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Under Section 228 Cr.P.C the judge is not required to record detailed reasons, only prima facie case

BHAWNA BAI.VS. GHANSHYAM AND OTHERS., CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1820 OF 2019 Arising out of SLP(Crl.) No.6964 of 2019). – 3 December 2019.

The bench encompassing Justice R. Banumathi, Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice Hrishikesh Roy collectively pronounced judgment on. The appellant-complainant and her family members came to know from the neighbours that her husband was lying dead in the tank/hose in the field of the first respondent-Ghanshyam on 25.12.2015. The appellant has alleged that Ganesh s/o Mohanlal Kushwah prevented her going near her husband and locked her in a room. The dead body of her husband was taken to government hospital and post-mortem was conducted without informing her. Merg No.94 of 2015 was registered for investigation under Section 174 Crl.P.C.; but no case was registered against any person. She made a written complaint before the Superintendent of Police but again no action was taken. Thereafter, she filed a complaint before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) and direction was issued to office-in-charge to register the FIR under Section 302 IPC and proceed with the investigation. The State of Madhya Pradesh filed revision before the Additional Sessions Judge Challenging the direction of ACJM to register a FIR but it was dismissed. Respondent Nos.1 and 2 prayed for anticipatory bail and the same was dismissed by the learned Special Judge but the High Court granted. The instant appeal before the Supreme Court   SLP(Crl.) Diary No.39785/2018 was against that direction of the High Court. Meanwhile, charges were framed against the respondents by the learned Second Additional Sessions Judge but the High Court quashed the charges against respondent Nos.1 and 2 and then discharged them. The appellant then preferred the present appeal.

Mr. Bijan Kumar Ghosh, learned counsel appeared on behalf of the appellants and Mr. Harsh Parashar and Mr. Santosh Kumar, learned counsels appeared on behalf of the respondents. The appellants argued that certain circumstances linked the respondents with the death of Gopal Saran (Appellant’s husband) and submitted that in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction, the High Court ought not to have interfered and quashed the charges framed by the trial court. The respondents, on the other hand, contended that the High Court erred in setting aside the order of the Second Additional Sessions Judge and quashing the charges. They submitted that it did not suffer from any infirmity.

the learned Second Additional Sessions Judge was of the opinion that there were sufficient grounds for presuming that the accused has committed the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC read with Section 34 IPC. The order dated 12.12.2018 framing the charges is not a detailed order. For framing the charges under Section 228 Cr.P.C., the judge is not required to record detailed reasons. As pointed out earlier, at the stage of framing the charge, the court is not required to hold an elaborate enquiry; only prima facie case is to be seen.

The Court then observed the following:

  1. The respondents went with the deceased to the farm of Ghanshyam for ploughing the land with tractor and all three consumed liquor. Thus, the deceased was last seen alive in company of the accused.

  2. The respondents returned home at 09.00 pm in the night of 24.12.2015 as per the charge sheet. It was noted that they did not allow the deceased wife to near her husband and thereby, it suggested a motive for the crime.

  3. The allegations in the charge sheet show a prima facie case against the accused-respondent Nos.1 and 2.

  4. It considered the scope of Sections 226, 227 and 228 Crl.P.C. and relied on the decisions in Amit Kapoor v. Ramesh Chander and another; Amit Kapoor, in Dinesh Tiwari v. State of Uttar Pradesh; and Knati Bhadra Shah and another v. State of West Bengal.

  5. If the judge was of the opinion that there was sufficient ground for presuming that the accused had committed the offence triable by the Court of Session, he shall frame the charge against the accused for such offence.

  6. For framing the charges under Section 228 Crl.P.C., the judge is not required to record detailed reasons.

The Court then pronounced the following:

“The High Court was not right in interfering with the order of the trial court framing the charges against the accused-respondent Nos.1 and 2 under Section 302 IPC read with Section 34 IPC and the High Court, in our view, erred in quashing the charges framed against the accused. The impugned order 25.02.2019 is set aside and this appeal is allowed. Sessions Trial Case No.ST/150/2018 is restored and shall proceed with the matter in accordance with law. We make it clear that we have not expressed any opinion on the merits of the matter.”

View/Download Judgment: Bhawna Bai v. Ghanshyam & Ors

Jumanah kader

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