Decided on October 18,1957

STATE Respondents


- (1.) DES Raj petitioner took the ground floor of a house from one Har Parshad on rent. This house was situated within the Municipal limits of the city of Karnal. Des raj was running a factory for the preparation of crackers etc. in October, 1954, and for this purpose he used to store explosives there. On 10-10-1954, at about 11 a. m. the accused tested a cracker in front of these premises but a spark of the cracker fell into the stored explosives with the result that there was a serious accident by which the whole building was shattered and the roof fell down causing death of six persons and simple and grievous injuries to nine persons. On these facts which are accepted by the accused as correct the trial Court framed the fencing charges against him. (1) Under Section 304a, Indian Penal Code, for causing death of six persons by doing and rash and negligent act; (2) under Section 337, Indian Penal Code, for causing hurt to about nine persons by this act; (3) Under Section 6 (3) of the Explosives Act for keeping in possession potassium chlorate which at that time was an unauthorised explosive; (4) under Rule 109 made under the Explosives Act for storing fireworks, etc. without license; and (5) For possession of about 20 maunds of potassium chlorate which is beyond the prescribed limit of 200 lbs.
(2.) THE accused did not object to the holding of one trial for all these charges. The trial Court acquitted him of charge No. 3 and convicted him of the others. He sentenced him to various terms of imprisonment and fine. On appeal the additional Sessions Judge, Karnal, acquitted him of charge No. 5 and dismissed the appeal relating to convictions and sentences under the other charges. The petitioner then filed this petition under Sections 435 and 439, Criminal Procedure code.
(3.) THIS case was argued before me sitting in Single Bench. A contention was raised that the entire trial was illegal and void as there was a misjoinder of charges under section 233 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and this illegality could not be cured by Section 537, Criminal P. C. It was then conceded by counsel for both sides that these offences did not arise out of the same transaction and that there was a misjoinder of charges. The real question then arose was: whether a trial held on joinder of charges in contravention of Sections 233 and 235, Criminal Procedure Code, could be held legal on application of Section 537, Criminal Procedure Code. In view of conflicting decisions on this point, I referred the matter to a larger Bench which has now come before us under the orders of the Hon'ble the Chief Justice.;

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