Kumarayya, J. -
(1.) The short point that falls for determination in these four revision petitions is whether having regard to the provisions of Section 479-A(1), Criminal Procedure Code, it was obligatory on the Additional Sessions Judge to give the petitioners opportunity of being heard after recording a Ending contemplated by that Sub-clause and before making a complaint in writing for the offence of perjury under section 193, I. P. C.
(2.) The petitioners were called as eye-witnesses (P. Ws. 1 to 4) in Sessions Case No. 19/62 in relation to the stab injuries inflicted on P. W. 1 and E. Venkataramana as a result of which Venkataiamana died on 2-11-1961. These witnesses before the committal Court as also before the Magistrate under Section 164, Cri. P. C., deposed that they had actually witnessed the stabbing of the deceased, Venkataramana, by A.1 and gave all other details of the occurrence. They deposed to the fact that P. W. 1 was stabbed by A.2 and gave all further details in relation thereto. But when they were called as witnesses in the Sessions Court, they turned hostile to the prosecution and completely gave a go-by to the fact of their having witnessed the stabbing of the- deceased by A.1 and of P. W. 1. by A. 2. They were cross-examined by the Public Prosecutor with the permission of the Court. They were confronted with their statements in the Committal Court in so far a they were contradictory with the statements in the Sessions Court and were called upon to explain the same. They stated that their statements before the Sessions Court were true and that they gave earlier statements on account of the threats extend- ed by the Police. The learned Additional Sessions Judge found that their explanation was, false and frivolous and having regard to the fact that they were present near the scene of occurrence which they have admitted even in their statements in the Sessions Court he was inclined to believe that their denial in the Sessions Court having witnessed the actual stabbing is untrue and that they are probably won over. He recorded a finding stating reasons there-for in his judgment that the petitioners, P. Ws. 1 to 4, had given intentionally false evidence and that for the eradication of evils of perjury and in the interests of justice it was expedient that they should be prosecuted for the offence of giving false evidence. Accordingly, he directed prosecution and lodged complaints with the Munsif-Magistrate, Chittoor, under Section 193, I. P. C. He did not, before making such complaints} give any notice to the petitioners, for he was of the opinion that it was not necessary to do so, since they had already given their explanations that they made the statements in the committal Court under the threat of the police, which explanation is false. All the four petitioners aggrieved by the complaints dodged against them have come up in revision to "this Court.
(3.) The only paint for consideration is whether it was obligatory on the trial Court before making the complaints to give opportunity to the petitioners of being heard as to whether the complaints against them should be made or not. This turns upon the Interpretation of the relevant provision in Section 479-A, Cri. P. C. That section so fat as is necessary for our purpose, may be extracted lure: Section 479-A. "(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in Sections 476 to 479 inclusive, when any Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court is of opinion that any person appearing before it as a witness has intentionally given false evidence in any stage of judicial proceeding or has intentionally fabricated false evidence for the purpose of being used in any stage of the judicial proceeding, and that, for the eradication of the evils of perjury and fabrication of false evidence and in the interests of justice it is expedient that such witness should be prosecuted for the offence which appears to have been committed by him, the Court shall at the time of the delivery of the judgment or final order disposing of such proceeding, record a finding to that effect stating its reasons therefore and may if it so thinks fit, after giving the witness an opportunity of being heard, make a complaint thereof in writing signed by the presiding officer of the "Court setting forth the evidence which, in the opinion of Court, is false or fabricated and forward the same to a Magistrate of the first class having jurisdiction, and may, if the accused is present "before the Court, take sufficient security for his appearance before such Magistrate and may bind over any person to appear and give evidence before such Magistrate. Provided that where the Court making the complaint is a High Court the complaint may be signed by such officer of the Court as the Court may appoint. Explanation: ***** (2) * * * * (3) * * * * (4) Where, in any case a complaint has been made under Sub-section (1) and an appeal has been preferred against the decision arrived at in the judicial proceeding out of which the matter has arisen, the hearing of the case before the Magistrate to whom the complaint was forwarded or to whom the case may have been transferred shall be adjourned until such appeal is decided, and the Appellate Court, after giving the person against whom the complaint has been made an opportunity of being heard, may, if it so thinks fit, make an order directing the withdrawal of the complaint; and a copy of such order shall be sent to the Magistrate before whom the hearing of the case is pending. (5) fn any case, where an appeal has been preferred from any decision of a Civil, Revenue of Criminal Court but no complaint has been made under Sub-section (1), the power conferred on such Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court under the said Sub-section, may be exercised by the Appellate Court: and where the Appellate Court makes such complaint, the provisions of Sub-section (1) shall apply accordingly, but no such order shall be made, without giving the person affected thereby an opportunity of being heard. (6) No proceedings shall be taken under Sections 476 to 479 inclusive for the prosecution of a person for giving or fabricating false evidence, if in respect of such a person proceedings may be taken under this section." Though we are concerned only with Sub-section (1) while construing the same Sub-section (5) also, which makes specific reference to that Sub-section, must come up for our consideration, because it impliedly prescribes the avowed province of that Sub-section. Of course, section 476, Cri. P. C. which contains parallel provision though with some difference need not engage our attention at all in view of Sub-section (6) of Section 479-A.;