1. We are invited in this rule to set aside an order which purports to have been made under Section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It appears that the opposite paraty bought at different times the interest of Jatadhari and Jagdeo Narain in certain estates. Subsequently, Jatadhari filed a rent suit against one Subhago and obtained an ex parte decree. On the 13th April 1907, an application was made to the Court which had tried the suit for sanction to prosecute the partners, except Kuldip, for offences under Sections 209, 210, 193 and 465 of the Indian Penal Code. The Munsif refused to grant the sanction on the 24th August 1907. He held in substance that this was an attempt by the petitioners for sanction to have by a cheap method an inquiry into their civil rights. An appeal preferred to the District Judge was dismissed on the 10th January 1908. At the same time, the learned Judge observed that if there was any civil suit or other judicial proceeding in which it transpired that there had been fraud and manufacturing of false evidence, sanction to prosecute could be properly asked for these. No civil suit or other judicial proceeding seems to have been subsequently commenced and on the 11th September 1909, Kuldip, alleging that he was the son of the daughter of Subhago, who had meanwhile died, made an application for return of certain documents. Notice was thereupon issued to the present opposite party to show cause if there was any objection to the return of the documents. They came forward and stated that the documents were forgeries and ought to be impounded. The learned District Judge thereupon refused to return the documents and directed the Police to inquire into the matter. The Police held an elaborate investigation and upon their report the learned Judge was satisfied that serious offences against public justice had been committed. He thereupon made the order now under consideration. His order was in substance to the effect that Ram Narain Singh and Jay Gopal Singh or either of them would be entitled to prosecute Kuldip, Jatadhari and Raghu Nandan for offences under Sections 193, 209, 211 and 465, Indian Penal Code. These persons, subsequently, appeared before the learned Judge and represented to his that he had no jurisdiction to make the order in question. Thereupon the learned Judge, on the 20th February 1911, held that his order had been made without jurisdiction and be made a reference to this Court to have the order cancelled. This Court, however, declined to entertain the matter, unless an application was made in the regular way by the party concerned for cancellation of the alleged improper order. The present Rule was, subsequently, obtained by the petitioners.
2. In support of the Rule it has been argued that the sanction granted under Section 195 ought to be revoked because it was granted without jurisdiction. It has been contended, in the first place, that the proceedings for grant of sanction were irregular because no application had been made for that purpose by the party to whom sanction has now been granted. We are of opinion that there is no substance in this contention. It may be conceded that the cases of Durga Das Rukhit v. Queen-Empress 27 C. 820; In re Banarsi Das 18 A. 213; Baperam Surma v. Gouri Nath Dutt 20 C. 474 and Mufat Ali v. Emperor 10 C.W.N. 222 : 3 Cr. L.J. 112 : 2 C.L.J. 619 recognise the proposition that ordinarily a sanction under Section 195, Criminal Procedure Code, should be given only on an application made for it by same person who may desire to complain of the particular offence but whose complaint cannot be entertained without such sanction. It must be observed, however, that Section 195 does not expressly provide that an application has to be made for the grant of the sanction. The Rule recognised in the cases mentioned may be justified to this extent that before a sanction is granted, the Court must be satisfied that there is some person who is willing to avail himself of the sanction and to carry on the prosecution for the purpose whereof the sanction is granted. It does not follow, however, that such application must be made in writing or that it must be made before an inquiry is held under Section 195. In our opinion, the objection taken on behalf of the petitioners is wholly groundless.
3. It has been argued, in the second place, that sanction ought to be revoked in view of the previous orders made by the Court which tried the rent suit and the learned Judge himself. As we have already stated, the application of the opposite party for sanction to prosecute the petitioners was refused on the 24th August 1907. That order, in our opinion, was, at the time it was made, based on good and sufficient grounds. The learned Munsif pointed out, upon the authority of the decision of this Court in In the matter of Chundra Kant Ghose 3 C.W.N. 3, that in cases of this description, it was undesirable that sanction should be granted to a private prosecution. The order of the Munsif was sought to be assailed by way of appeal to the learned Judge, who also declined to interfere. In view of these facts, it is clearly improper that sanction should now be granted to these very persons for the prosecution of the petitioners. On this ground the sanction must be revoked.
4. But it does not follow by any means, as has been apprehended by the earned Counsel for the opposite party, that the ends of justice will be defeated. This is clear from Section 195, Criminal Procedure Code, that steps may yet be taken very effectively to bring the offenders to justice if an offence has been committed, as the learned District Judge seems to hold on the result of the Police inquiry. The scope and object of Section 195, Criminal Procedure Code, are perfectly plain, but have sometimes been misunderstood. The object of the Section is to bar the institution of proceedings for prosecution in respect of certain offences unless such prosecution has been sanctioned by the Court concerned or action has been taken on the complaint of the Court. The policy of the law is that in cases relating to offences against public justice, the responsibility primarily rests with the Court concerned and the Court must decide whether it is necessary, for the sake of the purity of the administration of public justice, to have a prosecution, and whether such prosecution should be conducted by a private or by the public prosecutor. In the case before us, the application of the intending private prosecutor has already been refused; but the Court is still at liberty to adopt the other alternative. It. will, therefore, be open to the proper authorities, the District Magistrate and the Public Prosecutor, to consider whether any action should be taken in this matter; but before it is decided to adopt such a course, one very important element must be borne in mind, namely, whether in view of the length of time which has already elapsed, a prosecution now commenced is likely to be brought to a successful termination.
5. The result, therefore, is that this Rule must be made absolute and the order of the learned District Judge set aside. The papers will be returned in order that further and appropriate steps, if necessary, may be taken. The document impounded will be kept in custody and will not be returned.