court, as it is an independent body in which the entire public have full confidence, and make it a shell without contents, to the danger of the public and the ruin of the country. It is clear to us that this apprehension is not based on any reasonable ground. The Parliament and the local legislature can only legislate validly to the extent allowed by the Constitution of India.
If they exceed such powers, the courts can bo asked to declare such excess legislation to be ultra vires. Nor are our Parliament and the local legislature, elected on an adult suffrage, representing the will of the people, likely to enact a piece of legislation making this High Court, which is said to be so popular with the people, an empty shell devoid of contents. So, this argument is only a mere extravaganza, and is based only on an academic possibility, like an absolute zero, and need not be seriously considered.
12. Mr. Vaz then relied on Article 225 of the Constitution where it is stated
"..... the jurisdiction of, and the law administered in, any existing High Court, and the respective powers of the Judges thereof in relation to the administration of justice in the court, including any power to make rules of court and to regulate the sittings of the court and of members thereof sitting alone or in division courts, shall be the same as immediately before the commencement of this Constitution,"
and urged that as Act XXXIV of 1955 takes away the Original Side Criminal Jurisdiction of this High Court, and part of the Appellate Side Criminal jurisdiction of this court, it will be ultra vires. We cannot agree. He forgets that Article 225 begins! by saying,
"subject to the provisions of this Constitution and to the provisions of any law of the appropriate legislature made by virtue of powers conferred on that legislature by this Constitution",
thus vitally controlling and modifying the passage relied on by him. As the learned Advocate General pointed out, the rule in the days of undiluted British domination over India that the Indian Legislature cannot amend or alter any Acts passed by the Parliament of Great Britain was modified by the Government of India Act of 1915, giving under Section 65(2), the Governor-General in legislative Council the power to make any law repealing or affecting certain Acts of Parliament subject to certain conditions, Section 131(3) reiterating that power, and Sch. V enumerating some of the specific powers to alter or amend.
The learned Advocate General pointed out further that under the Government of India Act, 1919, and the Government of India Act, 1935, called the "Constitution Act" in some rulings, far greater powers were given to Indian legislatures to alter or amend Acts of Parliament subject to certain conditions, and that Section 223 of the Government of India Act gave the appropriate legislature "power to legislate regarding the jurisdiction of and the laws administered in any existing High Court."
He rightly pointed out that the power to amend Clause 44 of the Letters Patent was thereby conferred on "the appropriate legislature". He also pointed out that Article 225 of the Constitution of India, and especially the phrase "the provisions of any law of the appropriate legislature" have been copied from the Government of India Act, 1935. He pointed out further that the second proviso to Article 200 of the Constitution of India, which runs, "provided further that the Governor shall not assent to, but shall reserve for the consideration of the President, any Bill, which, in the opinion of the Governor, would, if it became law, so derogate from the powers of the High Court, as to endanger the position which that court is by this constitution designed to fill,"
which proviso itself, he said, is only a copy and adaptation of the previous provision in the Government of India Act, 1935, substituting the President for the Governor-General would show that the local legislature, whose Acts are assented to by the Governor, had power to legislate in a way derogating from the powers of the High Court. He urged also that Madras Act XXXIV of 1955 was perfectly within the powers of the Madras legislature, subject to the assent of the President, because of item 3 of list II, the State list, and items 1, 2 and 40 of List III, the Concurrent List, in Sch. VII of the Constitution, which in fact reproduce similar provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, with minor modifications, like President for Governor-General, to suit tho changed times consequent on the Independence of India and disappearance of the authority of the Governor General, the King of England, and the Parliament of Great Britain, and their replacement by the President and the Parliament of India.
13. Mr. Vaz contended that the learned Advocate General should not rely on any old provisions under the Government of India Act. or on any rulings thereunder as the Constitution of India, which alone regulates all matters of courts and jurisdiction, legislatures and powers, now, is fundamentally revolutionary, and not evolutionary, and has proceeded from scratch, though keeping some of the old laws intact, as under Article 372, simply as minor details which could not be scrapped or changed at once. His contention, in effect, was that each tree must rest on its own roots, and not on the dead roots of a dead tree, like the Government of India Act, 1935. We cannot wholly agree.
As the poet Thompson has said, "The ever-new weaveth the ever-old," or, as the Greeks put it "There is nothing wholly new under the sun." All revolutions take the majority of the existing laws and rulings as binding and impose only their own superstructure or, at the most, remodel the whole thing. It is impossible to proceed in everything from scratch, especially in modern civilised and complicated societies like the India of 26-1-1950. Besides, there is such a thing as grafting; the grafted part is as much part of the tree, when it has been integrated with it, as the original part of the tree.
Indeed, in modern times, a dead man's cornea can be grafted on and integrated with a living man's eye, and the blood donated to the Blood Bank by a man or woman, who is since dead, can be transfused into the blood stream of a living man or woman. So, we are of opinion that the learned Advocate General can rely on the old items of the Provincial list and Concurrent List in the Government of India Act of 1935 empowering the State legislatures to legislate regarding the jurisdiction of the High Courts or altering or amending Acts of Parliament, and on the rulings holding to that effect.
13A. Mr. Vaz then said that, even so, there are rulings showing that the State Legislature had no power to enact a law like Madras Act XXXIV of 1955. First of all, he relied on the ruling of a Bench of this court in Sundararajan v. Natarajan, ILR 44 Mad 446 : (AIR 1921 Mad 258), where it was held that the rule of Hindu law lhat gifts and bequests in favour of unborn persons are invalid had not been abrogated by the Hindu Wills Act. XXI of 1870, and that Madras Act I of 1914, the Hindu Transfers and Bequests Act, which validated such dispositions was ultra vires of the legislative powers of the Provincial Legislative Councils in so far as it purported to affect the law administered by the Original Side of the High Court, having regard to the Indian Councils Act, 1861 and Sections. 22 and 42 of the Indian Legislative Councils Act, 1861, and that, therefore, the bequests to unborn persons in the will before the Bench were void; and on a Bench ruling of the Allahabad High Court in Ghulam Nizam Uddin v. Akhthar Hussain Khan, ILR 55 All 1008 : (AIR 1933 Ali 764), where it was held that the Government of India Act, 1935, continued the system under which legislation affecting the jurisdiction and powers of the High Courts was to be made by the Governor-General and his Legislative Council, and there was no provision for such legislation by the Provincial legislatures.
The learned Advocate General rightly pointed that both these rulings will not apply to the present case, the first ruling having reference to an Act of the Provincial Legislature passed even before the Government of India Act of 1915. which alone gave Indian legislatures the power to amend or alter Acts of Parliament, as already stated and the second ruling having reference only to the Government of India Act, 1915, which did not confer such powers on the Provincial Legislatures.
He relied on the Full Bench ruling of this court in Nathaniel In re 1949-I Mad LJ 258: (AIR 1949 Mad 481), to show that under the Government of India Act, 1935, the Central Legislature had power to amend the Criminal Procedure Code and affect the jurisdiction of the High Court conferred by the Letters Patent, and provide for an appeal from the judgment of a single judge of this High Court, sitting as a Sessions Judge, to a Bench of this court by enacting Section 411-A under Central Act XXVI of 1943. He also relied on the rulings of a Bench of the Bombay High Court in Hirji Laxmidas v. Francis Fernandez, ILR (1946) Bom 119: (AIR 1945 Bom 352), upholding the right of the Bombay legislature to legislate even retrospectively affecting the then jurisdiction of the High Court regarding certain matters enacting Bombay Act VII of 1944, and on the Full Bench ruling of this court in Narayanaswami Naidu v. Inspector of Police, Mayavaram. ILR (1949) Mad 377 : (AIR 1949 Mad 307), upholding the right of the Madras legislature and the Governor to impinge on the then existing jurisdiction of this High Court; and on the Supreme Court ruling in State of Bombay v. Narottamdas Jethabhai, , holding that the Bombay City Civil Court Act, Bombay Act XL of 1948, was valid even though it impinged on the then existing jurisdiction of the Bombay High Court and derogated from it. He urged that these rulings were based on the powers given to the Provincial Legislature under the Provincial list and the Concurrent List, in the Government of India Act, 1935, corresponding to the powers now given to the State Legislature under Item 3 of List II, the State List, and Items 1, 2 and 40 of List III, the Concurrent List.
14. Mr. Vaz pointed out that the main thing for us to consider was whether the powers given to the Slate Legislature under Item 3 of List II, the State list, and Items 1, 2 and 46 of List III, the Concurrent List, would entitle the Madras Legislature to validly pass Act XXXIV of 1955, and that the analogy of the rulings based on the powers given to the Provincial Legislature under the Government of India Act, 1935, would only be an argument and would not be conclusive.
15. Before going to the provisions of the Constitution of India in Lists II and III, he urged some proliminary points for our consideration. The first was that Act XXXIV of 1955 did not state under which of the powers conferred on the State Legislature by the Constitution, whether Item 3 of List II or Items 1, 2 and 46 of List III, was it being enacted, and that the preamble to the Act simply stated the purpose of the Act to be "for the purposes hereinafter appearing" which is meaningless and would be like stating that salt is saltish because it is saltish, and sugar is sugarish, because it is sugarish, and that both these things showed that the Madras Government and Legislature were fully aware that they had no powers under the Constitution of India to pass that Act and were, therefore, cleverly and cunningly passing that Act under false pretests without having the boldness to state straightforwardly under what powers they were acting and for what object.
He said that the Legislature in modern times is expected to act with maximum wisdom and straightforwardness and perspicacity and that any enactment passed by it not satisfying these criteria must be held suspect. We cannot agree. It is too much to expect of every State Legislature, in every Act it passes, to be guided by maximum wisdom, straight-forwardness and perspicacity, especially when it is elected by adult suffrage, the majority of the electorate being illiterate, and does not consist of only saintly wise men.
We are not for applying such an impracticable test. We hold that an enactment, if valid under the Constitution of India, will not become ultra vires either because the ideal criteria laid down by Mr. Vaz are not satisfied, or because the legislature does not state its authority for passing a particular piece o f legislation, or the purpose for which it passes it, though it may be desirable to do so.
16. The next thing urged by Mr. Vaz was that the proper thing for the Madras Legislature was to move the Centre to get an Act like Madras Act XXXIV of 1955 passed by Parliament after Betting the Constitution amended, giving the Parliament itself powers to pass legislation derogating from the powers of this High Court, and that this course would have placed the matter beyond all doubt. We are of opinion that the Madras legislature was not bound to follow this course either. If it had the power to pass Act XXXIV of 1935 by virtue of its own powers, it need not move the Centre and Parliament as suggested.
17. The next was that the learned Advocate General was relying both on the provisions in the old Government of India Act, 1935, and on the provisions in the new Constitution of India, and that the very fact of his relying on these two together would show the untenability of his contention. The argument is unsustainable. As the old Hindu lawgivers have said, one rope may not bind an elephant, but ten, twisted together, may bind it. Of course, they also added that any number of zeros added together will not make 1, showing that any number of worthless arguments will not do. So, we have to examine the validity of the arguments of the learned Advocate Central before we can come to a conclusion. The very fact that he adduced two main arguments will not make his arguments invalid.
18. The next was that Act XXXIV of 1955 takes away the powers of the Judges of this Court to hear and decide cases committed to the Sessions on the Original Side of this court before, and also part of the Appellate Side powers of this court regarding the entertainment of applications for transfer from the file of the presidency magistrates, without the express consent in writing of Judges of this court and that these powers, existing for more than a century, should not have been taken away light-heartedly from this court, like this, by the State Legislature: without even stating the purpose for doing so, like the unsatisfactory nature of the previous system of the greater speed and convent- ence and justice of the new arrangement.
We cannot agree. If the State Legislature has the power to enact Act XXXIV of 1955 derogating from the jurisdiction of this court, it need not obtain the consent of the Judges of this court any more than obtaining the consent of any other person affected by this legislation, and it is also not proved that the Judges of this Court were not consulted or that they have felt aggrieved.
19. The next was that the century-old rights of the citizens of Madras to have sessions cases committed against them tried by this court on the Original Side of this court has been wantonly, light-heartedly and without any reason taken away in spite of the several provisions of the Constitution of India, as in Articles. 214, 225 and 372, leaving the powers of this court intact as they existed at the commencement of the Constitution, namely, 26-1-1950 and that this legislation is also unjust and inequitable and deprived the Madras citizens of their existing rights.
This contention too has, in our opinion, no force. As already stated, if the State Legislature had the power under the Constitution to enact Act XXXIV of 1955, that power will not be taken away by these considerations. We may also add that we see nothing inherently unjust or inequitable in having the Madras Citizens, committed for trial for sessions offences, tried by the Sessions Judge, Mad- ras, or in empowering the Sessions Judge of Madras to hear transfer applications regarding cases pending with the presidency magistrates. In fact, it is the other way round.
This Act conduces to the equal protection of laws, and equality before the law, guaranteed by the Constitution of India to all citizens of India under Article 14, one of its corner-stones. If a person commits murder in Poonamallee, he could have been tried, even before Act XXXIV of 1955, by the Sessions Judge of Chingleput, We cannot see why it is unjust to enact that the Sessions Judge of Madras should try a person who commits a murder on the Poonamallee High Road, within the original jurisdiction limits in the Madras City.
20. Now, we come to the vital question regarding this branch of Mr. Vaz's argument viz, whether the Madras legislature had valid power to enact Act XXXIV of 1955 under the powers given to it in Item 3 of List II and Items 1, 2 and 46 of List III in the 7th Schedule to the-Constitution of India. Of course, any enactment by the State Legislature acting under the powers given by Items 1, 2 and 46 in List III would require the assent of the President under the Constitution, and, indeed, any enactment even under' the powers given in Item 3 in List II would be reserved by the Governor, under Article 200 for the consideration of the President if, in his opinion, it derogated from the powers of the High Court so as to endanger the position which that court is by the Constitution designed to fill.
The assent of the President was admittedly given to Act XXXIV of 1955 on 13-1-1955, and was published in the Fort St. George Gazette on 23-11-1955, and the Act itself came into force on 1-1-56. So, the question of assent need not be considered. It is common ground on both sides, that if the President has given his assent, a local law like Act XXXIV of 1955, would have prefer-1 ence over any Central Law in that local area, viz., the Madras State, though, even here, Parliament may have powers, under List I, to repeal such laws and fo enact its own laws, exercising its powers in Item 78 of List I, the Union List, or other similar powers, and there might also be the question of repugnancy between the Union Laws, and the State laws, in which event the State laws might in certain cases have to give way to the Central legislation.
21. The learned Advocate General pointed out that under Item 3 of List II, the State List, the State Legislature could legislate on "administration of justice; constitution and organisation of all courts, except the Supreme Court and the High Court; officers and servants of the High Court; procedure in rent and revenue courts; fees taken in all courts except the Supreme Court," and that, under items 1, 2 and 46 of list III, the State Legislature could legislate on (item 1) "criminal law, including all matters included in the Indian Penal Code at the commencement of this Constitution but excluding offences against laws with respect to any of the matters specified in list I or list II and excluding the use of naval, military or air forces or any other armed forces of the Union in aid of the civil powers;" (item 2), ''criminal Procedure, including all matters included in the Criminal Procedure Code at the commencement of the Constitution; and (item 46) " jurisdiction find powers of all courts, except the Supreme Court, with respect to any or the matters in this list." He urged that Madras Act XXXIV of 1955 would amply fall within the scope of the powers given under item 3 of list II and items 1, 2 and 46 of list III, where the word ing is almost exactly the same as the wording in the Government of India Act, 1935, regarding which items the Full Bench rulings of the Madras High Court in ILR (1949) Mad 377 : (AIR 1949 Mad 307) and 1949-1 Mad LJ 258: (AIR 1949 Mad 481) and the Supreme Court ruling in have held, on such wording, that the State
Legislature will have power to enact a law like that in Act XXXlV of 1955.
22. Mr Vaz contended that this argument was wrong, and that the power to enact a piece of legislation like Act XXXIV of 1955, derogating from the existing powers of this High Court, would only vest in the Indian Parliament under item 78 of list 1, and that too after getting the Constitution amended. As we have already stated, the Constitution of India need not be amended, as it has not left the jurisdiction of the High Court as it existed at the commencement of the Constitution, viz, 26-1-1950 intact, and not liable to be touched by any Act of Parliament or the State Legislatures but has given the appropriate legislature, whether Parliament or the State legislature, power to derogate from the existing jurisdiction of the High Court, Original or Appellate, Civil or Criminal, as can be seen from the provisions of Articles 200 and 225, and item 78 of list I, item 3 of list II, and items 1,2 and 46 of list III of the Seventh Schedule.
23. Mr. Vaz then contended that, even so, only Parliament could enact legislation like Madras Act XXXIV of 1955 acting under item 78 of list I, Union List as the Constitution and organisation of the High Courts is covered by that item, and item 3 of list II, the State List, expressly says, "constitution and organisation of all courts except the Supreme Court and the High Court", and items 1,2 and 46 of List III do not refer to the constitution but only to criminal law and criminal procedure, and jurisdiction and powers of all courts except the Supreme Court with respect to any matters in list III.
He urged that it is against all rules of interpretation to interpret "criminal law" in item 1 or "criminal procedure" in item 2 or "jurisdiction and powers of courts" in item 46 of list III as including the power to constitute a Sessions Court for Madras. He said that procedure could never include the constitution of a Sessions Court, but will only refer to matters of procedure, the well-known rule being as Salmond has pointed out that substantive laws aim at ends, while procedural law prescribes the means. We cannot agree.
We agree with the learned Advocate General that item 3 of list II gave the State legislature power to legislate regarding the constitution & organisation of all courts except the Supreme Court and the High Court, and, therefore, of the Sessions Court of Madras, subject to the governor's reserving the matter, under Article 200, for the assent of the President, if, in his opinion, if it became law, it would derogate from the powers of the High Court so as to endanger the position which that court is by the Constitution designed to fill. That Parliament has got powers to enact legislation for the constitution and organisation of the High Courts, under item 78 of list I will not take away the powers of the State Legislature given under item 3 of list II and items 1, 2 and 46 of list III, to constitute a Sessions Court for Madras.
We are of opinion that the distinction between substantive law and procedural law, referred to by Mr. Vaz, cannot be always applied, especially in the border line where they merge. Indeed, as pointed out in the Full Bench ruling in Nathaniel in re 1949-1 M LJ 258 : (AIR 1949 Mad 481), several matters in the Criminal Procedure Code, like Ch. X relating to public nui- sances, Ch. XII relating to disputes as to immove-able property, Ch. XIII relating to prevention action of the police, Ch. XXXVI, relating to the maintenance of wife and children, and Ch. XXXVII relating to directions in the nature of habeas corpus, would not be strictly matters of procedure, but are matters of substantive law, and, yet, these matters would certainly be covered by the phrase in item 2 of list III, "Criminal procedure including all matters included in the Code of Criminal Procedure at the commencement of the Constitution. As pointed out further in that case, the clause "including all matters" is an additional ground of jurisdiction for the enactment of laws besides the phrase "criminal procedure" and that the word "matter" is much more comprehensive, and of wider import, than the word "provision" and would include all the items of substantive law mentioned above and others included in the Criminal Procedure Code on 26-1-1950.
24. Mr. Vaz questioned the correctness of that interpretation in the Full Bench ruling quoted above, but had no counter-authority to cite. He simply said that the Criminal Procedure has mentioned the constitution of Sessions courts, magistrate courts etc but need not have done so, as the Civil Procedure Code does not do so. We cannot agree. Whether the Criminal Procedure Code should have included these matters or not need not be considered now.
It has included those matters, and those matters arc included in item 2 of list HI. We see no reason whatever to consider the interpretation in the Full Bench decision quoted above to be incorrect, On the other hand, with respect, we fully agree with that interpretation. It is, in our opinion, the only possible interpretation consistent with sense and commonsense alike. It will also be noticed that, under item 46 the State Legislature has concurrent power to legislate on the jurisdiction and powers of all courts except the Supreme Court with respect to any of the matters in that list.
No doubt, Mr. Vaz is right in contending that there must be power to constitute a court before it can be invested with part of the then existing jurisdiction of the High Court, as here. That is so, since there must be a wife or child in existence before it can be provided with maintenance or other rights. But here, there was power in the State Legislature to constitute the Sessions Court of Madras and also power to invest it with part of the jurisdiction then existing in the Original or Appellate Side of I the High Court. So this first main contention fails.
25. The next main contention of Mr. Vaz was that, even so. Act XXXIV of 1955 must be deemed to have created a particular office called the "sessions Court of Madras" and a particular Judge called the "Sessions Judge of Madras' without making him-coequal with Sessions Judges in the mofussil or giving him the same powers, and that all that it did was to give him the powers to try cases committed formerly to the Original Side of this Court, and that the Appellate Side power of entertaining transfer applications from the file of the Presidency magistrate was not given to him.
Mr. Vaz raised an interesting though, in our opinion an untenable contention that the Sessions Judge of Madras was of a different category from the mofussil sessions Judges and was a chota (small) Sessions Judge with lesser powers than the bada (big) Sessions Judges in the moffusil. and certainly without the power to entertain transfer applications regarding Presidency Magistrates. He said that in the Criminal Procedure Code, as it stood on the date of the enactment of Act XXXIV of 1955, Section 7 (1) ran as "Every presidency town shall for the purpose of this Code be deemed to be a district," and that some other provisions then existing also ran counter to the Sessions Judge of Madras being constituted into a Court of Session, and that even now after Act XXXIV of 1935, the Sessions (sic) of Madras has no revision powers, namely, to call for the records of inferior courts under Section 435 Crl, P. C., and to hear appeals against sentences upto four ears imposed by the lower courts, like the mofussil Sessions Judge under Section 408 Crl. P. C. but only upto six months under Section 411 Crl. P. C. and that these lesser powers would show that he cannot be construed to have been given powers to entertain transfer applications regarding cases pending with the presidency Magistrates, especially when express powers to that effect were not given to him.
We cannot agree. Once Act XXXIV of 1955 was passed into law, and received the assent of the President, and the Code of Criminal Procedure was amended, and a court of session was constituted for the presidency town of Madras, and a Sessions judge appointed, that Sessions Judge would have all the powers of a Sessions Judge given under the Code. We are against the theory of bada (big) and chota (small) Sessions Judges adumbrated by Mr. Vaz. There is no warrant for it in any section of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The ancient rule of Hindu law was that laws uniformly apply to all, but decrees only to indivi-duals. The directive principle of the Constitution of India is also for uniformity of civil and criminal laws in India as far as practicable. All Sessions Judges are treated alike in the Criminal Procedure Code. See the phrase "Any Sessions Judge" in Section 528(1) (c) Crl. P. C. of course, the powers of Sessions Judges may vary. But that will not affect the status.
Thus, the Collector of Madras has lesser powers than the Collectors in the moffussil though in some respects also powers which no Collector in the mofussil has got. So too, the Collectors of South Arcot, Kurnool, Bellary and Malabar had formerly some more powers than other Collectors in the mofussil, like being agents of the Government regarding Pon-dicherry, Banganapalle Sandur and Mahe. But that will not affect the Collectors' status, and make some bada and some chota. and divide them into superior and inferior classes.
26. Nor can the ruling of a Bench of this court In Tulsiram v. Chairman. Municipal Council, Madras. ILR 55 Mad. 298 : (AIR 1932 Mad 90) relied on by Mr. Vaz, help in proving that the Sessions Judge of Madras cannot entertain transfer applications regarding cases pending with the Presidency Magistrates. In that ruling, it was merely held that there was no power expressly given to an auditing officer to reopen the former audit conducted by him, and to levy surcharges of Rs. 7000 and 6000 retrospectively and that the learned District Judge went wrong in holding that there was such power as there was nothing in the rules that prevented an audit from being reopened.
That is undoubtedly good law, but will not apply to the facts of this case where express provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, like Section 528 (1) (c) give any Sessions Judge the power to entertain transfer applications regarding cases pending on the file of one Criminal Court in that Sessions Division to another Criminal Court in the same division. As we have held that all Sessions Judges are of the same status, and that the Sessions Judge of Madras is not of a different or inferior status from the sessions Judges in the mofussil, it is obvious that the Sessions Judge of Madras also has been expressly given this power. So, this ease will differ from the facts in the Bench case relied on.
27. Then Mr. Vaz urged that the Chief Presidency Magistrate, Madras, was not subordinate to the Sessions Judge, Madras, both belonging to the category of District Judges, and that the power to transfer can only be entertained by a Sessions Judge who is superior to the Judge or Magistrate from whose file he entertains the application for transfer. The argument will not hold good. The District Magistrate and the Additional Sessions Judge are not subordinate to the Sessions Judge, and yet he can entertain transfer applications regarding them. Indeed, Section 528 (1) (c) Crl. P. C. enables any Sessions Judge to entertain transfer applications regarding a case pending on the file of the one criminal court in that sessions division to any other criminal court in the same Sessions Division.
28. The next contention of Mr. Vaz was that, under Section 528 (2) Crl. P. C. the Chief Presidency Magistrate has the power to withdraw any case from the file of any Presidency Magistrate and make it over to any other Presidency Magistrate subordinate to him, or to try such case himself, and that if the Sessions Judge, Madras, also is given such power, there will be conflict of jurisdiction, and, so, he must be deemed not to have been given that power, We cannot agree.
There will be no conflict, as the Chief Presidency Magistrate's power to transfer in controlled by the superior power of transfer vested in the Sessions Judge, Madras just as the mofussil Sessions Judges' power to transfer is controlled by the High Court's power and there can he no conflict between the two. For these reasons, we reject the second main contention of Mr, Vaz, and hold that the Sessions Judge. Madras, can entertain transfer applications regarding cases pending on the file of the Presidency Magistrates.
29. Now we come to the third main contention. Mr. Vaz urged that the transfer applications in this case were made by the State Prosecutor (Mr. Seshadri who actually filed them, only acting on his behalf and under his authority as he was unable to be present) on instructions from the Inspector of Police, D-division, or the Commissioner of Police. Madras, and that, in cases of State Prosecutions only the Government can authorise the State Prosecutor to file applications for transfer, as such applications will often cast aspersions on the magistracy, which ought not to be allowed to be made by police officers, however high, whether a Commissioner or Inspector or Sub-Inspector or a mete constable, especially when, as in this case, the State Prosecutor was already in charge of the case, and it was not a case of a complaint by the police officer himself as having suffered personal injury.
He stated that Mr. Athanasius, the State Prosecutor, had stated before the learned Sessions Judge that he had been asked to file the transfer applications only by the Commissioner of police, Mr. Anil, and urged that it would be the end of Justice and fairplay if a police officer, like that, smelling bucket-shop offences everywhere, whether true or false, and suspecting these petitioners to be bucket-shop offenders, was allowed to initiate such transfer applications.
He contended that the learned Sessions Judge was wrong in holding that any party interested in a criminal case would file transfer applications, ever if it was a State prosecution and the State Prosecutor was in charge. We agree that the learned Sessions Judge's observation is somewhat too wide. Nc doubt, a private complainant or accused, primaril) interested in a criminal case, can file transfer ap plications of their own accord; but where it is a public prosecution, and the State Prosecutor is already in charge, we must hold that only the State should direct the State Prosecutor to move for I transfer. The learned Advocate-General did noli seriously contest this point. He stated, however, that under Section 492(2), Crl. P.O. any police officer not below a certain rank could be appointed as the State Prosecutor by the Court, but conceded that as the real State Prosecutor was appearing in this case, he or any person acting under him alone could file transfer applications.
He pointed out that Mr. Seshadri, who filed the transier applications was instructed by the State Prosecutor to file these applications, and that the statement in the learned Sessions Judge's order that the Inspector of Police had filed these applications for transfer is not correct. We have verified the records, and find that the petitions were really filed by Mr. Seshadri on behalf of the State Prosecutor, and that the statement in the order of the learned Sessions Judge is not correct.
30. Even so, Mr. Vaz urged that the person who instructed the State Prosecutor was the Inspector, or, at the most the Commissioner of Police, as admitted by Mr. Athanasius, and not the State Government, and so the petifions wero bad in law. The learned Advocate-General relied on a G. O. which allowed such Inspectors of Police to be in conduct of cases and impliedly gave them the power to instruct the State Prosecutor for moving transfer applications. Mr. Vaz contended that the G. O. was produced late, and that it did not give express powers to the Inspector to instruct tho State Prosecutor to move for transfers, and that a mere power to conduct cases would not include the power to instruct for moving transfer applications.
On the whole, wo agree with the learned Advocate General that this G. O. would imply such power to instruct the State Prosecutor for moving transfer applications also, as the State Government cannot bo expected to pass orders itself in every petty case (one case hero is petty bucket-shop case), & may welt delegate the power to move for transfer generally to their agents, like the Collectors of Disricts, the State Prosecutors, tho Commissioner of Police, Inspectors of Police etc.
Though, usually, conduct of cases need not necessarily include power to instruct for moving transfer applications, as the power to tend sheep in a field need not necessarily include the power to transfer the sheep to another field, it may include that power. The learned Advocate General assures us that that power was impliedly included in the G. O., and has been exercised like that, and wo see no reason to differ.
The Inspector in conduct of cases can instruct the State Prosecutor for moving for adjournment of cases owing to tho absence of necessary witnesses, or to give up certain witnesses as having turned hostile, or to cross-examine certain defence witnesses in a particular manner. We cannot seo why his powers under the G. O. should not also include the power to instruct the State Prosecutor for moving for transfer in suitable cases, though we consider it desirable that the G. O. should be amended and made to expressly include that power.
31. On merits, we see no reason to differ from the learned Sessions Judge in his conclusion that it was desirable to have the cases tried by some Magistrate other than the Fifth Presidency Magistrate in view of some unnecessary and unfortunate observations he made. Mr. Vaz, as well the learned Advocate General, agree that this Court has the power under Section 523(3), Crl. P. C., sun motu to direct trial of any case by any Magistrate considered fit by it, even though neither party has applied for it, and without acting on a report of the lower court.
We consider that the two cases in question, viz.. C. C. Nos. 96 and 2014 of 1957, on the file of the Fifth Presidency Magistrate, Madras, should be tried by the. Chief Presidency Magistrate himself, in the interests of justice, especially as they are a kind of counter-cases to C. C. Nos. 11194 and 12152 of 1956 filed by these petitioners against, tho police. The. learned Advocate General readily agreed that this would be the fit and proper order to pass. Mr. Vaz also stated that all the four cases should be tried by the same Magistrate, and that if they could not be tried by the Fifth Presidency Magistrate they should all be directed to be tried by the Chief Presidency Magistrate himself.
32. In the end. therefore, we dismiss both these criminal miscellaneous petitions against the transfer of these two cases by the learned Sessions Judge, Madras from the file of the Fifth Presidency Magistrate, but direct those cases to be taken on file, as also C. C. No. 10885 of 1956, and tried by the Chief Presidency Magistrate himself.