KRISHNA BOTTLERS VIJAYAWADA PVT LIMITED Vs. MADHU MARKETING AGENCIES
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
KRISHNA BOTTLERS (VIJAYAWADA) PVT. LIMITED
MADHU MARKETING AGENCIES
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(1.)THIS Criminal petition is filed to quash the order dated 30-9-1992 in C.C.No.119 of 1992 passed by the XI Metropolitan Magistrate, Secunderabad by which the learned magistrate directed the complainant to supply the copies of the documents to the accused. The aforesaid order came to be passed on a complaint made by the petitioner herein against the first respondent under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.
(2.)THE learned counsel for the petitioner argued that as the complaint instituted by the petitioner is a private complaint, the learned Magistrate has no power to direct the complainant to supply the necessary documents to the accused. He further argued that inasmuch as the Criminal Procedure Code does not contain any provision with regard to the furnishing of copies of documents to the accued in a private complaint, the learned Magistrate committed an error in directing the petitioner to supply the copies of documents to the accused.
In a case of complaint by the police, the necessary documents will be supplied to the accused. But in the case of a private complaint, the question is whether at the request of the accused, the documents can be supplied or not.
It is an elementary principle, in Criminal Jurisprudence that in Criminal proceedings, where the complainant wants to rely upon certain documents which he produces into the court either in a private complaint or on the complaint made by the police, the copies of the same have to be supplied to the accused. Unless and until the copies of the documents are supplied to the accused, it is very difficult for the accused to make out his defence. In the existence of such an elementary principle and the right of the accused to know about the documents which are being relied upon by the complainant, simply because the complaint is private in nature, it cannot be said that the court is not competent to order the copies of the documents to be supplied at the oral request of the accused. This court has ruled on several occasions that in a case where the accused has complained that the documents relied upon by the complainant have not been supplied to him, it is the duty of the court to see that the copies of the relevant documents relied on by the complainant are supplied to the accused. Until the said copies of the relevant documents relied on by the complainant are supplied to the accused, it is not desirable for the court to proceed with the trial of the case. The complainant has no right to say that since there is no provision in the Criminal Procedure Code with regard to the supply of copies of documents in a private complaint, the same need not be supplied to the other side. The oral request of the accused stating that the documents have not been supplied to him itself is sufficient for the Magistrate to take note of it and make an order directing the complainant to supply the copies of the documents to the accused which are relied upon by him.
(3.)FOR all the reasons aforestated, I see no grounds to interfere with the just and reasonable order passed by the learned Magistrate. The criminal petition is accordingly dismissed.
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