27 Aug 2022 10:30 AM GMT
The Madhya Pradesh High Court, Indore Bench recently held that a JMFC who had taken cognizance of a matter and committed the same to sessions court, can also entertain an application under Section 200 CrPC later, to implead other co-accused in the same crime. The bench comprising of Justice S. K. Singh further observed that summoning other co-accused is a part of the process of...
The Madhya Pradesh High Court, Indore Bench recently held that a JMFC who had taken cognizance of a matter and committed the same to sessions court, can also entertain an application under Section 200 CrPC later, to implead other co-accused in the same crime.
The bench comprising of Justice S. K. Singh further observed that summoning other co-accused is a part of the process of taking cognizance and if the investigating authorities are unwilling to register the crime against the said persons, the courts can certainly come to the rescue of the Complainant-
In view of the aforesaid legal position it is clear that the process of summoning other persons, involved in the crime is only a part of the process of taking cognizance and if a Private Criminal Complaint u/S 200 of Cr.P.C. has been filed for impleading other persons as accused making allegations that the police is intentionally not taking action against them, then certainly the same can only be considered by the Court of JMFC, who had taken the cognizance in the matter.
Facts of the case were that the Complainant had lodged an FIR against the accused persons regarding a property dispute. The matter was investigated by the police which then submitted its report to the JMFC. The court took cognizance of the matter based on the chargesheet and committed the same to the sessions court. The Complainant then moved an application under Section 200 CrPC to implead the Applicants and two of the Respondents in the same crime.
The application moved by the Complainant was rejected by the JMFC on the ground that the respective court cannot take cognizance of the same matter twice. Aggrieved, the Petitioner moved the court of sessions against the said dismissal. Disagreeing with the observations of JMFC, the sessions court set aside the order of rejection and remanded the matter back to the JMFC to be decided on merits. Challenging the order of the sessions court, the Applicants moved the Court.
The Applicants submitted before the Court that the sessions court had erred in passing the impugned order, which ran contrary to the observations of the Apex Court in Dharampal and Ors. v. State of Haryana. They argued that the only remedy available to the Complainant was to approach the sessions court under Section 319 CrPC or to file a protest petition before JMFC. Therefore, they concluded that the impugned order was liable to be dismissed.
Per contra, the State argued that summoning other persons would only be a part of the process of taking cognizance, and therefore, it could not be said that the JMFC could not summon the Applicants and the two Respondents in the matter, wherein cognizance was taken earlier. Thus, they submitted that the application moved by the Applicants was devoid of merits and liable to be dismissed.
Examining the submissions of parties and documents on record, the Court opined that it could not be said that by entertaining an application under section 200 CrPC for impleading other co-accused in a crime already committed to sessions court, the JMFC was taking cognizance of the matter for the second time-
There is no doubt that it is a well settled position of law that cognizance of an offence can only be taken once and perusal of the order dated 11.07.2018, passed by the learned Court of JMFC, indicates that in the instant case initially the cognizance of the offence was taken by the Court of JMFC itself. Hence, it cannot be said that the Court of JMFC had played a "passive role" while committing the case to the Court of Session. In such a scenario the proceeding with regard to issuance of summons to other persons, involved in the crime has to be conducted by the same Court i.e. the Court of JMFC, who had taken the cognizance in the matter as cognizance of the same offence can not be deemed to be taken a second time by the Sessions Court.
The Court, thus, held that there was no error in the impugned order to the extent of remanding the matter back to the JMFC to decide the application moved by the Complainant on merits. The Court, however, set aside the part of the impugned order which directed the Applicants to remain present before the JMFC as no summons were issued to them. With the aforesaid observations, the application was partly allowed.
Case Title: RAKESH AND ORS. VERSUS ISMAIL AND ORS.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (MP) 198
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