IN RE: RAJAMANI Vs. STATE
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
In Re: Rajamani
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K.N.Mndaliyar, J -
(1.) THE Petitioner seeks to revise the order of the learned Second Class Magistrate, Changam, who held that Section 166 of the Madras Panchayats Act 1958, was not contravened on the facts emerging from the complaint before him against the Petitioner herein. On 13th April 1967, the Petitioner was called upon by the Collector, North Arcot, to produce certain records within ten days. The ten days' time lapsed on 23rd April 1967. But a complaint was filed on 9th Oct. 1968 by the Divisional Panchayat Officer, Thlruvannamalai against the Petitioner before the Sub Magistrate, Changam. The gist of the complaint was that the Petitioner, in spite of notice and summons failed to hand over the cash book and minutes book entrusted to him by his predecessor and therefore he contravened Rule 1 (1) in Notification No. 57 Issued under Section 178(2) of the Madras Panchayats Act 1958, and rendered himself liable for punishment under Rule 6 of the said notification.
(2.) ON the basis of the dates noticed by me earlier, it is obvious that the complaint is barred by limitation prescribed in Section 166 of the Madras Panchayats Act, 1958. The complaint filed on 9th Oct. 1968 is no doubt a 'complaint' within the meaning of Section 166. But that complaint has got to be made within three months of the commission of the offence. But the essence of the intendment of Section 166 is the limitation of time within which the complaint has got to be made. If it is as offence, the complaint must be made within three months. If it is a continuing offence, the complaint may be made at any time within twelve months from the date of the offence. The learned trial Magistrate obviously erred in finding that he has the power to take cognizance even in respect of a complaint barred by time as prescribed by Section 166 under Section 190(1)(c) Code of Criminal Procedure. In my view, the Complaint filed by the Panchayat Officer on 9 -10 -1968 clearly falls within the ambit of Section 190(1)(a) Code of Criminal Procedure. It would certainly not fall within the compass of Section 190(1)(c), which relates to only "extra judicial information, knowledge or suspicions -Vide Venkataramanier In re., I. L. R. 1938 Mad 814 . The Magistrate has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the complaint filed by the Divisional Panchayat Officer on 9th Oct. 1968.
(3.) THE order of the trial Magistrate is without jurisdiction and bad in law and is therefore set aside. The revision is allowed.;
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