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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sec.482 Quashing of summons issued and criminal proceedings - sec.192,200,201 and 202 Cr.P.C.-Accused out of jurisdiction does not contemplate any separate recording system of evidence before taking cognizance under sec.202- Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, after receiving complaint under sec.200 transferred the same to another magistrate who examined the complainant and witness and after taking cognizance issued summons to accused - Challenged on the ground that the accused are out of jurisdiction and the magistrate has to give finding whether there is a prima faice case to proceed against the accused - High court dismissed the application - Apex court held that there is no separate mode or procedure except to examine the complainant and witness under sec.200 and after taking cognizance issued summons to the accused and confirmed the order of high court and dismissed the special leave petition = VIJAY DHANUKA ETC. …APPELLANTS VERSUS NAJIMA MAMTAJ ETC. …RESPONDENTS = 2014 (March . Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41357

Sec.482 Quashing of summons issued and criminal proceedings - sec.192,200,201 and 202 Cr.P.C.-Accused out of jurisdiction does not contemplate any separate recording system of evidence before taking cognizance under sec.202 -  Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, after receiving complaint under sec.200 transferred the same to another magistrate who examined the complainant and witness and after taking cognizance issued summons to accused - Challenged on the ground that the accused are out of jurisdiction and the magistrate has to give finding whether there is a prima faice case to proceed against the accused - High court dismissed the application - Apex court held that there is no separate mode or procedure except to examine the complainant and witness under sec.200 and after taking cognizance issued summons to the accused and  confirmed the order of high court and dismissed the special leave petition =  

 Some of the accused persons, according to the allegation, took out a  pistol
from their bag and put the same over the heads of the  complainant  and  her
husband. It is alleged that they assaulted the complainant and  her  husband
with fists and slaps and also abused them and  coerced  the  complainant  to
sign some papers and snatched away the suitcase containing some papers.  The
aforesaid complaint was filed on 1st  of  October,  2011  in  the  Court  of
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jangipur,  Murshidabad.   The  learned
Magistrate took cognizance of the offence and transferred the  case  to  the
Court of another Magistrate for inquiry and disposal.   On  receipt  of  the
record, the transferee Magistrate adjourned the case  to  31st  of  October,
2011.  On the said date, the complainant and  her  witnesses  were  present.
The complainant was examined on solemn affirmation  and  the  two  witnesses
namely Enamul Haque and Masud Ali were also examined.  Order dated  31st  of
October, 2011 shows that they were examined under Section 200  of  the  Code
of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as  the  “Code”).   The
transferee Magistrate, thereafter, adjourned the case for orders and on  the
adjourned date, i.e. 15th of November, 2011, he  directed  for  issuance  of
summons against the accused persons for offence under Section 323,  380  and
506 read with Section 34 of the IPC.  It is relevant here to state  that  in
the complaint, the residence of the  accused  has  been  shown  at  a  place
beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the Magistrate.=

Petitioners challenged the order  issuing  process  in  four  separate
applications filed under Section 482 of the  Code  before  the  High  Court,
inter alia, contending that 
the accused persons being residents of  an  area
outside the territorial jurisdiction  of  the  learned  Magistrate  who  had
issued summons, an inquiry within the meaning of Section  202  of  the  Code
was necessary.  
It was also contended that only after inquiry under  Section
202 of the Code,  the  learned  Magistrate  was  required  to  come  to  the
conclusion as to whether sufficient grounds  exist  for  proceeding  against
the accused persons.  
Said submission did not  find  favour  with  the  High
Court and by common order dated 19th of February, 2013, it rejected all  the
applications.  It is against this common order  that  the  petitioners  have
filed these special leave petitions.=

 It is evident from the aforesaid provision, every inquiry other than a
trial conducted by the Magistrate or Court is an inquiry.  No specific  mode
or manner of inquiry is provided under Section 202  of  the  Code.   In  the
inquiry envisaged under Section 202 of the Code, the witnesses are  examined
whereas under Section 200 of the Code, examination of the  complainant  only
is necessary with the option of examining the  witnesses  present,  if  any.
This exercise by the Magistrate, for the purpose of deciding whether or  not
there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the  accused,  is  nothing
but an inquiry envisaged under Section 202 of  the  Code.   In  the  present
case,  as  we  have  stated  earlier,  the  Magistrate  has   examined   the
complainant on solemn affirmation and the two witnesses and only  thereafter
he had directed for issuance         of process.






      In view of what we have observed above, we do not find  any  error  in
the order impugned.




      In the result, we do not find any merit in the appeals  and  the  same
are dismissed accordingly.

2014 (March . Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41357
CHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD, PINAKI CHANDRA GHOSE
                                                                  REPORTABLE


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                     CRIMINAL APPEAL NOS.678-681 OF 2014
(@SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) NOS.5090-5093 of 2013)



VIJAY DHANUKA ETC.                            …APPELLANTS

                                   VERSUS

NAJIMA MAMTAJ ETC.                              …RESPONDENTS



                               J U D G M E N T



CHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD,J.


      Petitioners have been summoned in a complaint case for  commission  of
offence under Section 323, 380 and 506 read with Section 34  of  the  Indian
Penal Code, hereinafter referred to as “the IPC”. Respondent No. 1  filed  a
complaint in the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate at  Jangipur,
Murshidabad on 1st of October, 2011, who  after  taking  cognizance  of  the
same, transferred  the  complaint  to  the  Court  of  Judicial  Magistrate,
Jangipur, Murshidabad for inquiry and disposal.




      According to the allegation in the complaint  petition,  accused  no.1
Rajdip Dey is sub-broker of  Karvy  Stock  Broking  Limited;  whereas  other
accused persons are its officials posted  at  Kolkata  and  Hyderabad.   The
complainant alleged to be its investor and claimed to have purchased  shares
from Karvi Stock  Broking  Ltd.  through  the  sub-broker,  accused  No.  1.
According to the complaint, a dispute arose over trading of  shares  between
the complainant and the accused persons and to settle the on-going  dispute,
the accused persons offered a proposal to the complainant who  consented  to
it and accordingly, on 11th of September, 2011, accused persons  visited  at
her residence at Raghunathganj Darbeshpara to have  a  discussion  with  the
complainant and her husband. According to  the  allegation,  the  discussion
did not yield any result and the accused persons started shouting  at  them.
Some of the accused persons, according to the allegation, took out a  pistol
from their bag and put the same over the heads of the  complainant  and  her
husband. It is alleged that they assaulted the complainant and  her  husband
with fists and slaps and also abused them and  coerced  the  complainant  to
sign some papers and snatched away the suitcase containing some papers.  The
aforesaid complaint was filed on 1st  of  October,  2011  in  the  Court  of
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jangipur,  Murshidabad.   The  learned
Magistrate took cognizance of the offence and transferred the  case  to  the
Court of another Magistrate for inquiry and disposal.   On  receipt  of  the
record, the transferee Magistrate adjourned the case  to  31st  of  October,
2011.  On the said date, the complainant and  her  witnesses  were  present.
The complainant was examined on solemn affirmation  and  the  two  witnesses
namely Enamul Haque and Masud Ali were also examined.  Order dated  31st  of
October, 2011 shows that they were examined under Section 200  of  the  Code
of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as  the  “Code”).   The
transferee Magistrate, thereafter, adjourned the case for orders and on  the
adjourned date, i.e. 15th of November, 2011, he  directed  for  issuance  of
summons against the accused persons for offence under Section 323,  380  and
506 read with Section 34 of the IPC.  It is relevant here to state  that  in
the complaint, the residence of the  accused  has  been  shown  at  a  place
beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the Magistrate.


      Petitioners challenged the order  issuing  process  in  four  separate
applications filed under Section 482 of the  Code  before  the  High  Court,
inter alia, contending that the accused persons being residents of  an  area
outside the territorial jurisdiction  of  the  learned  Magistrate  who  had
issued summons, an inquiry within the meaning of Section  202  of  the  Code
was necessary.  It was also contended that only after inquiry under  Section
202 of the Code,  the  learned  Magistrate  was  required  to  come  to  the
conclusion as to whether sufficient grounds  exist  for  proceeding  against
the accused persons.  Said submission did not  find  favour  with  the  High
Court and by common order dated 19th of February, 2013, it rejected all  the
applications.  It is against this common order  that  the  petitioners  have
filed these special leave petitions.


      Leave granted.


      Mr. Jaideep Gupta, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf  of  the
appellants submits that the accused persons admittedly were  residing  at  a
place beyond  the  area  in  which  the  learned  Magistrate  exercised  his
jurisdiction, hence, an inquiry under Section 202 of the Code was  sine  qua
non.  He submits that in the present case, the learned  Magistrate  has  not
held inquiry as envisaged under Section 202 of the Code.


      Ms. Nidhi, learned  counsel  representing  respondent  no.1,  however,
submits that, in fact, the learned Magistrate  before  issuing  the  process
has held an inquiry  contemplated  under  the  law  and  the  order  issuing
process cannot be faulted on the ground that no inquiry was held.   In  view
of the rival submissions, we deem it expedient to examine the scheme of  the
Code.


      In the present case, we are  concerned  with  an  order  passed  in  a
complaint case.   Section  190  of  the  Code  provides  for  cognizance  of
offences by Magistrates and the same reads as follows:


           “190. Cognizance of offences by Magistrates.-(1) Subject to  the
           provisions of this Chapter, any Magistrate of the  first  class,
           and any Magistrate of the second class  specially  empowered  in
           this behalf under sub-section(2), may  take  cognizance  of  any
           offence-


                 (a)upon receiving a complaint  of  facts  which  constitute
                 such offence;


                 (b)upon a police report of such facts;


                 (c)upon information received from any person other  than  a
                 police officer,  or  upon  his  own  knowledge,  that  such
                 offence has been committed.


           (2) The Chief Judicial Magistrate may empower any Magistrate  of
           the second class to take cognizance under sub-section(1) of such
           offences as are within his competence to inquire into or try.”


      Section 190 of the Code finds place in Chapter XIV and from its  plain
reading, it is evident that the competent Magistrate, inter alia,  may  take
cognizance of any offence, subject to the provisions of  Chapter  XIV,  upon
receiving a complaint of facts which constitute an offence.  Section 192  of
the Code empowers any Chief Judicial Magistrate to  transfer  the  case  for
inquiry after taking cognizance to a  competent  Magistrate  subordinate  to
him.  In the  present  case,  on  receipt  of  the  complaint,  the  learned
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in exercise of the power under  Section
192 of the Code, after taking cognizance of the offence, had made  over  the
case for inquiry and disposal to the transferee Magistrate.   Section  12(2)
of the Code confers on Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate the same  powers
as that of a Chief Judicial Magistrate.  Hence, transfer of the case by  the
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate after taking cognizance of the case  to
transferee Magistrate for inquiry and disposal is  perfectly  in  tune  with
the  provisions  of  the  Code.   The  transferee  Magistrate,   thereafter,
examined the complainant and her witnesses and only  thereafter  issued  the
process.

      Section 200 of the Code, inter alia, provides for examination  of  the
complainant on oath and the  witnesses  present,  if  any.   Same  reads  as
follows:

1 “200. Examination of complainant. – A Magistrate taking cognizance  of  an
           offence on complaint shall examine upon oath the complainant and
           the witnesses  present,  if  any,  and  the  substance  of  such
           examination shall be reduced to writing and shall be  signed  by
           the complainant and the witnesses, and also by the Magistrate:

           Provided that, when  the  complaint  is  made  in  writing,  the
           Magistrate need not examine the complainant and the witnesses-
           (a) If a public servant acting  or  purporting  to  act  in  the
           discharge of his  official  duties  or  a  court  has  made  the
           complaint; or
           (b) If the Magistrate makes over the case for inquiry, or  trial
           to another Magistrate under section 192:
           Provided further that if the Magistrate makes over the  case  to
           another  Magistrate  under  section  192  after  examining   the
           complainant and the witnesses, the latter Magistrate need not re-
           examine them.”


      Under Section 200 of the Code, on presentation of the complaint by  an
individual,  other  than  public  servant  in   certain   contingency,   the
Magistrate is required to examine the complainant on solemn affirmation  and
the witnesses present, if any.  Thereafter, on perusal  of  the  allegations
made  in  the  complaint,  the  statement  of  the  complainant  on   solemn
affirmation  and  the  witnesses  examined,  if  any,  various  options  are
available to him.  If he is satisfied  that  the  allegations  made  in  the
complaint and statements of  the  complainant  on  oath  and  the  witnesses
constitute  an  offence,  he  may  direct  for  issuance   of   process   as
contemplated under Section 204 of the Code.  In case, the Magistrate  is  of
the opinion that there is no sufficient ground for  proceeding,  the  option
available to him is to dismiss the complaint under Section 203 of the  Code.
 If on examination  of  the  allegations  made  in  the  complaint  and  the
statement of  the  complainant  on  solemn  affirmation  and  the  witnesses
examined, the Magistrate is of the  opinion  that  there  is  no  sufficient
ground for proceeding, the option available to him is to postpone the  issue
of process and either inquire the case himself or direct  the  investigation
to be made by a police officer or by any other  person  as  he  thinks  fit.
This option is also available  after  the  examination  of  the  complainant
only. However, in a case in which the accused is residing at a place  beyond
the area in which the  Magistrate  exercises  his  jurisdiction  whether  it
would be mandatory to hold inquiry or the investigation  as  he  thinks  fit
for the purpose of deciding whether or not there is  sufficient  ground  for
proceeding,  is  the  question  which  needs  our  determination.   In  this
connection, it is apt to refer to Section 202 of  the  Code  which  provides
for postponement of issue of process.  The same reads as follows:


           “202. Postponement of issue of process.-(1) Any  Magistrate,  on
           receipt of a complaint of an offence of which he  is  authorised
           to take cognizance or which has been  made  over  to  him  under
           section 192, may, if he thinks fit, and shall, in a  case  where
           the accused is residing at a place beyond the area in  which  he
           exercises his jurisdiction postpone the issue of process against
           the accused, and either inquire into the case himself or  direct
           an investigation to be made by a police officer or by such other
           person as he thinks fit, for the purpose of deciding whether  or
           not there is sufficient ground for proceeding:


                 Provided that no such direction for investigation shall be
           made-


                 (a)where it appears to  the  Magistrate  that  the  offence
                 complained of  is  triable  exclusively  by  the  Court  of
                 Sessions; or


                 (b)where the complaint has not been made by a Court, unless
                 the complainant and the witnesses  present,  if  any,  have
                 been examined on oath under Section 200.


           (2) In an inquiry under sub-section(1), the Magistrate  may,  if
           he thinks fit, take evidence of witness on oath:


                 Provided that if it appears to  the  Magistrate  that  the
           offence complained of is triable exclusively  by  the  court  of
           Session, he shall call upon the complainant to produce  all  his
           witnesses and examine them on oath.


           (3)   If an investigation under  sub-section(1)  is  made  by  a
           person not being a  police  officer,  he  shall  have  for  that
           investigation all the  powers  conferred  by  this  Code  on  an
           officer in charge of a police station except the power to arrest
           without warrant.”


                                                          (underlining ours)




      Section 202 of the Code, inter alia, contemplates postponement of  the
issue of the process “in a case where the accused is  residing  at  a  place
beyond the area in which he exercises his jurisdiction”  and  thereafter  to
either inquire into the case by himself or direct  an  investigation  to  be
made by a police officer or by such other person as he thinks fit.   In  the
face of it, what needs our determination is as to whether in  a  case  where
the accused is residing at a place beyond the area in which  the  Magistrate
exercises his jurisdiction, inquiry is mandatory or  not.   The  words  “and
shall, in a case where the accused is residing at a place  beyond  the  area
in which he exercises his jurisdiction” was inserted by Section 19  of  Code
of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act (Central Act 25 of 2005)  w.e.f.  23rd
of June, 2006. The aforesaid amendment, in the opinion of  the  legislature,
was essential as false complaints are filed against persons residing at  far
off places in order to harass them.  The note for  the  amendment  reads  as
follows:
            “False complaints are filed against persons residing at far off
           places simply to harass them. In  order  to  see  that  innocent
           persons are not harassed by unscrupulous  persons,  this  clause
           seeks to amend  sub-section  (1)  of  Section  202  to  make  it
           obligatory upon the Magistrate that before summoning the accused
           residing beyond his jurisdiction he shall enquire into the  case
           himself or direct investigation to be made by a  police  officer
           or by such other person  as  he  thinks  fit,  for  finding  out
           whether or  not  there  was  sufficient  ground  for  proceeding
           against the accused.”



      The use of the expression ‘shall’ prima facie makes the inquiry or the
investigation, as the case may be, by the Magistrate  mandatory.   The  word
“shall” is ordinarily mandatory  but  sometimes,  taking  into  account  the
context or the intention, it can be held to be directory.  The  use  of  the
word “shall” in all circumstances is not  decisive.   Bearing  in  mind  the
aforesaid principle, when we look to the intention of  the  legislature,  we
find that it is  aimed  to  prevent  innocent  persons  from  harassment  by
unscrupulous persons from false complaints.  Hence, in our opinion, the  use
of the expression “shall” and the background and the purpose for  which  the
amendment has been brought, we have no doubt in our  mind  that  inquiry  or
the investigation, as the case may  be,  is  mandatory  before  summons  are
issued against the accused living beyond  the  territorial  jurisdiction  of
the Magistrate.  In view of the decision of this Court in the case of   Udai
Shankar Awasthi v. State of Uttar Pradesh,(2013) 2 SCC 435, this point  need
not detain us any further as in the said case, this Court has  clearly  held
that the provision aforesaid is mandatory.   It  is  apt  to  reproduce  the
following passage from the said judgment:


           “40. The Magistrate  had  issued  summons  without  meeting  the
           mandatory requirement of Section 202 CrPC, though the appellants
           were outside his territorial jurisdiction.   The  provisions  of
           Section 202 CrPC were amended  vide  the  Amendment  Act,  2005,
           making it mandatory to postpone the issue of process  where  the
           accused resides in an area beyond the  territorial  jurisdiction
           of the Magistrate concerned.  The same was  found  necessary  in
           order  to  protect  innocent  persons  from  being  harassed  by
           unscrupulous  persons  and  making  it   obligatory   upon   the
           Magistrate to enquire  into  the  case  himself,  or  to  direct
           investigation to be made by a police officer, or by  such  other
           person as he thinks fit for the purpose of finding  out  whether
           or not, there was sufficient ground for proceeding  against  the
           accused before issuing summons in such cases.”


                                                          (underlining ours)


      In view of our answer to the aforesaid  question,  the  next  question
which falls for our determination is whether the learned  Magistrate  before
issuing summons has held the inquiry as mandated under Section  202  of  the
Code.  The word “inquiry” has been defined under Section 2(g) of  the  Code,
the same reads as follows:


           “2.       xxx          xxx        xxx
           (g)”inquiry” means every inquiry, other than a trial,  conducted
           under this Code by a Magistrate or Court;


                       xxx         xxx        xxx”




      It is evident from the aforesaid provision, every inquiry other than a
trial conducted by the Magistrate or Court is an inquiry.  No specific  mode
or manner of inquiry is provided under Section 202  of  the  Code.   In  the
inquiry envisaged under Section 202 of the Code, the witnesses are  examined
whereas under Section 200 of the Code, examination of the  complainant  only
is necessary with the option of examining the  witnesses  present,  if  any.
This exercise by the Magistrate, for the purpose of deciding whether or  not
there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the  accused,  is  nothing
but an inquiry envisaged under Section 202 of  the  Code.   In  the  present
case,  as  we  have  stated  earlier,  the  Magistrate  has   examined   the
complainant on solemn affirmation and the two witnesses and only  thereafter
he had directed for issuance         of process.






      In view of what we have observed above, we do not find  any  error  in
the order impugned.




      In the result, we do not find any merit in the appeals  and  the  same
are dismissed accordingly.




                                  ………………………………………………………………J
                                                             (CHANDRAMAULI
                                  KR. PRASAD)






                                                   ………………………………………………………………J

                                        (PINAKI CHANDRA GHOSE)
NEW DELHI,
MARCH 27, 2014.

                                                     -----------------------
18


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