1. The facts were as follows:On the 18th January 1908, the 1st accused, a Nattu Kotai Chetty, was arrested at Arunthangi by the Sub-Magistrate of that place on receipt of a wire from the complainant, another Nattu Kottai Chetti, charging him with committing breach of trust in respect of a lakh of Rupees. The fact of the arrest was duly communicated to the complainant by the Sub-Magistrate by telegram and the following day the complainant turned up and gave a deposition promising to file a complaint on the following Monday after examining his accounts in Madura.
2. On the 22nd June 1908, the promised complaint was duly filed charging the 1st accused and his father with offences under Sections 477A and 409, I.P.C., committed at Rangoon. It is unnecessary for us to detail further irregularities perpetrated by the Magistracy at subsequent stages as they are irrelevant to the question before us and will no doubt be taken due notice of by the District Magistrate of Tanjoro.
3. Suffice it to say that the complaint was ultimately forwarded to the Devacota First Class Sub-Divisional Magistrate, whose order of the 7th July 1908 we are now asked to revise.
4. We very much doubt if the Devakota Magistrate has any jurisdiction in respect of the offence under Section 477 A, Indian Penal Code; Section 279, Criminal Procedure Code, only applied when a person is accused of the commission of any offence by reason of anything which has been done, and of any consequence which has ensued. The offence under Section 477A is complete when accounts are falsified with intent to defraud and it is not apparent how a person accused of falsification of accounts can be said to be accused by reason of any consequence which has ensued within the meaning of the section. We are of opinion, however, that the Devakota Magistrate may have jurisdiction to deal with the offence under Section 409, I.P.C., if it can be proved that the property embezzled has been received or retained in Devakota, vide Section 181(2), Criminal Procedure Code, in spite of the irregularities previously committed, for the Devakota Magistrate unlike the Arunthangi Sub-Magistrate, is empowered to act under Section 190, Criminal Procedure Code.
5. Under the circumstances, we do not consider it necessary to interfere at this stage, though the allegation that the property has been brought to Devakota is apparently based on the merest surmise.