Naresh Prasad Mittal vs Mahavir Singh-18/01/1960

In the case of Bansi v. Hari Singh, 1956 Cri LJ 561 : ((S) AIR 1956 All 297) it was observed at page 568 that by virtue of Section 426 Cr. P. C., the High Court in entertaining a revision against an order of a subordinate court has full power to stay or suspend the execution of any order for the pendency of the revision. Similar powers have now been given under Section 435 (1) Cr. P. C. to Sessions Judges.

Allahabad High Court

Naresh Prasad Mittal vs Mahavir Singh

DATE: 18 January, 1960


Bishambhar Dayal, J.

1. This is an appeal against 311 order of acquittal passed by the Additional District Magistrate of Bijnor dated 29-9-1958. The facts which have led to this order may be shortly stated as follows. Appellant Naresh Prasad filed a complaint against the respondent Mahabir Prasad under Sections 342 and 166 I. P. C. which was pending before a Magistrate. The complainant made a further application claiming that the facts disclosed an offence under Section 320 I. P. C, and that the procedure for an enquiry should be followed in the case, as it was a case triable by the Court of Session. This application was made on 23-9-1958. It was rejected by the learned Magistrate. A revision against this order was filed before the Sessions Judge. The Sessions Judge while admitting the revision passed the following order, “Stay pending revision” on 26-9-1958.

2. After this order had been passed by the leaped Sessions Judge, the case came up for hearing before the Magistrate on 29-9-1958. When the case was called up, learned counsel appearing for the complainant appeared before the court; in the circumstances it must be believed that he informed the learned Magistrate of the fact that further proceedings in the case had been stayed by the Session Judge. The Magistrate, however, passed the order which is now under appeal. In this order he has stated that the complainant was not present.

His counsel, however, came but since the complainant was not present, the complaint was dismissed and the accused was acquitted. It seems that the learned counsel finding the Magistrate not accepting his oral statement, made an application in writing and presented it to the court the same day. Upon this application, the Magistrate passed the following order, “Received after dismissal of the complaint. File.” The order passed by the Sessions Judge also reached the Court the same day and it has been noted upon a copy of this order, which is on file, that it was received at 4.25 P.M.

3. Upon these facts, the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant is that further proceedings in the case having been stayed by the Sessions Judge, the complainant was not bound to appear before the Magistrate, and the Magistrate having been informed by his counsel that further proceedings could be stayed, the Magistrate was wrong in dismissing the complaint and acquitting the accused.

4. Learned counsel for the respondent has1 contended two points. The first is that the learned Sessions Judge had himself no power to pass an order of stay as he has done. The order was therefore illegal and had no effect upon the case. In the second place, his contention is that it was the duty of the complainant to appear before the court on that date and to inform the court by means of an affidavit that the proceedings had been stayed; that not having been done, the Magistrate was justified in dismissing the complaint.

5. Having heard learned counsel for both the parties, the question really for consideration is whether the Magistrate had acted rightly in proceeding under Section 247 Cr. P. C. Upon a reading of Section 247 Cr. P. C. aforesaid, it is clear that the date on which a dismissal order can be passed, must be a date fixed for the appearance of the accused or any subsequent date to which the “hearing” may be adjourned. This would necessarily mean that it must be a date on which the case was to be heard. It cannot be held with any reason that a date on which nothing can be done in the case, is also a date to which the “hearing has been adjourned”.

If in a particular case, a date is fixed only for fixing another date and the complainant does not appear but his counsel appears, then on that date the complaint cannot be dismissed. The power given under the section must be exercised reasonably and only in a case where the complainant has failed to appear without any just cause. Another point to be noted in this section is that the complainant should not have appeared on that date at all. The section does not contemplate the appearance of the complainant at the moment when the case is called up.

Without saying that the court in every case must wait for the whole day before passing an order of dismissal, it must be said that the court will also not be justified in dismissing the complaint immediately upon calling the case and the complainant not appearing. A reasonable view has to be taken in every case and it depends upon the circumstances of each case whether the Magistrate has acted reasonably in passing the order or not and the High Court, when it finds that in any particular case the Magistrate acted unreasonably and has dismissed the complaint in a haste resulting in injustice, will set aside the order.

6. In this particular case, the facts as stated above clearly indicate that the complainant had not appeared because stay order had been passed by the learned Sessions Judge and in view of that order, it was not expected that the Magistrate would proceed with the hearing of the case. It cannot, therefore, be said that that date remained a date for the hearing of the case. The absence of the complainant, therefore, did not empower the Magistrate to dismiss the complaint under Section 247 Cr. P. C. and in any case since the lawyer of the complainant was present in court, and he must have informed the Magistrate about the stay orders passed by the learned Sessions Judge, the Magistrate should not have acted in a hurry and should not have dismissed the complaint.

If, however, he was of the opinion that in spite of the stay order by the learned Sessions Judge, the complainant ought to be present in court, he could have indicated that to his counsel and the complainant could have immediately been called. If he wanted an affidavit to satisfy himself about the passing of the stay order, he could have asked for it and in these circumstances, the order, in any case, was not a proper order. This much is sufficient to dispose of the present appeal but in view of the able argument advanced by the learned counsel, I will express my view on the other questions also.

7. The words of Section 426 Cr. P. C. are exactly the same as contained in Section 435 Part I Cr. P. C,, after the amendment of that section by Act No. XXXIX of 1956. The relevant phrase is: “and may when calling for such record, direct that the execution of any sentence or order be suspended …..” This empowers the Sessions Judge to suspend the execution of the order against which a revision has been entertained by him. In the case of Bansi v. Hari Singh, 1956 Cri LJ 561 : ((S) AIR 1956 All 297) it was observed at page 568 that by virtue of Section 426 Cr. P. C., the High Court in entertaining a revision against an order of a subordinate court has full power to stay or suspend the execution of any order for the pendency of the revision. Similar powers have now been given under Section 435 (1) Cr. P. C. to Sessions Judges.

The power to suspend execution of any order means a power to suspend the enforcement of or giving effect to that order, as no process in execution as such is provided in the Cr. P. C. In this particular case, if the Sessions Judge directed that the proceedings be stayed, it necessarily meant that the order under revision be not enforced, and after that it was not possible for the Magistrate to proceed with the trial as long as it was not finally decided whether the case was exclusively triable by the Sessions Court or not; as in that case only an enquiry could be conducted by the Magistrate. I am, therefore, of the opinion that the order of stay passed by the learned Sessions Judge was quite right and was within his jurisdiction under Section 435(1) Cr. P. C. as amended.

8. I, therefore, allow the appeal, set aside the order of the Magistrate passed on 29-9-1958, and direct that the file be sent back to the Magistrate for re-starting the case from the stage left on that date.

Bishambhar Dayal, J.

DATE: 18 January, 1960

Equivalent citations: AIR 1960 All 507, 1960 CriLJ 1058

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