Calcutta High Court Madhusudan Pal-vs-The State Of West Bengal & Ors. on 27 July, 1997
Equivalent citations:(1998) 1 CALLT 20 HC, I (1998) DMC 616
Author: A B Mukherjee
Bench: A B Mukherjee
A. B. Mukherjee, J.
1. The revislonal application has been preferred with a view to set aside the order dated 9th of December 1994 passed by the SDJM, Ghatal in G.R. Case No.214 of 1992 and also to quash the aforesaid criminal proceeding.
2. The case of the petitioner ts that the aforesaid G.R. Case was started on the basis of and FIR dated 23.9.92 made by the wife of the petitioner (subsequently added as opposite party No.2 giving rise to this P.S. Case No. 60 of 1992. The complainant married opposite party No.2 the 24th day of July, 1988 according to Hindu Customs and a son was born out of the said wedlock aged about three years on the date of presentation of the revlsional application. The petitioner is a Doctor being a Cardio Thoraslc Surgeon serving in the West Bengal Health Services and residing at Calcutta. In the FIR it was alleged that the petitioner and other inmates of his house used to torture the opposite party No.2 demanding more dowry causing relationship between the parties very much, strained and ultimately the opposite party No.2 had to go back to her father’s place on the 10th day of April, 1990.
3. The petitioner was arrested on the 24th day of September, 1992 and he was granted ball after four days of detention. Since then he is co-operating with investigation.
4. On 22nd September, 1994 charge sheet was submitted against some of the accused persons when the Investigating Officer prayed for time to file supplementary charge sheet so far as the petitioner is concerned and the SDJM granted time till 9.12.1994 for report in final form. No charge sheet was filed on the adjourned date and there was also no prayer on the part of the Investigating Officer for extension of time Inspite of that the SDJM by his order dated 9.12.1994 adjourned the proceeding to 6.2.1995 suo motu for appearance of the petitioner.
5. It is alleged that as per the provision of section 167(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure as amended in its application to West Bengal the investigation of the case started by opposite party No.2, is to be concluded by 24.9.1994. The said date was extended by the SDJM till 9.12.1994. It is alleged that the SDJM should have stopped all further proceedings against the petitioner and should not have granted a fresh extension since there was no application by the investigating Officer for extending time. Accordingly, the SDJM has exceeded his jurisdiction under section 167(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure by granting extension suo motu. Hence, the revisional application with the prayers stated earlier.
6. I have heard the submissions made by the learned Advocates representing the petitioner, opposite party No. 1, the State of West Bengal and opposite party No. 2 being the defacto-compliment of G.R. Case.
7. On a scrutiny of the Lower Court Record, it appears that the case initiated by the opposite party No.2 is one under section 498A, 120B. 406 read section 109 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and under sections 3 & 4 Dowry Prohibition Act. In accordance with the provisions of section 167(5) of the Code of Criminal Procedure as amended in its application to West Bengal the investigation of the case should be completed within two years from the date of arrest of any of the accused person or from the date when any of the accused persons made his/her appearance in the court. The admitted position is that the present petitioner being one of the accused persons in the said case was arrested on 24.9.1992. As such investigation was to be completed within two years from the said date.
8. Investigation of the case was concluded on 22.9.1994 when a charge sheet was submitted against four accused persons and there was a prayer of discharging six accused persons whose names figure as accused in the FIR. So far as the petitioner is concerned, there was a prayer from the Investigating Officer supported by latter from DIG of Police of C1D. West Bengal dated 21.9.94 for extension of time for investigation so far as it relates to the concerned petitioner on the ground that the petitioner being a member of West Bengal Health Services sanction of appropriate authority was required before submitting charge sheet against him and that the Investigating agency had already made such a prayer before the appropriate authority who was yet to give the sanction. The SDJM as it appears from the Lower Court Record on a consideration of the said prayer allowed extension with the direction on the Investigation Officer to report in final form by 9.12.1994. On 9.12.1994 the petitioner was absent by petition and as per the order sheet there was no prayer on the part of the Investigating Officer for further extension but the SDJM without recording any reason adjourned the case to 6.2.1995 for appearance of the petitioner. Obviously, this suo motu extension without recording any reason and without any specific prayer from the side of the Investigating Officer would not have been legal specialty in view of the specific order of the SDJM dated 22.9.1994 directing the Investigating Officer to report in final form by 9.12.1994. However the record was put up on 13.12.1994 when some directions were given to Officer-in-Charge of concerned PS relating to execution of warrant of arrest issued against the absconding accused persons on 22.9.1994 presumably because on 9.12.1994 which was the date fixed for execution report of the warrant of arrest, no such direction was given. In course of another order recorded (later) on the same day the SDJM considered a report of the CSI of this court stating that supplementary charge sheet regarding the present petitioner was received in the office of the G.R.O. on 8.12.94 but since the G.R.O. was sick on that date the record was not put up and the matter was also lost sight of by the concerned official on 9.12.1994 when an order was passed adjourning the case to 6.2.1995. Accordingly, the supplementary charge sheet was placed before the SDJM on 13.12.1994 and he accepted the same. On a scrutiny of the two charge sheets being No.41 dated 22.9.1994 and No.58 dated 6.12.1994 it appears that in the earlier charge sheet filed against four accused persons showing all of them as absconders there was a prayer by the Investigating Officer regarding permission to file supplementary charge sheet on receipt of sanction from the appropriate authority so far it relates to the present petitioner. As per the second charge sheet, which was drawn up on 6.12.1994 the same appears to have been received in the office of the court Inspector on 8-12.1994 as per the stamp appearing on the same. The SDJM accepted the explanation glven by the CSI on the omission to put up the supplementary charge sheet on 8.12.1994 or any subsequent date prior to 13.12.1994. On the face of it there is nothing to suspect the genuineness of the mistake on the part of the concerned official attached to the court Inspector’s Office, Ghatal. Official acts are presumed to be done in accordance with the rules and procedures followed in the respective officer and in the absence of a positive proof affecting the genuineness of an Official act the said presumption cannot be rebutted. The law requires that investigation is to be completed and once it is found that investigation is complete within the specified period the mere fact that the result of investigation being the chargesheet was not put up before the concerned SDJM within the prescribed period does not make the charge sheet bad provided there are cogent reasons to believe that investigation was really complete and the charge sheet was actually submitted before the expiry of statutory period. In the present case since the supplementary charge sheet was received in the office of the CSI on 8.12.1994 which was within the extended period as allowed by the SDJM, the requirement of law has sufficiently been satisfied. As such there is no reason to accept the contention of the petitioner that the investigation of the case so far as it relates to him was not complete before the statutory period which was extended by the SDJM upto 9.12.1994.
9. In the result, I do not find any merit in the revlslonal application which is accordingly dismissed on contest.
10. Let the Lower Court Record be sent to the court of SDJM at Ghatal as early as possible, stay orders, if any, stand vacated.
11. Application dismissed