Decided on December 06,1951



P.B.Mukharji, J. - (1.)This is a reference to us from the District Magistrate of Midnapur under Section 185(1), Criminal P. C. That section provides that
"Whenever a question arises as to which of two or more Courts subordinate to the same High Court ought to inquire into or try any offence, it shall be decided by that High Court."

(2.)The question here before us on this Letter of Reference relates to two 'chars', Gurudaha 'char' and Gurgurahti 'char', in the bed of river Rupnarayan which runs between the two districts of Midnapur and Howrah. The question is in which district, Midnapur or Howrah are these two 'chars' situate. The question arises out of certain proceedings under Section 147/324, Penal Code in which the place of occurrence is said to be these two 'chars'. We have to determine which of the two Courts of Midnapur and Howrah has the jurisdiction to try these proceedings.
(3.)In the letter of reference of the District Magistrate he makes no statement or comment. He has only forwarded the records of the two cases, but has not enumerated the different contentions on the point of jurisdiction nor supplied any proof in support of either contention. The records of these two cases are silent on the point of jurisdiction that we have to determine on this Reference. Having regard to the form of the letter of reference which we find to be very unhelpful for the purpose of this Court we directed an enquiry in the department to find out if there were any prescribed rules for making reference under Section 185(1), Criminal P. C. It appears that there are definite instructions in the 'Criminal Rules and Orders', Vol. I as to how references under Sections 307, 374 and 438, Criminal P. C. should be submitted to the High Court but the 'Criminal Rules and Orders' do not contain any instructions as to how cases should be submitted to the High Court under Section 185(1), Criminal P. C. That is a lacuna which we consider should be filled up as soon as possible. The jurisdiction which this Court exercises under Section 185(1), Criminal P. C. is a jurisdiction of very great responsibility where this Court has to decide which of the two or more Subordinate Courts will be competent to enquire into and try offences and unless proper steps are taken to supply this Court with official records and materials in coming to a right decision on the point, we apprehend that there may be good deal of confusion. Immediate steps should therefore be taken by this Court to frame suitable rules for making references to this Court under section 185(1), Criminal P. C. so that it is ensured that before this Court decides the question of jurisdiction, at least all the available official records and authentic materials bearing on the point are duly placed before the Court. We direct the Registrar of the Appellate Side of this Court to move in the matter.

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