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Seikh SaifuddIn Mondal Vs. State and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1978CriLJ1021
AppellantSeikh SaifuddIn Mondal
RespondentState and anr.
Cases Referred(See Bhim Sen v. State
Excerpt:
- .....of the criminal case pending before him till the disposal of an appeal pending before the appeal committee of the west bengal board of secondary education.2. it appears that on an information being lodged with the police by the then secretary of the aforesaid school as against the opposite party jamaluddin ahmed an investigation was taken up as to how far the allegations of criminal breach of trust by the opposite party, who happened to be the head master of the school in respect of the school funds, are correct or not. such an investigation being conducted the police found out a prima facie case as against the opposite party and submitted a charge-sheet under sections 406/408 of the i.p.c. on the charge sheet as aforesaid the learned magistrate took cognizance of the offence.....
Judgment:

Anil K. Sen, J.

1. In this revisional application one Sheikh Saifudidin Mondal, Secretary of Purui Union Amzad High School, is challenging the validity of an order dated March 5, 1976, passed by the Chief Judicial! Magistrate, Birbhum, whereby he stayed further proceedings of the criminal case pending before him till the disposal of an appeal pending before the Appeal Committee of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.

2. It appears that on an information being lodged with the police by the then Secretary of the aforesaid school as against the opposite party Jamaluddin Ahmed an investigation was taken up as to how far the allegations of criminal breach of trust by the opposite party, who happened to be the Head Master of the school in respect of the school funds, are correct or not. Such an investigation being conducted the police found out a prima facie case as against the opposite party and submitted a charge-sheet under Sections 406/408 of the I.P.C. On the charge sheet as aforesaid the learned Magistrate took cognizance of the offence alleged to have been committed by the opposite party and the case was adjourned for framing of a charge. At this stage the opposite party filed an application praying that further proceedings in the criminal case should be stayed pending an appeal preferred by him to the Appeal Committee of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education which is yet pending.

3. It is not in dispute that service of the opposite party as the Head Master was terminated by the managing committee on various grounds including a ground that he was found guilty of misappropriating the fund of the school. It is also not in dispute that being aggrieved by the said order of termination of his service the opposite party has preferred an appeal before the Appeal Committee of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education under Section 22 of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education Act, 1963.

4. Sub-section (3) of Section 22 of the said Act provides that it shall be the duty of the Appeal Committee constituted under Sub-section (1) to hear and decide appeals by teachers against decisions by the managing committee adversely affecting them, in accordance with the regulations made in this behalf. Sub-section (4) provides 'the decision of the appeal committee under Sub-section (3) shall be final and no suit or proceeding shall lie in any civil or criminal court in respect of any matter which has been or may be referred to, or has been decided by the appeal committee.' This was the provision in law which was relied on by the opposite party in his application filed before the learned Magistrate in claiming stay of further proceedings of the criminal case obviously on the view that whether or not he had committed any breach of trust to respect of school fund or not is awaiting adjudication by the appeal committee and any decision which may be rendered therein would be conclusive and would bar the criminal trial. It appears that the learned Magistrate accepted this view in directing stay of further proceedings in the criminal case. In our considered opinion, however, the learned Magistrate wholly misappreciated the true implication of Sub-section (4) in accepting the aforesaid plea put forward on behalf of the opposite party. As we have indicated the appeal provided by Section 22 is against the decision of the managing committee adversely affecting the appellant teacher. In the present case, such decision of the managing committee is the decision terminating the opposite party's service as Head Master. The decision of the appeal committee on the validity or otherwise of such termination would undoubtedly be final and binding between the parties under Sub-section (4) and no suit or proceeding shall lie in any civil or criminal court challenging any decision which the appeal committee may render on that issue, But in our opinion, Sub-section (4) of Section 22 cannot be given an extended meaning that not only the decision of the appeal committee in respect of the order of termination passed by the managing committee adversely affecting the teacher would be final but all incidental findings with reference to grounds on which the order of the managing committee had been made including the ground that the teacher had committed an offence under the Indian Penal Code in respect of the school fund would be so conclusive that no criminal court would be entitled to go into and decide whether the offence had or had not been committed. On the allegations incorporated in the charge sheet, the accused opposite party is said to have committed offences under Sections 406/408 of the I.P.C. Such offences are triable in accordance with the provisions of the Cr. P.C. by courts specified therein. Exclusion of jurisdiction of such courts can be brought about by express provisions by vesting such jurisdiction exclusively in an alternative tribunal specially constituted (See Bhim Sen v. State : 1955CriLJ1010 . Section 22 now under consideration does not contemplate any ouster of jurisdiction of courts under the Cr. P.C. to try cases involving offences under the Penal Code nor is the Appeal Committee so constituted a special tribunal to try such cases, This aspect was clearly overlooked by the learned Magistrate when he accepted the plea of the accused opposite party and stayed further proceeding of the case. Sub-section (4) of Section 22, in our opinion, would not debar the criminal court in the present case from going into the issue as to whether the opposite party had committed an offence under Section 406 or 408 of the I.P.C. or not even if the opposite party succeeds in his appeal now pending before the appeal committee on a finding that termination of his service on the ground of misappropriation of school fund is set aside by the appeal committee. Whether an offence under the Indian Penal Code had or had not been committed can, in our opinion, only be adjudged at the trial which is now pending before the learned Magistrate and that such trial cannot be substituted by the adjudication before the appeal committee. In this view, we are clearly of the opinion that the learned Magistrate wholly misdirected himself in directing stay of further proceedings of the criminal case pending disposal of the appeal by the appeal committee of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.

5. This application, therefore, succeeds and the Rule is made absolute. The order dated March 5, 1976, as passed by the learned Magistrate is set aside and the learned Magistrate is now directed to proceed with the trial. Parties desire that the proceeding should be expedited and we direct accordingly.

A.P. Bhattacharya, J.

6. I agree.


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