Muktadar, J. -
(1.) In this revision an important point of law is involved. There are in all 92 accused persons in P. R. C. No. 1 of 1971 having been charged under sections 302, 120-B, 121-A. 395 etc., I.P.C. During the enquiry the proseeution filed a petition Crl. M.P.No. 187 of 1972 before the learned Spacial Magistrate, who is enquiring into P.R.C. 1 of 1971, with a prayer to split up the case of six of the accused viz., A-82, A-95 A-97, A-102, A-109 and A-118 on the ground that they have caused obstructisn to the proceeding of the Court by making noise, raising slogans, singing songs and even causing threats to a witness, followed by intermittent interruption, as a result which the proceedings could not be conducted in a peaceful atmostphere Mtd the decorum of the court could not be maintained and the whole attend phone was not In keeping with the dignity of the court. The learned Magistrate dismissed the petition on two grounds Viz., that he had no power to pass such order splitting up the case of the six accused from the rest. The Magistrate also found that most of the allegations of the prosecution have not been established. Aggrieved by the said order, the prosecution has preferred this revision. Sri Jayachandra Reddy, the learned. Public Prosecutor contends that although there is no provision in the criminal procedure code to split up the case, revertheless the Magistrate erred in holding that he has no power to split up the case against the accused-persons. In support of his contention, the learned Public Prosecutor has relied on several rullings. The learned Public Prosecutor further submits that it is true that no similar provisions as that of section 561-A Crl. PC. are to be found in the criminal procedure code giving in herent powers to the lower court. A perusal of several authorities would show that the lower court is clothed with inherent powers to pass orders which are necessary for effective dispensing of justice. In view of the importance of the question of law involved,. I consider it necessary that it should be disposed of by a Division Bench of this court because it will effect a number of cases for all times to come. Hence the case is referred to the Bench. The papers may be placed before My Lord the Chief Justice for necessary orders, In view of the urgencey of the case and the fact that most of the accused are in jail for a very long time, it is desirable that this revision may be posted before a Bench during the next week.
(2.) This Criminal Revision petition has been filed by the Public Prosecutor, with a prayer that the Order of the Special Magistrate, Visakhapatnam, dated 29-6-1972 in Crl. M.P. No. 187 of 1972 in P. R. C. No. 1 of 1971 be revised. 92 persons in all were charge-sheeted before the, Spl, Magistrate in P.R.C. 1 of 1971 for various offences alleged to have been committed by them. During the enquiry, the prosecution filed Crl. M. P. No. 187/1972 before the Special Magistrate, with a prayer to split up the case of Six of the accused persons viz, A-82, A-95, A-97, A-102, A-109 and A-118 on the ground that they have caused obstrction in the proceedings of the court by making noise, raising alongs, singing songs, and even causing threats to a witness, followed by intermittent interruption, as a result of which the proceedings could not be conducted in a peaceful atmosphere and the decorum of the court could not be maintained and the whole atmosphere was not in keeping with the dignity of the court. By his order dated 29-6-1972, the Special Magistrate dismissed the petition, mainly en the around that he has no powet to split up the case of some of the reponsons from the case of the rest of the accused. The Special maga trate also discussed the merits, and found that the prosecution bad failed to establish most of the allegations made by it. Aggrieved by the above order, the learned Public Prosecutor filed this criminal revision case in this court. The Petition camp up for hearing before our learned brother, Muktadar, J. In view of the importance of the question of law involved, our learned brother, considered it necessary that this revision petition should be disposed of by a Division Bench, because it would effect a large number of cases for all clmes to come, This is how the petition has come up before us. The learned Public Prosecutor contended that every subordinate criminal court has, by its very constitution inherent powers to do all such acts as are necessary for a fair and smooth trail of the accused-persons. There may be several cases where the cases of some of ths accused may have to be split up from the case of others, for various valid reasons. The High Court, by Rule 18 of the criminal rules of practice, has provided that every Subordinate criminal court has got inherent powers to split up the casc of an absconding, accused from the case of the rest of the accused. If the subordinate courts have no such inherent power, it would be impossible for the Subordinate Courts to have a fair and smooth trial. In support of his argument, the learned Public Prosecutor relied upon a large number of cases.
(3.) The learned counsel, Sri P. Venkateswarlu, appearing for A-82, contended that, no doubt the Subordinate courts must have inherent powers to do all such acts which are necessary for ensuring a fair add smooth trial of accused-persons, but the subordinate courts have no inherent powers to split up a case on the ground of obstruction, etc., If the accused-persons intentionally insulted, or caused interruption to any public servant while such public servant is sitting in any stage of judicial proceedings, section 228 of the Indian Penal Code provides for punishing such offending accused. Similarly, when any of the accused or any person omits to produce a document to a public servant being legally bound to produce it, or refuses to take an oath or affirmation when duly required by such public servant, or refuses to answer a public servant authorised to question, or refuses to. sign his statement and commits offences under sections 175,178, 179 and 180 or sec. 288 of the I.P.C., the Magistrate has ample power, under section 480 of the Criminal Procedure Code to take cognizance, of the offence and sentence the offender. In view of the existence of these special provisions in the penal code as well as in the Criminal Procedure Code, the subordinate courts should be considered not to have an inherent power to split up a case on the ground of obstruction, etc , The learned counsel, in support of his argument, invited oar attention to the decision of this court reported in Sri Eswaraswamy Temple Represented By Its Trustee r. Jangam Nagaiah and others Section 561-A of the Criminal Procedure Code saves the inherent powers of the High; Court to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under the code, or to prevent the abuse of the process of any court or othervise to secure the ends of justice. Some of the general principles governing the exercise of inherent powers by the High Court are; (1) Such powers would not be invoked in regard to matters covered by specific provisions of the code, and (2) to review its own order passed in a criminal case.;