HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD (AT: LUCKNOW)
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(1.) RAM Das and two others have filed an application under Section 215, Criminal P. C. , read
with Section 561a, Criminal P. C. , praying that the order of committal passed by the Special
magistrates, Sitapur, dated 20-5-1954 be set aside and the proceedings be quashed. The
applicants were committed under Section 307 read with Section 34. Penal Code to stand their
trial in the Court of the Sessions Judge, Sitapur.
(2.) SEVERAL grounds were taken in this application, but the main contention of the counsel for the
applicants is that the committing Magistrates did not examine the accused persons under Section
342, Criminal P. C. , and this, has vitiated the entire proceedings.
(3.) ON behalf of the opposite parties it was contested that no illegality has been committed, if
section 342, Criminal P. C. , is correctly interpreted. It was argued that Section 342, Criminal P. C. , contemplates two stages when a Court can examine the accused persons. The first stage
extends upto the time when the accused is called upon his defence and it is discretionary with the
magistrate to examine him during this stage or not. The second stage, which is the mandatory
part of this Section, is reached when the accused is called upon to enter upon his defence. As in an inquiry under Chapter 18, Criminal P. C. , the accused is not called upon to enter into his
defence, it cannot be said that the Magistrate, if he omitted to examine the accused persons,
committed any illegality. It is contested that the accused is called upon to enter into, his defence
only when after committal the proceedings start in the Court of Session and he is asked to
register his plea. In support of this contention art authority was cited. This decision is reported in -- 'emperor v. Ajahar Mandal, AIR 1935 Cal p. 605 (A ). It was held
in this case that in a case which is triable by a Sessions Court, it is the latter Court which tries the
accused and calls upon him to enter on his defence and, therefore, it is to that Court that the
mandatory provisions of Section 342, Criminal P. C. , are applicable. That being so it cannot be
said that the omission to examine the accused in the committing Court is a disregard of an
express provision of law and, therefore, illegal.;
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