DATE OF JUDGMENT:
JUSTICE MR. ANAND KUMAR MUKHARJEE
PETITIONER: MR. DIVYAJOT SINGH JENDU
RESPONDENT: MANIKARAN ANALYTICS LIMITED THROUGH Ms. SUBRATA ROY (LEGAL - IN - CHARGE)
The Calcutta High Court ruled on 31/01/2022 that a Magistrate must initiate an investigation under Section 202 of the CrPC prior to any notices being delivered to an offender under Section 204 of the CrPC.
- The plaintiff had filed an immediate revision plea under Section 482 CrPC, requesting the dismissal of criminal proceedings awaiting approval in front of the Judicial Magistrate, 6th Court at Alipore, South 24 Parganas under sections 420 and 406.
- The plaintiff was accused of misappropriating several significant files, along with a laptop, after quitting the military.
- The plaintiff was also accused of defrauding the firm by a huge amount of Rs. 1.5 lakhs approximately, which resulted in an unlawful loss for the firm and at the same time, he gained through wrongful means.
- It was also claimed that the plaintiff had violated the firm's conditions of service in this area, thereby resulting in misuse of trust.
- The plaintiff's lawyer stated that criminal proceedings had indeed been started out of malice in trying to irritate the plaintiff.
- It was also argued that filing such a baseless accusation is an exploitation of the legal system, and that the criminal proceedings should be quashed.
- The counsel further argued that the magistrate who ruled the plea against the plaintiff failed to notice that the plaintiff lives outside of his jurisdiction and did not lawfully have the right to decide.
- Further, the counsel also stated that the magistrate did not take notice of the fact that he needs to investigate under section 202(1) of the CrPC before issuing a notice under section 202 of the CrPC.
Section 420, Section 406, Section 202(1), Section 202, Taylor v Taylor, National Bank of Oman vBarakara Abdul Aziz, Section 204 CrPC
- Whether the challenged lawsuit against the revisionist is considered to be a severe misuse of the legal and judicial processes and should it be overturned or set aside to serve the goals of justice?
- Whether the elements of the crime alleged against the accused/petitioner were disclosed in the Opposing Party's allegation?
- Whether the Magistrate conformed with the required legal provisions under section 202 of the Cr. P.C. by seeking information of the prescribed case personally or by ordering an inquiry to be conducted by a Police Officer or any other individual he believes before granting a court notice under section 204 of the Cr. P.C.?
- The Court stated right away that the plaintiff's residence was undisputedly in Delhi, and therefore he resides outside the jurisdiction of the Magistrate who delivered the notice in this matter.
- The Court additionally pointed out that there was no evidence on record that the plaintiff kept any expensive and important documents or laptops, or that he was ever required to return any important documents or laptops to the corporation following his release.
- The court relied on the Experience certificate of the plaintiff provided by his employer, which stated that the plaintiff was truthful, industrious, and a quick learner.
- The Court also alluded to the Taylor v Taylor judgement where it was decided that if a law confers to an authority to do something and specifies how that authority must be utilized, it entails that the act cannot be done in any other way than the one specified.
- According to the Magistrate, the obligatory provision under Section 202 of the CrPC was not followed in this case. The Supreme Court’s judgement in the National Bank of Oman vBarakara Abdul Aziz was also cited, which stated that the Magistrate who heard the plea had a duty under Section 202 of the CrPC to determine whether there was any matter that needed investigation by a criminal court.
- The Court hence granted the revision appeal and remanded the case to the competent Magistrate for a new order to be issued in accordance with Section 202 of the CrPC's procedures.
- The Court also stated that the investigation must be finished within two months of the date when the receipt was ordered.
After noticing that the Magistrate had only performed an investigation under Section 200 of the CrPC and not under Section 202 of the CrPC, the Court cast aside the judgment of the concerned Magistrate delivering the summons to the accused who resided outside the magistrate’s jurisdictional limits and his power of judicial access.
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