NAHAR SINGH VS THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH

NAHAR SINGH VS THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH - Supreme Court Case / Judgment 2022

Page | 1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 443 OF 2022
(Arising out of Petition for Special Leave to Appeal
(Crl.) No.8447 OF 2015)
NAHAR SINGH .....APPELLANT(S)
VERSUS
THE STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH
 & ANR. …..RESPONDENT(S)
J U D G M E N T
ANIRUDDHA BOSE, J.
Leave granted.
2. The question which we shall be addressing in this appeal
is whether a Magistrate taking cognizance of an offence on the
basis of a police report in terms of Section 190 (1)(b) of The Code
of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (the Code) can issue summons to
any person not arraigned as an accused in the police report and
Page | 2
whose name also does not feature in column (2) of such report.
In this case the person concerned, being the appellant, was not
named in the First Information Report either. The High Court of
Judicature at Allahabad has opined on this question in the
affirmative in the judgment delivered on 14th May, 2015. This
judgment is under appeal before us. The Chief Judicial
Magistrate (CJM), Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh had taken
cognizance of offences under Sections 363, 366 and 376 of the
Indian Penal Code, 1860 (1860 Code) on 8th August, 2012 on the
basis of police report. These are offences triable before a Court
of Session. The police report had named two individuals as
accused-Yogesh and Rupa (the spelling of the name of the latter
has been interchangeably used in different proceedings
emanating from the First Information Report (F.I.R.) as Roopa
and Rupa). The police report was made on the basis of an F.I.R
made by the mother of a lady victim (prosecutrix) on 9th May,
2012 in Police Station Chhatari, sub-district Shikarpur in the
district of Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh. In this F.I.R, she stated
that on 4th May, 2012, her minor daughter was enticed away by
said Yogesh and his two or three associates. Later on, a
Page | 3
radiologist on the basis of x-ray had found her to be a major,
aged about 18 years. But the age-issue of the victim is not in
controversy involved in this appeal.
3. The Investigating Officer recovered the prosecutrix on 10th
May, 2012. Her statement under Section 161 of the Code was
recorded on 10th May itself. In her statement, in substance, she
stated that Yogesh had committed rape upon her. The victim
was, thereafter, produced before the Additional Chief Judicial
Magistrate, Bulandshahr and her statement under Section 164
of the Code was recorded on 14th May, 2012. In that statement,
she had disclosed the names of the accused Rupa, Yogesh as also
the appellant herein-Nahar Singh, as the persons who had
committed rape upon her. Her statement, inter-alia, was
recorded in the following terms:-
“It is an incident of 02.5.2012. It was 12 O’clock in the day.
I was standing at the bus stand at that time. Two persons
Rupa and Yogesh were standing there. Both of them
forcibly took me to Pahasu. Both of them telephoned Nahar
Singh there. He came there with a vehicle and all of them
made me sit in that four wheeler vehicle and took me from
there to Khurja. After closing the vehicle all of them took
turns of rape on me. Thereafter, all of them consumed
liquor and also forcibly made me drink liquor by putting it
in Pepsi. Then again all of them forcibly raped me and
threatened me if you may not live as wife of Yogesh we will
ruin your family. These people made me unconscious and
dressed me in bangles, Bichhia and also filled my Maang
Page | 4
and left me at Kamauna. I want to go with my father and
mother.”
(quoted verbatim from the copy of the statement as
annexed to the paperbook)
4. In her initial statement recorded under Section 161 of the
Code, the name of Nahar Singh did not figure. The chargesheet
was submitted subsequently, in which Yogesh and Rupa were
arraigned as accused persons. On 8th August, 2012, the CJM,
Bulandshahr took cognizance of offence under Sections 363, 366
and 376 of the 1860 Code against accused Yogesh and Rupa.
The de facto complainant, being mother of the victim thereafter
had filed an application before the Court of the CJM in Criminal
Case No. 102/2012 praying for an order requiring appearance of
the appellant before the Court. In this application, it was interalia, stated:-
“Accused Yogesh and Rupa are in judicial custody of the
District Jail. Accused Nahar Singh is not arrested.
Accused Nahar Singh has threatened the complainant and
her family for number of times that they may withdraw the
case against him otherwise he will implicate them in any
false case. In this regard the complainant has submitted
application before the Police Officers for arrest of Nahar
Singh and for the safety and security of her family.
Thereafter, the investigation of this case is transferred
from PS: Chhattari to PS: Dibai. The Investigating Officer
of PS: Dibai didn’t conduct impartial investigation. Despite
having sufficient evidence against accused Nahar Singh
the charge sheet is not submitted and the name of Nahar
Page | 5
Singh is deleted whereas accused Rupa and Nahar Singh
have committed an offence of rape with xxxx against her
consent, as is evident from statement recorded under
sections 161 and 164 Cr.P.C. There are sufficient grounds
in the case diary to summon accused Nahar Singh in the
matter. The complainant and her daughter had also given
statement before the I.O. of PS: Dibai for commission of
offence of rap by Nahar Singh. As per the provisions of
Section 190 Cr.P.C. the court takes cognizance for the
offence and not for the accused.
Therefore, it is prayed that this Hon’ble Court may pass
an order against accused Nahar Singh son of Megh Singh,
resident of village Waan, PS: Chhattari to appear before
the court. I shall be grateful to you.”
(quoted verbatim from the copy of the application as
annexed to the paperbook. Name of the victim has been
masked with xxxx)
5. In an order passed on 7th November, 2012, the CJM found
that there was no ground to summon the appellant for trial and
the said application was dismissed. The file was directed to be
presented for commitment on 16th November, 2012. Against this
order, the de facto complainant invoked the revisional
jurisdiction of the Sessions Judge. Her application was registered
as Criminal Revision No.588/2012 and was listed before
Additional District and Sessions Judge Court No. 1,
Bulandshahr. We find from the order of the Revisional Court
passed on 13th January, 2015 that investigation of this case was
transferred from the first Investigating Officer of police station
Page | 6
Chhatari to the Inspector in-charge of Police Station, Dibai, Shri
Ashok Kumar Yadav. There was thus, change of the police
station also. The chargesheet was submitted by the latter on the
basis of which cognizance was taken. In the aforesaid order, the
sequence of events showing the trajectory of the investigation
was recorded by the Revisional Court in the following manner:-
“After the recovery of the daughter of the complainant the
I.O. recorded her statement on 10.5.2012 under Section
161 Cr.P.C. Accused xxxx mentioned the name of accused
Yogesh only in her statement whom she has stated to have
induced and abducted her. Thereafter, the statement of
the abducted was recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. on
14.5.2012 before the Magistrate wherein the victim stated
that other than Yogesh two more persons being Rupa and
Nahar Singh were involved in the offence. While
mentioning the aforesaid statement made under section
164 Cr.P.C. on 19.50.2012 in Case Diary the I.O. added
section 376(g) I.P.C. as two more persons being Rupa and
Nahar Singh were implicated in the offence. Upon adding
section 376(g) in the matter the then S.H.O. Harish
Vardhan Singh took over the investigation and recorded
the statements of the brother of the victim Sonu son of Sh.
Ramesh Chand resident of villag Waan and another person
Boby son of Babu Lal resident of village Waan on 3.6.2012.
Both the witnesses substantiated the occurrence of
incident. It appears from the perusal of records that on an
application of proposed accused Nahar Singh the
Superintendent of Police, Bulandshehar transferred the
investigation from Police Station Chhattari to Police
Station Dibai on 14.6.2012 and entrusted the
investigation to I.O. Ashok Kumar. The aforesaid Ashok
Kumar Yadav, the in-charge Inspector of Police Station
Dibai, during the investigation, again recorded the
statements of victim xxxx, her mother Smt. Kamlesh,
complainant under Section 161 Cr.P.C and concluded that
Nahar Singh son of Sh. Megh Singh resident of village
Waan had no role in the abduction of xxxx nor he
Page | 7
committed any offence like rape with her. He was
implicated by complainant and the opposite party of Nahar
Singh only due to enmity in the village. As a result, the I.O.
filed charge sheet against the nominated accused Yogesh
and co-accused Rupa.”
(quoted verbatim from the copy of the Revisional Court’s
judgment as annexed to the paperbook.
Name of the victim has been masked with xxxx)
6. The Revisional Court set aside the order passed by the
CJM on 7th November, 2012 by which the application of the
de facto complainant was rejected. The matter was remanded to
the Court of the CJM and the latter was directed to dispose of
the said application in view of the observations made in the
judgment of the Revisional Court. It was also observed in the
order of the Revisional Court that the Magistrate should pass a
lawful order to summon the accused, Nahar Singh in the matter.
This order was passed on 13th January, 2015.
7. Thereafter, the CJM heard the matter on remand and in
an order passed on 5th February 2015, Nahar Singh (the
appellant) was directed to be summoned for trial on 21st
February, 2015. This order of the CJM was challenged by the
appellant by filing a Criminal Revision Petition before the
Sessions Judge, Bulandshahr. By a decision delivered on 20th
Page | 8
April, 2015, the revisional application was dismissed. Against
this order of dismissal, the appellant approached the High Court
of Judicature at Allahabad by filing a Criminal Miscellaneous
Writ Petition bearing No. 11538/2015. Before the High Court,
apart from other points, it was argued that exercise of
jurisdiction by the CJM, under Section 190 (1)(b) of the Code was
impermissible in the subject case. The appellant’s case was that
as he had not been named as accused in the chargesheet, he
could only be summoned in exercise of jurisdiction under Section
319 of the Code. Such submissions have been recorded in the
judgment under appeal.
Section 190 of the Code reads:-
“190. Cognizance of offences by Magistrates.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Chapter, any
Magistrate of the first class, and any Magistrate of the
Second class specially empowered in this behalf under
sub-section (2), may take cognizance of any offence-
(a) Upon receiving a complaint of facts which
constitute such offence;
(b) Upon a police report of such facts;
(c) Upon information received from any person other
than a police officer, or upon his own knowledge,
that such offence has been committed.
(2) The Chief Judicial Magistrate may empower any
Magistrate of the second class to take cognizance under
sub-section (1) of such offences as are within his
competence to inquire into or try.”
Page | 9
8. In the judgment under appeal delivered on 14th May, 2015,
the High Court reiterated the well established principle of
criminal jurisprudence that cognizance taken by the Magistrate
is of an offence and not of an offender. The High Court held that
it was the duty of the Magistrate to find out with respect to the
complicity of any person apart from those who were
chargesheeted by sifting the corroborative evidence on record. In
case the Magistrate came to the conclusion that there was
clinching evidence supporting the allegations made against
persons who have not been chargesheeted, it was his duty to
proceed against such persons as well by summoning them. It
was, inter-alia, held by the High Court in the judgment under
appeal:-
“The summoning of additional accused person is an
integral part of the proceedings where allegations of facts
constituting an offence is made out for taking cognizance.
At the time of taking cognizance, the Magistrate has only
to see whether prima facie there are cogent reasons for
issuing the process. The Magistrate is fully competent to
take cognizance of an offence and there is no bar under
section 190 Cr.P.C. that once the process is issued against
some of the accused persons, the Magistrate can not issue
process to some other person against whom charge sheet
was not submitted and against whom there is some
material on record. The investigation was transferred at
the instance of the accused persons who did not have any
locus to direct the investigation to be transferred from one
Page | 10
police station to another police station. Only when the
investigation was transferred to another police station on
further investigation the witnesses were re-examined
under section 161 Cr.P.C pursuant to which the charge
sheet was submitted against Yogesh and Roopa. Section
376(g) IPC was also added after recording the statement of
the victim recorded under section 164 Cr.P.C which is a
public document but the investigating officer did not
seriously show or attach any importance to the statement
recorded under section 164 Cr.P.C before the court and
proceeded to exonerate the applicant which clearly show
the manner in which the investigation was done by Sri
Harsh Vardhan, the investigating officer on the direction
of S.S.P.Bulandshahar. The mere fact that the statement
of the victim was subsequently recorded will not
overshadow the statement recorded under section 164
Cr.P.C. The victim cannot be treated with suspicion or
discredited that she had not disclosed the complicity of the
applicant in her statement under section 161 Cr.P.C.”
(quoted verbatim from the copy of the impugned
judgment as annexed to the paperbook)
9. As regards the point of law with which we are dealing with
in this appeal, in the impugned judgment, the High Court had
relied on decision of a Coordinate Bench of this Court in the case
of SWIL Ltd. vs. State of Delhi and Another [(2001) 6 SCC 670].
In this decision, argument was advanced that under Section 190
of the Code, once process is issued against some accused, the
Magistrate cannot issue process to any other accused against
whom there might be materials on record. Such argument was
repelled. It was held by the Coordinate Bench in this case:-
Page | 11
“7. Further, in the present case, there is no question of
referring to the provisions of Section 319 CrPC. That
provision would come into operation in the course of any
enquiry into or trial of an offence. In the present case,
neither the Magistrate was holding enquiry as
contemplated under Section 2(g) CrPC nor had the trial
started. He was exercising his jurisdiction under Section
190 of taking cognizance of an offence and issuing process.
There is no bar under Section 190 CrPC that once the
process is issued against some accused, on the next date,
the Magistrate cannot issue process to some other person
against whom there is some material on record, but his
name is not included as accused in the charge-sheet.”
10. There was divergence of views of different Benches of this
Court on this point and ultimately the issue has been settled by
a Constitution Bench in the case of Dharam Pal and Others vs.
State of Haryana and Another [(2014) 3 SCC 306]. Before
dealing with the ratio of this decision, we shall narrate the
journey of the legal dispute to that stage, which has been
recorded in the judgment of Dharam Pal (supra) itself by the
Constitution Bench:-
“1. This matter was initially directed to be heard by a
Bench of three Judges in view of the conflict of opinion in
the decisions of two two-Judge Benches, in Kishori
Singh v. State of Bihar, [(2004) 13 SCC 11: (2006) 1 SCC
(Cri) 275]; Rajinder Prasad v. Bashir [(2001) 8 SCC 522:
2002 SCC (Cri) 28] and SWIL Ltd. v. State of Delhi, [(2001)
6 SCC 670: 2001 SCC (Cri) 1205]. When the matter was
taken up for consideration by the three-Judge Bench on 1-
12-2004 [Dharam Pal v. State of Haryana, (2004) 13 SCC
9: (2006) 1 SCC (Cri) 273], it was brought to the notice of
the Court that two other decisions had a direct bearing on
the question sought to be determined. The first is Kishun
Page | 12
Singh v. State of Bihar, [(1993) 2 SCC 16: 1993 SCC (Cri)
470], and the other is a decision of a three-Judge Bench
in Ranjit Singh v. State of Punjab, [(1998) 7 SCC 149: 1998
SCC (Cri) 1554].
2. Ranjit Singh case [(1998) 7 SCC 149 : 1998 SCC (Cri)
1554] disapproved the observations made in Kishun Singh
case [(1993) 2 SCC 16 : 1993 SCC (Cri) 470] which was to
the effect that the Sessions Court has power under Section
193 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, hereinafter
referred to as “the Code”, to take cognizance of an offence
and summon other persons whose complicity in the
commission of the trial could prima facie be gathered from
the materials available on record.
3. According to the decision in Kishun Singh case [(1993)
2 SCC 16 : 1993 SCC (Cri) 470], the Sessions Court has
such power under Section 193 of the Code. On the other
hand, in Ranjit Singh case [(1998) 7 SCC 149 : 1998 SCC
(Cri) 1554], it was held that from the stage of committal till
the Sessions Court reached the stage indicated in Section
230 of the Code, that Court could deal only with the
accused referred to in Section 209 of the Code and there is
no intermediary stage till then enabling the Sessions Court
to add any other person to the array of the accused.
4. The three-Judge Bench [Dharam Pal v. State of
Haryana, (2004) 13 SCC 9 : (2006) 1 SCC (Cri) 273] took
note of the fact that the effect of such a conclusion is that
the accused named in column 2 of the charge-sheet and
not put up for trial could not be tried by exercise of power
by the Sessions Judge under Section 193 read with
Section 228 of the Code. In other words, even when the
Sessions Court applied its mind at the time of framing of
charge and came to the conclusion from the materials
available on record that, in fact, an offence is made out
against even those who are shown in column 2, it has no
power to proceed against them and has to wait till the stage
under Section 319 of the Code is reached to include such
persons as the accused in the trial if from the evidence
adduced, their complicity was also established. The
further effect as noted by the three-Judge Bench was that
in less serious offences triable by the Magistrate, he would
have the power to proceed against those mentioned in
column 2, in case he disagreed with the police report, but
in regard to serious offences triable by the Court of
Page | 13
Session, the Court would have to wait till the stage of
Section 319 of the Code was reached.
5. The three-Judge Bench disagreed with the views
expressed in Ranjit Singh case [(1998) 7 SCC 149 : 1998
SCC (Cri) 1554], but since the contrary view expressed
in Ranjit Singh case [(1998) 7 SCC 149 : 1998 SCC (Cri)
1554] had been taken by a three-Judge Bench, the threeJudge Bench hearing this matter, by its order dated 1-12-
2004 [Dharam Pal v. State of Haryana, (2004) 13 SCC 9 :
(2006) 1 SCC (Cri) 273] , directed the matter to be placed
before the Chief Justice for placing the same before a larger
Bench.”
11. The questions which were formulated for answer by the
Constitution Bench in the case of Dharam Pal (supra) were:-
“7.1. Does the Committing Magistrate have any other role
to play after committing the case to the Court of Session
on finding from the police report that the case was triable
by the Court of Session?
7.2. If the Magistrate disagrees with the police report and
is convinced that a case had also been made out for trial
against the persons who had been placed in column 2 of
the report, does he have the jurisdiction to issue summons
against them also in order to include their names, along
with Nafe Singh, to stand trial in connection with the case
made out in the police report?
7.3. Having decided to issue summons against the
appellants, was the Magistrate required to follow the
procedure of a complaint case and to take evidence before
committing them to the Court of Session to stand trial or
whether he was justified in issuing summons against them
without following such procedure?
7.4. Can the Sessions Judge issue summons under
Section 193 CrPC as a court of original jurisdiction?
7.5. Upon the case being committed to the Court of
Session, could the Sessions Judge issue summons
separately under Section 193 of the Code or would he have
Page | 14
to wait till the stage under Section 319 of the Code was
reached in order to take recourse thereto?
7.6. Was Ranjit Singh case [(1998) 7 SCC 149 : 1998 SCC
(Cri) 1554], which set aside the decision in Kishun Singh
case [(1993) 2 SCC 16 : 1993 SCC (Cri) 470] , rightly
decided or not?”
12. As regards scope of jurisdiction of the Magistrate in a
situation of this nature, it was held by the Constitution Bench in
the case of Dharam Pal (supra):-
“35. In our view, the Magistrate has a role to play while
committing the case to the Court of Session upon taking
cognizance on the police report submitted before him
under Section 173(2) CrPC. In the event the Magistrate
disagrees with the police report, he has two choices. He
may act on the basis of a protest petition that may be filed,
or he may, while disagreeing with the police report, issue
process and summon the accused. Thereafter, if on being
satisfied that a case had been made out to proceed against
the persons named in column 2 of the report, proceed to
try the said persons or if he was satisfied that a case had
been made out which was triable by the Court of Session,
he may commit the case to the Court of Session to proceed
further in the matter.
36. This brings us to the third question as to the
procedure to be followed by the Magistrate if he was
satisfied that a prima facie case had been made out to go
to trial despite the final report submitted by the police. In
such an event, if the Magistrate decided to proceed against
the persons accused, he would have to proceed on the
basis of the police report itself and either inquire into the
matter or commit it to the Court of Session if the same was
found to be triable by the Sessions Court.”
13. Another Constitution Bench in the case of Hardeep Singh
vs. State of Punjab and Others [(2014) 3 SCC 92] followed
Page | 15
Dharam Pal (supra). It was opined by the Constitution Bench in
the case of Hardeep Singh (supra):-
“111. Even the Constitution Bench in Dharam Pal
(CB) [(2014) 3 SCC 306 : AIR 2013 SC 3018] has held that
the Sessions Court can also exercise its original
jurisdiction and summon a person as an accused in case
his name appears in Column 2 of the charge-sheet, once
the case had been committed to it. It means that a person
whose name does not appear even in the FIR or in the
charge-sheet or whose name appears in the FIR and
not in the main part of the charge-sheet but in Column
2 and has not been summoned as an accused in
exercise of the powers under Section 193 CrPC can
still be summoned by the court, provided the court is
satisfied that the conditions provided in the said
statutory provisions stand fulfilled.”
 (emphasis added)
14. Earlier, a Coordinate Bench in the case of Raj Kishore
Prasad vs. State of Bihar and Another [(1996) 4 SCC 495]
expressed the view that power under Section 209 of the Code to
summon a new offender was not vested with a Magistrate. In this
decision, the correctness of the view taken in the cases of Kishun
Singh & Others vs. State of Bihar [(1993) 2 SCC 16] and Nisar
and Another vs. State of U.P. [(1995) 2 SCC 23] was doubted.
The latter decision followed Kishun Singh (supra). The
Constitution Bench in the case of Dharam Pal (supra) affirmed
the view taken by this Court in the case of Kishun Singh (supra)
and overruled Raj Kishore Prasad (supra). In fact, again a
Page | 16
Coordinate Bench in the case of Balveer Singh and Another vs.
State of Rajasthan and Another [(2016) 6 SCC 680] has
followed both Dharam Pal (supra) and Kishun Singh (supra). In
the latter authority (i.e., Kishun Singh), it was, inter-alia, held:-
“13. The question then is whether de hors Section 319 of
the Code, can similar power be traced to any other
provision in the Code or can such power be implied from
the scheme of the Code? We have already pointed out
earlier the two alternative modes in which the Criminal
Law can be set in motion; by the filing of information with
the police under Section 154 of the Code or upon receipt
of a complaint or information by a Magistrate. The former
would lead to investigation by the police and may
culminate in a police report under Section 173 of the Code
on the basis whereof cognizance may be taken by the
Magistrate under Section 190(1)(b) of the Code. In the
latter case, the Magistrate may either order investigation
by the police under Section 156(3) of the Code or himself
hold an inquiry under Section 202 before taking
cognizance of the offence under Section 190(1)(a) or (c), as
the case may be, read with Section 204 of the Code. Once
the Magistrate takes cognizance of the offence he may
proceed to try the offender (except where the case is
transferred under Section 191) or commit him for trial
under Section 209 of the Code if the offence is triable
exclusively by a Court of Session. As pointed out earlier
cognizance is taken of the offence and not the offender.
This Court in Raghubans Dubey v. State of Bihar [(1967) 2
SCR 423 : AIR 1967 SC 1167 : 1967 Cri LJ 1081] stated
that once cognizance of an offence is taken it becomes the
Court's duty ‘to find out who the offenders really are’ and
if the Court finds ‘that apart from the persons sent up by
the police some other persons are involved, it is its duty to
proceed against those persons’ by summoning them
because ‘the summoning of the additional accused is part
of the proceeding initiated by its taking cognizance of an
offence’. Even after the present Code came into force, the
legal position has not undergone a change; on the contrary
the ratio of Dubey case [(1967) 2 SCR 423 : AIR 1967 SC
1167 : 1967 Cri LJ 1081] was affirmed in Hareram
Page | 17
Satpathy v. Tikaram Agarwala [(1978) 4 SCC 58 : 1978
SCC (Cri) 496 : (1979) 1 SCR 349 : AIR 1978 SC 1568].
Thus far there is no difficulty.”
15. There is a difference so far as the position of law on which
the opinions of the two Constitution Benches were delivered in
relation to the facts of the present case. In the cases of Dharam
Pal (supra) and Hardeep Singh (supra), summons were issued
against the persons whose names had figured in column (2) of
the chargesheet. Both these authorities also dealt with exercise
of jurisdiction of the Court of Session under Section 193 of the
Code. This provision reads:-
“193. Cognizance of offences by Courts of Session.
Except as otherwise expressly provided by this Code or by
any other law for the time being in force, no Court of
Session shall take cognizance of any offence as a Court of
original jurisdiction unless the case has been committed
to it by a Magistrate under this Code.”
16. It would appear from the Code that the jurisdiction to take
cognizance has been vested in the Magistrate (under Section 190
thereof) as also Court of Session under Section 193, which we
have quoted above. This question has been examined in the case
of Dharam Pal (supra) and on this point it has been held:-
Page | 18
“39. This takes us to the next question as to whether
under Section 209, the Magistrate was required to take
cognizance of the offence before committing the case to the
Court of Session. It is well settled that cognizance of an
offence can only be taken once. In the event, a
Magistrate takes cognizance of the offence and then
commits the case to the Court of Session, the question
of taking fresh cognizance of the offence and,
thereafter, proceed to issue summons, is not in
accordance with law. If cognizance is to be taken of the
offence, it could be taken either by the Magistrate or
by the Court of Session. The language of Section 193 of
the Code very clearly indicates that once the case is
committed to the Court of Session by the learned
Magistrate, the Court of Session assumes original
jurisdiction and all that goes with the assumption of such
jurisdiction. The provisions of Section 209 will, therefore,
have to be understood as the learned Magistrate playing a
passive role in committing the case to the Court of Session
on finding from the police report that the case was triable
by the Court of Session. Nor can there be any question of
part cognizance being taken by the Magistrate and part
cognizance being taken by the learned Sessions Judge.”
 (emphasis added)
The scope of jurisdiction of the Magistrate in taking
cognizance of an offence was earlier examined by a three-judge
Bench of this court in the case of Raghubans Dubey vs. State
of Bihar [AIR 1967 SC 1167]. This authority was relied upon by
the Coordinate Bench in the case of Kishun Singh (supra).
Dealing with broadly similar provisions of the old Code, of 1898,
it was observed by this Court:-
“8. ……….In our opinion, once cognizance has been taken by
the Magistrate, he takes cognizance of an offence and not
the offenders; once he takes cognizance of an offence it is
his duty to find out who the offenders really are and once
Page | 19
he comes to the conclusion that apart from the persons
sent up by the police some other persons are involved, it is
his duty to proceed against those persons. The summoning
of the additional accused is part of the proceeding initiated
by his taking cognizance of an offence. As pointed out by
this Court in Pravin Chandra Mody v. State of Andhra
Pradesh [(1965) 1 SCR 269] the term “complaint” would
include allegations made against persons unknown. If a
Magistrate takes cognizance under Section 190(1)(a) on
the basis of a complaint of facts he would take cognizance
and a proceeding would be instituted even though persons
who had committed the offence were not known at that
time. The same position prevails, in our view, under
Section 190(1)(b).”
17. In the case of Kishun Singh (supra), the scope of
jurisdiction of the Court of Session under Section 193 of the Code
was explained, relying on an authority dealing with similar
provision under the 1898 Code (P.C. Gulati vs. Lajya Ram and
Others [AIR 1966 SC 595]). The phrase used to explain the
implication of taking cognizance by a Court of Session in the
judgment of Kishun Singh (supra) was “cognizance in the limited
sense.” In paragraph 8 of the report (in Kishun Singh’s case), it
has been held observed:-
“8. Section 193 of the old Code placed an embargo on the
Court of Session from taking cognizance of any offence as
a court of original jurisdiction unless the accused was
committed to it by a Magistrate or there was express
provision in the Code or any other law to the contrary. In
the context of the said provision this Court in P.C.
Gulati v. L.R. Kapur [(1966) 1 SCR 560, 568 : AIR 1966 SC
595 : 1966 Cri LJ 465] observed as under:
“When a case is committed to the Court of
Session, the Court of Session has first to
Page | 20
determine whether the commitment of the case
is proper. If it be of opinion that the commitment
is bad on a point of law, it has to refer the case
to the High Court which is competent to quash
the proceeding under Section 215 of the Code. It
is only when the Sessions Court considers the
commitment to be good in law that it proceeds
with the trial of the case. It is in this context that
the Sessions Court has to take cognizance of the
offence as a court of original jurisdiction and it
is such a cognizance which is referred to in
Section 193 of the Code.””
18. Jurisdiction of the Magistrate to take cognizance of an
offence triable by a Court of Session is not in controversy before
us. The course open to a Magistrate on submission of a police
report has been discussed in the case of Dharam Pal (supra). In
paragraph 39 of the report in Dharam Pal’s case, such power or
jurisdiction of the Magistrate has been spelt out. We have quoted
this passage earlier in this judgment.
19. The other difference so far as this case is concerned in
relation to the factual basis on which the decision of the
Constitution Bench in Dharam Pal (supra) as also the judgment
in the case of Raghubans Dubey (supra) were delivered is that
in both these cases, the names of the persons arraigned as
accused had figured in column (2) of the charge sheet. This
column, as it appears from the judgment in the case of
Page | 21
Raghubans Dubey (supra), records the name of a person under
the heading “not sent up”. In that case, the person
concerned was named in the F.I.R. But that factor, by itself, in
our opinion ought not to be considered as a reason for the
Court in not summoning an accused not named in the F.I.R. and
whose name also does not feature in chargesheet at all. These
judgments were delivered in cases where the names of the
persons sought to be arraigned as accused appeared in
column (2) of the police report. In our opinion the
legal proposition laid down while dealing with this point was not
confined to the power to summon those persons only, whose
names featured in column (2) of the chargesheet. In the case of
Dharam Pal (supra), the second point formulated (para 7.2)
related to persons named in column (2), but the issue
before the Constitution Bench related to that category of persons
only. This is the position of law enunciated in the cases of
Hardeep Singh (supra) and Raghubans Dubey (supra). In the
latter authority, the duty of the Court taking cognizance of an
offence has been held “to find out who the offenders really are
and once he comes to the conclusion that apart from the persons
Page | 22
sent up by the police some other persons are involved, it is his
duty to proceed against those persons”. Such duty to proceed
against other persons cannot be held to be confined to only those
whose names figure in column (2) of the chargesheet. As we have
already observed that in the aforesaid authorities, the question
of summoning the persons named in column (2) of the
chargesheet was involved, in our opinion inclusion in column (2)
was not held to be the determinant factor for summoning persons
other than those named as accused in the police report or
chargesheet. The principle of law enunciated in Raghubans
Dubey (supra), Dharam Pal (supra) and Hardeep Singh (supra)
does not constrict exercise of such power of the Court taking
cognizance in respect of this category of persons (i.e., whose
names feature in column (2) of the chargesheet).
20. In the cases of Raghubans Dubey (supra), SWIL Ltd.
(supra) and Dharam Pal (supra), the power or jurisdiction of the
Court or Magistrate taking cognizance of an offence on the basis
of a police report to summon an accused not named in the police
report, before commitment has been analysed. The uniform view
on this point, irrespective of the fact as to whether cognizance is
Page | 23
taken by the Magistrate under Section 190 of the Code or
jurisdiction exercised by the Court of Session under Section 193
thereof is that the aforesaid judicial authorities would not have
to wait till the case reaches the stage when jurisdiction under
Section 319 of the Code is capable of being exercised for
summoning a person as accused but not named as such in police
report. We have already expressed our opinion that such
jurisdiction to issue summons can be exercised even in respect
of a person whose name may not feature at all in the police
report, whether as accused or in column (2) thereof if the
Magistrate is satisfied that there are materials on record which
would reveal prima facie his involvement in the offence. None of
the authorities limit or restrict the power or jurisdiction of the
Magistrate or Court of Session in summoning an accused upon
taking cognizance, whose name may not feature in the F.I.R. or
police report.
21. In the present case, the name of the accused had
transpired from the statement made by the victim under Section
164 of the Code. In the case of Dharam Pal (supra), it has been
laid down in clear terms that in the event the Magistrate
Page | 24
disagrees with the police report, he may act on the basis of a
protest petition that may be filed and commit the case to the
Court of Session. This power of the Magistrate is not exercisable
only in respect of persons whose names appear in column (2) of
the chargesheet, apart from those who are arraigned as accused
in the police report. In the subject-proceeding, the Magistrate
acted on the basis of an independent application filed by the de
facto complainant. If there are materials before the Magistrate
showing complicity of persons other than those arraigned as
accused or named in column 2 of the police report in commission
of an offence, the Magistrate at that stage could summon such
persons as well upon taking cognizance of the offence. As we have
already discussed, this was the view of this Court in the case of
Raghubans Dubey (supra). Though this judgment dealt with the
provisions of the 1898 Code, this authority was followed in the
case of Kishun Singh (supra). For summoning persons upon
taking cognizance of an offence, the Magistrate has to examine
the materials available before him for coming to the conclusion
that apart from those sent up by the police some other persons
are involved in the offence. These materials need not remain
Page | 25
confined to the police report, charge sheet or the F.I.R. A
statement made under Section 164 of the Code could also be
considered for such purpose.
22. Turning to the facts of the present case, we do not find any
error in the order of the Magistrate, which was affirmed by the
High Court. We accordingly affirm the judgment under appeal.
23. The appeal is dismissed and the interim order passed in
this matter shall stand dissolved.
24. Pending application(s), if any, shall stand disposed of.
…………………………J.
(VINEET SARAN)
..……………………….J.
(ANIRUDDHA BOSE)
NEW DELHI;
16th March, 2022

Landmark Cases of India / सुप्रीम कोर्ट के ऐतिहासिक फैसले

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Questions on Indian Constitution for UPSC 2020 Pre Exam

संविधान की प्रमुख विशेषताओं का उल्लेख | Characteristics of the Constitution of India

भारतीय संविधान से संबंधित 100 महत्वपूर्ण प्रश्न उतर