LALAITHA JADAVJI LAXMICHAND Vs. JAMANADAS KANJI
LAWS(GJH)-1979-5-2
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Decided on May 11,1979

LATHIA JADAVJI LAXMICHAND,LATHIA MATHURDAS JADAVJI,LATHIA JECHAND JADAVJI Appellant
VERSUS
STATE OF GUJARAT,JAMANADAS KANJI Respondents

JUDGEMENT

- (1.) In this revision application filed by the original accused a short question regarding the interpretation of section 250 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973. (hereinafter called " the Code") arises for determination. The facts leading to this revision application are as under:- Petitioner no 1. Jadavji Lakhmi-chand is the father of petitioners nos. 2 & 3. The first opponent is the original complainant who had lodged a complaint against the aforesaid three petitioners for the commission of offences punishable under section 341 and 341/114 IPC. The first opponent claims to be a tenant in respect of the northern wing of the first flower of the property owned by the petitoner Jadavji The aid property was purchased by the petitioner Jadavji from one Maganlal Mulchand and the first opponent claims to be a tenant of the northern wing of the first floor of the property, having been inducted by the said Magan Lal on a rental of Rs. 25/-per mensem. After the property was purchased by the petitioner Jadavji, it was the case of first opponent that he refused to accept the rent and, therefore, he was constrained to send the amount of Rs. 400/-towards rent on 11th June 1962 by cheque. The petitioner Jadavji, however, did not acceot the cheque even though there was no dispute between the parties as regards the quantum of rent & the premises in occupation of ihe first opponent The brother of the first opponent visited Dhoraji on 24th May, 1972 & was outing up in one of the rooms in the possession of the first opponent. It was the case of the first opponent that his brother, Vadilal entered into a conspiracy with the petitoner Jadavjit todeprive him of the possession of that room and on his learning about the same he sent a telegram to the petitioner Jadavji but in the meau time in his absence the petitioner Jadavji, and his two sons in collusion with Vadilal threw out the belongings of the first opponent from the room and locked it up. On the return of the first opponent to Dhoraji, he requested the petitioner Jadavji to unlock the room and on the latter refusing to do so. he filed the complaint from which the present revision application arises.
(2.) The above complaint was fixed for hearing before the learned J. M. F. C. Dhoraji on 10th February, 1976. On that date the first opponent was absent, but his learned advocate Mr. Patel was present in court. Mr. Patel did not apply for time and the learned Magistrate passed an order of acquittal of the petitioners under section 256 of the Code on account of absence of the complainant. When the learned Magistrate was about to sign the order and part with the proceedings, on behalf of the petitioner accused person an application under sec. 250 of the code was given, which was ordered to be separately numbered and notice to show cause was issued on the fi rst opponent complainant. In response to this notice, the first opponent appeared to show cause and the learned Magistrate considered the cause shown by the first opponent & ultimately by his impugned order of 25 June 1976 he directed the complainant to pay Rs. 1000- to the petitioner Jadavji, and Rs 500-, each to his two sons by way of compensation under section 250(2) of the Code. In default of payment of tne above compensation, he directed them to suffer S. I. for 30 days. Against this order passed by the learned trial Magistrate the orginal complainant filed an appeal No. 51/76 which was allowed by tha learned Additional Sessions Judge, Rajkot & order c f the learned trial Magistrate was set aside. The learned Additional Session Judge Rajkot, on an interpretation of section 253 of the Code came to the conculsion that the learned trial Magistrate had failed to follow the procedure set out in sub section (1) of section 250 of the Code and, therefore, the impugnfd order passed under sub section (2) of section250 of the Code was not sustainable, it is against this order of the learned Additional Sessions Juccie Rajkot that the present Revision Application is filed.
(3.) Sub-section (1) and (2) of section 250, with which we are concerned in the present application, read as under: (1) If. in any case instituted upon complaint or upon information given to a police officer or to a Magistrate one or more persons js or are accused before a Magistrate of any offence triable by a Magistrate, and the Magistrate by whom the case is heard discharges or acauits all or any of the accused, and Is of opinion that ihere was no reasonable ground for making the accusation against them or any of them the Magistrate rnay by his order of discharge or acquittal, if the person upon whose complaint or information the accusation was mede is present, call upon him forthwith to show cause why he should not pay compensation to such accused or to each or any of such accused when there are more than one; or if such person is not present, direct the issue of summons to him to appear and show cause as aforesaid. (2) The Magistrate shall record and consider any cause which such complainant or informant may snow and if he is satisfied that there was no reasonable ground for making the accusation, may. for reasons to be recorded, make an order that compensation to sucn amount, not exceeding the amount of fine he is empowered to impose; as he may determine, be paid by such complainant or informant to the accused or to each or any of them." The principal object of this section is to discourage and deter persons from levelling accusations against others without reasonable ground. Without depriving the Magistrate of his power to initiate proceedinge under section 340 of the Code, and without precluding the accused from taking action for malicious prosecution, this section empowers the MAGISTRATE, by whom the case is heard, to award compensation in a summary menner if he is satisfied that the complaint was loged without reasonable ground, albiet the amount paid by way of compensation under this section has to be taken Into account in any subsequent civil suit while fixing the amount of damages payable to such person. Broadly speaking, the object of the section is two fold; (i) to discourage and deter criminal proceedins against innocent persons without reasonable ground, and (ii) should such a , case arise, the Magistrare should exercise the power to compensate the victim there and then. In order that a Magistrate may exercise power under this section, the following conditions must exist: (a) The cace must be instituted upon complaint or upon information given to a police officer or to:a Magistrate; (b) The offence must be triable by a Magistrate; (c) The Magistrate, by whom the case-is heard, is at the time of discharging or acquitting the accused, of the opinion that there was no reasonable ground for making the accusation; and (d) the person making the accusation is given an opportunity to show cause why ne should not be ordered to pay compensation to the accused. If any of these conditions is not satisfied, the Magistrate's order awarding compensation under section 250(2) of the Code would be unsustainable. It, therefore, becomes obvious that before a Magistrate calls upon the complainant to show cause why he should not be directed to pay compensation to the accused, he must be of opinion that the. accusation levelled against the latter was without reasonable cause or ground, If he does not reach this tentative conclusicn, he cannot call upon the complainant to show cause. At that stage it is merely his 'opinion' that the accusation was without reasonable ground. But after cause is shown, he records his 'satisfaction' that there was no reasonable ground for levelling the said accusation was without reasonable ground. But after cause is shown, he records his 'satisfaction' that there was no reasonable ground for levelling the said accusation and It is only after he is so satisfied that he can order payment of compensation to the accused. In the backdrop of these requirements of sub-section (1) of section 260 of the Code, I must examine if the order of compensation passed by the learned Magistrate, which has been reversed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, is legally sustainable.;


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