1. In this case the Sessions Judge of Burdwan has committed the petitioner before us to take his trial before the Court of Sessions on a charge of having given false evidence in a stage of a judicial proceeding,--viz., a trial held in the Court of Sessions under Section 193 of the Indian Penal Code. The Sessions Judge had himself held the preliminary enquiry, and committed the case to the Court of Sessions.
2. We are asked to set aside this commitment as made in contravention of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
3. The Sessions Judge; in the explanations which he has submitted, states that, in his opinion, Section 471 empowers him to commit this case, and that that power is not limited or restricted by the provisions of the following Section (472).
4. We think that the learned Judge has taken an erroneous view of the law, and that the interpretation he would put upon these sections cannot be supported.
5. The offence with which Futteh Jya Khan is charged, is admittedly not one that is triable by the Court of Sessions exclusively. It is only in cases exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions that the Judge is empowered to commit or hold to bail and try an accused person charged with the offences mentioned in Sections 467, 468, and 469. In cases of a like nature, which are not triable by the Court of Sessions exclusively, all that the Judge is empowered to do is to send the case for enquiry to any Magistrate having power to try or commit for trial the accused person under Section 471.
6. The words 'commit the case itself,' occurring in Section 471, do not mean that the Court of Sessions may commit the case to itself as the Judge would interpret. If the section would bear this interpretation, it would be opposed to the distinct provisions of Section 231, which restricts and limits the action of the Court of Sessions as a Court of original criminal jurisdiction, save and except in the cases provided for by Sections 435 and 472.
7. We are of opinion that the procedure adopted by the Sessions Judge in this case is not warranted by law, and we, therefore, quash the commitment to the Court of Sessions, and direct the Sessions Judge to send the case for enquiry to the Magistrate, who will deal with it as he thinks fit.
8. This order will govern the application in the case of Dwarka Nath Banerjee, No. 1 of 1879.