STATE OF MYSORE Vs. K CBANDI GOWDA AND
HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA
STATE OF MYSORE
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Venkataramaiya, C.J. -
(1.)In this application filed under Section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, legality of the disposal of a petition previously filed under the same section by my learned predecessor, is challenged on the ground that he had no jurisdiction to deal with it sitting alone. The point raised is novel, even as the circumstances relating to it are unusual. The order is attacked by the learned Advocate-General as being one passed in exercise of power not vested by law in a Judge acting singly.
(2.)The genesis of the case is that on a charge sheet presented by the Police certain persons were prosecuted for alleged commission of offences in Mysore. Some of the Accused invoked the interference of this Court by means of petitions filed under Sections 439 and 561 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to quash the proceedings instituted against them before the Magistrate. The petitions were registered as Criminal Revision Petitions Nos. 80 and 103 of 1954 and dealt with for some time only by the learned Chief Justice and finally after the learned Advocate-General pressed for the case being placed before a Division Bench, heard and dismissed by a Bench composed of the learned Chief Justice and my learned brother Padmanabhiah J, by orders separately written. In the order of the learned Chief Justice certain observations and remarks of uncomplimentary nature, were made against a Minister and certain police Officers. For deletion of these as being premature and unwarranted an application under Section 561-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure was filed and this was heard and dismissed by the learned Chief Justice overruling the objection taken to his dealing with the petition alone. It is alleged that there has been an erroneous assumption of jurisdiction which renders the order null and void.
(3.)Neither Section 561-A nor the Code preseribes the class of cases, kind of applications which a Judge of the High Court is competent to dispose of by himself. Provision is made in the High Court Act under Section 16 B for petitions for revision in civil or criminal cases to be decided by a single Judge or to be referred to a Division Bench if he thinks fit, and under Section 15 for criminal appeals to be heard by a Bench of two Judges. The argument of the learned Advocate-General is not that there has been violation of these but that 11. 31 framed under Section 19 of the Act and which has the force of law has been contravened. Reliance is placed on a notification dated 28tn July 1942 specifying matters over which power is given to a Judge to make orders and the omission of applications filed under Section 561-A of the Code amongst these is pointed out as implying lack of authority to deal with these. The question whether a single Judge is competent to deal with a matter not enumerated in the list was raised before two Division Benches in 46 Mys HCR 157 (A) and 53 Mys HCR 365 (B) and the view in both prima facie supports the contention of the learned Advocate-General. In the first case the validity of a reference to a Division Bench by a single Judge in a proceeding under Section 339 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, not covered by the list, was doubted. In the other case it was observed that a single Judge cannot deal with an application under Section 491 of the Code of Criminal Procedure as Rule 31 docs not provide for it.
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