ARUP CHETIA Vs. SUNIL GOGOI
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
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Hitesh Kumar Sarma, J. -
(1.) This is a criminal petition, filed under Section 482 read with Section 401 of the Cr.PC, praying for quashing and setting aside the order, dated 15.12.2016, passed by the learned Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Dibrugarh, in CR Case No. 46/2015, taking cognizance of offence under Sections 177/468/471 of the IPC against the accusedpetitioner.
(2.) The fact leading to the complaint case, being CR Case No. 46/2015, is as follows :
The present petitioner is the accused No. 2 in the aforesaid complaint case, and the accused No. 1, was the Circle Officer of Chabua Revenue Circle, in the district of Dibrugarh, during the year 2013. The accused No. 2, for the purpose of submitting his tender for settlement of Bogibeel-Karenbali Ferry Service, applied for land valuation certificate. On 19.6.2013, accused No. 1, Circle Officer (against whom cognizance has not been taken by the learned trial court) prepared a valuation certificate regarding the valuation of land belonging to the present accused-petitioner on the basis of the report of the concerned Lat Mondol. The Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Dibrugarh, on 24.12.2014, issued a valuation certificate in his favour with absurd valuation of his land on the basis of the certificate of the Circle Officer, aforesaid, without following the Government notification, regarding fixation of land valuation in the area/zone. The present accused-petitioner used the said valuation certificate while submitting his tender.
It is alleged that the accused-petitioner used the valuation certificate, aforesaid, knowing the same to be false and not based on official records and dishonestly used the same as genuine and submitted it with his tender documents and got the settlement of the aforesaid Ferry Service in his favour. Thereafter, on being approached, the Deputy Commissioner, Dibrugarh, after enquiry, found the said valuation certificate to be not as per Government notification and, therefore, cancelled the same on 1.4.2015. It is alleged that the accused petitioner and the aforesaid Circle Officer knowing fully well committed fraud and forgery in issuing the valuation certificate, dated 24.12.2014. On the basis of this complaint, the learned Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Dibrugarh, examined the complainant and his witnesses under Section 200 and 202 of the Cr.PC, and thereafter, on perusal of the statements of the complainant as well as his witnesses found prima facie materials to proceed against the present-petitioner, under Sections 177/468/471 of the IPC. Accordingly, he took cognizance of the said offences and issued process to the present-petitioner to appear before the learned trial Court as an accused.
(3.) Learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that even if the valuation certificate issued is presumed to be false, then also, it was issued by the competent authority. He has further submitted that the allegation of forgery of the valuation certificate using the same as genuine by the present petitioner is not made out to attract the offences under Sections 468/471 IPC. He has referred to the ingredients of the aforesaid provisions of law and submitted that in the face of the complaint petition itself the ingredients of such offences are totally absent; therefore, the cognizance, under the said provisions of law could not have been taken by the learned trial court. He has also submitted in respect of the offence under Section 177 IPC, cognizance of which offence has also been taken by the learned trial Court, that there is bar to take cognizance under the said section of law in view of the provisions of Section 195 of the Cr.PC.;
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