1. A complaint was lodged by Mst. Bhagwan Devi against Sant Ram and others in the Court of the Munsiff Magistrate first class Akhnur on 20-2-1964 under Sections 323/504 RPC. Process was issued against the accused by the trial Magistrate. A number of witnesses were produced by the prosecution. The trial Court by its order dated 20-5-64 framed charges under Sections 323 against Sant Ram and ors. accused and discharged one of the accused Bawa Mohini Jagat Ram as there was no evidence against him. Against this order of framing a charge against Sant Ram and ors. the accused went up in revision to the learned Sessions Judge Jammu who by his order dated 8-5-64 has recommended that the charges against the accused framed by the trial Magistrate be quashed.
Against the order of discharging Bawa Mohini Jagat Ram the complainant Mst. Bhagwan Devi came up in revision before the learned Sessions Judge. The learned Sessions Judge by his order dated 8-5-65 rejected the revision petition of Bhagwan Devi but recommended that the charges against Sant Ram and ors. be quashed as he was not competent to quash the charges. Against this order of rejecting the revision petition of Bhagwan Devi, a further revision petition has been presented in this Court by Bhagwan Devi. The order of reference was also argued at length before me.
2. After going through the order of reference, I am constrained to remark that the learned Sessions Judge has wrongly approached the whole matter. He has discussed the entire evidence and held that in his view the evidence is not believable. Why he has not believed the evidence will be presently stated. The proceedings are at an interlocutory stage. A Court of revision should seldom interfere with the proceedings of an inferior Court when the proceedings are not finally concluded, particularly at the charge stage. It has been held by almost all the High Courts in India that interference by the revisional Court is uncalled for unless there is no legal evidence to sustain the charge framed by the , trial Court. As a general rule, High Courts do not interfere with interlocutory orders or with pending proceedings and do not quash charges framed in the trial Court unless the case is of an exceptional nature.
It has been laid down that one test of the case of being of an exceptional nature is that a bare statement of fact without any elaborate arguments should be sufficient to convince the High Court that the case is a fit one for its interference at the interlocutory stage. Another test is whether in the admitted circumstances of the case it would be a mock trial if the case is allowed to proceed, High Courts have quashed proceedings only where no offence appears to have been committed on the face of the proceedings or where the civil proceedings in respect of the same matter were pending or where no sanction had been obtained for the institution of a particular complaint or where grave injustice would be done by the continuation of the proceedings or where no useful purpose would be served by the continuance of the proceedings, or where the interests of justice required immediate interference,
Authorities need not be cited on this very well-known proposition of law, but still without discussing them reference may be made to the following authorities which are exactly applicable to the facts of this case : AIR 1932 Lah 49 and AIR 1951 Tra-Co. 35; AIR 1935 Rang 292 and AIR 1936 Pat 626.
With these tests as have evolved from the judgments of the different High Courts, I am afraid the present case fulfils none of these tests. On the other hand the learned Sessions Judge has been influenced by considerations which are not within the province of a revisional Court. At an interlocutory stage the superior Courts will not interfere as if they were Courts of appeal. If the same matter came before the learned Sessions Judge on appeal, his observations on facts might be well called for, but they are wholly inappropriate and uncalled for at the revisional stage. Besides having committed the error of weighing evidence and discussing factual possibilities and probabilities, there are certain errors of law also committed by the learned Sessions Judge which by themselves would be sufficient to vitiate his finding. The reasons for which his recommendation cannot be accepted are as follows.
3. In the first place, though the learned Sessions Judge has on page 2 of his order somewhat laid the law correctly with respect to interference at an interlocutory stage by a superior Court in a case pending before an inferior Court, yet he has misapplied the tests. The learned Sessions Judge has in his order remarked that the son of the complainant Bhagwan Devi had lodged a civil suit, on 4-3-64 in which some other story was given by him with respect to his marriage with the daughter of Sansaroo which is the subject matter of dispute in the present case also. But the legal fallacy that has been committed by the learned Sessions Judge is that the plaint in the suit alleged to have been brought by Gyan the son of the complainant has not been at all put to the complainant. All that she stated was that her son Gyan had brought a suit in a Court at Jammu. What that suit was has not been put to the complainant. Whether the plaint in that suit was a correct version or not even that has not been put to the complainant. Whether this was the suit instituted by Gyan even that has not been inquired of the complainant. Further what would be the legal effect on the present proceedings if Gyan had made a different statement from the one made by the complainant in the present complaint has also not been at all considered.
4. The second legal flaw patent in the reasoning of the learned Sessions Judge is that he has used a statement under Section 202 Criminal P. C. made by Bulla Ram witness to discredit his other statement made before the accused. The statement made by Bulla Ram under Section 202 Criminal P. C. was never put to the witness and his attention was never drawn to the alleged contradictions. This also is a patent illegality.
5. The learned Sessions Judge has then discussed the entire evidence and given his own reasons for disbelieving it. As the matter is at an interlocutory stage and may again come up before the Sessions Judge or even before the High Court at a proper stage, I do not wish to make any comment one way or the other about the evidence. The learned Sessions Judge's approach has been anything but that of a Court of revision, and the recommendation made by him cannot at all be accepted. The proceedings will, therefore, commence from the stage where they were when the charge was framed against the accused persons. The trial Court will decide the case after proper inquiry on merits. If no case is made out from the evidence, the trial Court can safely acquit the accused; otherwise also the learned Sessions Judge as an appellate Court will be at liberty to examine the entire evidence if and when an appeal is preferred before him in a proper form.
6. The other revision petition of Bhagwan Devi against the discharge of Bawa Mohini Jagat Ram also does not call for any interference. The trial Court has rightly discharged this accused as there was no evidence against him. That revision application is therefore dismissed as well as the reference made by the learned Sessions Judge.