front page Forums At U/S 227 CrPC stage, the Judge has merely to sift evidence to find out whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding (SC-16/11/1978)


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    Interpretation of s. 227 of Cr. P.C. apply mutatis mutandis to the proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act, after the charge-sheet is submitted before the Special Judge. At the stage of s. 227, the Judge has merely to sift the evidence in order to find out whether or not, there is sufficient ground for roceeding against the accused. The
    sufficiency of ground would take within its fold, the nature of the evidence recorded`by the police, or the documents produced before the court, which ex facie disclose that there are suspicious circumstances against the accused so as to frame a charge against him.

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    Sec. 227 Cr.P.C. vs Sec. 239 Cr.P.C.

    If, the Court considers that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused.

    Sec. 239 Cr.P.C.

    If, the Magistrate considers that the charges are groundless in both cases the accused can be discharged U/Sec. 227 and 239 Cr.P.C.

    (1982) 1 SCC 561 =AIR1982SC949 .

    Once charges framed U/Sec. 240 Cr.P.C, if the accused aggrieved he should invoke the revisional jurisdiction of High Court or Sessions Judge claiming that the charge sheet U/Sec. 173 Cr.P.C and the documents does not disclose any ground to presume that he had committed any offence for which he was charged.



    Supreme Court clarified in Dhariwal Tobbaco Ver. State of Maharastra 2009 (2) SCC P. 370 to the effect that even though there is no provision to discharge the accused in summons cases, but dual remedy is available by invoking Sec.482 Cr.P.C as well as revisional jurisdiction U/Sec. 397 Cr.P.C

    The Magistrate has no power to drop proceedings in the absence of specific provision in Cr.P.C to that affect. There is no stipulation in Cr.P.C regarding the “Discharge” in summons case.


    Production of sealed packets of seized contraband article in NDPS Case

    Production of sealed packets of seized contraband article or sealed sample packets of such article in Court in itself is not sufficient to prove its safe custody before production. Handing over the brass seal to an independent, reliable and respectable person and asking him to produce it before the Court at the time of production of the seized articles in Court for verification are not the empty formalities or rituals but is a necessity to eliminate the chance of tampering with such articles. The Court before which seized articles are produced is also required to insist on for the production of brass seal or at least verify the specimen seal impression with reference to the seals attached to the seized bags or the sample packets, if the samples are collected by the officer conducting search and seizure before its production in Court and such verification aspect should be specifically reflected by the Court in the order sheet. The prosecution is required to prove the proper sealing of seized articles and complete elimination of tampering with such articles during its retention by the investigating agency. In absence of such procedure being strictly followed, there is every chance of tampering with the articles or with the seal. The entire path of journey of the contraband articles from the point of its seizure till its arrival before the chemical examiner has to be proved by adducing cogent, reliable and unimpeachable evidence as in a case of this nature, the punishment is stringent in nature otherwise there would be every chance of prejudice being caused to the accused.


    Malkhana Register in NDPS Case

    Ramakrushna Sahoo -Vrs.- State of Odisha reported in (2018) 70 Orissa Criminal Reports 340, it is held as follows:-

    “Rule 119 of the Orissa Police Rules which deals with malkhana register states, inter alia, that all the articles of which police take charge, shall be entered in detail, with a description of identifying marks on each article, in a register to be kept in P.M. form No. 18 in duplicate, and a receipt shall be obtained whenever any article or property of which the police take charge is made over to the owner or sent to the Court or disposed of in any other way and these receipt shall be numbered serially and filed, and the number of receipts shall be entered in column No. 7. Therefore, it is clear that whenever any article is seized and kept in police malkhana, details thereof should be entered in the malkhana register and while taking it out, the entry should also be made in such register. This would indicate the safe custody of the articles seized during investigation of a case before its production in Court.”

    In view of the foregoing discussions, when the brass seal of P.W.4 with which bulk quantity and sample packets of contraband ganja were sealed so also the specimen seal impression stated to have been taken in separate sheets were not produced in Court either at the time of production of the seized articles in Court for verification or during trial and when all the seized articles including four out of the five sample packets sent for chemical examination were not kept in the malkhana of Phiringia police station as is evident from Malkhana register and when the safe custody of the contraband articles seized before its production in Court on 27.09.2013 is a doubtful feature and tampering with the same during its retention by investigating agency is not completely ruled out, it cannot be said that the prosecution has successfully established the charge under section 20(b)(ii)(C) of the N.D.P.S. Act against the appellants beyond all reasonable doubt.

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