1. The first petitioner was working as an Assistant Station Master at Moradabad, U.P. during the year 1969. The second petitioner is his father. The third petitioner is his sister's father-in-law. On 9.6.1969 he was on relief duty at Raja-Ka-Sahaspur. On that date a bundle of 25 E.F.T. (Excess fare ticket) books were received at that Station. The first petitioner abstracted two E.F.T. Books bearing Nos. 606251 to 606300 and 606301 to 606350 from that bundle and handed over the remaining books to the Station Master. Subsequently he, under a Second Class Privilege pass travelled from Sambhal Hatim Sarai Railway Station in U.P. to Rameswaram on 16.1.1970. On 22.1.1970 a party of seven persons inclusive of A. 2 and A. 3 boarded in the First Class compartment in Rameshwaram Express on the strength of six E.F.Ts. Nos. 606316 to 606321 to Macharria. These tickets, as stated, were forged as Blank Paper Tickets for Rs. 209-50. On 23.1.1970 this party boarded a First Class Compartment at the Madras Central Station in the Grand Trunk Express on the strength of those tickets. The E.F.Ts., which were removed from the bundle by the first petitioner were forged to serve as B.P.Ts. to enable the party to travel from Rameshwaram to Macharria. This was detected at the time of the check on 23.1.1970 when the Grand Trunk Express had left Gudur. The first petitioner was also travelling in the 2nd Class Compartment with his family on the strength of his privilege pass. With these allegations the petitioners were charged under Section 120-B, I.P.C. read with Section 5 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2 of 1947. Sections 420 471, 467 and 379 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 112 and 113 of the Indian Railways Act. The charge-sheet was filed before the Special Judge. Madras. The petitioners raised a preliminary objection to the effect that since no part of the alleged offence took place within the territorial limits of his jurisdiction, he had no jurisdiction to try the offence. The learned Judge overruled this objection.
2. The correctness of this rule is not challenged. The prosecution case is that during the period between June 1969 and January 1970 these three petitioners were parties to a criminal conspiracy, the object of which was to cheat the Indian Railway by obtaining pecuniary advantage by forging the tickets to enable the other persons to travel in the train. In other words, the case is that the first petitioner abused his official position in the transaction. The further allegation in the charge-sheet is that he had tampered with the attendance register at Moradabad Railway Station to make it appear as if he had been in attendance at the Railway Station on 23, 25 and 26th January 1970 during which days he was travelling from Rameshwaram to Macharria. Under Section 6(1) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act a Special Judge shall be appointed to try certain offences under Chapter 9 of the Indian Penal Code relating to Public servants, viz., Prevention of Corruption Act 2 of 1947 and any conspiracy to commit or any attempt to commit or any abetment of any of the above offences within the area notified for each of such special Judge. On behalf of the petitioners it is urged that the alleged conspiracy hatched outside the limits of the Special Judge and the offences were committed even then. In other words it is contended that the offences under Section 5(1)(d) of Act 2 of 1947 by the first petitioner and the offence of criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code were committed even when they were within the limits of U.P. and that as such the Special Court had no jurisdiction to try them. The offence of criminal conspiracy is a continuing one as the overt acts in pursuance of the conspiracy. namely cheating of the Indian Railways and use of forged railway tickets etc. continued throughout the areas through which they travelled in pursuance of the conspiracy. The Special Judge, who has territorial jurisdiction to try the offence of criminal conspiracy, can also try the other offences committed in pursuance of the conspiracy, though it was committed outside his jurisdiction. Vide L.M. Mukherjee v. State of Madras : 1961CriLJ736 and also Purushottamdas Dalmia v. State of West Bengal : 1961CriLJ728 . The charge-sheet shows that accused 2 and 3 had committed offences under Sections 420, 467/471 of I.P.C. and 112 and 133 of the Indian Railways Act, within the territorial limits of the Special Court. These offences were committed in pursuance of the conspiracy to commit the said offences and an offence under Section 5(1)(d) of Act 2 of 1947. For the latter offence the Special Judge can take direct cognizance. Section 177 of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that every offence shall ordinarily be inquired into and tried by a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction it was committed. Section 180 of the Code of Criminal Procedure reads that when an act is an offence by reason of its relation to any other act which is also an offence or which would be an offence, if the doer were capable of committing an offence on a charge of the first mentioned offence, may be inquired into or tried by a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction either act was done. The criminal conspiracy has always been recognised as an exception with regard to the question of venue. This proposition is set forth in Halsbury's Laws of England. 3rd Edition Vol. 10 Sections 595 and 607 at page 329 as below:
Conspiracy may be tried in the place where the conspirators agreed to do the wrongful act which is the object of the conspiracy, but as the place of agreement is often unknown, conspiracy is generally a matter of inference deduced from criminal acts of the accused persons, which are done in pursuance of any criminal purpose, and are often not confined to one place, a charge of conspiracy may consequently be laid at common law in any country where one of these criminal acts is committed.
This is upon the authority of a very early English case in R. v. Brisac (1803) 4 East 164.
3. The criminal conspiracy and the acts or offences committed in pursuance of that conspiracy, from a single transaction. It was so held in Venkata Hanumantha Rao v. Emperor ILR 57 Mad 545 : (1934) Cri LJ 631 and also in Babulal Chaukhani v. Emperor . In this case some offences have been committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the Special Judge. The Court, which has jurisdiction to try the offences committed in pursuance of a conspiracy can also try the offender upon the charge of conspiracy although it might have been committed outside the territorial limits of the jurisdiction of the courts. Vide L.N. Mukherjee and Ors. reported in : AIR1961Mad126 and : 1961CriLJ736 .
4. It follows that the special Judge has jurisdiction to try the case. The petition fails and the same is dismissed.