Decided on January 18,1972



- (1.) THE only point for consideration in this revision, petition is whether the reference made by the learned Sessions Judge, Medak in Crl. Revision Petition No. 50 of 1966 should be accented or not. The facts are that the complainant filed a complaint under Section 379. I. PC. against the accused who are the Executive Officer and the Bill Collector of the Ga. iwel gram pancha-yat to the effect that on 26-3-1966 the accused have committed a theft of a gold chain weighing about 6 tolas and cash Rs. 498-50 from the house of the complainant, After the filing of the complaint, an objection was raised by the accused that under Section 143 of the Andhra Pradesh Gram Panchayats Act; permission has not been obtained by the complainant to prosecute the accused persons. The learned Magistrate dismissed the complaint on the ground that the complainant ought to have obtained the permission before prosecuting the accused persons. A revision petition was preferred by the complainant. The learned Sessions Judge allowed the revision holding that no permission was necessary under Section 143 of the Gram Panchayts Act. Aggrieved by the judgment of the learned Sessions Judge, the accused preferred Crl, R. C. No. 820 of 1968 to the High Court. On 27-12-1969 the High Court allowed the revision petition on the ground that the learned Sessions Judge had no jurisdiction to allow the revision. He was only entitled to make a reference to the High Court in case he was of the opinion that the revision should be allowed. Consequently, on remand by the High Court, the learned Sessions Judge has again by his order dated 31-8-1970 made a reference to this Court.
(2.) SECTION 143 of the Andhra Pradesh Gram Panchayat Act provides that "when the Sarpanch. executive authority or any member of a Gram Panchayat or the Nyaya Adhyaksha or any member of a nyaya panchayat or the president or any member of a conciliation board is accused of any offence alleged to have been committed by him while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duty, no Court shall take cognizance of such offence except with the previous sanction of the Government.
(3.) IT will thus be seen that if an offence is committed within the course of duty, then only sanction of the Government is necessary. Obviously it is not within the course of the duty of the executive Officer or the Bill Collector to go and steal the gold chain or cash. Hence no sanction is necessary under Section 143 of the Gram Panchayats Act because the stealing of the gold chain does not fall within the ambit of the course of the duty of the Executive Officer or the Bill Collector. As such the order of the learned Sessions Judge is correct and the reference is accepted. The learned Magistrate will proceed with the case as per the provisions of law.;

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