Decided on February 28,1996



- (1.)THE petitioner being the accused in G.R. Case No. 463 of 1991 pending before the Learned S.D.J.M., Uluberia has prayed for quashing the said proceeding. THE case of the petitioner is that he was appointed an agent under Bagnan Co-operative Bank Ltd. in respect of a scheme of daily deposit under the name "Nitya Nidhi Deposit" scheme. THE agents are to approach the prospective depositors and to collect daily deposits from the depositors and to deposit the same with the Bank under the individual account of the depositors. An agreement was accordingly entered into between them at the time of his appointment as agent. THE petitioner is to collect the deposits and used to handover the collection made by him to Shri. S. S. Bhattacharya, General Secretary of the Bank at his residence at regular intervals. In the absence of Shri Bhattacharya, the petitioner like other agent used to deposit the collection with his wife Smt. Namita Bhattacharya. None of them ever granted any receipts for such deposit instantly and receipts were generally granted after a long lapse of time. THE petitioner took a loan of Rs. 13,500/- from the Bank for business purpose. But as the business was not running well he used to pay the interest but could not repay the principal. Sometime in 1987 the petitioner floated a Company with a view to raise fund from the public and to finance the Small Scale Industry or shop-keepers This infuriated Shri Bhattacharya, since collection of the Bank was affected due to the petitioners Company. A letter was served on the petitioner by Shri Bhattacharya threatening determination of agency of the petitioner which was replied by the petitioner. THEreafter, another letter was received which was dated 28-9-87 with an allegation of misappropriation of Rs. 20,000/-. Sometime later the petitioner received a summons from Co-operative Development Officer alleging starting of a dispute for realisation of recovery of out-standing loan collection under the N.N.D. Scheme. THE petitioner accordingly appeared but the matter was adjourned. No award could be passed since the matter was not heard. Subsequently, a Money Execution case was started against the petitioner. It was subsequently stayed by the High Court. At a later date a criminal case was started against the petitioner being Bagnan P. S. Case No. 89 dated 16-6-91 by Shri Bhattacharya of Bagnan Co-operative Bank Ltd., A chargesheet was submitted on 15-10-92, cognizance was taken on 31-10-92. Apart from denying his liability for any alleged offence under Section 406 I.P.C. it has been alleged that taking of cognizance by the ld. S.D.J.M. beyond the period of three years makes the same bad being hit under Section 468 Cr. P.C. It has also been alleged that no permission for extention of period was obtained under Section 473 Cr. P.C.
(2.)I have heard the ld. Advocate appearing for the petitioner and also the Id. Advocate appearing for the State. The ld. Advocate appearing for the State fairly conceeds that there was no prayer under S. 473 Cr. P.C. from the side of the prosecution in the present case. On a scrutiny of the F.I.R. it appears that alleged offence was committed in between 26-10-86 and 31-1-88. Charge-sheet was submitted on 15-10-92 and cognizance was taken on 24-10-92. The period of limitation in this case shall be three years and as such cognizance was taken at a stage when this period already expired. There being no prayer for condonation of delay in accordance with Section 473 Cr. P.C. The taking of cognizance by the Id. Magistrate is bad under the law. As such the case cannot be allowed to proceed. Accordingly, the G.R. Case No. 463 of 1991 pending before the Id. S.D.J.M. Uluberia is quashed. The revisional application is accordingly stands allowed. Let the L.C.R. be sent back. Petition allowed.

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