SANJIT KUMAR DATTA Vs. THE STATE
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Sanjit Kumar Datta
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Monoj Kumar Mukherjee, J. -
(1.) The only question that requires an answer in this Rule is whether the petitioner Sanjit Kumar Dutta is to be tried by the ordinary Criminal Court or by the Special Court constituted under the West Bengal Criminal Amendment (Special Courts) Act, 1949, hereinafter referred to as the Act. The question arises in this way.
(2.) The petitioner has had been holding the post of Works Assistant under the Howrah Improvement Trust since 1965. In May 1976 the Officer-on-Special Duty of the said Trust filed a complaint against the petitioner in the Court of the Sub-divisional Judicial Magistrate, Howrah alleging that the petitioner procured the job of Works Assistant by falsely representing that he had passed the Higher Secondary examination and that in support of his representation lie produced a certificate which was forged. On that complaint the learned Magistrate passed an order under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure and pursuant to the said order the Officer in Charge, Howrah Police Station, registered a case against the petitioner under Sections 468/471 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code. The case ended in a charge-sheet and the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Howrah, framed charges under the aforesaid sections against the petitioner to which lie pleaded not guilty. After a few prosecution witnesses were examined a petition was filed on behalf of the State contending that the ease against the petitioner was to be tried by the Special Court constituted under the Act and not by the ordinary Criminal Court as the offence was committed by him while purporting to act as a public servant The learned Magistrate rejected the petition and decided to proceed with the trial. Aggrieved thereby the State moved a revisional application which was allowed by the learned Sessions Judge, Howrah and the learned Judge sent the case back with a direction that it should be referred to the Special Court and directed the prosecution to-take necessary steps for that purpose The above order of the learned Sessions Judge, Howrah is the subject-matter of challenge in this Rule.
(3.) In the case of State of West Bengal v. Manma, reported in 1977 Cr. L.J. page 1164 the Supreme Court has held that the crucial date for the purpose of attracting the provisions of the Act is whether the offence has been committed by a public servant within the definition of Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code and the date for determining the offence is the date of the commission of offence when the person arraigned must be a public servant. The employees of Howrah Improvement Trust undoubtedly are public servants within the meaning of Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code and in that context it has only to be ascertained whether the petitioner committed the offence alleged against him as a public servant.;
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