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Kuldip Singh Vs. State of Jammu and Kashmir - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtJammu and Kashmir High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1962CriLJ333
AppellantKuldip Singh
RespondentState of Jammu and Kashmir
Excerpt:
- .....code of criminal procedure. it appears that the charge sheet preferred by the police before the trial magistrate contained all the particulars of the offence alleged to have been committed by the accused as appears from the record the trial magistrate read over the said charge sheet to the accused and asked him if be had any cause to show why he should not be convicted. the accused admitted his guilt and a plea of guilty was recorded by the magistrate. the accused was convicted under section 337, r.p.c. as stated above.4. the question for consideration is whether the omission on the part of the magistrate to state the particulars of the offence to the accused in accordance with the provisions of section 242, cri p.c. is sufficient to vitiate the conviction. in the instant case.....
Judgment:
ORDER

J.N. Wazir, C.J.

1. Kuldip Singh was convicted by the Sub-Regist0rar Magistrate First Class, Jammu, under Sections 337 and 279, R.P.C. and was sentenced to three months' rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs. 100/-, in default of payment of fine to undergo further one month's simple imprisonment. On appeal the Additional Sessions Judge maintained the conviction of the accused Only under Section 337, R.P.C and reduced the sentence to two months rigorous imprisonment maintaining the fine. Against that order the accused has come up in revision to this Court.

2. On 19th April 1961, the accused while driving vehicle No. J and K 6143 near the Residency Road Jammu knocked down one Sadhu Singh who received injuries on his head and other parts of the body. The injured person was taken to the hospital where he was given medical aid. The driver was arrested and was challaned under Sections 337 and 279, R.P.C. for rash and negligent driving and for causing hurt to a pedestrian. The accused was convicted and sentenced as stated above.

3. It is argued on behalf of the petitioner that the conviction of the accused under Section 337, R.P.C. cannot be sustained inasmuch as the mandatory provisions of Section 242 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had not been complied with and further there was no reliable evidence On which conviction could be recorded against the accused. The learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the particulars of the offence were not explained to the accused and his admission was not recorded as nearly as possible in the words used by him as envisaged by Section 243 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It appears that the charge sheet preferred by the Police before the trial Magistrate contained all the particulars of the offence alleged to have been committed by the accused As appears from the record the trial Magistrate read over the said charge sheet to the accused and asked him if be had any cause to show why he should not be convicted. The accused admitted his guilt and a plea of guilty was recorded by the Magistrate. The accused was convicted under Section 337, R.P.C. as stated above.

4. The question for consideration is whether the omission on the part of the Magistrate to state the particulars of the offence to the accused in accordance with the provisions of Section 242, Cri P.C. is sufficient to vitiate the conviction. In the instant case although the Magistrate has not himself explained the particulars of the offence to the accused yet the charge sheet which Was read Over to the accused fully explained to him the ingredients of the offence which was alleged to have been committed by him. It was for the accused to admit or deny these facts. But it appears from the record that he pleaded guilty. The Magistrate ought to have recorded his admission as nearly as possible in the words used by him. It was not done in this case.

The principal object of the provisions in Section 242, that the particulars of the offence of which a person is accused shall be stated to him and that he shall be asked if he has any cause to show why he should not be convicted, is to find out whether the accused admits all the facts which constitute the offence. If he so admits and that admission is recorded by the Magistrate as nearly as possible in the words used by him his conviction can be based on that admission alone. While recording his admission the trial Magistrate should see that the accused understood the ingredients of the offence and that he admitted all those ingredients constituting the crime. It is for that purpose that the admission of the accused under Section 243 is required to be recorded as nearly as possible in the words used by him. The other object is that the superior Court may have the advantage of examining the statement made by the accused and of seeing whether the conclusion arrived at by the trial Magistrate from the statement of the accuse is correct or not. if the trial Magistrate merely mentions that the accused pleaded guilty it would not show whether the accused understood the ingredients of die offence and admitted those ingredients constituting the alliance. It may afford an opportunity to the accused to urge before the appellate Court that the ingredients constituting the offence were not admitted by him.

In the instant case the matter does not stop here. It also appears that the trial Magistrate did not rely on the admission of the accused. If the Magistrate had relied entirely on the admission of the accused and would have been satisfied on that admission that the accused had committed the offence he would have convicted the accused on his admission alone. But he has acted under Section 244, Cri.P.C and the learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the trial Magistrate had recorded the statement of the complainant under Section 244, Cri.P.C and had convicted the petitioner On the evidence of the complainant which he could not do. The learned Counsel submits that under Section 244, Cri.P.C the trial Magistrate ought to have allowed the accused also to adduce evidence in defence. There is a good deal of force in this contention. It was open to the Magistrate to rely on the statement of the accused admitting his guilt and to convict him thereon. But it appears that he was not completely satisfied with that admission of guilt made by the accused and acted under Section 244, Cri.P.C as if the accused had not made any admission. It was, therefore, necessary for the trial Magistrate to have strictly complied with the provisions contained in Section 244 Cri.P.C. He should have proceeded to hear the complainant and taken all such evidence as would have been produced in support of the prosecution and also to hear the accused and taken all such evidence as he would have produced in defence. This was not done. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has not at all considered this aspect of the case in appeal. He has relied upon the admission of the accused which according to him was supported by the statement made by the complainant. This was not warranted by law.

As pointed out above, when the Magistrate started proceedings under Section 244, Cri.P.C. he should have complied with all the provisions contained therein. He should have proceeded to hear the complainant and taken all such evidence as would have been produced in support of the prosecution and also to hear the accused and to take all such evidence as he would have produced in defence. As this has not been done the conviction of the accused under Section 337, R.P.C. cannot be sustained. Under these circumstances this revision application is allowed and the conviction of the accused under Section 337. R.P.C. and the sentence passed therunder are set aside. The case is remitted to the Additional District Magistrate, Jammu, who will try the case afresh in accordance with law. The accused shall appear before the Additional District Magistrate Jammu on Thursday. The 14th of December, 1961, for further directions in the case. The accused has been informed of the date.


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