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Manmohan Singh Vs. Mst. Surjeet Kaur - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtJammu and Kashmir High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1965CriLJ211
AppellantManmohan Singh
RespondentMst. Surjeet Kaur
Cases ReferredSat Narain v. Sarju
Excerpt:
- .....was filed before the district judge srinagar under the provisions of the jammu and kashmir village panchayat act, but the same was rejected. the transfer was sought mainly on the ground of convenience,2. appearing for the petitioner mr. sunder lal contended that since a panchayat court was a criminal court governed by the provisions of the code of criminal procedure, this court had ample powers under section 526, criminal p. c. to transfer a case. in support of his argument he has relied on a decision of the allahabad high court reported in basdeo misra v. badal misra air 1927 all 199. we have perused that case and we find that the facts of that case are clearly distinguishable from the facts of the present case. in that case, mr. justice iqbal ahmed as he then was held that.....
Judgment:

S. Murtaza Fazl Ali, J.

1. This is an application for transfer of a case pending before the Panchayat court at Bata Guod. In the first instance, an application was filed before the District Judge Srinagar under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Village Panchayat Act, but the same was rejected. The transfer was sought mainly on the ground of convenience,

2. Appearing for the petitioner Mr. Sunder Lal contended that since a Panchayat court was a criminal court governed by the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, this Court had ample powers under Section 526, Criminal P. C. to transfer a case. In support of his argument he has relied on a decision of the Allahabad High Court reported in Basdeo Misra v. Badal Misra AIR 1927 All 199. We have perused that case and we find that the facts of that case are clearly distinguishable from the facts of the present case. In that case, Mr. Justice Iqbal Ahmed as he then was held that Section 26 read with Section 5 of the U. P. Village Panchayat Act, conferred power on the High Court to transfer a case. In the instant case, we find, that the Jammu and Kashmir Village Panchayat Act does not give any power to the High Court to transfer a case pending before a Panchayati Adalat. The Jammu and Kashmir Village Panchayat Act is a completely self-contained Act and provides for the mode of trying cases and the forum of appeal or revision therefrom. It may be noted here that in the said Act while the District Judge has been given specifically power to transfer cases from one Panchayati Adalat to another, no such power is given to the High Court. Thus the power of transfer has been taken away from the High Court by implication.

3. It was then contended by the learned Counsel for the petitioner that even if Section 26 did not apply this Court had powers under clause 18 of the Letters Patent to transfer a case from one Panchayati Adalat to another. A similar argument was pot forward in Sat Narain v. Sarju reported as A I R 1924 All 265 where Stuart J. was clearly of the view that clause 22 of the Letters Patent did not apply to Panchayati Adalat. Kanhaiya J. had taken a contrary view. We are, however, inclined to agree with the view taken by Stuart J. The relevant clause so far as our Letters Patent is concerned, is to he found in clause 18 of the Letters Patent, which runs thus:

And we do further ordain that the said High Court of Judicature shall have the power to direct the transfer of any criminal case or appeal from any court to any other court of equal or superior jurisdiction and also to direct the preliminary investigation or trial of any criminal case by any officer or court otherwise, competent to investigate or try it though such case belongs in ordinary course, to the jurisdiction of some officer or court.

It would appear that the language of this clause is almost similar to clause 22 of the Letters Patent of the Allahabad High Court. It is manifest that under the Jammu and Kashmir Village Panchayat Act, the Panchayati Adalats are in no way subordinate to the authority of the High Court as no appeal or revision against any order passed by them lies to the High Court. The only authority which can interfere with the order passed by the Pauchayati Adalat is the court of the District Judge and subject to such authority under the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Village Panchayat Act, all orders are final. It is therefore, clear that the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts including that of the High Court has been completely taken away by the jammu and Kashmir Village Panchayat Act against the background of these facts, it is difficult to hold that this Court has power to transfer cases under the Letters Patent only. The Letters Patent contemplates only transfer of cases of such courts which under the law of the land are subordinate to the High Court, and that is why the words 'any criminal case or appeal from any court to any other court of equal or superior jurisdiction' clearly indicate that the courts contemplated by clause 18 of the Letters Patent are only those courts which are subordinate to the High Court. Further-more under Section 2 (a) of the Jammu and Kashmir Village Panchayat Act, 'cases' has been defined as a criminal proceeding in respect of an offence triable by a Panchayat and thus the word 'cases' as defined in Section. 526, Criminal P. C. cannot possibly apply to any proceeding triable by a Panchayat. Furthermore under Section 118 of the Jammu and Kashmir Village Panchayat Act, a judicial committee constituted under Section 106 of the Act is the only authority which can revise or modify any order passed by a Panchayati Adalat. Thus it is clear from an analysis of the various provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Village Panchayat Act, that this Court has no power to pass any orders in respect of transfer. It is a different matter that this Court may interfere in the exercise of its powers under Section 103 of the State Constitution where the order of the Panchayati Adalat is without jurisdiction or suffers from an error of law apparent on the face of the record. This is however, not the case here.

4. It was then argued that this Court can exercise its powers under Section 104 of the State Constitution.

5. We are, however, unable to accept this contention, because Section 104 of the State Constitution gives the power to the High Court of superintendence and control over all courts but not on private or domestic tribunals. We might mention here that the language of Article 227 of the Indian Constitution is essentially different from the language employed in Section 104 of the State Constitution. Under the Indian Constitution the High Court has been given the power of superintendence and control not only over all courts but also over tribunals. As the Panchayati Adalat functions under a self-contained Act, which provides a complete procedure the the disposal of the cases before the Panchayati Adalats, the Panchayati Adalats cannot by any stretch of imagination be construed to be a court either within the meaning of the Letters Patent or within the meaning of Section 104 of the State Cons- Station.

6. For these reasons, therefore, we are satisfied that the present application before (is is not maintainable and is therefore rejected.

J.N. Bhat, J.

7. I agree.


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