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G.S. Shekhar Vs. State of Himachal Pradesh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtHimachal Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1976CriLJ95
AppellantG.S. Shekhar
RespondentState of Himachal Pradesh
Excerpt:
- .....remarks are likely to stand in his wav for future promotion.2. no doubt under section 561-a of the code of criminal procedure remarks made in the judgment can be expugned by the high court, but the question arises as to whether in this particular case the inherent powers of the high court can be invoked for expunging such remarks. one has to bear in mind the salutary principles, that while administering justice, judges and magistrates do exercise proper freedom and independence and they are required to express their opinion without fear or favour. they must be allowed to perform their functions without undue interference by anybody, even by the high court. at the same time, it is equally necessary that in expressing their opinions judges and magistrates must be guided by considerations.....
Judgment:
ORDER

D.B. Lal, J.

1. This is a -petition by G. S. Shekhar. Horticultural Officer, under Section 561-A of the Criminal Procedure Code for expugning certain remarks against him in the judgment dated 15tih June, 1970 of the Magistrate First Class, Mahasu. It is alleged, that a criminal case was instituted against one R. S. Rana, Horticultural Officer, for having committed offences relating to his T, A. bill and which were classified under Sections 420. 468, 471 and 511 of the I- P. Code. In short, the allegation was that Shri Rana travelled on a Government jeep HIM-4170 between Jeori and Peo while on transfer from Mashobri to Sharbo, but charged travelling allowance as if he travelled on foot. It was also stated that he forged certain receipts of goods transported at that occasion. The petitioner G. S. Shekhar was produced as P- W- 13 and the learned Magistrate has disbelieved him and has made certain remarks in the judgment which are to the effect that he is a 'liar' or 'untruthful witness' and that no credence could be given to his statement. In the petition it is alleged that these remarks are uncalled for and hence were irrelevant. They were not even necessary for giving a finding. The petitioner was not given an opportunity to explain his conduct and that the remarks are likely to stand in his wav for future promotion.

2. No doubt under Section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure remarks made in the judgment can be expugned by the High Court, but the question arises as to whether in this particular case the inherent powers of the High Court can be invoked for expunging such remarks. One has to bear in mind the salutary principles, that while administering justice, judges and magistrates do exercise proper freedom and independence and they are required to express their opinion without fear or favour. They must be allowed to perform their functions without undue interference by anybody, even by the High Court. At the same time, it is equally necessary that in expressing their opinions judges and magistrates must be guided by considerations of justice, fair Play and restraint. While delivering a judgment and discussing the evidence of a witness, each judge or magistrate has his own inherent reaction to falsehood. Whatever language he uses depends upon his comparative command of English language and his felicity of expression. It has to be seen if the remarks were wholly irrelevant or, unjustified, or that these were not necessary for delivering the judgment. In the instant case it cannot be stated that the remarks were wholly irrelevant or unjustified. It is a different question that the Magistrate being governed bv his inherent reaction to falsehood wrote that the witness was a 'Bar' or 'untruthful' or that his statement was without any credence.

3. Shekhar (P.W. 13) was asked about a Log Book entry Ex. P.W. 13/A. and at first he stated that column No. 9 showing the purpose of journey was left blank. But in fact the Magistrate found that the said entry was not left blank and the accused Rana had duly filled it up as a private journey of the jeep for which he paid. Even Shekhar P.W. 13 submitted a bill for that private journey. Thus Shekhar P- W. 13 save different statements relating to that Log Book entry. Similarly Shekhar prevaricated on his statement made to Police marked Ex. P.W. 1.3/B- It was also found that he had attested a false T. A. bill relating to one Bhartia. On these points desclosed during trial, the learned Magistrate disbelieved the statement of Shekhar. He wag also governed with the impression that Shekhar had enmity with Rana and perhaps wanted to implicate him. That, again prompted the Magistrate to give out the said remarks. As such it cannot be stated that these remarks were wholly irrelevant or unjustified. In the larger interest of public justice, the said remarks may even be considered necessary. It is a different matter that any other magistrate left to himself may have used a milder language. But the High Court cannot step in simply on that ground. Only exceptional circumstances will be needed to make interference with the judgment pronounced by the learned Magistrate. In my opinion, such exceptional circumstances are not made out and no jurisdiction can be exercised under inherent powers reposed in Section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

4. This apart, a proceeding under Section 479-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure is stated to be pending against G. S- Shekhar petitioner and this would be highly prejudicial to those proceedings if these remarks are expunged. This is an additional ground why the petition need be rejected.

5. In this view of the matter, the petition is dismissed.


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