2010 ALL MR (Cri) 3523
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY(AURANGABAD BENCH)
A.V. POTDAR, J.
Prof. Shri. Mansoor S/O. Karimoddin Kadri Vs. State Of Maharashtra & Anr.
Criminal Revision Application No.128 of 2010
29th July, 2010
Petitioner Counsel: Mr. RAHUL JOSHI
Respondent Counsel: Mr. P. P. MORE
Criminal P.C. (1973), Ss.227, 228 - Framing of charge - Evaluation of evidence - At the time of framing the charge, Court need not evaluate the evidence from the angle as to whether it is sufficient to convict or acquit the accused, however, to evaluate the evidence from the angle as to whether there is prima facie evidence to frame the charge against the accused. 2009 ALL MR (Cri) 1903 - Rel. on. (Para 9)
Superintendent & Remembrancer of Legal Affairs, West Bengal Vs. Anil Bhunja, AIR 1980 SC 52 [Para 8]
Niranjansing Karam Singh Punjabi Vs. Jitendra Bijja, AIR 1990 SC 1962 [Para 8]
Govind Sakharam Ubhe Vs. State of Maharashtra, 2009 ALL MR (Cri) 1903=2009(3) Bom.C.R. (Cri.) 144 [Para 8]
JUDGMENT :- By the present revision application, the applicant-accused in Sessions Case No.301/2009, has challenged the order dated 01.02.2010 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge-1 Aurangabad below Exhibit-6 in Sessions Case No.301/2009. By the impugned order, the application filed by the applicant seeking discharge, came to be rejected.
5. The said offence was registered at C.R. No.15/2009 with Sillod police station on the complaint of respondent No.2. It appears that during a public speech given by the applicant, he has used indecent language in respect of the elected candidate of the opposition party and when the complainant along with his associates had been to the office of Congress party to ask the applicant as to why such indecent words were used by the applicant in the public speech, the applicant abused the complainant saying "Tu Mala Kay Shikvato Chamtya, Chamtyani Meleli Dhore Gavabaher Takavi Tyanchi fakta katadi kadhavi va tyachyavar pot bharave navarsevak bannyachi avkat nahi" (You don't teach me cobbler, the cobblers have to just take the dead cattle out of the village and to remove their skin and earn their livelihood on the same only. A cobbler need not become a councilor).
6. It appears that due to the said incident, the offence came to be registered against the applicant for an offence punishable u/s.3(1)(x) of the Atrocities Act read with sections 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. It further appears that during the investigation, statements of the associates of the complainant came to be recorded. In the said statements, the witnesses have corroborated the testimony of the complainant and reproduced the same words, albeit, in their language. On bare reading of the complaint as well as statements of the witnesses, it is clear that they are corroborating with each other.
8. The Apex Court, in the matter of "Superintendent & Remembrancer of Legal Affairs, West Bengal Vs. Anil Bhunja" reported in AIR 1980 SC 52, has observed that the standard test, proof of evidence which is to be applied finally before finding the accused guilty or otherwise is not exactly to be applied at the stage of section 227 or 228. The same proposition is reiterated by the Apex Court in the matter "Niranjansing Karam Singh Punjabi Vs. Jiendra Bijja & Ors." reported in AIR 1990 SC 1962. Even the Division Bench of this Court, at Principal Seat, had an occasion to discuss and observe the substance of the above referred two judgments, in the matter of "Govind Sakharam Ubhe Vs. State of Maharashtra" reported in reported in 2009(9) LJ Soft 47 : 2009 ALL MR (Cri) 1903 : 2009(3) Mah.L.J. (Cri) 131 : 2009(3) Bom.C.R. (Cri.) 144. The Division Bench has summarized the above referred judgments in para 25, which reads thus -
"25. The principles laid down by the Supreme Court in the above cases need to be summarized. It is settled law that at the stage of Section 227 of the Code, the court has power to sift the materials collected by the prosecution to find out whether there is any ground for presuming that the accused has committed the offence or that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against him. The Court's enquiry must not be directed to find out whether the case will end in conviction. However, though roving enquiry is not permissible, the court can consider whether the material collected by the prosecution if accepted as it is without being subjected to cross-examination given rise to strong and grave suspicion for presuming that the accused has committed the offence and that unrebutted material will lead to a conviction. If at the stage of Section 227 or Section 228, the scales as to the guilt or innocence of the accused are even then the Court must proceed to frame a charge. There is no question of giving benefit of doubt to the accused and discharge the accused at that stage because the scales are even. That can be done only at the conclusion of trial. If there is a strong suspicion which leads the court to think that there is a ground for presuming that the accused has committed an offence, then the court will proceed to frame the charge. But if two view are possible and the court is satisfied that the evidence gives rise to some suspicion but not grave suspicion against the accused, the court will be within its right to discharge the accused. Suspicion has to be strong and grave suspicion leading the court to presume that the accused has committed an offence. While basic infirmities and broad probabilities can be considered, the court cannot make a roving enquiry into the pros and cons of the matter and weigh the evidence as if it is conducting a trial. Probative value of the material cannot be gone into at that stage."
9. Thus, it is clear that the Court, at the time of framing the charge, need not evaluate the evidence from the angle as to whether it is sufficient to convict or acquit the accused, however to evaluate the evidence from the angle as to whether there is prima facie evidence to frame the charge against the accused.
10. From the evidence collected during the investigation in respect of averments in the compliant, which are supported by four eye-witnesses coupled with the fact that the incident is alleged to have taken place in a public view, it is clear that the act committed is squarely covered within the ambit of section 3(1)(x) of the Atrocities Act read with sections 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. Thus, there is prima facie evidence to proceed against the applicant to frame charge. Therefore, I do not find any fault in the reasoning recorded by the trial court while rejecting the application for discharge u/s.227 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Considering the prima facie evidence, the applicant cannot be discharged from the said offence. In the premise, no interference is required in the impugned order. Revision application sans merits stands rejected. Rule stands discharged.