Devi Vs. Hem Ram and Ors  Insc 127 (4 February 2008)
Arijit Pasayat & P. Sathasivam
APPEAL NO. 257 OF 2008 (Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No. 695 of 2007) Dr. ARIJIT
Challenge in this appeal is to the order passed by a learned Single Judge of Himachal
Pradesh High Court dismissing the Revision Petition filed by the appellant
under Section 397 read with Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
(in short the 'Code').
Background facts in a nutshell are as follows:
year 2001, the appellant was Pradhan of Gram Panchayat Village, Rore, Tehsil Palampur,
District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh and continued as such till December, 2005.
6.1.2003 sanction was given for construction of village road for which the Panchayat
received a sum of Rs.20,000/-.
to the appellant, the respondents herein after coming to know of the grant of
sanction for Rs.20,000/- pressurized her for construction of a road to their
houses instead of constructing a road for which sanction was received.
Thereafter, the work on the sanctioned project commenced. On 13.10.2003 when
the construction was in progress, the respondents came to the work site at
about 4.30 p.m. and abused the complainant in
filthy and derogatory language and threatened her with dire consequences. They
forcibly obstructed the appellant and the labourers from doing any work on the
village road. They caused hurt to the appellant and by using criminal force
pushed her and thereby deterred public servant from performing her duties. On
22.10.2003 the Gram Panchayat filed a complaint with the police officials but
since no action was taken, a private complaint for alleged commission of
offences punishable under Sections 332, 353, 504/506 of the Indian Penal Code,
1860 (in short the 'IPC') was filed in the Court of learned Judicial
Magistrate, Palampur. After recording preliminary evidence, an order was passed
on 1.7.2004 issuing summons of the accused persons. On 28.9.2004, learned
Executive Magistrate directed the file to be consigned by holding that the Kalandara
had become time barred and no further action was required.
made a grievance that no notice of the proceedings was given to her and neither
she nor her advocate was heard before the passing of the order. An application
was filed on 20.7.2005 by the accused persons praying for dropping charges with
a contention that the applicants cannot be tried for the same offence.
Reference was made to the order dated 28.9.2004 passed by the Executive
Magistrate, Palampur. On 7.8.2005 after receiving notice, appellant submitted
her reply specifically contending that the provisions of Section 300 of the
Code are not applicable to the proceedings. It was submitted that the concept
of double jeopardy was not applicable to the proceedings under Section 107/150
of the Code. Learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Palampur partly
accepted the application and dropped proceedings against applicants 1 and 2
namely, Hem Raj and Swroop Chand on the ground that the said applicants cannot
be tried for the same offence.
aggrieved by the aforesaid order passed by the Additional Chief Judicial
Magistrate, Criminal Revision Petition was filed which was numbered as Criminal
Revision No.111 of 2006. By the impugned order, the revision was dismissed in
Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that after issuance of summons the
learned Magistrate ought not to have directed discharge of the accused persons.
In any event, the dismissal of the revision petition in a summary manner
without indicating any reason by the High Court cannot be maintained. It is not
a case where it cannot be said that there is no arguable point. The order
passed by the learned Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate is thoroughly mis-
conceived in law and the High Court ought to have interfered in the revision.
Learned counsel for the respondents submitted since there is no merit in the
revision petition, the High Court has rightly dismissed the revision petition
order of the High Court reads as follows:
absolutely non-reasoned. Reasons introduce clarity in an order. On plainest
consideration of justice, the High Court ought to have set forth its reasons,
howsoever brief, in its order indicative of an application of its mind. The
absence of reasons has rendered the High Court's judgment unsustainable.
Even in respect of administrative orders Lord Denning M.R. in Breen v.
Amalgamated Engineering Union (1971 (1) All E.R. 1148) observed "The
giving of reasons is one of the fundamentals of good administration". In
Alexander Machinery (Dudley) Ltd. v. Crabtree (1974 LCR 120) it
to give reasons amounts to denial of justice". Reasons are live links
between the mind of the decision taker to the controversy in question and the
decision or conclusion arrived at". Reasons substitute subjectivity by
objectivity. The emphasis on recording reasons is that if the decision reveals
the "inscrutable face of the sphinx", it can, by its silence, render
it virtually impossible for the Courts to perform their appellate function or
exercise the power of judicial review in adjudging the validity of the
decision. Right to reason is an indispensable part of a sound judicial system,
reasons at least sufficient to indicate an application of mind to the matter
before Court. Another rationale is that the affected party can know why the
decision has gone against him. One of the salutary requirements of natural
justice is spelling out reasons for the order made, in other words, a speaking
out. The "inscrutable face of a sphinx" is ordinarily incongruous
with a judicial or quasi-judicial performance.
set aside the impugned order of the High Court and remit the matter to the High
Court for a fresh consideration.
to say the High Court shall pass a reasoned order in the revision petition.
appeal is allowed.