Decided on January 21,1970

KRISHNAN Appellant
STATE Respondents


- (1.) THE Petitioner herein gave evidence in the committal Court that he had witnessed with his own eyes the murder of One Guruswami Kudumban by the accused Muthiah Kudumban. In the 'sessions Court however, the petitioner resiled from that statement and maintained that he did not witness the occurrence at all. In view of this very material contradiction, the learned Sessions Judge of Ramanathapuram concluded that the petitioner bad perjured; and therefore he ordered the prosecution of the petitioner. This step, so the prosecution claims, was taken for the eradication of the evils of perjury and in the interests of justice. The learned Sessions Judge also observed that there was no need to give the petitioner any opportunity of being heard in that regard. The petitioner then faced a criminal trial for an offence under Section 193, Penal Code and was convicted.
(2.) MR. K. R. Natarajan appearing for the petitioner argued that before the complaint was laid against the petitioner by the learned Sessions Judge, Bamanathapuram, there ought to have been a notice given to the petitioner within the meaning of Section 479a (1), Criminal P. C. .
(3.) BEFORE the argument is considered, I should like to set down the finding of the learned Sessions Judge, Madurai, on appeal against the petitioner's conviction for perjury to the effect that it is clear that the notice is mandatory and obligatory and that the witness should be given an opportunity of being heard as to what he has to say in regard to the contemplated complaint. In fact, the learned Public Prosecutor did not dispute the correctness of the proposition of law in the Court below. But the learned Sessions Judge {madurai) holds that the conviction cannot be Bet aside on the ground of failure to give notice, for, in the opinion of the learned Sessions Judge, the explanation given by the petitioner before the learned Sessions Judge, Ramanathapuram (in the murder trial) was that the Police coerced him to give false evidence and accordingly he gave the statement that he saw the occurrence, in the course of the trial, the petitioner maintained that it was only because of coercion by the Police he gave a false statement in the committal court. On the basis of this explanation, the learned Sessions Judge, Madurai, found that no prejudice has been caused to the petitioner because he did not raise any defence other than what he had stated in his plea or explanation before the Sessions Court.;

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