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Allahabad High Court
Emperor vs Sultan Singh And Ors. on 13 July, 1909
Equivalent citations: 4 Ind Cas 24
Bench: Tudball, Alston


1. This is an appeal by the Local Government against an order of acquittal passed by a first class Magistrate, under the following circumstances. Three persons Sultan Singh, Sahab Singh and Chote Singh were charged with having rescued certain cattle from Tikam Singh and Hari Lal Singh, into whose field they had trespassed, and with having then attacked the two men with lathis and assaulted them, as well as one Kulfat Singh. The result of the fight was that Tikam Singh died after a few days. Hari Lal Singh and Kulfat Singh sustained only simple injuries. The post mortem disclosed the fact that Tikam Singh’s skull had been fractured. When the case came before the Magistrate, he took the evidence for the prosecution and then recorded the following order: “In this case it is quite clear from the medical evidence that no more than an offence under Section 323, Indian Penal Code, was committed, in respect either of Tikam Singh or of Hari Lal Singh; in fact the injuries of the latter, directly sustained from the blow, were more serious. The accused, who don’t seem to have been much more in the wrong than the others, have made amends, and the case is compromised. I, therefore, acquit Sultan Singh, Sahab Singh and Chote Singh under Section 345, Criminal Procedure Code.” It is unnecessary for us to go into the merits of the case, because the above order is on the face of it illegal. Hari Lal Singh and Kulfat Singh, no doubt, were competent to compound the case in so far as it concerned the injuries committed upon their persons. But in regard to the offence committed against Tikam Singh, the only person who could have compounded was Tikam Singh himself. This is clearly shown by the terms of Section 345 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. It shows that the person to whom the hurt is caused is the only person who can compound. Therefore, even if the offence committed only amounted to one under Section 323, Indian Penal Code, as to which we express no opinion, the order of acquittal on compromise was clearly illegal. We, therefore, set aside the order of acquittal, and in view of the fact that the case has not been fully tried out, we under Section 423 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, order that further inquiry be made into the case leaving it to the Magistrate to deal with it himself, or to commit it for trial according as the evidence before him opens out. As we think that it would be advisable that the case be tried by some competent Magistrate, other than the one who passed the order now reversed, we order accordingly. We leave it to the District Magistrate to select the Court which will make this further enquiry.

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