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Balwinder Singh Vs. State of Punjab [1993] INSC 256 (3 May 1993)

Agrawal, S.C. (J) Agrawal, S.C. (J) Ray, G.N. (J)

CITATION: 1994 SCC Supl. (1) 511

ACT:

HEAD NOTE:

ORDER

1. Leave granted.

2. Heard learned counsel for the parties.

3. The appellant was convicted by the Judicial Magistrate, Ajnala, of the offences under Sections 406, 420 and 471, Indian Penal Code. On appeal, the Additional Sessions Judge, Amritsar, by his judgment dated July 18, 1989, acquitted the appellant on the ground that the prosecution was barred by limitation in view of the provisions contained in Section 468 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The High Court, on further appeal, disagreed with the said view of the Additional Sessions Judge and has held that the prosecution was not barred by Section 468 CrPC. After setting aside the acquittal of the appellant, the High Court has restored the conviction of the appellant for the offences for which he was convicted by the Judicial Magistrate and he has also been convicted of the offence under Section 467 IPC.

4. We find that the appeal of the appellant was disposed of by the Additional Sessions Judge on the question of limitation and there was no consideration of the findings recorded by the Judicial Magistrate on merits. The High Court also, while restoring the conviction recorded by the Judicial Magistrate, has not considered the matter on merits. The appellant has been convicted without being afforded the right to assail on merits the findings recorded by the Judicial Magistrate on the basis of which his conviction for the + Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 1589 of 1992 512 offences under Sections 406, 420 and 471 IPC was founded.

In these circumstances, we consider it appropriate that the appellant is given an opportunity before the Additional Sessions Judge to assail the correctness of the findings recorded by the Judicial Magistrate for convicting the appellant of the offences for which he has been found guilty.

5. The appeal is, therefore, allowed to the extent that the direction given by High Court of Punjab and Haryana setting aside the acquittal of the appellant is maintained but directions about restoration of the conviction recorded by the Judicial Magistrate and further conviction of the appellant of the offence under Section 467 IPC are set aside.

6. The matter is remitted to the Additional Sessions Judge, Amritsar for consideration, on merits, (sic) the appeal filed by the appellant against the judgment of the Judicial Magistrate, Ajnala, dated October 21, 1987.

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