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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sec.200 , 204, 208 and 210 and sec.319 of Cr.P.C. - Private complaint against 5 accused under Sections 302, 201 and 120B read with Section 34 of the IPC - Police killed her son - meanwhile human rights directed to register a case against accused police on complaint of human rights activists - FIR registered under Sections 147, 148, 149, 353, 307 and 326 of the Indian Penal Code (“the IPC”) and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act . - Magistrate took cognizance against 3 accused and refused to take cognizance as the Human right commission not order for registration of FIR against those - and further directed to Tag the complaint with the FIR under sec. 210 of Cr.P.C.- High court in revision - set aside the order of Magistrate and directed the Magistrate to commit the case to sessions court under sec.208 of Cr.P.C. with observation if necessary the sessions court can take cognizance against them under sec.319 of Cr.P.C. - but the Magistrate issued arrest warrant wrongly against all, against it the aggrieved persons filed appeal before the sessions court - Sessions court rightly interpreted the orders of High court - but in revision, the High court set aside the orders of the Sessions court and passed disparage remarks against him - Apex court set aside the orders of High court and set aside the disparage remarks also stating that no court should pass adverse remarks against Lower authorities = Sujoy Kumar Chanda ... Appellant Vs. Damayanti Majhi & Anr. … Respondents = 2014(Feb.Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41250

Sec.200 , 204, 208 and 210 and sec.319 of Cr.P.C. - Private complaint against 5 accused under
Sections 302, 201 and 120B read  with  Section  34  of  the  IPC  - Police killed her son - meanwhile human rights directed to register a case against accused police on complaint of human rights activists - FIR registered under Sections 147, 148, 149, 353, 307 and 326 of  the  Indian  Penal  Code  (“the IPC”) and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act  . -  Magistrate took cognizance against 3 accused and refused to take cognizance as the Human right commission not order for registration of FIR against those - and further directed to Tag the complaint with the FIR under sec. 210 of Cr.P.C.- High court in revision - set aside the order of  Magistrate and directed the Magistrate to commit the case to sessions court under sec.208 of Cr.P.C. with observation if necessary the sessions court can take cognizance against them under sec.319 of Cr.P.C. - but the Magistrate issued arrest warrant wrongly against all, against it the aggrieved persons filed appeal before the sessions court - Sessions court rightly interpreted the orders of High court - but in revision, the High court set aside the orders of the Sessions court and passed disparage remarks against him - Apex court set aside the orders of High court and set aside the disparage remarks also stating that no court should pass adverse remarks against Lower authorities =

Apex court conclusion
The Complaint Case No.  138C  of  1997  is  remitted  to  the  learned
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nadia. The Additional  Chief  Judicial
Magistrate shall commit it to the Court of  Sessions,  Nadia  in  accordance
with the provisions  of  the  Code.  Learned  Sessions  Judge,  Nadia  shall
immediately proceed with the case in accordance with the provisions  of  the
Code. Needless to say that if in the course of trial, it appears to  learned
Sessions Judge from the evidence that any person has committed  any  offence
for which he could be tried  together  with  the  accused,  he  may  proceed
against such person for the offences  which  such  person  appears  to  have
committed. Needless to say further that if from the evidence, it appears  to
learned Sessions Judge  that  the  present  appellants  have  committed  any
offence, he would be free to proceed against  them.  We,  however,  make  it
clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of  the  case  as
to whether  any  case  is  made  out  against  the  present  appellants  for
summoning them or not. It is for  learned  Sessions  Judge  to  decide  this
question independently and in accordance  with  law.  Considering  the  fact
that this matter is  pending  since  1997  and  involves  alleged  encounter
killing, we direct  learned  Sessions  Judge  to  dispose  of  the  case  as
expeditiously as possible.

Against disparage remarks
14.   Before parting, we wish to add a rider.  We feel that the  High  Court
should not have passed such harsh comments on learned Sessions Judge.   This
Court has repeatedly  stated  that  the  superior  courts  should  not  pass
caustic remarks on the subordinate courts.   Unless  the  facts  disclose  a
designed effort to frustrate the cause of justice with  malafide  intention,
harsh comments should not  be  made.   Bonafide  errors  should  not  invite
disparaging remarks.  Judges do commit errors.  Superior  courts  are  there
to correct such errors.   They  can  convey  their  anxiety  to  subordinate
courts  through  their  orders  which  should  be  authoritative   but   not
uncharitable.   Use  of  derogatory  language  should  be   avoided.    That
invariably has a demoralizing effect on the subordinate judiciary.


 2014(Feb.Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41250
RANJANA PRAKASH DESAI, MADAN B. LOKUR

                                                            NON-REPORTABLE
                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                       CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.273 OF 2006

Sujoy Kumar Chanda                ...        Appellant

      Vs.

Damayanti Majhi & Anr.            …          Respondents

                                     AND
                       CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.274 OF 2006

Sasanka Sekhar Banerjee                 …          Appellant

      Vs.

Damayanti Majhi & Anr.            …          Respondents

                                  JUDGMENT

(SMT.) RANJANA PRAKASH DESAI, J.

1.    Both these appeals are  directed  against  Judgment  and  Order  dated
7/6/2005 passed by the Calcutta High Court in C.R.R. No.3140  of  2004  and,
hence, they are being disposed of by this common order.


2.    The facts which give rise to this judgment need to be shortly  stated.



      One Khagen Majhi was killed in the early hours of  30/4/1997.  He  was
shot dead. On the same day P.S. Kalyani registered Case No.50 of 1997  under
Sections 147, 148, 149, 353, 307 and 326 of  the  Indian  Penal  Code  (“the
IPC”) and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act  against  unknown  persons.  On
17/5/1997, a complaint was filed by  Smt.  Damyanti  Majhi,  the  mother  of
deceased Khagen Majhi against SI Sankar Chatterjee, ASI Ajay Roy,  appellant
- S.K. Chanda, appellant  -  S.S.  Banerjee  and  one  Kartik  Sarkar  under
Sections 302, 201 and 120B read  with  Section  34  of  the  IPC  which  was
registered as Case No.138C of 1997.  In  this  case,  between  21/8/1997  to
6/6/2000, 12 witnesses were examined prior to the  issue  of  process  under
Sections 200 and 202 of the Criminal Procedure Code (“the Code”) by  learned
SDJM., Kalyani, Nadia.


3.    It appears that  Association  for  Protection  of  Democratic  Rights,
Ranaghat  Branch,  made  a  complaint  to  the  West  Bengal  Human   Rights
Commission alleging that some police officers had shot  down  Khagen  Majhi.
The West Bengal  Human  Rights  Commission  by  its  Order  dated  21/1/1998
recommended  that  prosecution  should  be  started   against   SI   Shankar
Chatterjee and ASI Ajoy Roy. The Commission  directed  that  displeasure  of
the Commission should be communicated, in writing, to the appellant  -  S.K.
Chanda, SDPO, Kalyani for having attempted to mislead the Commission by  his
Report which was not in alignment with facts.  There  was  no  direction  as
against appellant - S.S. Banerjee.  On  22/5/2000,  pursuant  to  the  above
recommendation of the Commission, P.S. Kalyani,  registered  Case  No.78  of
2000 against SI Shankar Chatterjee, ASI Ajoy Roy and  Kartick  Sarkar  under
Sections 147, 148, 149, 353, 307 and 326 of the IPC read  with  Sections  25
and 27 of the Arms Act. On 4/6/2000  upon  investigation,  charge-sheet  was
submitted against the abovementioned accused persons. On 31/7/2000,  learned
SDJM,  Kalyani  found  sufficient  ground  to  proceed  against  SI  Shankar
Chatterjee, ASI Ajoy Roy and Kartick Sarkar under  Sections  302  read  with
Section 120B or Section 304 read with Section  120B  and  Section  201  read
with Section 34 of  the  IPC.   Learned  SDJM,  however,  refused  to  issue
process against appellant - S.K.  Chanda  and  appellant  -  S.S.  Banerjee.
Since over the same incident, there was a police  case  also  against  those
three accused persons,  learned  Magistrate  directed  that  Complaint  Case
No.138C of 1997 be tagged  with  Police  Case  No.78  of  2000  for  further
proceedings. On 25/8/2000, the complainant filed  a  revisional  application
against the said Order dated 31/7/2000 passed by learned SDJM  being  C.R.R.
No.2174 of 2000 in the Calcutta High Court. The appellants  were  not  party
to this revisional application. On 23/7/2001, the High Court set  aside  the
Order of the learned Magistrate clubbing the complaint case with the  police
case and directed that the complaint case  be  committed  to  the  Court  of
Sessions. It would be appropriate to quote the relevant paragraphs from  the
Order of the High Court:-


           “Taking into account the entire facts and circumstances  of  the
      instant case, I am of the view that  the  learned  Magistrate’s  Order
      directing that both the cases should be clubbed together under Section
      210 of  the  said  Code  cannot  be  sustained  and  accordingly,  the
      Revisional Application is allowed.  The order dated  31/7/2000  passed
      by the learned Magistrate is set aside and the learned  Magistrate  is
      further  directed  to  commit  the  case  immediately   after   proper
      compliance of the provisions of  law  and  soon  reach  the  stage  of
      section 208 of the said Code”


                    xxx         xxx        xxx        xxx
           “It would be also open  to  the  Learned  Sessions  Judge,  upon
      commitment of the arrayed Accused/Opposite Parties during the Trial to
      arraign the other accused  who  has  been  left  out  by  the  Learned
      Magistrate, if the situation so demands in exercise of his power under
      Section 319 of the said Code in accordance with the steps known to law
      without being guided by the disposal of this Application.”




4.    It may be stated here that the said Order has not been  challenged  by
the State or any of the parties.


5.    It appears that Learned SDJM interpreted this order to mean  that  the
High Court had issued a direction to  it  to  proceed  against  the  present
appellants as well and on 5/1/2002, he issued warrant of arrest against  the
appellants and one Kartick Sarkar for offences under Sections 302,  201  and
120B read  with  Section  34  of  the  IPC.  On  14/1/2002,  the  appellants
preferred  a  revisional  application  before  the  learned  Sessions  Judge
challenging Order dated 5/1/2002.  By his  Order  dated  24/9/2004,  learned
Sessions Judge modified the Order of learned Magistrate dated 5/1/2002.

6.    Learned Sessions Judge considered all the facts in proper  perspective
and noted that learned Magistrate had by his earlier order  dated  31/7/2000
refused to  issue  process  against  S.K.  Chanda  and  S.S.  Banerjee  (the
appellants herein) and had passed order of clubbing the complaint case  with
the police case.  This order was challenged by Smt.  Damayanti  Majhi.   The
High Court set aside the clubbing  of  both  the  cases.   Learned  Sessions
Judge further noted that the  High  Court  directed  learned  Magistrate  to
commit the case immediately after compliance of the provisions of  the  Code
and reach the stage of Section 208 of  the  Code.   Learned  Sessions  Judge
further observed that the High Court had clarified that it would be open  to
learned Sessions Judge,  upon  commitment  of  the  case,  to  summon  those
accused who have been left out by learned  Magistrate  in  exercise  of  his
powers under Section 319 of the  Code.   Relevant  observations  of  learned
Sessions Judge need to be quoted.

      “It appears from order dated 31.7.2000 that Ld.  Magistrate  has  left
      out the accd. No.3 S.K. Chanda and  accd.  No.4  S.S.  Banerjee  while
      proceeding as per provisions of section 204 Cr.P.C.  Therefore in such
      circumstances and in view of specific observations  of  Hon’ble  Court
      stated above, the said left out accd. persons may be arraigned  during
      trial by the Ld. Sessions Judge U/s 319 of Cr.P.C. after commitment of
      the arrayed accd./O.Ps. i.e. accds. Sankar Chatterjee,  Ajoy  Roy  and
      accd. Kartick Sarkar since absconding who may be sent up during  trial
      if arrested.  But it appears from the impugned  order  dated  5.1.2002
      Ld. Magistrate has passed the order to issue W.A. against all named  5
      accd. persons including said S.K. Chanda and S.S.  Banerjee  who  have
      been left out by order dated 31.7.2000  as  observed  by  the  Hon’ble
      Court.”


           xxx              xxx              xxx


      “Considering  all  these  facts   and   circumstances   and   specific
      observations direction of the Hon'ble Court discussed above this Court
      find no reason to disagree  with  the  aforesaid  submissions  of  Ld.
      Lawyer of the Petitioner/revisionist and accordingly it is  held  that
      the impugned order dated 5.1.02 issuing W.A.  Against  the  petitioner
      and another is illegal and without jurisdiction and in gross violation
      of the direction of the Hon'ble Court and as such the said Order dated
      5.1.02 is not sustainable in law so far as the case of the  petitioner
      and another i.e. accd. No.3 S.K. Chanda and accd. No.4  S.S.  Banerjee
      is concerned and the impugned order is to be modified to  that  effect
      through interference by this revisional court. The instant Cr.  Motion
      is fit to be allowed.”


7.    Having perused this order, we are of  the  opinion  that  the  learned
Sessions Judge was right in saying that the order  passed  by  learned  SDJM
dated 5/1/2002 was  without  jurisdiction  and  in  violation  of  the  High
Court's earlier Order dated 23/7/2001.  In the facts of this  case,  learned
SDJM having once refused to issue process against the appellants,  he  could
not have recalled that order by a subsequent order.  In this connection,  we
may refer to the judgment of this Court  in  Bindeshwari  Prasad  Singh   v.
Kali Singh[1], where this Court has clarified that there  is  absolutely  no
provision in the Code empowering the  Magistrate  to  review  or  recall  an
order  passed  by  him.   This  view  has  been  reiterated  by  this  Court
thereafter in several authoritative pronouncements.


8.    We are also of the view  that  the  High  Court  in  its  order  dated
23/7/2001, did not issue any direction to the learned Magistrate to  proceed
against the appellants.   The  High  Court  only  set  aside  the  order  of
clubbing of the complaint case with the police case and observed that  after
commitment of the case, learned Sessions Judge could, if  the  situation  so
demands in exercise of his powers under Section  319  of  the  Code,  summon
other accused persons who have been left out by learned  Magistrate.   Thus,
learned Magistrate was to commit the case to  the  Sessions  Court  and  the
Sessions Court in its discretion could have  summoned  other  accused  under
Section 319 of the Code, if found necessary.  Learned Magistrate appears  to
have misconstrued the High Court’s order dated 23/7/2001 and taken it  as  a
direction to issue process against all the accused.


9.    The complainant being aggrieved by Order  dated  24/9/2004  passed  by
the Sessions Court filed a revisional  application  before  the  High  Court
against Order dated 24/9/2004 of learned Sessions  Judge.  By  the  impugned
order, the High Court  set  aside  the  order  of  the  Sessions  Court  and
restored the order of learned Magistrate dated 5/1/2002. It is  this  order,
which is challenged before us.


10.   While setting aside the order of  learned  Sessions  Judge,  the  High
Court has passed  caustic  comments  on  him,  which  in  our  opinion,  are
unwarranted.  Learned Sessions Judge  rightly  interpreted  the  High  Court
order dated  23/7/2001.   We  have  already  stated  the  reasons  for  this
conclusion drawn by us.  In fact, learned Sessions Judge  was  of  the  view
that the High Court’s order dated 23/7/2001  was  not  followed  by  learned
Magistrate and in that anxiety, he modified the said order.  We do  not  see
either any disrespect being shown to the High Court or any  casual  approach
being adopted by learned Sessions Judge.


11.   Having considered  the  facts  of  the  case  and  the  settled  legal
position, we are of the opinion that it would be appropriate  to  remit  the
matter to the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kalyani,  Nadia
for committal of the case to the Sessions Judge at District  Nadia  so  that
the case can proceed after the evidence is led.  If it  appears  to  learned
Sessions Judge that involvement of any person is evident, he can summon  the
appellants or any other persons under Section 319 of the  Code.   Hence,  we
pass the following order:-


12.   The impugned  Order  dated  7/6/2005  passed  by  the  High  Court  at
Calcutta is set aside.


13.   The Complaint Case No.  138C  of  1997  is  remitted  to  the  learned
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nadia. The Additional  Chief  Judicial
Magistrate shall commit it to the Court of  Sessions,  Nadia  in  accordance
with the provisions  of  the  Code.  Learned  Sessions  Judge,  Nadia  shall
immediately proceed with the case in accordance with the provisions  of  the
Code. Needless to say that if in the course of trial, it appears to  learned
Sessions Judge from the evidence that any person has committed  any  offence
for which he could be tried  together  with  the  accused,  he  may  proceed
against such person for the offences  which  such  person  appears  to  have
committed. Needless to say further that if from the evidence, it appears  to
learned Sessions Judge  that  the  present  appellants  have  committed  any
offence, he would be free to proceed against  them.  We,  however,  make  it
clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of  the  case  as
to whether  any  case  is  made  out  against  the  present  appellants  for
summoning them or not. It is for  learned  Sessions  Judge  to  decide  this
question independently and in accordance  with  law.  Considering  the  fact
that this matter is  pending  since  1997  and  involves  alleged  encounter
killing, we direct  learned  Sessions  Judge  to  dispose  of  the  case  as
expeditiously as possible.


14.   Before parting, we wish to add a rider.  We feel that the  High  Court
should not have passed such harsh comments on learned Sessions Judge.   This
Court has repeatedly  stated  that  the  superior  courts  should  not  pass
caustic remarks on the subordinate courts.   Unless  the  facts  disclose  a
designed effort to frustrate the cause of justice with  malafide  intention,
harsh comments should not  be  made.   Bonafide  errors  should  not  invite
disparaging remarks.  Judges do commit errors.  Superior  courts  are  there
to correct such errors.   They  can  convey  their  anxiety  to  subordinate
courts  through  their  orders  which  should  be  authoritative   but   not
uncharitable.   Use  of  derogatory  language  should  be   avoided.    That
invariably has a demoralizing effect on the subordinate judiciary.


15.   In this context, observations made by this Court in  K.P.  Tiwari   v.
State of M.P.[2] may be usefully referred to.

           “The higher courts every day come across  orders  of  the  lower
      courts which are not justified either in law or  in  fact  and  modify
      them or set them aside. That is one of the functions of  the  superior
      courts. Our legal system acknowledges the fallibility  of  the  judges
      and hence provides  for  appeals  and  revisions.  A  judge  tries  to
      discharge his duties to the best of  his  capacity.  While  doing  so,
      sometimes, he is likely to err... 'It is well said that  a  judge  who
      has not committed an error is yet to be  born.  And  that  applies  to
      judges at all levels from the lowest to the  highest.  Sometimes,  the
      difference in views of the higher and the lower  courts  is  purely  a
      result of a difference in approach and perception. On such  occasions,
      the lower courts are not  necessarily  wrong  and  the  higher  courts
      always right. It has also to be remembered  that  the  lower  judicial
      officers mostly work under a charged  atmosphere  and  are  constantly
      under a psychological pressure with  all  the  contestants  and  their
      lawyers almost breathing down their necks - more correctly upto  their
      nostrils. They do not have the benefit of a detached atmosphere of the
      higher courts to think  coolly  and  decide  patiently.  Every  error,
      however gross it may look, should not,  therefore,  be  attributed  to
      improper motive.”

16.   Again in Braj Kishore  Thakur   v.   Union  of  India[3],  this  Court
observed as under:


      “2.  Judicial  restraint  is  a  virtue.  A  virtue  which  shall   be
      concomitant of every judicial disposition. It is  an  attribute  of  a
      judge  which  he  is  obliged  to  keep  refurbished  time  to   time,
      particularly while dealing with matters before him whether in exercise
      of appellate or revisional or other supervisory  jurisdiction.  Higher
      courts  must  remind  themselves  constantly  that  higher  tiers  are
      provided in the judicial hierarchy to set  right  errors  which  could
      possibly have crept in the findings or orders of courts at  the  lower
      tiers. Such powers certainly not for  belching  diatribe  at  judicial
      personages in lower cadre. It is well  to  remember  the  words  of  a
      jurist that "a judge who has not committed any  error  is  yet  to  be
      born".


17.   We need not burden our judgment by quoting similar  observations  made
by this Court in several other judgments.  With this caution, we dispose  of
the appeals.




                                                               ………………………….J.
                                                     [Ranjana Prakash Desai]


                                                               ………………………….J.
                                                            [Madan B. Lokur]
New Delhi
February 20, 2014.


      -----------------------
[1]    (1977) 1 SCC 57
[2]    1994 Supp. (1) SCC 540
[3]    (1997) 4 SCC 65

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