M. SUBBARAYUDU AND ORS. Vs. THE STATE
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
M. Subbarayudu And Ors.
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Subba Rao, J. -
(1.) THIS Full Bench has been constituted to decide a fundamental question, which is arising every day, namely, whether and to what extent the Andhra High Court is bound by the decisions of the Madras High Court delivered before 5 -7 -1954.
(2.) THE facts of the case that led to the reference may be briefly stated. The petitioners were the accused in P.R.C. No. 2 of 1953. The Sub -Divisional Magistrate, Dharmavaram, discharged the accused for an offence under S. 395, Penal Code, and converting the case into a Calendar case, directed the accused to be tried for the other offences with which they were charged. In revision, the District Magistrate, Gooty, set aside that Order under Ss. 435 and 436, Criminal P.C. and directed the Sub -Divisional Magistrate to commit the accused to the Court of Session to take their trial for all the offences with which they were charged. The accused have filed this Criminal Revision Petition against that Order. In revision, the main question raised was whether under S. 209 (i), Criminal P.C., when a Magistrate finds that there are not sufficient grounds for committing the accused for trial and directs such persons to be tried before himself, the revisional powers under S. 437 can be exercised even before the conclusion of the trial before such Magistrate. Chandra Reddy J., who admitted the revision directed the same to be posted before a Division Bench as it was represented to him that a Pull Bench decision of the Madras High Court covering the point required re -consideration. The Revision Petition was accordingly posted before a Division Bench. The respondent relied upon the Full Bench decision of the Madras High Court in - -'Nalla Baligadu In re', : AIR 1953 Mad 801 (FB) (A), wherein it was ruled that the powers under S. 437, Criminal P.C. can be exercised even before the conclusion of the trial before the Magistrate. If the Full Bench decision of the Madras High Court was binding on this Court, it would follow that the Revision Petition was liable to be dismissed.
In the circumstances, the learned Counsel for the petitioners contended that the Andhra High Court would not be bound by the decisions of the Madras High Court. Reliance was placed upon the decision of our learned brother Umamaheswaram, in - -'Subba Reddi v. Govinda Reddi', (S), AIR 1955 Andhra 49 (B), wherein the learned Judge observed that the Andhra High Court, which was inaugurated in July 1954 is not bound by the decisions of the Full Bench of the Madras High Court, or other High Courts and is at liberty to examine the question in the light of well established legal principles and arrive at a proper conclusion. As this question is arising very often in this Court, the Division Bench thought that the said question should be decided finally and authoritatively by a Full Bench. Hence, the Revision Petition was directed to be posted before a Full Bench.
(3.) THE argument of Mr. Chinnappa Reddy, the learned counsel for the petitioner may be put thus: The binding -nature of the decision of one Court over another depends upon the fact whether both the Courts are Courts of co -ordinate jurisdiction. If so, on a principle of judicial comity, the decision of one Court is binding on another. The Andhra High Court and the Madras High Court are not Courts of co -ordinate jurisdiction, for, the idea of co -ordination implies a concurrent and simultaneous jurisdiction. Whatever may be said about the decisions of the composite High Court between 1 -10 -1953 and 5 -7 -1954, the decisions prior to 1 -10 -1953 are not decisions of a Court of co -ordinate jurisdiction. In any view, the said principle has no application to criminal cases. The Advocate General who appeared as amicus curiae at our request, conceded that the High Courts of Andhra and Madras are not Courts of co -ordinate jurisdiction, but argued that on the principle of stare decisis the decisions of the Madras High Court prior to 5 -7 -1954 should be followed by this High Court. The learned Public Prosecutor, who appeared for the 'State, further contended that the provisions of the Andhra State Act (30 of 1953) would indicate that the law of the Madras High Court which term is wide enough to include Judge -made law, is also binding on the Andhra; High Court.;
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