Decided on October 13,1931

Chiteshwar Dube And Ors Appellant
EMPEROR Respondents


- (1.) This is a reference by the learned Sessions Judge of Ghazipur in a case in which the applicants for revision have been convicted by a Bench of Honorary Magistrates for offences under Sections 323 and 447, I.P.C., and sentenced to small amounts of fine.
(2.) The Bench of Honorary Magistrates in question consisted of three Honorary Magistrates, namely, Pandit Paras Ram, Pandit Lachhmi Narain and Maulvi Abdul Mughni. The case was heard on a number of dates. Maulvi Abdul Mughni did not join the other members of the Bench on several occasions when witnesses were examined. The learned Sessions Judge is of opinion that the presence of all the Magistrates constituting the Bench on all hearings is indispenssable for a valid trial of a case pending before it. I think this is a correct view of the law applicable to proceedings taken before a Bench of Honorary Magistrates constituted under Sections 15 and 16, Criminal P.C.
(3.) Before the Amending Act of 1923 there was some difference of opinion as regards the legality of a trial by a Bench whose constitution had been altered during the pendency of the trial. Section 350-A now added provides that no order or judgment of a Bench of Magistrates shall be invalid by reason only of a change having occurred in the constitution of the Bench in any case in which the Bench by which such order or judgment is passed is duly constituted under Sections 15 and 16, and the Magistrates constituting the same have been present on the Bench throughout the proceedings.;

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