G.K. Misra, J. -
(1.) OUT of the same facts G.R. Case No. 109 of 1972 and G.R. Case No. 107 of 1972 have been filed at the instance of the police against Balaram Sahu (opposite party No. 1) and others. Balaram Sahu filed Complaint Case No. 1 -CC. 12/72 against the Petitioner, the Sub -Divisional Officer, Deogarh (opposite party No. 21) and other persons of the police force and forest department. Naturally different versions of the respective story have been given.
(2.) FACTS as narrated in this revision application, based on the F.I.Rs. in the two G.R. cases, may be stated in chronological order.
Two forest guards lodged a written F.I.R. at Naikul Police Station at 7 -30 a.m. on 10 -7 -1972 alleging therein that Balaram Sahu (opp. party No. 1) had stolen three dry Sal logs and those logs were lying in his thrashing -floor. These three logs had been found by those two forest guards (informants) as lying cut in the reserve forest on 1 -7 -1972. On that date they seized the Sal logs and put hammer marks thereon. They used to keep watch on the seized logs to detect the culprits who had illicitly felled the same. It was difficult for them to remain alert every night. In the afternoon of 9 -7 -1972 they found these three logs removed. On enquiry they suspected that the three logs had been removed by opposite party No. 1 to his thrashing -floor. The First Information Report was forwarded by Dambarudhar Pradhan (the Forester of Gogua) to the Officer -in -charge, Naikul Police Station. The report was received at 7 -30 a.m. on 10 -7 -1972 by Shri Banbehari Mohanty, the Assistant Sub -Inspector of Police (opposite party No. 3) who at that time was functioning as the officer -in -charge of the police station. The Sub -Inspector Shri Sushil Chandra Patnaik (opposite party No. 2) was out on investigation work. Opposite party No. 3 finding a cognizable case under Section 379, Indian Penal Code registered P.S. Case No. 26/72 under Section 379 Indian Penal Code and took up preliminary investigation. After registering the case the A.S.I. left for village Gogua along with two constables. In the village the forest personnel were present. Opposite party No. 3 arrested Balaram Sahu, handcuffed him and brought him to the thrashing -floor where the logs were lying. When Balaram Sahu was arrested a large number of villagers followed him. As the investigation was in progress the gathering was gradually swelling. Meanwhile opposite party No. 2 arrived at the spot after receiving information at the police station about the registration of this case and took up investigation from opposite party No. 3. By then a large crowd had surrounded the police and the forest personnel and the complainant. Balaram Sahu who had been handcuffed incited the crowd saying that he has been falsely implicated in the case and that the crowd should resist such illegal arrest. The crowd got agitated, turned violent and launched assault on the forest personnel. When the police intervened they were also badly assaulted. The Forester sustained multiple, serious and fatal injuries while opposite party No. 2 received bleeding injuries o his head. Other forest and police staff also received injuries as a result of the assault. The crowd snatched away official documents such as seizure -list, hammer, cash etc. from the police and the forest staff in course of the assault. They rescued the complainant (opposite party No. 1) for some time and wrongfully confined the constables for a few hours. They took out the complainant Balaram Sahu from the custody of the police. All the aforesaid facts were mentioned in the First Information Report drawn up by opposite party No. 2 on 10 -7 -1972.
The Gramarakshi who was on the spot was signalled by the Sub -Inspector to go to Deogarh. He went to Deogarh which was about 17 miles away from the village at about 5 p.m. and intimated the Circle Inspector about the situation. On receipt of the information the Circle Inspector sent a wireless message to the S.P. Sambalpur. at 5 -30 p.m. intimating therein that the S.I. A.S.I., constables, Forester and forest guards had been seriously injured and surrounded by the villagers of Gogua. The Circle Inspector left for the spot along with some constables of Deogarh Police Station in a jeep. Village Gogua is situated in the confluence of two rivers Gohiri and Brahmani. The Circle Inspector reached the bank of river Gohiri at about 7 -30 p.m. and found opposite parties 2 and 3 at the bank. He found opposite party No. 2 having a bleeding injury on the head and opposite party No. 3 having sustained multiple injuries on his person. At about 10 p.m. the constables who had been kept under conferment were released by the villagers. Balaram Sahu surrendered himself to the Circle Inspector. The C.I. returned to village Bemur and halted there for the night.
On receipt of the wireless message at a bout 10 p.m. the S.P. Sambalpur, directed the Petitioner who was the Additional Superintendent of Police, Sambalpur, to proceed to Gogua with two sections of APR. The Petitioner left for Deogarh with two sections of APR and reached Deogarh shortly after 2 a.m. on 11 -7 -1972. He found opposite parties 2 and 3 at Deogarh P.S. The injured Forester Dambarudhar Pradhan had been admitted into the hospital with serious multiple injuries on his person. The Circle Inspector had not returned to Deogarh. Opposite party No. 1 had not been brought to Deogarh.
After discussion with the Sub -Divisional Officer (opposite party No. 21) the Petitioner, the S.D.O. and opposite party No. 2 started for Gogua with two sections of APR. The Petitioner and the party reached the bank of river Gohiri at about 5 a.m. after picking up the Circle Inspector, Deogarh (opposite party No. 4) from Bemur. All of them went to village Gogua. The Petitioner and the S.D.O. remained at the Veterinary Hospital at the outskirt of the village with a few APR constables. Opposite party No. 4 along with a Surgent, opposite parties 2 and 3 and a section of the police force went to the village and returned after some time after arresting 19 accused persons. Then they left for Deogarh.
The injured Forester Dambarudhar Pradhan died at 5 a.m. on 11 -7 -1972. The Petitioner returned to the head -quarters on 12 -7 -1972 at 2 p.m. On return he submitted a report to the Superintendent of police narrating the aforesaid facts.
It is to be noted that Balaram Sahu had been arrested on 10 -7 -1970. On 11 -7 -1972, 19 other accused persons were arrested in G.R. Case No. 107 of 1972. The accused persons were produced before the Sub -Divisional Officer, Deogarh, and they did not complain of any ill -treatment by the police. In his order dated 12 -7 -1972 the S.D.O. (opposite party No. 21) clearly stated that the accused did not complain any ill -treatment by the police. The jail admission register does not also indicate any injury having bee caused to the accused persons.
While in police custody, opposite party No. 1 and 19 other co -accused persons filed four applications on 14 -7 -1972 before the S.D.O. Deogarh. Those applications were drafted by an Advocate. No complaint was made against the Petitioner in any of these applications.
On 17 -7 -1972 the S.D.O. rejected the petition for bail of those accused persons. In the order he stated : "No complaint of ill -treatment by the police."
Charge -sheet in G.R. Case No. 109 of 1972 under Section 379, Indian Penal Code was filed against opposite party No. 1 on 21 -8 -1972 for having committed theft of Sal logs from the Gogua Reserve Forest. Charge -sheet in G.R. Case No. 107 of 1972 against opposite party No. 1 and other co -accused persons was filed by the Circle Inspector under Sections 148, 149, 302,333, 342, 325. 379 and 383 Indian Penal Code for having been members of the riotous mob which assaulted public servants performing their official duties, causing fatal assault to a Forester leading to his death, causing serious hurt, committing theft of cash etc., extorting statements after putting the forest guards to instant fear of death and for having rescued opposite party No. 1 from out of police custody.
On 21 -8 -1972 opposite party No. 1 and some of his co -accused were released on bail by the order of the learned Sessions Judge, Sambalpur.
The complaint petition was filed by opposite party No. 1 on 22 -9 -1972 against 21 persons. The Petitioner N.C. Padhi, Addl. S.P. Sambalpur was impleaded as accused No. 4 and the S.D.O. Deogarh, as accused No. 21, the complainant Balaram Sahu was not examined on oath on 22 -9 -1972 when the complaint petition was filed. On the application of the advocate to defer the examination on oath of the complainant, his statement on solemn affirmation was recorded on 25 -9 -1972.
After the statement on oath on 2 -9 -1972 the S.D.M., Deogarh, directed an enquiry under Section 202, Code of Criminal Procedure by himself. On 26 -10 -1972 the Petitioner and the S.D.O., Deogarh, filed applications for dismissal of the complaint on the ground that sanction under Section 197, Code of Criminal Procedure was not obtained. The applications were dismissed on 18 -11 -1972.
On 20 -12 -1972 this revision has been filed to quash the order dated 25 -91972 directing an enquiry under Section 202, Code of Criminal Procedure and the order dated 18 -11 -1972 rejecting the application of the Petitioner to dismiss the complaint.
Crl. Misc. Case No. 227 of 1972 was filed to transfer the complaint case from the file of the S.D.M., Deogarh, to the file of some other Magistrate either at Sambalpur or in some other district. The S.D.M. Shri R.S. Sahu who passed the impugned orders has been transferred to Cuttack in the meantime. The misc. criminal case has, therefore, become infructuous and is hereby dismissed.
In the complaint petition filed by Balaram Sahu a different version has been given. It was alleged that because Balaram Sahu made various complaints before the Government and Ministers against the police and forest staff, they bore a grudge against him and the forest case alleging illicit removal of three Sal logs has been falsely foisted on him. The complainant was on inimical terms with Ananda Chandra Behera (accused No. 19 of the complaint petition). After having foisted the false case (if removal of logs, the complainant was handcuffed, made to stand in front of the house of Ananda Chandra Behera and insulted in various manners. The three Sal logs were thrown into his thrashing -floor at the instance of the police and the forest people. At the time of police investigation at his thrashing -floor the forest guards confessed that they had planted the three logs in accordance with the order of the beat forester. He, his co -accused and other villagers were tortured in various manners. As a result of police atrocities the villagers left the village for jungle after being subjected to humiliation. At the instance of the Petitioner and in his presence Balaram Sahu 's co -accused were mercilessly assaulted. When complaint was made to the Petitioner he said that the police people were Sarkari Goondas and it was their duty to set right people. It was stated in the complaint petition that the accused persons referred to therein jointly and severally committed offences be under Sections 397, 192, 342, 323, 324, 448, 354, 194, 427, 330, 148, 149/34, 201, 219. 221, 469 and 166, Indian Penal Code.
(3.) THUS the stories given by the police and Balaram Sahu are somewhat divergent.;