At, In the High Court of Bombay at Nagpur
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M.L. TAHALIYANI
For the Applicants: S.V. Bhutada, Advocate. For the Respondent: D.C. Daga, Advocate.
Heard Mr. S.V. Bhutada, learned Counsel for the applicants and Mr. D.C. Daga, learned Counsel for the non-applicant.
2. Admit. Heard forthwith by consent of learned Counsel for the parties.
3. The applicants are the accused in Criminal Complaint Case No.6997/2005 pending in the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Court No.3, Nagpur. They are summoned by the Magistrate to answer the charge for the offence punishable under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. At the outset, it may be mentioned here that none of the applicants have appeared before the Court personally till today.
4. The applicants feel aggrieved by the order of learned Ad hoc Sessions Judge, Nagpur rejecting their prayer for condonation of delay in filing the revision application against the order of issuance of process passed by the learned Magistrate. The complaint in question was filed on 21st May, 2005 and process was issued against all the applicants on the same day. The applicants had appeared before the learned trial Court for the first time through their lawyer on 6th February, 2007, though the summons were served upon them on 10th November, 2006.
5. Learned Counsel Mr. Bhutada has submitted that delay, in fact, should have been condoned by the learned Sessions Judge as the applicants were justified in filing the revision application at a later stage inasmuch as they had never been supplied with the copy of the complaint by the non-applicant, though it is mandatory provision under Section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It is pointed out that an application was made before the learned Magistrate on 6th February, 2007 itself praying for a copy of complaint to be supplied by the non-applicant. Mr. Bhutada has pointed out that the learned Magistrate has not passed any order on the said application till today. To appreciate this argument on behalf of the applicants, it is necessary to be noted here, and as already stated, that the applicants have never appeared personally before the trial Court till today.
6. The learned Counsel Mr. Daga has brought to my notice that non-bailable warrants have been issued against the applicants repeatedly. Even then they have not even appeared before the trial Court. This is not denied by learned Counsel Mr. Bhutada appearing on behalf of the applicants. Considering the fact that the applicants have intentionally avoided to appear before the learned trial Court, it can safely be presumed that the applicants have schemingly created a situation to be utilized at a later stage to show that the mandatory provisions of Section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Code was not followed. This is height of dishonesty on the part of the applicants. I do not think such a litigant deserves any relief in the nature of condonation of delay. In fact, the present application needs to be dismissed on this count itself.
7. In addition to this, it can be stated here that if the applicants were serious enough to challenge the order, they could have obtained the certified copy of the complaint much earlier in time and could have approached the revisional Court within a reasonable time, may be delay of a few days or few months. The delay in my view is not satisfactorily explain
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ed by the applicants. Before parting with the order, it is necessary to be noted that the learned Counsel Mr. Daga has submitted that the proclamations are pending against all the applicants. The learned Magistrate is at liberty to proceed further with the matter, in accordance with law. The application stands dismissed. Ad interim, if any, stands vacated.