1. This is an appeal by Government against the acquittal of the two respondents. There was a private complaint made against them to the Joint Magistrate of Shermadevi of offences punishable under Sections 485 and 486, I.P.C. The Joint Magistrate after hearing, the prosecution witnesses found that a prima facie case was made out only of an offence under Section 482 which offence is triable by a Second Class Magistrate and so, having framed a charge of an offence punishable under that section, he transferred the case to the file of the Second Glass Stationary Sub-Magistrate at Ambasamudram. The Stationary Sub-Magistrate proceeded with the case and acquitted the respondents.
2. If the transfer could be effeoted at all it must have been under Section 192, Criminal P.C., Clause 1 which runs as follows:
Any Chief Presidency Magistrate, District Magistrate or Sub-Divisional Magistrate may transfer any case, of which he has taken cognizance, for inquiry or trial, to any Magistrate subordinate to him.
3. The learned Public Prosecutor argues that the words 'for inquiry or trial' are merely put in so far as to cover both warrant and summons oases, that it is permissible for a Magistrate empowered under this clause only to transfer a case when he first takes cognizance of it and that he cannot transfer it at any later stage even though in the matter of a warrant case the stage of trial is not reached till the charge is framed. I cannot see anything in the clause itself which indicates that any such restriction is intended to be made. Nor is any authority shown me for there being such a restriction. The learned Public Prosecutor has referred me to two rulings. One of these is that in Tata Venhanna (1900) 2 Weir 152. In that case a Joint Magistrate inquired into a case that was brought as one of robbery but found that the prosecution evidence could make out only offences punishable under Section 353, I.P.C. and Section 24, Cattle Trespass Act. He therefore transferred it to the file of the Stationary Sub-Magistrate who proceeded to dispose of it from the point at which it reached him without taking evidence afresh. It was held that he acted illegally in so doing; but clearly the point of the illegality was the fact that under the law as it was then understood in this Court, it was the duty of the Sub-Magistrate on the case being transferred to him, to take the evidence afresh.
4. This however is no longer the law, by reason of Clause 3 to Section 350. This ruling therefore is not in point. The other case to which I have been referred to is that of Mahabir Singh v. Giribala Dassi : AIR1925Cal742 . That case too has no application. What it decides is that the provisions of Section 192 do not entitle a Magistrate after he has proceeded under Section 202, Criminal P.C., to make an order transferring the case for the purpose of being dealt with under Section 320 or Section 204, without a fresh investigation as contemplated by Section 202, Criminal P.C., and that Section 192 does not empower him to transfer a case simply for the purpose of considering the report of an investigation under Section 202, Criminal P.C., which he has himself ordered. In the absence of any authority to the contrary I must take it that Clause 1, Section 192 means what it clearly appears to mean and that the action of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate in transferring the case to the file of the Stationary Sub-Magistrate was perfectly correct. There is no other possible ground for interference with the order of acquittal. The appeal is therefore dismissed.