1. The Stationary Sub-Magistrate of Narsapur found the petitioner guilty of an offence punishable under Section 325, Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to three months' rigorous imprisonment and to a fine of Rs. 100 with a further three months' imprisonment in default. That conviction and the sentence were confirmed in appeal.
2. It was alleged in the grounds of appeal that when the Sub-Magistrate pronounced judgment he said that the accused had been sentenced to a fine of Rs. 100 and to a term of three months simple imprisonment in default and that on the following day he re-called the accused and told him that he had been sentenced to three months' rigorous imprisonment also. In view of the nature of this allegation, the appellate Magistrate summoned the Sub-Magistrate and recorded evidence from him as to the circumstances under which the judgment was delivered. I agree with the learned advocate for the petitioner that this evidence cannot be regarded as evidence contemplated by Section 428, Criminal Procedure Code; but it was certainly open to the appellate Magistrate to ascertain by report or otherwise what transpired in the Magistrate's Court; for it was necessary for him to do so in order to properly dispose of the appeal before him. Every Court has an inherent power to put on record an account of the procedure adopted by it. Even if the appellate Court had had no power of summoning the Sub-Magistrate, the Sub-Magistrate was entitled to put on record what he did and the appellate Magistrate was entitled to ask him to do so and to examine that record to ascertain what procedure had been adopted. Moreover, Section 540, Criminal Procedure Code, gives very wide power to all Courts at any stage in any proceeding to examine witnesses if such evidence appears to be necessary for a just decision of the case. There was therefore nothing wrong in the Sub-Divisional Magistrate's enquiring what procedure had been adopted in the trial Court.
3. It is next argued that a Magistrate who makes a slip in pronouncing judgment cannot correct it and that the only remedy is to get the conviction and sentence set aside and a fresh trial ordered. It would be an absurd anomaly if that were so. Fortunately, it is not. It is necessary for the Magistrate to write a judgment and to pronounce that judgment. A pronouncement that is not in accord with the signed judgment is not a pronouncement of the judgment and has no validity.
4. The learned advocate for the petitioner has half-heartedly suggested that the Magistrate was not speaking the truth. I should be sorry to think that he was not. The manuscript copy of the judgment shows that the accused was sentenced to three months' rigorous imprisonment and to a fine of Rs. 100 with three months' imprisonment in default. As there was twice mention of three months' imprisonment, the Magistrate may easily have inadvertently omitted to mention one of them. He also points out in his judgment the necessity for a deterrent sentence; but a fine of Rs. 100 is certainly not a deterrent sentence for an offence which is punishable with seven years' rigorous imprisonment. I find no reason to suspect that the judgment on record is not the judgment originally written by the Sub-Magistrate.
5. The last point made on behalf of the petitioner is that the doctor who first examined the complainant has given evidence for the accused and deposed that the complainant told him that he had sustained the fracture of his arm by a fall. Both the Courts disbelieved the evidence of that witness for reasons given by them. There being concurrent findings on that point, this Court must accept them as correct.
6. The petition is consequently dismissed.