POWER U/Sec.204(1)(b) of Cr.P.C.

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.  121    OF 2012

(arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) No. 3592 of 2011)

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.  121    OF 2012

(arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) No. 3592 of 2011

JILE SINGH                                    Appellant(s)

VERSUS

STATE OF U.P. & ANR                            Respondent(s)

O  R  D  E  R

R.M. LODHA, J.

1.                 Leave granted.

2.                A certain Bharat Lal Sharma was done to death  on   October  26,   2008.  His   father  (respondent   No.  2   herein) informed   the   Police   Station   Kosikalan   on   the   next   day,  i.e.,   October   27,   2008   at   8   a.m.   that   he   received   an information   in   the   morning   at   about   7   a.m.   that   his   son Bharat Lal Sharma had been murdered and his dead body was lying   in   the   agricultural   field   of   Ghure   son   of   Gaisi, 'Jat' resident of Tumaura. On receipt of this information, he   (respondent   No.   2   herein   )   went   to   the   spot   and   found that   the  body   of  his   son  was   lying  in   blood.  His   son  was killed with some sharp edged weapon the previous night. He requested   the   police   to   register   First   Information   Report  (FIR) against unknown accused persons and take appropriate action   in   the   matter.     On   this   information,   an   FIR   was registered   and   investigation   commenced.     On   conclusion   of the   investigation,   the   Investigating   Officer   submitted charge-sheet   naming   one   Hari   Singh   as   an   accused   having committed the murder of Bharat Lal Sharma.  On the basis of the   material   collected   by   the   Investigating   Officer,   no case was found out against the present appellant-Jile Singh and the Investigating Officer concluded that the appellant has been falsely named in the course of investigation.

3.               On   May   2,   2009,   the   Chief   Judicial Magistrate,   Mathura,   committed   the   accused-Hari   Singh   to the   Court   of   Sessions   Judge,   Mathura   for   trial.     It   was then   that   the   complainant-respondent   No.   2   herein   filed   a private complaint under Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,   1973   (for   short,   'the   Code')   in   the   court   of Judicial Magistrate, Mathura, against the present appellant and one Jayveer Singh for the murder of his son Bharat Lal Sharma.

4.               The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mathura, after recording   the   statements   under   Section   202   of   the   Code, issued   summons   to   the   appellant   on   January   3,   2011. Aggrieved   by   that   order,   the   appellant   filed   Criminal Revision   before  the   Allahabad  High   Court  which   came  to   be CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.  121    OF 2012 (arising out of S.L.P. (Criminal) No. 3592 of 2011) dismissed on March 10, 2011. It is from this order that the present Appeal, by special leave, has arisen.

5.                     Mr.   Manoj   Saxena,   learned   counsel   for   the appellant,   submitted   that   the   issuance   of   summons   by   the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mathura, on a private complaint made   by   the   respondent   No.   2   after   committal   of   accused-Hari   Singh   for   the   murder   of   Bharat   Lal   Sharma   to   the Sessions   Court,   was   without   jurisdiction.   He   would   submit that addition of a new person to the array of the accused in   a   case   pending   before   the   sessions   court   can   only   be done by that court in exercise of the power under Section 319 of the Code and in no other way.   In this regard, he relied upon decisions of this Court in the cases of  Ranjit Singh    Vs.  State   of   Punjab1    and  Kishori   Singh   and   Ors. Vs.  State of Bihar and Anr.2 

6.                     Mr. Ratnakar Dash, learned senior counsel for the respondent No. 1-State of Uttar Pradesh, and Mr. Vikram Patralekh, learned   counsel for respondent   No.   2-complainant,   stoutly   defended   the   impugned   order. They submitted   that   the   complaint   filed   by   the   complainant before the Magistrate was maintainable under Section 200 of the   Code   since   the   Investigating   Officer   on   conclusion   of the   investigation   did   not   name   the   appellant   as   accused 1  (1998) 7 SCC 1492  (2004) 13 SCC although there was material to that effect in the course of  investigation.   The   learned   senior   counsel   and   the   learned counsel for the respondents submitted that if on receipt of a report, the police takes up the investigation of a case and   on   completion   thereof   submits   a   charge-sheet   against few   persons   and   leaves   the   other   persons   involved   in   the crime by stating in the report that no case has been made out   against   such   person,   it   is   open   to   the   aggrieved complainant   to   file   a   complaint   under   Section   200   of   the Code and the Magistrate is empowered to issue summons.   In this regard, they relied upon a decision of this Court in Hareram   Satpathy   Vs.  Tikaram   Agarwala   &   Ors.3 Mr.   Ratnakat   Dash,   learned   senior   counsel   for   the respondent No. 1, also referred to another decision of this Court   in  Kishan   Lal    Vs.    Dharmendra   Bafna   &   Anr.4  and submitted that if a right has been given to the complainant to   be   given   notice   of   filing   of   the   police   report   and   to file   protest   petition,   there   is   no   impediment   in   the   law for   maintaining   a   complaint   if   persons   involved   in   the crime   have   been   left   over   by   the   police   in   the   course   of the investigation.

7.                      The   present   case,   in   our   view,   is   squarely covered by the law laid down by this Court in the case of 3 1978 (4) SCC 58, 4 2009 (7) SCC 685 Ranjit   Singh  (supra)   and   the   subsequent   decision   in   the case   of   Kishori   Singh  (supra)   reiterating  the   same  legal position. In Ranjit Singh (supra), this Court was concerned with   the   issue   whether   the   sessions     court   can   add   a   new person to the array of the accused in a case pending before it at a stage prior to collecting any evidence. The three Judge   Bench   that   considered   the   above   issue   referred   to various provisions of the Code, namely, Sections 204, 207, 208, 209, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230 and 319  and held as under :

           "19.   So   from   the   stage   of   committal   till  the   Sessions   Court   reaches   the   stage  indicated in Section 230 of the Code, that  court   can   deal   with   only   the   accused  referred   to   in   Section   209   of   the   Code.  There   is   no   intermediary   stage   till   then for   the   Sessions   Court   to   add   any   other  person to the array of the accused.

           20.   Thus,   once   the   Sessions   Court   takes cognizance   of   the   offence   pursuant   to   the committal   order,   the   only   other   stage   when            the   court   is   empowered   to   add   any   other  person to the array of the accused is after  reaching   evidence   collection   when   powers  under   Section   319   of   the   Code   can   be   invoked.   We   are   unable   to   find   any   other            power   for   the   Sessions   Court   to   permit   addition   of   new   person   or   persons   to   the   array   of   the   accused.   Of   course   it   is   not  necessary   for   the   court   to   wait   until   the   entire  evidence is  collected for  exercising  the said powers."

8.          The above legal position has been reiterated by   this   Court   in   a   subsequent   decision   in   the   case   of  Kishori Singh (supra). The two Judge Bench in Kishori Singh (supra)   considered  some   of  the   provisions  of   the  Code   and earlier decision of this Court in  Ranjit Singh  (supra) and two other decisions, namely, Raj Kishore Prasad  Vs.  State of  Bihar and  India   Carat   (P)   Ltd.    Vs.    State   of Karnataka6, and held as under :-

        "9.   After   going   through   the   provisions   of   the  Code of the Criminal Procedure and the aforesaid  two   judgments   and   on   examining   the   order   dated  10-6-1997   passed   by   the   Magistrate,   we   have   no  hesitation   to   come   to   the   conclusion   that   the  Magistrate could not have issued process against  those persons who may have been named in the FIR  as accused persons, but not charge-sheeted in the  charge-sheet that was filed by the police under         Section 173 CrPC.

        10. So far as those persons against whom charge-sheet has not been filed, they can be arrayed as "accused   persons"   in exercise  of powers   under  Section 319 CrPC when some evidence or materials  are brought on record in course of trial or they  could also be arrayed as "accused persons" only   when a reference is made either by the Magistrate   while   passing   an   order   of   commitment   or   by   the  learned Sessions Judge to the High Court and the  High Court, on examining the materials, comes to  the   conclusion   that   sufficient   materials   exist        against   them   even   though   the   police   might   not  have filed charge-sheet, as has been explained in  the   latter   three-Judge   Bench   decision.  Neither   of   the   contingencies   has   arisen   in   the   case   in   hand."

5   (1996) 4 SCC 495

6   (1989) 2 SCC 132

9.               In the present case, if the order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mathura, in issuing summons against   the   appellant   on   the   complaint   filed   by   the respondent   No.   2-complainant,   which   has   been   confirmed   by the High Court, is allowed to stand, it would mean addition of the appellant to the array of the accused in a pending case   before   the   Sessions   Judge   at   a   stage   prior   to collecting   any   evidence   by   that   court.     This   course   is absolutely impermissible in view of the law laid down by a three Judge Bench of this court in the case of Ranjit Singh (supra).   The   stage   of   Section   209   of   the   Code   having reached in the case, it was not open to the Chief Judicial Magistrate,   Mathura   to   exercise   the   power   under   Section 204(1)(b)   of  the   Code  and   issue  summons   to  the   appellant. The   order   of   the   Chief   Judicial   Magistrate,   Mathura   is totally   without   jurisdiction.     The   High   Court   was   clearly in error in not keeping in view the law laid by this Court in   the   case   of  Ranjit   Singh  (supra)   followed   by   a subsequent   decision   in   the   case   of  Kishori   Singh  (supra) and   in   upholding   the   illegal   order   of   the   Chief   Judicial Magistrate, Mathura.

10.     The   two   decisions,   namely,    Hareram   Satpathy (supra)and  Kishan   Lal  (supra)   relied   upon   by   the   learned senior   counsel   and   counsel   for   the   respondents   have   no application at all to the case in hand.

11.      We, accordingly, allow this Appeal and set aside the order   of   the   High   Court   dated   March   10,   2011   impugned   in this   present   Appeal   and   the   order   of   the   Chief   Judicial Magistrate, Mathura, dated January 3, 2011.

12.      Needless to say that in the course of trial, on the basis of the evidence if it appears to the Sessions Judge that   any   person   not   being   the   accused   in   the   trial   has committed the offence and the case is made out for exercise of   power   under   Section   319   of   the   Code   for   proceeding against such person,  it will be open to the Sessions Judge to proceed accordingly and the present order will not come in   the   way   in   exercise   of   his   power   under   Section   319   of  the Code.                                                                          ........................J.

                                                                                                      (R.M. LODHA)

NEW DELHI;                                                     ........................J.

JANUARY 12, 2012                                        (H.L. GOKHALE)

 


 

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