MOHAMMED SHERIFF Vs. P MOHAMMED IBRAHIM
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
P. MOHAMMED IBRAHIM
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Somasundaram, J. -
(1.) The accused is the petitioner herein. The petitioner was prosecuted on a private complaint for an offence under Ss. 171(d) & 171(f), I. P. C. The case is that on the date of the Panchayat Board election in Uthamapalayam the accused voted twice giving his own name as P. Mohamed Rowther giving his voter number as 497 and also in his own name with voter number 423 in two wards, viz wards Nos. 10 and 9 respectively. A preliminary objection was taken to the hearing of the case on the ground that under R. 27(6) of the Rules framed under Section 112(2) (i) of the Village Panchayats Act, 1950, the sanction of the District Magistrate must have been obtained, and in the absence of such sanction the court had no jurisdiction to proceed with the case. Rule 27, Clause (6) is as follows: "The Election Officer shall immediately make such investigation as may be necessary and shall take steps to prosecute the person or persons whom he believes to be guilty of the offence of personation after obtaining the previous sanction, required by Section 196, Cr. p. C. 1898, such sanction being obtained from the District Magistrate concerned." It conceded that this R. 37 is a valid rule. if this is a valid rule, then the rule itself enjoins the Election Officer to obtain the previous sanction as required by Section 196 of the Code. The question is whether under Section 196 of the Code, sanction is necessary for prosecuting the petitioner for the offence of false personation. Section 196, as it stood on the date when the rules came into force, is as follows: "No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under Chapter VI or IX-A of the Indian Penal Code (except Section 127 and Section 171 (f) so far as it relates to the offence of personation) or punishable under Section 108-A, or Section 153-A or Section 294-A (or Section 295-A) or Section 505 of the same Code, unless upon complaint made by order of, or under authority from, (the Provincial Government or some officer empowered by the Provincial Government) in this behalf". Now this is an offence which falls under Section 171(f) and relates to the offence of personation. Under Section 196, therefore, no sanction is necessary to prosecute any person for this offence.
(2.) What is contended by the learned advocate for the petitioner is that this amendment of Section 196 was introduced by Section 138 of Act 43 of 1951, which is an Act which provides for the conduct of elections to the Houses of Parliament, or the Houses of Legislature of each State and any provision made under this Act to amend the Criminal P. C. should not be made applicable to offences in the Panchayat Board elections which fall more within the scope of legislation of the State Legislature. But so far as the Criminal P. C. is concerned, it is in the concurrent list. It is open to the Parliament to amend the Criminal P. C., though the State also may introduce its own special amendment. For an amendment of the Criminal P. C. it is not necessary that an Act as such to amend the Criminal P. C. must be introduced. It may be introduced in any of the Acts of Parliament by introducing a suitable provision in that Act. Since the Parliament has power to amend the Criminal P. C. and has power to introduce a provision like Section 138 of Act 43 of 1951, that section has all the force of amending the Criminal P. C. in respect of all offences which fall within the Indian Penal Code. It must not be forgotten that the accused in this case is prosecuted for an offence under the. Indian Penal Code. The Criminal P. C. applies, and the amendment introduced by Section 138 is quite a valid amendment, and the rule framed by the State of Madras itself requires that the sanction as required by Section 196 must be obtained if a prosecution is launched by Election Officer. This Section 198, as already stated, docs not require any sanction for prosecuting a case for an offence under Section 171(f) so far as it relates to false personation. Apart from that, what the rule requires is that the Election Officer if he wants to prosecute should follow the provisions of Section 195. The rule does not apply to the prosecutions by a private party. For both the reasons I find that the order of the lower court that no sanction is required is correct.
(3.) This petition is therefore dismissed. For the reasons in Crl. R. C. No. 949 of 1953, Crl. R. C. Nos. 947 and 948 of 1953 are also dismissed.;
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