1. In this matter a complaint was lodged before the District Magistrate of Rungpore on the 16th February 1926, against certain people of charges under Section 366, I.P.C., and other sections. The complainant was examined on oath, as provided for in Section 200, Criminal P.C., and the Magistrate then passed an order sending the case to the police for inquiry, but adding:
The police will see if there is any evidence for the submission of a charge-sheet, and after that they will send it to the Magistrate concerned.
2. As a matter of fact it appears that the alleged place of occurrence was within Nilphamari, a sub-division of the Bung-pore District. An inquiry was made by the police, and on the 3rd May, a charge-sheet was submitted to the Sub-divisional Officer of Nilphamari, who thereupon issued a warrant for the arrest of certain accused persons. Certain of the accused subsequently surrendered, and then an application was made to the Sessions Judge to refer the matter to this Court for quashing of the whole proceedings. The Sessions Judge, however, refused to refer the matter to this Court, and this rule was then obtained from this Court why the proceedings should not be quashed on the grounds (1) that the procedure adopted by the District Magistrate is wrong, inasmuch as he acted under Chap. 16, Criminal P.O., and then proceeded under Chap. 14, Criminal P.C., (2) that, after having taken cognizance of the case under Section 190, Clause (a), and proceeded under Section 200, the learned Magistrate had no power to act under Section 156(3); (3) that his action in directing the police to submit a charge-sheet is illegal and without jurisdiction; (4) that the Sub-divisional Magistrate of Nilphamari has no jurisdiction, unless the case is transferred to him according to the provisions of law.
3. Now the facts seem to be clear; the Magistrate took cognizance of a complaint under Section 200, Criminal P.C., and it would appear that he referred the case to the police for inquiry under his power to to so under Section 202, Criminal P.C., but in giving that order he did not observe that it was for him to pass the necessary order on the police report either under Section 203 or Section 204. His order, therefore, directing the police, if they found the case to be established, to submit charge-sheet to the Magistrate concerned (in this case the Sub-divisional Officer of Nilphamari) appears to us to have been without jurisdiction. We do not think that Section 156(3) can have any application to the case before us. The Magistrate had certainly taken cognizance of the case under Section 200, and it appears to us that this section only empowers the Magistrate to order a police inquiry in a case when the Magistrate does not himself issue process at once. It seems, therefore, that the whole of the proceedings of the Sub-divisional Officer, Nilphamari, accepting the charge-sheet and proceeding with the case, without any order by the District Magistrate under Section 204, Criminal P.C., or any order of transfer of the case to him under Section 192 are without jurisdiction and must be set aside. We, accordingly, set these orders aside, and send the proceeding back to the District Magistrate of Rangpore who will now under Section 203 or Section 204 pass the necessary orders on the police inquiry which has taken place; and if he so thinks he may issue processes and transfer the case to the Sub-divisional Officer for trial or inquiry.
4. The rule is made absolute to the extent only that the later orders are set aside. The order of the District Magistrate taking cognizance will remain, and he will now pass orders in the manner directed above.
5. I agree.