RAGHUNATH Vs. SATYABADI
LAWS(ORI)-1988-2-4
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Decided on February 26,1988

RAGHUNATH Appellant
VERSUS
SATYABADI Respondents




JUDGEMENT

- (1.)These two revisions were heard together and are being disposed of by this common judgment since common facts are involved. The complainant in I.C.C. 32/82 is the petitioner in Criminal Revision No. 55/84 assailing the Order of the learned Magistrate dated 26-9-1983 by which Order the Magistrate came to the conclusion that he had no jurisdiction to take cognisance under Section 467 I.P.C. in view of the bar provided under Section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The accused persons are the petitioners in Criminal Revision No. 577/83 challenging the Order of the Magistrate dated 26-9-1983 holding the trial of the case against them for the offence under Section 406 I.P.C. to proceed.
(2.)The short facts of the case are that the complainant filed a complaint petition alleging therein that the accused persons committed the offences under Section 406 as well as under Section 467 I.P.C. It was averred therein that the Aska Co-operative Central Bank had filed a dispute case being Dispute Case No. 732/78 against the father of the complainant as well as the present accused persons and also against the Service Co-operative Society for realisation of Rs.2794.40 paise. The further case of the complainant is that his father died on 15-10-1979 and had never incurred the loan as alleged. But the accused persons made false entries in the records of the Society and forged the signature of the complainant's father and used the said forged document to show that the complainant's father had incurred the loan. It was also alleged that the accused persons misappropriated the loan amount of Rs. 2000/- supposed to have been received from the Society in the name of the complainant's father by using the forged document. The Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies had sent a report to the police in this regard. But as police took no action, the complainant filed the petition in Court. On the basis of the allegations in the complaint petition and the initial statement of the complainant, after hearing the Advocate for the complainant, the learned Magistrate took cognisance under Sections 406 and 467 I.P.C. and issued summons to the accused persons by order dated 3-7-82. On 27-9-82 on behalf of the accused persons an application was filed challenging the maintainability of the proceedings mainly on the ground that in view of Section 195(1)(b), of the Code of Criminal Procedure, no complaint having been registered by the Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies, the Court had no jurisdiction to take cognisance. After hearing the parties at length, the Magistrate has passed the order which is being impugned both by the complainant as well as by the accused persons in two different revisions as stated earlier.
(3.)So far as the revision at the instance of the complainant is concerned, the short question for consideration is whether the Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies can be held to be a "Court" within the meaning of Section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Under Section 195(1) of the Code no court can take cognisance of an offence described in Section 463 or punishable under Sections 471,475 or Section 476 of the Indian Penal Code when such offence is alleged to have been committed in respect of a document produced or given in evidence in a proceeding, in any court, except on the complaint in writing of that Court, or of some other Court to which that Court is subordinate. Under Section 463 of the Indian Penal Code whoever makes any false document or part of a document with intent to cause damage or injury to the public or to any person or to support any claim or title or to cause any person to part with property or to enter into an express or implied contract or with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed commits forgery. Section 467 I.P.C. is the offence of forgery of valuable security and, therefore, the offence is one described in Section 463 of the Indian Penal Code. The allegations in the complaint petition being that the said offence was committed in respect of a document produced in a proceeding before the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies in the Dispute Case, if it is held that the Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies is a court, then the criminal court cannot take cognisance of the offence without a complaint in writing by the said Assistant Registrar. Consequently the sole question for decision is whether the Assistant Registrar of Co-operative Societies while deciding all disputes under the statute is a Court for the purpose of Section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. At this stage it would be appropriate to extract the relevant portion of Section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, necessary for this case :-
"Section 195(1) - No Court shall take cognisance - xx xx xx xx (b)(ii) of any offence described in Section 463, or punishable under Section 471, Section 475 or Section 476 of the said Code, when such offence is alleged to have been committed in respect of a document produced or given in evidence in a proceeding, in any Court, xx xx xx xx except on the complaint in writing of that Court, or of some other Court to which that Court is subordinate."
In deciding whether the Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies is a "Court" for the aforesaid purpose, it would also be relevant to extract Section 195(3) of the Code :-
"Sec. 195(3). In a clause (b) of Sub-Section (1) to the term "Court" means a Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court and includes a Tribunal constituted by or under a Central, Provincial or State Act if declared by that Act to be a Court for the purposes of this section."
The learned Magistrate in the impugned Order after discussing several case laws on the point and relying upon the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Thakur Jugal Kishore v. Sitamurhi Central Co-operative Bank Ltd. AIR 1967 SC 1494, has held that the Assistant Registrar Co-operative Societies is a "Court" for the purpose of section 195(1)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.


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