Revenue Department - Magisterial Duties

DESCRIPTION:
                                  Magistrates.
                                 Important Sections under Cr. P.C
                            Nuisance Act
                             Disputes of immovable properties
                                          Cases  Under Section 174 Cr. P.C.

                                          Criminal Justice in Agency Areas

 

                          Indian Penal Code 1860 is a substantive Law. The code of Criminal Procedure 1973 is both a procedural and substantive law.

Magistrates. :

The following Officers are appointed as Magistrates by virtue of their offices.

District Collector - District Magistrate

Joint Collector & Additional District

Dist. Revenue Officer - Magistrates

Divisional Officers Sub Divisional Magistrates

Mandal Revenue Officers Mandal Executive Magistrates

Special Executive Magistrates :

          Under section 21 of code of Criminal Procedure Code, the State Government may appoint, for such terms as they may think fit, Special Executive Magistrates for particular areas or for performance of particular functions and confer on such Special Executive Magistrates such of the powers as are conferrable under the code. Generally, Deputy Collectors and Tahsildars and Deputy Tahsildars are appointed as Special Executive Magistrates to handle urgent law and order problems.

Important Provisions of Criminal Procedure Code :

Sec.107 : Security for keeping the peace. The Executive Magistrate may require security from any person likely to commit breach of peace or disturbance to public tranquility in a particular area for a period not exceeding one year. The object is to prevent breach of peace.

   The cases registered under this section will be filed by the station house officer before the M.R.O. to bond over the persons likely to involve in the inter group classes in the locality resulting breach of the LAW and ORDER. Generally this will be a self-bond wherein it will be mentioned the bond amount and the period of bond.

        In case of breach of bond during the specified period, the bond amount will be recovered from the defaulter by attaching the movable or immovable property, etc. and auctioning thereof.

Sec.108: The Magistrate may require any person within his local jurisdiction to execute a bond with or without sureties for his good behaviour for such period not exceeding one year.

Sec.109 : The Magistrate may direct any person suspected to be hiding their presence with a view to commit cognizable offence for their good behaviour for a period not exceeding one year.

Sec. 110 : The Magistrate may direct any person suspected to be a habitual offender under different categories as detailed in this section for his good behaviour for a period not exceeding one year.

N.B. : The Executive Magistrates acting under sections 107, 108, 100 or 110 shall make an order under section 111 Cr.P.c as indicated there in. The procedure prescribed in sections 110 to 116 shall be followed for holding enquiry.

Sec. 117 : The Executive Magistrate who complete the enquiry has to issue order as mentioned in this section.

Secs : 118 to 124 : Implementation of the orders passed by the Magistrate u/s 117.

Public Order and tranquility (Sections 129 & 130) :

Sec.129 : Empowers the Exe-Magistrate/Spl.Exe. Magistrate to command the dispersal of unlawful assembly by using CIVIL FORCE. The provisions of this section could be invoked as a caution and if methods of persuasion fail.

Sec.130 : Use of ARMED FORCE for dispersal of unlawful assembly

Nuisance Act:

   If any person gives a complaint regarding nuisance under their locality, this application is forwarded to the concerned Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) for taking action under the 133 CRPC as RDO is the competent authority to act under this section.

Sec.133 : The Executive Magistrates who are SPECIALLY EMPOWERED to exercise powers under this section may order for removal of public nuisance in a locality due to open drains, buildings etc., as mentioned in (a) to (f) of Sec.133.

Sec.134 to 141 : Indicate the procedure to be followed by the Executive Magistrate in respect of Public Nuisances.

Sec.142 : Injunction pending enquiry.

Sec.143 : The Exe. Magistrate is empowered to make orders prohibiting repetition or continuance of public nuisance as defined under I.P.C. or any Special or Local Law.

Sec.144 : Any Exe. Magistrate can promulgate prohibitory order in urgent cases of apprehended danger or nuisance under all circumstances mentioned in Sec.144(1) and the order shall remain in force for not more than two months from the date of issue of the order, unless extended by the Government.

Disputes Relating to Immovable Properties :

Sec.145 : The provisions of this section are invoked by the Exe. Magistrate when he is satisfied that breach of peace is likely due to land, water or boundary dispute and he shall issue order for preventing breach of peace.

The scope of enquiry u/s 145 is limited to the question as to who was in actual possession on the date of preliminary report irrespective of the rights of parties. Recording the sworn statements is not a condition precedent to the passing preliminary orders. The Magistrate has to consider all documents. Mere existence of a civil suit does not bar the jurisdiction of the Executive Magistrate.

Sec.146: The Magistrate can in cases of emergency attach any property until a competent court determines the rights of the parties there to and a receiver can also be appointed by him.

Sec.147 : The Exe. Magistrate can exercise powers under the section similar to those u/s 145 over disputes concerning the rights of land and water. Orders under this section are temporarily effective.

Sec.148 : The District Magistrate/Sub Divisional Magistrate may depute any Magistrate subordinate to him to make local enquiries if necessary for purpose of Sections 145, 146 and 147.

CASES REGISTERED UNDER SECTION 174 Cr. P.C. (Criminal Procedure Code)

Section 174 : In all cases where information is received by Police Officer in charge of a Police Station that a person has committed suicide or has been killed by another or by an animal or by an accident or died under circumstances raising a reasonable suspicion that some person has committed an offence, the officer in charge of the Police Station having jurisdiction shall make an investigation u/s 174 (1) in the presence of two or more respectable inhabitants of the locality and forward his report under sub section (2) to the District Magistrate or Sub-Divisional Magistrate.

In case of any suspicious death, the Station House Officer will register a case under section 174 Cr. P.C. and prepare a First Information Report (F.I.R), and submit the same to the MRO within 24 hours. The FIR will contain the details of complaint.  After FIR is prepared, the MRO and the Station House Officer will conduct Panchanama on the dead body and then the Station House Officer will send the dead body for post marten examination by a doctor.  On the receipt of PME report and verification of facts, the SHO will submit a final report to the M.R.O. under the section 173 Cr. P.C. that is called as charge sheet.  If the information provided in the final report is satisfactory, the MRO will accept the case and close the file, otherwise, order for further inquiry or refer to the Judicial Court.

This information has to be kept permanently in the MR Office. This information is required for submitting to the government the section cases booked during a particular year or over a period of time.

Sec.176 Under Sub-section (1) of this section, any Executive Magistrate specially empowered may hold an inquiry into the cause of death either instead of or in addition to the investigation held by a Police Officer u/s 174. If any person dies while in the custody of Police, when the case is of the nature referred to in clause (i) or clause (ii) of sub-

section (3) of sec.174 and if he does so, he shall have all powers for holding an enquiry into an offence.

Under sub-section (3) of the section, he can cause the dead body to be disinterred or exhumed in order to discover the cause of death. While doing so, he shall wherever practicable inform the relatives of the deceased, whose addresses are known and shall allow them to remain present at the enquiry.

Criminal Justice in Agency Areas :

Summons Cases and Warrant Cases
Committal Proceedings
Compoundable Offences
Remand
Bails

In scheduled tracks of Andhra Pradesh there is no separation of judiciary and executive as such the Executive Officers have the judicial functions to perform. In these Agency areas, for the time being the Cr.P.C.1898 (Old Cr.P.C.) is in vogue. All the Mandal Revenue Officers exercising the judicial functions in agency areas are 2nd class Magistrates.

The powers of the Magistrate of 2nd class is indicated under Schedule III, II of Cr.P.C.1898. With regard to competence of Magistrates of 2nd class to try offences, Schedules II of Cr.P.C.1898 is to be looked into with reference to Column 8. Such are the offences triable by Magistrate indicated in Col 8 of Schedule II are to be tried by the Mandal Revenue Officers in the capacity of 2nd class Magistrates in Agency areas.

The Courts of Magistrates may pass the following sentences

(Section 32 of Cr.P.C.1898)

1)

Courts of Presidency Magistrate and or Magistrates of Ist order.

Imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, including such solitary confinement as is authorised by Law. Fine not exceeding two thousand rupees.

2)

Courts of Magistrates of the Second order.

Imprisonment for a term not exceeding Six months, including such solitary confinements as is authorised by Law. Fine not exceeding Five Hundred Rupees.


     The Mandal Revenue Officers in Agency as Executive Magistrates cannot invoke powers U/s. 107, 108, 109, 145 & 146 of the Cr.P.C. But they can exercise powers U/s. 144 Cr.P.C.

SUMMONS CASES AND WARRANT CASES

Summons Case : means a case relating to an offence and not being a warrant case.

Warrant Case : means a case relating to an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

Trail : In trail of cases, there are 3 procedures viz.,

(1)     Summary trial

(2)     Summons trial

(3)     Warrant trial.

Summary Trial : In summary trial, it is sufficient to record the substance of evidence and may dispense with the examination of the accused u/s 342 Cr.P.C. (Section 260 Cr.P.C. 1898 under Chapter XXII).

Summons Trial : Procedure for Summons trial is given under Chapter XX of the Code of Section 241 to 250 Cr.P.C.1898.

When the accused appears or is brought before the Magistrate, the particulars of the offence of which he is accused shall be stated to him, and he shall be asked if he has any cause to show why he should not be convicted; but it shall not be necessary to frame a formal charge.

Warrant Cases : (Chapter XXI of the Code Section 251 to 259)

Procedure U/s 251, Cr.P.C.1898 is deals with private complaints and it is known as private warrant procedure. In this procedure, on the evidence produced, the Magistrate frames a charge under the appropriate provisions of law. The accused has a right to cross examine the witnesses before charge or after charge. The accused can waive the right of further cross-examination after the charge.

U/s 251 of the Code, the procedure to be adopted in cases instituted on Police report is given. Since prosecution Agency investigates the case, on examination of the accused, charge is framed based on the record available.

The difference between procedure U/s 251 and 251-A is only that of relating to framing of charge under both sections, opportunity has to be given to both the sides to argue for discharge.

COMMITTAL PROCEEDINGS (CHAPTER XVIII)

Under Chapter XVIII, old Cr.P.C. procedure of inquiry into cases triable by the court of Sessions or High Court is indicated. Here also, the proceedings can be started either on private complaint or on a police report.

U/s. 207-A of the Code, after report is filed U/s 173 Cr.P.C. by a police officer, the accused is supplied with document and the prosecution examines witnesses to the occurrence to establish prima-facie case against the accused. Based on the material available and on hearing both sides, Charges are to be framed either under one head or under two or more heads under Schedule V in forms XXVIII (1) and (2) respectively. The accused are to be supplied with copy of Charge under seal and signature of the Magistrate. On being satisfied that a prima-facie case is made out, the Magistrate has to commit the accused for trial to the Court of Sessions to take the trial. The Magistrate has to commit the accused for trial subject to provisions of the court regarding the taking of bail, warrant to custody as laid down u/s. 207-A (16). A committal order is to be passed bringing out the brief history of the case, evidence adduced before him and the fact of considering both the evidence and record. It shall also contain the stages of the enquiry like supply of documents, framing of charges etc. The Magistrate has to ascertain from the accused during his examination whether he is competent to defend him self or "Legal Aid" to be provided. He should also ascertain whether the accused has any defense and the particulars of the witnesses if stated or inform the accused that he can furnish the information before the Sessions Court. The Magistrate should not give any findings on the facts since it is only an enquiry at committal stage.

Only with the committal of the accused by a Magistrate, the Sessions Court will have the jurisdiction to try the accused. This procedure is envisaged to save the valuable time of the Sessions Court and High Court.

Compoundable Offences :

Certain offences under I.P.C. are compoundable U/s 345 Cr.P.C. (Old Cr.P.C.). Those offences indicated U/s 345 (1) Cr.P.C. can be compounded with out the permission of the court by the persons indicated in the sub-section. The other offences covered under Section 345(2) Cr.P.C. of the Code are to be compounded with the permission of the court by the persons indicated in sub-sections.

Remand :

Individuals will be produced for remand before a Magistrate, if the police cannot complete investigation within 24 hours as laid down U/s 167 Cr.P.C. along with remand report. When the accused is produced, it is the duty of the Magistrate to question him whether he was subjected to any harassment by the police before granting remand. The period of remand should not exceed 15 days.

BAILS :

The procedure for granting bails is indicated in Chapter XXXIX of the Code. Section 496 Cr.P.C. deals with bailable offences and Section 447 Cr.P.C. deals with non-bailable offences.

In bailable offences, on arrest, even police officer can grant bail. In bails U/s 497 Cr.P.C. of the Code, the opinion of prosecution if any is to be heard by giving a notice either to the prosecutor or the Station House Officer concerned. A bail may be granted with or without sureties subject to the satisfaction of the Magistrate about the attendance of the accused before him for subsequent proceedings. In non-bailable cases, it is discretion of the Magistrate. In bailable cases, it is a right of the accused. Discretion is to be exercised judiciously as liberty of the individual is a constitutional right. The bail conditions if any should not be improper in relation to status and means of the accused. When bail is granted with conditions that cannot be fulfilled, it tantamount to denying the bail. Even in P.R.C. cases, the Magistrate can exercise his discretion in granting the bail, if offence is not objectionable with death or imprisonment for life but as a matter of prudence, it is left to the discretion of the Sessions Court.

M.R.O's in Agency areas shall also function as Judicial Magistrates exercising II class powers. They can discharge the functions of a II class Magistrate. They can entertain and try the cases under sections 135 to 147, 153 to 160, 165, 170,172 to 180, 182 to 190, 202, 203, 206, 217, 225B, 254, 262, 264 to 280, 282 to 291, 294, 294A, 295 to 298, 309, 323, 334 to 347, 352 to 358, 379 to 381, 384, 385, 403 to 406, 408, 414, 417, 418, 421 to 432, 434, 45 to 454, 456, 457, 461, 462, 482, 483, 486 to 489, 491, 498, 504, 508, 510 and 511 of Indian Penal Code.

The cases u/s's 302,307,333,395,436 and other sections or be tried in Sessions Court, have to be taken on file, the witnesses examined after framing charges and the case to be committed to Sessions if there is a primafacie case and a decision sent to the sessions court within five days from the date of decision.

Note : The court of a llnd Class Magistrate may pass a sentence of imprisonment not exceeding a term of one year or fine not exceeding a sum of Rs.1000/- or both, subject to the provisions of the I.P.C.

In every case, there are three factors to be taken into consideration for determining the appropriate punishment.

i) Motive:

ii) Magnitude of the Offence : and

iii) Character of the accused.

Award of sentence is a discretion of the judge which cannot be capricious or arbitrary.

In default of payment of fine, the Magistrate is competent to inflict 1/4th of the term of imprisonment, which he is competent to inflict, as punishment for the offence, in addition to the substantive sentence of imprisonment.

Benefit of doubt must always go in favour of the accused. Doctrine of mensrea should invariably be considered and assessed.

FORMS

For Office use:

Form of Inquest.

Bond for good behaviour

Section 500 Cr PC

For Citizen Use:

Bond and Bail Bond after arrest under a warrant.