(1.) Through the instant application under Section 482 of Cr. P. C., the sole petitioner herein, a legal practitioner of Nawada District Court, has sought to invoke the inherent Jurisdiction of this Court for quashing of the order dated 28-4-2006, passed by the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nawada, in Nawada P. S. Case No. 190/2001 (G. R. No. 1136/2001, Tr. No. 2358), whereby he has taken cognizance of the offence under Sections 467, 468, 471, 473, 474, 420, 255, 258, 259, 260, 262 and 120B of the Indian Penal Cod
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e as also for quashing of the entire criminal proceeding now pending before Sri S. K. Jha, Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Nawada.
(2.) According to the prosecution case as can be derived from the written report submitted by the Treasury Officer, Nawada, he on receipt of a written information on 27-8-2001 from one Gopal Krishna Mukherji of Mohalla Malgodown, Nawada, to the effect that the Court fee stamps worth Rs. 3,144/- filed in Title Suit No. 41/97 on behalf of plaintiff Chandrika Paswan in the Court of Subordinate Judge III, Nawada, were suspected to be counterfeit, along with a police party visited the said Court and inspected the allegedly counterfeit stamps which bore the signature of the present petitioner. It is also alleged that the said stamps also bore the seal of one Surendra Kumar showing his license No. as 120/21 of 1991 but they did not contain the signature of either the vendor or the Treasury Officer. It is further alleged that the said stamps were shown to have been sold on 29-4-97 but on verification from the issue register it appears that no such stamps were issued on the alleged date of issue and the name of Surendra Kumar was not found in the list of licence of Nawada Treasury. In these circumstances the informant suspected that the said court fee stamps were fake and forged and the complicity of the plaintiff of the said suit and his lawyer in filing the counterfeit stamps could not be ruled out totally. It was also mentioned that when attempts were made to check up and verify the stamps of the other stamp vendors, all of them except one Sanjay Kumar fled away and on checking the box of Sanjay Kumar some court fee stamps bearing the seal of one Arun Kumar Das thereupon were found in the box and were seized along with other Court fee stamps and seals kept therein under a seizure list and Sanjay Kumar was arrested on the allegation of selling fake stamps without having any licence.
(3.) It appears that on the basis of the said written report, the F. I, R. of Nawada P. S. Case No, 190/2001 was drawn up and after due investigation a charge sheet was submitted against the petitioner herein and two others.
(4.) The primary grievance of the petitioner against the impugned order taking cognizance is that since some of the offences for which cognizance was taken clearly fell within the protective umbrella of the provisions of Section 195, Cr. P. C. the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate could not have taken cognizance in the absence of a complaint in writing by the Court concerned. In this connection it was sought to be submitted that counterfeit Court fee stamps were admittedly filed in Title Suit No. 41/97 before Subordinate Judge III, Nawada which would mean that an offence had been committed in respect of a document produced in Court. Accordingly, it was clear that the taking of cognizance of an offence, the document the foundation of forgery, if produced before the Court, the bar of taking cognizance under Section 195(l)(b)(ii), Cr. P. C. gets attracted and the Criminal Court was prohibited from taking cognizance of the offence or offences in the absence of a complaint in writing by the Court concerned.
(5.) A similar matter in respect of the same Nawada P. S. Case No. 190/2001 fell for decision in Cr. Misc. No. 9033/2002 (Shambhu Sharan Prasad v. State of Bihar) wherein the propriety of the order dated 8-1-2002 taking cognizance was sought to be questioned by co-accused Shambhu Sharan Prasad against whom and three others a charge sheet was submitted even as the investigation against the petitioner herein and two others were kept pending. A Single Judge of this Court by order dated 29-9-2003 having dealt in extenso with the relevant provisions and having referred to several decisions while allowing the application in part quashed the cognizance taken under Sections 467, 468, 471. 473 and 474 of the Indian Penal Code but directed for continuance of the criminal proceeding under Sections 420, 255, 258, 259, 260, 262 and 120(B) of the Indian Penal Code.
(6.) Since the case of the petitioner herein is similarly situated as that of co-accused Shambhu Sharan Prasad in respect of the same Police Station Case he is entitled to similar reliefs. Accordingly, the order of cognizance in respect of the offences under Sections 467, 468, 471. 472, 473 and 474 of the Indian Penal Code are quashed being violative of the provisions of Section 195(i)(b)(ii), Cr. P. C. However, the criminal proceeding against the petitioner under Sections 420/255, 258, 259,260,262 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code shall continue. Accordingly, the application is allowed in part. Order accordingly