Decided on December 24,1970

In Re: T. Das Alias Ramadoss Appellant
STATE Respondents


Somasundaram, J. - (1.) SESSIONS Case No. 129 of 1970, now part -heard before the III Additional Assistant Sessions Judge, Coimbatore, is a case under Ss. 120B and 489A to 489D of the Indian Penal Code. During the Investigation of this case, the Inspector of Police applied to the Additional District Magistrate, Coimbatore for tendering pardon to two persons, viz. Velayudham and Raju Bai, The Sub -Magistrate (J) City I, Coimbatore, had previously recorded their confessional statements. On perusing the reports, the Collector and Additional District Magistrate, Coimbatore, on 15th May, 1969 authorised the Executive I Class Magistrate to exercise the powers under S. 337(1) Crl. P.C. Observing the formalities, the latter tendered pardon to them on 26th May 1969. There was a preliminary enquiry and after this the case was committed for trial before the III Additional Assistant Sessions Judge. When Velayadham (P. W 1) was put into the box, objection was raised about the legality of the pardon tendered to him and about the admissibility of his evidence. The learned Assistant Sessions Judge overruled these objections. The correctness of this order is now canvassed in this revision.
(2.) S . 337 1971 (Crl.) of the Code of Criminal Procedure reads thus: In the case of any offence triable exclusively by the High Court or Court of Session, or any offence punishable with Imprisonment which may extend to seven years or any offence under any of the following sections of the Indian Penal Code, namely, Ss. 161, 165, 165A, 216A, 369, 401,435 and 477A, the District Magistrate, a Presidency Magistrate, Sub -Divisional Magistrate or any Magistrate of the first class may at any stage of the Investigation or enquiry Into, or the trial of the offence, with a view to obtaining the evidence of any person supposed to have been directly or Indirectly concerned in or privy to the offence tender a pardon to such person on condition of his making a fall and true disclosure of the whole of the circumstances within his knowledge relative to the offences and to every other person concerned, whether as principal or abettor, in the commission thereof; " Provided that, where the defense is under enquiry or trial, no Magistrate of the first class other than the District Magistrate shall exercise the power hereby conferred unless he is the Magistrate making the enquiry or holding the trial, and, where the offence is under investigation, no such Magistrate shall exercise the said power unless he is a Magistrate having jurisdiction in a place where the offence might be inquired into or tried and the sanction of the District Magistrate has been obtained to the exercise thereof. Mr. G. Ramaswami, learned Counsel appearing for the petitioners, contends that the words 'District Magistrate' occurring in the proviso to S., 337 1963 M.W.N. 630 Crl. P.C. do not include the Collector and Additional District Magistrate and that as such the pardon tendered to those persons is invalid. S., 10 1963 M.W.N. 630 of the Code states that In every District outside the Presidency Town, the State Government shall appoint a Magistrate of the first Class who shall be called " District Magistrate''. Sub -S., 1963 M.L.J. Cri. 181 of S. 10 enables the State Government to appoint any Magistrate of the first class to be the Additional District Magistrate and provides that such Magistrate shall have all or any of the powers of the District Magistrate under the Code as the State Government may direct. Mr. Bhango, I.A. S., Collector of Coimbatore, has been appointed as the Additional District Magistrate and empowered to exercise all the powers of a District Magistrate under the Code of Criminal Procedure - Vide G.O. Rt. 3190 Home dated 21st June, 1968, The powers under the Code will undoubtedly mean the powers conferred on the District Magistrate under any provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure, The powers are not limited only to those enumerated in the schedule. The Code gives power to the District Magistrate to give sanction. No limitation can be placed on the language of S. 10, 1963 M.L.J. Cri. 181 "all or any of the powers under this Code" to the powers enumerated under the schedule. The term 'District Magistrate' in S. 337, 1963 M.W.N. 630 Crl. P.C. includes an Additional District Magistrate empowered by the local Government under S. 10, 1963 M.L.J. Crl. 181 Crl. P.C. to exercise all the powers of a District Magistrate, and as such the Additional District Magistrate, has jurisdiction to accord sanction to the Executive First Class Magistrate to tender pardon to the approver. Vide Manicka Pandurar v. State, 1963 M. W. N. 630 and Paramasivam Chetti v. State, 1968 M. L. J. Cri. 181. The Executive First Class Magistrate In this case was authorised by the Additional District Magistrate to exercise powers under S. 337, 1963 M.W.N. 630 Crl. P.C. and he has tendered pardon. The Additional District Magistrate had certainly jurisdiction to accord such sanction to the Executive First Class Magistrate. The proceedings are not vitiated. The revision, therefore, falls and is dismissed.;

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