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Sunday, July 6, 2014

FIR and protest complaint - police filed charge sheet - Magistrate dismissed the complaint under sec. 203 - Revision filed - only hearing complainant , the High court set aside the order of Magistrate without hearing the accused.= Apex court set aside the order of High court and held that under sec.401 Cr.P.C. while hearing the complainant an opportunity should be given to the accused The right given to "accused" or "the other person" under S. 401(2) of being heard before the revisional court to defend an order which operates in his favour should not be confused with the proceedings before a Magistrate under Sections 200, 202, 203 and 204. In the revision petition before the High Court or the Sessions Judge at the instance of the complainant challenging the order of dismissal of complaint, one of the things that could happen is reversal of the order of the Magistrate and revival of the complaint. It is in this view of the matter that the accused or other person cannot be deprived of hearing on the face of the express provision contained in S. 401(2) of the Code. The stage is not important whether it is pre-process stage or post process stage.= Bal Manohar Jalan … Appellant(s) versus Sunil Paswan and another … Respondent(s) = 2014 July part http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41704

FIR and protest complaint - police filed charge sheet - Magistrate dismissed the complaint under sec. 203 - Revision filed - only hearing complainant , the High court set aside the order of Magistrate without hearing the accused.= Apex court set aside the order of High court and held that under sec.401 Cr.P.C. while hearing the complainant an opportunity should be given to the accused The right given to  "accused"  or  "the  other  person"
under S. 401(2) of being heard before the  revisional  court  to  defend  an
order which  operates  in  his  favour  should  not  be  confused  with  the
proceedings before a Magistrate under Sections 200, 202,  203  and  204.  In
the revision petition before the High Court or the  Sessions  Judge  at  the
instance  of  the  complainant  challenging  the  order  of   dismissal   of
complaint, one of the things that could happen is reversal of the  order  of
the Magistrate and revival of the complaint. It  is  in  this  view  of  the
matter that the accused or other person cannot be  deprived  of  hearing  on
the face of the express provision contained in S. 401(2) of the  Code.   The
stage is not important whether it  is  pre-process  stage  or  post  process
stage.=

The father of the respondent No.1 herein filed  a  complaint  on
24.5.2003 against five  accused  persons  alleging  therein  that  they  had
committed  murder  of  son  of  the  complainant  by  name  Anil  Paswan  by
administering poison.  A case was registered  in  First  Information  Report
No.96 of 2003 on the file of Chowk Police Station, Patna City, on  28.5.2003
against 5 accused persons for the alleged offences under Section  328/302/34
IPC. During investigation, the  complainant  filed  a  protest-cum-complaint
petition on 7.6.2003 which was kept on  record.  The  investigation  officer
submitted the final report in the case on  31.5.2008  against  accused  No.1
Sunita Devi alone under Section 328/302 IPC for the murder of  Anil  Paswan.
The Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Patna City,  perused  the  charge-sheet
and the case diary as  well  as  the  protest-cum-complaint  petition  dated
7.6.2003 and took cognizance for the  offences  under  Section  328/302  IPC
against accused No.1 Sunita Devi and discharged accused Nos. 2 to 5  in  the
First Information  Report  from  the  case  and  rejected  the  protest-cum-
complaint petition filed by the complainant by  his  order  dated  4.3.2009.
Aggrieved by the  rejection  of  the  protest-cum-complaint  petition  Sunil
Paswan, the  son  of  complainant  late  Harinandan  Paswan  filed  revision
petition in Criminal Revision No.830 of 2009 on the file of the  High  Court
of Judicature  at Patna under Section 397 and 401 of the  Code  of  Criminal
Procedure.  The High Court after hearing the  revision  petitioner  and  the
respondent State set aside  the order dated 4.3.2009 passed by  Addl.  Chief
Judicial Magistrate, Patna City and remanded the matter to the  court  below
for proceeding in accordance with  law  treating  the  protest-cum-complaint
petition as a complaint.=
 In a case where the complaint has been dismissed by the Magistrate  u/s.
203 of the Code either at the stage of S. 200 itself  or  on  completion  of
inquiry by the Magistrate u/s. 202 or on receipt  of  the  report  from  the
police or  from  any  person  to  whom  the  direction  was  issued  by  the
Magistrate to investigate into the allegations in the complaint, the  effect
of such dismissal is  termination  of  complaint  proceedings.  On  a  plain
reading of sub-s. (2) of Section 401, it cannot  be  said  that  the  person
against whom the allegations of having committed the offence have been  made
in the complaint and the complaint has  been  dismissed  by  the  Magistrate
under Section 203, has no right to be heard  because  no  process  has  been
issued. The dismissal of complaint by the Magistrate u/s.  203  although  it
is at preliminary stage nevertheless results in termination  of  proceedings
in a complaint against the persons who are alleged  to  have  committed  the
crime. Once a challenge is laid  to  such  order  at  the  instance  of  the
complainant in a revision petition before the High  Court  or  the  Sessions
Judge, by virtue of S. 401(2) of the Code  the suspects  get  the  right  of
hearing before the revisional court although such order was  passed  without
their participation. The right given to  "accused"  or  "the  other  person"
under S. 401(2) of being heard before the  revisional  court  to  defend  an
order which  operates  in  his  favour  should  not  be  confused  with  the
proceedings before a Magistrate under Sections 200, 202,  203  and  204.  In
the revision petition before the High Court or the  Sessions  Judge  at  the
instance  of  the  complainant  challenging  the  order  of   dismissal   of
complaint, one of the things that could happen is reversal of the  order  of
the Magistrate and revival of the complaint. It  is  in  this  view  of  the
matter that the accused or other person cannot be  deprived  of  hearing  on
the face of the express provision contained in S. 401(2) of the  Code.   The
stage is not important whether it  is  pre-process  stage  or  post  process
stage.”

 In the result the impugned order of the High Court dated 18.4.2011  is
set aside and the matter is remitted and the High Court shall  issue  notice
to all the  concerned  accused  and  thereafter  hear  and  dispose  of  the
criminal revision petition in accordance with law.  This appeal  is  allowed
accordingly.
2014 July part http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41704
                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                     CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1247   OF 2014
       [Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.5826 of 2011]


Bal Manohar Jalan                             …     Appellant(s)

                                   versus

Sunil Paswan and another                     …    Respondent(s)

                               J U D G M E N T



      C. NAGAPPAN, J.



1.    Leave granted.



2.    This appeal is preferred against the impugned  order  dated  18.4.2011
passed by the High Court of Judicature at Patna in Criminal Appeal  No.  830
of 2009 whereby the High Court allowed the Criminal Revision  filed  by  the
respondent No.1 herein.



3.    The facts necessary for the disposal of the present appeal are  stated
as follows: The father of the respondent No.1 herein filed  a  complaint  on
24.5.2003 against five  accused  persons  alleging  therein  that  they  had
committed  murder  of  son  of  the  complainant  by  name  Anil  Paswan  by
administering poison.  A case was registered  in  First  Information  Report
No.96 of 2003 on the file of Chowk Police Station, Patna City, on  28.5.2003
against 5 accused persons for the alleged offences under Section  328/302/34
IPC. During investigation, the  complainant  filed  a  protest-cum-complaint
petition on 7.6.2003 which was kept on  record.  The  investigation  officer
submitted the final report in the case on  31.5.2008  against  accused  No.1
Sunita Devi alone under Section 328/302 IPC for the murder of  Anil  Paswan.
The Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Patna City,  perused  the  charge-sheet
and the case diary as  well  as  the  protest-cum-complaint  petition  dated
7.6.2003 and took cognizance for the  offences  under  Section  328/302  IPC
against accused No.1 Sunita Devi and discharged accused Nos. 2 to 5  in  the
First Information  Report  from  the  case  and  rejected  the  protest-cum-
complaint petition filed by the complainant by  his  order  dated  4.3.2009.
Aggrieved by the  rejection  of  the  protest-cum-complaint  petition  Sunil
Paswan, the  son  of  complainant  late  Harinandan  Paswan  filed  revision
petition in Criminal Revision No.830 of 2009 on the file of the  High  Court
of Judicature  at Patna under Section 397 and 401 of the  Code  of  Criminal
Procedure.  The High Court after hearing the  revision  petitioner  and  the
respondent State set aside  the order dated 4.3.2009 passed by  Addl.  Chief
Judicial Magistrate, Patna City and remanded the matter to the  court  below
for proceeding in accordance with  law  treating  the  protest-cum-complaint
petition as a complaint.  Accused No.4 mentioned in  the  First  Information
Report Bal Manohar Jalan has challenged the said order of the High Court  in
this appeal.



4.    This Court issued notice in the matter on  1.8.2011  besides  granting
stay of the impugned order. Respondent  No.1  herein  namely,  the  revision
petitioner before the High Court, though served did  not  choose  to  appear
either in person or through counsel before this Court and that  necessitated
us to appoint Mr. S.B.  Upadhyay,  Senior  Advocate  as  Amicus  Curiae  for
respondent No.1 to assist the Court, by order dated 7.4.2014 and both  sides
were heard on 2.5.2014.



5.    The main contention of the learned counsel for the appellant  is  that
though Section 401(2) of the Criminal  Procedure  Code  stipulated  that  no
order in exercise of the power to revision shall be made by the  High  Court
to the prejudice of the accused unless he had an opportunity of being  heard
either personally or by pleader in his  own   defence,  the  High  Court  in
criminal revision did not issue  notice  to  the  appellant  herein  who  is
accused No.4 in the  First  Information  Report  and  without  providing  an
opportunity  to  him  has  exercised  jurisdiction  under  Section  401   by
directing  to proceed in accordance with law treating the  protest  petition
as the complaint, to the prejudice of the appellant  herein  and  hence  the
impugned order of the High Court is liable to be set aside.  In  support  of
his submission he relied on  the  decision  of  this  Court  in  Manharibhai
Muljibhai Kakadia and another vs. Shaileshbhai Mohanbhai  Patel  and  others
[(2012) 10 SCC 517].  We  also  heard  the  learned  amicus  curiae  on  the
submissions made by the learned counsel for the appellant.



6.    Admittedly the appellant herein is mentioned as accused No.4 in  First
Information Report No.96 of 2003 dated 28.5.2003. The father  of  respondent
No.1 herein,  while  alive  filed  a  protest-cum-complaint  petition  dated
7.6.2003 in the said case and on the filing of the final report,  cognizance
was taken by the  Addl.  Chief  Judicial  Magistrate  against  accused  No.1
Sunita Devi alone for the alleged offences under Section  328  and  302  IPC
and the other four accused mentioned in the First  Information  Report  were
discharged from the case and the  protest-cum-complaint  petition  was  also
rejected by order dated 4.3.2009.  Since by then, the  complainant  was  not
alive, his another son namely Sunil Paswan preferred the  Criminal  Revision
under Section 397 and 401 of the Criminal Procedure Code and the High  Court
without issuing notice to the concerned accused passed  the  impugned  order
and on the ground of non-compliance  of  the  provision  under  Section  401
clause (2) of the  Criminal  Procedure  Code  resulting  in  prejudice,  the
appellant has preferred this appeal.



7.    The right of hearing given to accused under Section 401 clause (2)  of
 Criminal Procedure Code  was  elaborately  dealt  with  by  this  Court  in
Manharibhai Muljibhai Kakadia case (supra) and it is laid down as follows:

“46. The legal position is fairly well-settled that in the proceedings  u/s.
202 of the code  the accused/suspect is not entitled  to  be  heard  on  the
question whether the process should be issued  against  him  or  not.  As  a
matter of law, upto the stage of issuance of  process,  the  accused  cannot
claim any right of hearing. S. 202 contemplates  postponement  of  issue  of
process where the Magistrate is of an opinion that further inquiry into  the
complaint either by himself is required and he  proceeds  with  the  further
inquiry or directs 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. If the Magistrate finds  that
there is  no  sufficient  ground  for  proceeding  with  the  complaint  and
dismisses the complaint u/s. 203 of  the Code, the  question  is  whether  a
person accused of crime in the complaint can claim right  of  hearing  in  a
revision application preferred by the complainant against the order  of  the
dismissal of the complaint.  Parliament being alive to  the  legal  position
that the accused/suspects are not entitled to be heard at any stage  of  the
proceedings until issuance of process under  Section  204,  yet  in  Section
401(2) of the Code provided that no order in exercise of the  power  of  the
revision shall be made by the Sessions Judge or the High Court, as the  case
may be, to the prejudice of the accused or the other person  unless  he  had
an opportunity of being heard either personally or by  pleader  in  his  own
defence.

47.     xxxx       xxxx      xxxx


48. In a case where the complaint has been dismissed by the Magistrate  u/s.
203 of the Code either at the stage of S. 200 itself  or  on  completion  of
inquiry by the Magistrate u/s. 202 or on receipt  of  the  report  from  the
police or  from  any  person  to  whom  the  direction  was  issued  by  the
Magistrate to investigate into the allegations in the complaint, the  effect
of such dismissal is  termination  of  complaint  proceedings.  On  a  plain
reading of sub-s. (2) of Section 401, it cannot  be  said  that  the  person
against whom the allegations of having committed the offence have been  made
in the complaint and the complaint has  been  dismissed  by  the  Magistrate
under Section 203, has no right to be heard  because  no  process  has  been
issued. The dismissal of complaint by the Magistrate u/s.  203  although  it
is at preliminary stage nevertheless results in termination  of  proceedings
in a complaint against the persons who are alleged  to  have  committed  the
crime. Once a challenge is laid  to  such  order  at  the  instance  of  the
complainant in a revision petition before the High  Court  or  the  Sessions
Judge, by virtue of S. 401(2) of the Code  the suspects  get  the  right  of
hearing before the revisional court although such order was  passed  without
their participation. The right given to  "accused"  or  "the  other  person"
under S. 401(2) of being heard before the  revisional  court  to  defend  an
order which  operates  in  his  favour  should  not  be  confused  with  the
proceedings before a Magistrate under Sections 200, 202,  203  and  204.  In
the revision petition before the High Court or the  Sessions  Judge  at  the
instance  of  the  complainant  challenging  the  order  of   dismissal   of
complaint, one of the things that could happen is reversal of the  order  of
the Magistrate and revival of the complaint. It  is  in  this  view  of  the
matter that the accused or other person cannot be  deprived  of  hearing  on
the face of the express provision contained in S. 401(2) of the  Code.   The
stage is not important whether it  is  pre-process  stage  or  post  process
stage.”




8.    In the present case challenge is laid to order dated 4.3.2009  at  the
instance of the complainant in the revision petition before the  High  Court
and by virtue of Section 401(2) of the Code, the accused  mentioned  in  the
First Information Report get the right  of  hearing  before  the  revisional
court  although  the  impugned  order  therein  was  passed  without   their
participation.  The appellant who is an accused person  cannot  be  deprived
of hearing on the face of the express provision contained in Section  401(2)
of the Code and on this ground, the impugned order  of  the  High  Court  is
liable to be set aside and the matter has to be remitted.



9.    Though other grounds such as charge-sheet having been  filed  and  the
cognizance has been taken against accused No.1, the protest petition  cannot
be treated as a complaint  warranting  an  independent  inquiry,  have  been
raised in this appeal, we do not deem it  necessary  to  consider  the  same
since we are remitting the matter for fresh consideration and it is open  to
the appellant to raise them before the High Court.



10.   In the result the impugned order of the High Court dated 18.4.2011  is
set aside and the matter is remitted and the High Court shall  issue  notice
to all the  concerned  accused  and  thereafter  hear  and  dispose  of  the
criminal revision petition in accordance with law.  This appeal  is  allowed
accordingly.



                                                             ..………………………….J.
                                        (T.S. Thakur)


                                                               ……………………………J.
                                        (C. Nagappan)
New Delhi;
June 30, 2014

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