Criminal Writ Petn. No. 414 of 1993. Case: Pandey Ajay Bhushan, Collector and District Magistrate, Jalgaon Vs Shri Sureshkumar Bhikamchand Jain. Bombay High Court

Case Number:Criminal Writ Petn. No. 414 of 1993
Party Name:Pandey Ajay Bhushan, Collector and District Magistrate, Jalgaon Vs Shri Sureshkumar Bhikamchand Jain
Counsel:For Petitioner: S. G. Page with D. U. Mirajkar, Advs. and For Respondents: A. W. Atre with N. H. Patil and L. L. Bendale, Advs.
Judges:M. S. Vaidya, J.
Issue:Criminal Procedure Code (2 of 1974) - Sections 482, 202, 204; Constitution of India - Article 227
Citation:1994 CriLJ 1726
Judgement Date:February 10, 1994
Court:Bombay High Court
 
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Judgment:

  1. The present petitioners were accused Nos.1, 3 and 4 in Criminal Case No.194/1993 which was initially numbered before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jalgaon as Criminal -Misc. Application No. 187/ 1993.

    The petitioners are the Collector and District Magistrate, the Additional Superintendent of Police and the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Jalgaon, respectively. The private complaint in question was filed by respondent No. 1 who happens to be the President of the Jalgaon Municipal Council.

  2. The unfortunate conflict between the aforesaid authorities had arisen because of certain move adopted by the complainant for demolition of the encroachments on public properties located at Jalgaon. There was a lot of commotion over that issue as a result of which, according to the petitioners, they had to intervene for maintenance of law and order in discharge of their respective official duties. It is averred in the complaint lodged by respondent No. 1 that when a particular encroachment was being pulled down, the officials, who were made accused in the case, sought to intervene in that matter and that, while stopping the work of removal of encroachment, they had mishandled the complainant i.e. the President of the Municipal Council and some other Municipal councillors who were present along with him at that time.

  3. After institution of the complaint, the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate passed an order dated 31-7-1993, for an enquiry by himself under S. 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Thereafter, it appears that, he had recorded some statements of the witnesses and had then passed the impugned order dated 8th September, 1993 under which the process was issued against the present petitioners for offences punishable under Ss. 353, 332, 323, 504, 506 read with S.34 of the Indian Penal Code. The offence punishable under S. 332/34 of the Indian Penal Code is punishable with imprisonment for three years or fine or both. Hence, presumably the procedure to be adopted at the trial is that prescribed by the Code for a "warrant case".

  4. It is this order which is sought to be challenged in this Writ Petition in exercise of the powers of the High Court under Art. 227 of the Constitution of India as well as S. 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. On 24-9-l993, this Court (Coram: N. P. Chapalgaonkar, J.) directed the Rule to be issued and granted interim relief staying the proceedings in the Court below. It was on this background that the matter was placed for hearing today.

  5. At the outset, Mr. Atre, learned Counsel for the respondent No. 1. raised a preliminary objection in this matter about maintainability of the proceedings; particularly in the light of two rulings, namely, Kailash Chaudhari v. State of U. P., 1994 Cr LJ 67 (Allahabad High Court), which was in itself a decision on the relevant point on the basis of ruling of the Supreme Court in K. M. Mathew v. State of Kerala (1992) 1 SCC 217: (1992 Cri LJ 3778). It was contended that there was no justification for the High Court to interfere in the matter; though; no doubt; the High Court had jurisdiction to do so, in the light of the aforesaid rulings. It was submitted that the case of the complainant cannot be prejudiced by the High Court on the basis of material placed before it by the respondents especially when the Magistrate himself had jurisdiction to re-examine the issue in the light of aforesaid rulings.

  6. Mr. Page appearing for the petitioners submitted on the basis of rulings in State of Haryana v. Bhajanlal, AIR 1992 SC 604: (1992 Cri LJ 527) that the High Court had jurisdiction to entertain and hear this matter in the interest of justice and to prevent abuse of process of law.


    7. Mr. Chaudhari, learned APP for the State, supported Shri Page,

  7. Arguments of the parties were heard at length. Indeed the influx of proceedings under S. 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (sometimes coupled with Art. 227 of the Constitution of India) has increased so much that a need is felt to lay down some regulatory principles. In cases liable as "summons cases" the Magistrates usually record the verification of the complaint and direct issuance of summons or warrant under S. 204 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In rare cases inquiry is directed under S. 202 of the Code. Somewhat similar is the position in the context of cases triable as "warrant cases" though the incidence of directing inquiry under S. 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, is little more. The orders for issuing summonses or...

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