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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

High Court of Judicature at Madras in a petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (for brevity, 'Cr.P.C.') bearing Crl.O.P.No.707 of 2014 preferred by the de facto complainant, respondent no.1 herein, whereby the Crime No.147 of 2009 has been treated as pending before the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu and as such transferred to the file of CBCID, Chennai for investigation.

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                      CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.  461 OF 2015
                [Arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.)No.5746 of 2014]

M. Mahendar Kumar                                        .....Appellant

      Versus

M. Mani & Ors.                                        .....Respondents



                               J U D G M E N T


SHIVA KIRTI SINGH, J.

Heard learned counsel for the parties.  Leave granted.
The appellant is an accused in a complaint  case  bearing  Crime  No.147  of
2009 pending in the file of learned Judicial  Magistrate  at  Gingee,  Tamil
Nadu.  He is aggrieved by impugned order  dated  10.01.2014  passed  by  the
High Court of Judicature at Madras in a petition under Section  482  of  the
Code of Criminal Procedure (for brevity, 'Cr.P.C.')  bearing  Crl.O.P.No.707
of 2014 preferred by the  de  facto  complainant,  respondent  no.1  herein,
whereby the Crime No.147 of 2009 has been  treated  as  pending  before  the
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Villupuram  District,  Tamil  Nadu  and  as
such transferred to the file of CBCID, Chennai  for investigation.
The facts relevant for deciding  this  appeal  may  be  noted  in  brief  as
follows.   The  first  respondent,  Mr.  Mani,   an   assistant   of   Thiru
Kadambapathy Thiru Madam/Mutt lodged a  complaint  with  the  Sathyamangalam
Police Station alleging that unknown persons had stolen jewels of the  Mutt.
 His complaint led to F.I.R.  No.147  of  2009  registered  against  unknown
persons for offences under Sections 457, 380 and 394 of  Indian  Penal  Code
(IPC).  The de facto  complainant/respondent  no.1  subsequently  moved  the
High Court of Judicature at Madras for transfer of investigation  to  CBCID,
Chennai but such petition bearing Crl.O.P.No.21269 of 2010 was  rejected  by
the High Court on 22.02.2011.  In the meantime, the investigation  had  been
transferred to Inspector of Police, Valathi Police Station and again it  was
transferred by the DIG,  Villupuram  to  Deputy  Superintendent  of  Police,
District Crime Branch Villupuram who completed the investigation  and  filed
a chargesheet on 26.01.2012 against 11 persons.  The  appellant  is  accused
no.9 in P.R.C.No.4 of 2012 on  the  file  of  learned  Judicial  Magistrate,
Gingee, Tamil Nadu.  According to appellant, the allegation against  him  is
of being a receiver of stolen goods attracting Section 412 of the IPC.   The
learned  Magistrate  issued  process  in  said  P.R.C.  No.4  of   2012   on
02.03.2012.  The de facto complainant,  respondent  no.1  moved  a  petition
under Section 173(8)  of  Cr.P.C.  before  the  learned  Magistrate  bearing
Crl.M.P.No.3602 of 2012 and prayed for allowing further  investigation  into
the case by CBCID.  The said petition was rejected by the  learned  Judicial
Magistrate on 29.06.2012 by holding that the de facto  complainant  was  not
competent  to  maintain  such  an  application  for  further  investigation.
Against that order respondent no.1 preferred Crl. Revision Petition  bearing
Crl.R.C. No.1283 of 2012 before the High Court of Madras which  came  to  be
dismissed    on    07.11.2012.     Respondent    no.1     then     preferred
S.L.P.(Crl.)No.2156 of 2013 against  the  order  of  the  High  Court  dated
07.11.2012 and the same was also dismissed on 08.04.2013.
Respondent no.1 made allegations against the first Investigating Officer  of
the case Mr.  N.  Gajendran,  Inspector  of  Police,  Sathyamangalam  Police
Station before the learned Chief Judicial  Magistrate,  Villupuram  that  he
had committed malpractice  and  illegality  during  investigation  of  Crime
No.147 of 2009.   Dissatisfied  by  inaction  on  the  part  of  Magistrate,
respondent no.1 filed Crl.O.P.No.18904 of 2012 before Madras High  Court  in
which order was passed  on  13.08.2012  and  the  High  Court  directed  the
Superintendent of Police, Villupuram to register a case against  the  former
Investigating Officer named above.   This  led  to  registering  of  FIR  in
Sathyamangalam Police Station on 18.09.2012 as Crime No.180  of  2012  under
Sections 196, 206, 218,  219,  221  and  471  of  the  IPC  against  Mr.  N.
Gajendran.  Respondent no.1 filed another Crl.O.P.No.28305  of  2012  before
the High Court of Madras which was allowed on 10.12.2012 and the High  Court
directed the CBCID, Chennai to investigate that case.
In the aforesaid facts and circumstances  respondent  no.1,  after  about  8
months of dismissal of Special Leave Petition on 08.04.2013,  in  the  month
of January 2014 filed the case at hand being Crl.O.P.No.707 of  2014  before
the High Court again seeking transfer of investigation of  Crime  No.147  of
2009 from DSP, Crime Branch, to CBCID, Chennai so  that  such  investigation
may go along with investigation in Crime No.180 of 2012 pending against  the
former Investigating Officer.
The appellant or other accused persons were not made parties  to  this  case
and it was  allowed  by  the  impugned  order  dated  10.01.2014  by  simply
believing  the  statement  made  by  respondent  no.1  which   created   the
impression that the matter was still pending  before  the  police  authority
when in fact chargesheet had  already  been  submitted  long  back  and  the
accused persons had also been summoned.  A copy  of  the  Crl.O.P.No.707  of
2014 is available on record and a perusal thereof  reveals  that  respondent
no.1 omitted to disclose  that  his  prayer  under  Section  173(8)  of  the
Cr.P.C. for further investigation by CBCID  had  been  turned  down  by  the
concerned Magistsrate; that order was affirmed by the  High  Court  and  his
S.L.P. against the same had also been dismissed by this Court.
In the aforesaid facts and circumstances, learned counsel for the  appellant
has submitted that the impugned order has been obtained  by  suppression  of
relevant  facts  and  the  High  Court  also  erred  in  allowing  such   an
application under Section 482, Cr.P.C. because in  absence  of  the  accused
persons nobody pointed out  that  there  was  specific  provision  available
under Section 173(8) of the Cr.P.C. for ordering further  investigation  and
hence the High Court ought not  to  have  exercised  extraordinary  inherent
jurisdiction in view of specific provision in the  Cr.P.C.  being  available
for the purpose.
On the other hand, learned counsel for the respondent  no.1  submitted  that
the impugned  order  would  advance  the  cause  of  justice  and  therefore
requires no interference by this Court.  However,  he  could  not  meet  the
allegation  and  the  submission  that  respondent  no.1  did  not  disclose
material facts which could have revealed that his  earlier  application  for
further investigation by CBCID had been  rejected  at  all  stages  and  the
S.L.P. had also been dismissed by this Court.  The  impugned  order  further
discloses that the learned Single Judge was not  properly  assisted  in  the
matter and he could not notice that Crime  No.147  of  2009  was  no  longer
pending in the file of Dy.S.P. of  Police  or  any  other  police  authority
because investigation had been completed and chargesheet was submitted  long
back.  It was clearly  on  account  of  non  application  of  mind  to  such
relevant fact that the impugned order came  to  be  passed  at  the  initial
stage of admission without noticing any counter affidavit  or  reply  and/or
its absence.
In the aforesaid facts and circumstances, we are constrained to  and  hereby
set  aside  the  impugned  order  as  it  has  been  passed  on  account  of
suppression of material facts  and  under  a  wrong  impression  that  Crime
No.147 of 2009 was still  pending  before  the  police  authorities  at  the
investigation stage.  Accordingly, the appeal stands allowed.



................................................................J.
    [FAKKIR MOHAMED IBRAHIM KALIFULLA]




................................................................J.
           [SHIVA KIRTI SINGH]

New Delhi.
March 17, 2015.
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