Reached Daily Limit?

Explore a new way of legal research!

Click Here
Bombay High CourtIndian Cases

Pramila Mahesh Shah vs Employees’ State Insurance … on 15 October 2001

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Bombay High Court
Pramila Mahesh Shah vs Employees’ State Insurance … on 15 October, 2001
Equivalent citations: 2002CRILJ2454, 2002(2)MHLJ100
Author: R.K. Batta
Bench: R.K. Batta
JUDGMENT

R.K. Batta, J.

1. Heard learned Advocate for the applicant and learned APP. Admit. With the consent of learned Advocates for the parties, heard.

2. Though these revisions arise out of two different complaints filed by respondent No. 1 against the petitioner, yet the points involved in both of them are common and as such the same were heard together and are being disposed of by a common order.

3. In Criminal Revision Application No. 122 of 2001, criminal complaint No. R-579/1998 was filed by respondent against the petitioner in the court of J.M.F.C., Nagpur for offence under Section 85(e) read with Section 85(ii) of the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 (hereinafter referred as the said Act), for failing to submit the return of contribution for period ending on 31-3-1998 in time in Form-VI in respect of the employees of the Factory/Establishment “M/s. Complex Plastic Industries, Nagpur”.

4. The complaint was filed on 23-11-1998 and on 28-8-1999, the petitioner filed an application for dismissal of the complaint for want of compliance of mandatory provisions contained in Section 204(2), 204(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code. This application was objected by respondent No. 1 (complainant). The Magistrate granted this application by a non speaking order and discharged me petitioner. This order of the Magistrate was challenged by the respondent No. 1 before the Sessions Court, Nagpur and Additional Sessions Judge, Nagpur, vide judgment dated 9-7-2001, allowed the revision and set aside the Order of J.M.F.C., Nagpur. The complaint was ordered to be restored and the parties were directed to appear before J.M.F.C., Nagpur on 20-8-2001. This order dated 9-7-2001 is subject matter of challenge by the present petitioner in this revision.

5. The facts are identical in Criminal Revision Application No. 123 of 2001 wherein a similar complaint No. R-151/1998 was filed in respect of Section 85(a) read with Section 85(b) of the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 for failing to pay the contribution in respect of employees of the factory/establishment, M/s. Complex Plastic Industries, Nagpur for the wage period from October, 1997 to March, 1998 on or before 21st of each month following, This complaint was filed on 28-11-1998 and application for dismissal of the complaint was filed by the petitioner on 19-3-1999 on the ground that the provisions contained’ in Section 204(2), 204(3) Criminal Procedure Code, which are mandatory had not been complied with. This application was opposed by respondent No. 1 and the J.M.F.C., Nagpur, vide non-speaking order dated 11-10-1999 allowed the application and discharged the petitioner. This order was challenged by respondent No. 1 in the court of Session, Nagpur and the learned 4th Additional Sessions Judge, Nagpur vide judgment dated 9-7-2001 allowed the revision and set aside the order dated 11-10-1999 of J.M.F.C., Nagpur. The complaint was restored and the parties were directed to appear before the trial Court on 20th August, 2001. This order is subject matter of challenge in these revisions, filed by the petitioner.

6. Learned Advocate for the applicant urged before me that even though in the complaints, it is specifically stated in the prayer that the complainant be allowed to examine witnesses, yet no list of witnesses was filed and in the absence of filing of list of witness, the trial Court could not issue process against the petitioner in the light of the mandatory provisions contained in Section 204(2) of Criminal Procedure Code. Secondly, it is urged that no copy of the complaint was sent along with the summons after the order of issue of process resulting in breach of Section 204(3) of Criminal Procedure Code provisions of which are mandatory. He, therefore, contends that in views of the mandatory violation of Sections 204(2) and 204(3) the process could not have been issued and the issue of process in breach of the said provisions was, therefore, sufficient to dismiss the complaint, but the Additional Sessions Judge allowed the revision contrary to the mandatory provisions of Sections 204(2) and 204(3) and as such the order of the Additional Sessions Judge is liable to be set aside and that of the Magistrate is liable to be restored. In support of his submissions, learned Advocate for the applicant has relied upon Chaturbhuj v. Naharkhan, ; Stale of Bombay v. Janardhan and Ors. reported in 7960 NLJ 338 = AIR I960 Bombay 513; Ram Narain v. Bishamber Nath, ; Subol Mondal and Anr v. The State and Anr. reported in 7974 Cri.LJ. 176; Patel Dhanji Mavji and Ors. v. Gadhvi Govind Jiva and Anr. reported in 7974 Cri.LJ. 241 and Bhiku Yeshwant Dhangat and Ors.s. v. Baban Maruti Barate and Ors. reported in 2000(4) Mh.L.J. 816 = 2001 Cri.LJ. 295.

7. Learned A.P.P., on the other hand urged before me that the provisions of Section 204(2) and Section 204(3) are not mandatory but they are directory in nature and as such the prejudice, if any, caused due to non compliance of said provisions is required to be examined and in the case under consideration, no prejudice has been caused to the petitioner since the proceedings had not even started and only the process, has been issued. In support of his submission, learned A.P.P. has relied upon Mown v. The Superintendent, Special Jail, Nowgong, Assam and Ors. ; Kanhu Ram and Ors. v. Durga Ram, reported in 1980 Cri.LJ. 518; Madhavan Nambiar and Ors. v. Govindan and Ors. reported in 7952 Cri.LJ. 683: and Bhalchandra G. Naik v. Suresh Melvani and Anr., reported in 7999 Cri.LJ. 1908. According to the learned A.P.P., there is no case of interference and the revisions be rejected.

8. Learned Advocate for the applicant had pointed out that along with the process (summons) issued against the applicant, no copy of the complaint had been annexed and the copy of the complaint was furnished to the applicants at the time of consideration of bail application. The list of witnesses admittedly was not filed.

9. In order to appreciate the submissions made on either side, it is necessary to have a bird’s eye view of the law on the subject. I shall first refer to the rulings upon which reliance has been placed by the learned Advocate for the applicant.

10. In Chaturbhuj v. Naharkhan (supra), while dealing with Section 204(1-A) and (1-B) (as amended in 1955) of Criminal Procedure Code 1898, it has been held that having regard to the wordings of Section 204, Clauses (1-A) and (1-B), it is clear that filing of the list of prosecution witnesses is essential unless the complaint is the only witness in the case. It is also pointed out therein that it appears that along with summons or warrant issued under Sub-section (1), copy of the complaint ought to be sent to the accused. It appears that in this case, the Magistrate had not considered the said provisions as amended in 1955 and as such the Magistrate was directed to comply with provisions of Section 204(1-A) and (1-B) and after applying his mind to the same, proceeded with the trial of the case in accordance with law.

11. In State of Bombay v. Janardhan and Ors. (supra), the learned Sessions Judge, Nagpur had made reference under Section 438 of Criminal Procedure Code (old) recommending that the order of the Magistrate First Class, Savner rejecting an application made by the complainant in a case against five accused persons under Sections 494 and 494 read with Section 109 of Indian Penal Code to examine additional witnesses to prove that subsequent to the date of the second bigamous marriage, a child was born, on the ground that under Section 256 of Criminal Procedure Code (old) after framing of the charge, the complainant could examine only such of the witnesses as had remained unexamined out of the list of witnesses given by the complainant. The learned Sessions Judge, however, took a different view and relying on Emperor v. Nagindas, AIR 1942 Bom. 214 held that the words “any remaining witnesses” in Section 256 of Criminal Procedure Code (old), are not restricted to witnesses left out from the list of witnesses given by the complainant and has made this reference to set aside the order of the Magistrate. It is in this context that the matter was examined by this Court. In this respect, the following observations were made in para 6 of the judgment:–

“(6) After the introduction of new Section 204(1A), other Sections of the Criminal Procedure Code and in particular Section 256 have to be read along with Section 204(1A) and the question is whether the words “any remaining witnesses” used in Section 256 would have reference to the list of witnesses in Section 204(1A) and whether the ruling contained in AIR 1942 Bom. 214 would have to be reconsidered in view of the introduction of the new Section 204(1A). The object of giving a list of witnesses, as provided in Section 204(1A), is to give notice to the accused of the names of the witnesses for the complainant so that accused can prepare for their cross-examination. If witnesses not named in the list referred to in Section 204(1A) are allowed to be examined by the complainant the object of the Legislature in adding the new Section 204(1A) would be defeated. After the insertion of Section 204(1A), Section 256 has to be read along with Section 252 also with Section 204(1A). Therefore, in my opinion, in cases instituted otherwise on a police report the complainant is restricted to the examination of witnesses whose names are given in the list under Section 204(1A). At the same time, it is not stated in the new Section that the list cannot be added to with the permission of the Court. The Court should not, however, give permission to add names to the list if it is going to prejudice the case of the accused or if it is not in the interests of justice. In my opinion, in proper cases if an application is made, the complainant may be permitted to add names to the list given by him under Section 204(1A). In the instant case the prosecution case is that subsequent to the date of the alleged bigamous marriage the second wife of the alleged offenders gave birth to a child. The names of the witnesses on this point could not have been given by the complainant in the list of witnesses given under Section 204(1A). This is, therefore, a proper case in which names may be permitted to be added to the list given under Section 204(1A).”
In other words, it was held that in cases instituted otherwise on a police report, the complainant is restricted to the examination of the witnesses whose names are given in the list under Section 204(1A) but, at the same time, in a proper case the list can be added to with the permission of the Court, though the Court should not give permission to add names to the list if it is going to prejudice the case of the accused if it is not in the interest of justice.

12. In Ram Narain v. Bishamber Nath (supra), it has been held that the provisions of Section 204(1B) are merely directory in the sense that failure to attach a copy of the complaint with the summonses does not by itself completely invalidate or nullify the issue of the process and the supply of such a copy to the accused on or before his appearance though it was not attached with the summonses, may cure the defect. Therefore, the Section 537 of Criminal Procedure Code (Old) would cure the defect, but that does not mean that a Magistrate can with impunity disregard these statutory directions since he is expected to obey and carry out the provisions of law as much as any one else is; indeed as a court of justice his obligation is all the greater to see that law is properly administered. However, the provisions of Section 204(1A) are mandatory in the sense that a process issued before the filing of the list of witnesses would be invalid since this clause is couched in a negative language and it goes to the power of the Magistrate to issue summonses or warrants, as the case may be. It has been further pointed out that the Sections 204(1A) and (1B) are enacted in the interest and for the protection of the accused. Their disregard is likely to injuriously affect the accused.

13. At this stage, I would like to refer to another judgment of the Delhi-High Court in State v. Raghubir Das, reported in 7970 Cri.LJ., 1051, wherein also it is held that the provisions of Section 204(1B) are not mandatory. A non compliance of the same will not vitiate the trial if prejudice is not caused to the accused.

14. In Subol Mondal and Anr. v. The State and Anr. (supra), a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court has laid down that no summons can be issued unless list “of witnesses is filed in accordance with Section 204(1A) of Criminal Procedure Code (old).

15. In Patel Dhanji Mavji and Ors. v. Gadhvi Govind Jiva and Anr. (supra), the Gujarat High Court has held that the provisions of Section 204(1A) are mandatory and they are for protecting the interest of the accused. The Gujarat High Court, after setting aside issue of process on that count nevertheless directed the Magistrate to make enquiry regarding witnesses from the complainant and to get the list of such witnesses from him prior to the issue of process as required under Section 204(1A) of Criminal Procedure Code.

16. The last judgment upon which the reliance has been placed by the learned Advocate for the applicant is Bhiku Yeshwant Dhangat and Ors. v. Baban Maruti Barate and others (supra), wherein it has been held that in case the complainant wishes to examine any witness the names of the witnesses must be mentioned and the accused must be aware of the same. It is further held that taking cognizance on the complaint without there being any disclosure as to the witnesses whom the complainant would be examining, is improper. The issue of process was, therefore, set aside and no further directions were given in the matter.

17. Now, I shall refer to the rulings upon which the reliance has been placed by the learned A.P.P. To start with the reliance is placed on the judgment of the Apex Court in Noor Khan v. State of Rajasthan, . In this case, the Apex Court was dealing with a situation where the statements of the witnesses had been recorded by the Investigating Officer under Section 161 of Criminal Procedure Code, but there was failure to supply the copies of such statements to the accused. In this connection, it was observed by the Apex Court that the object of Sections 162, 173(4) and 207A(3) of Criminal Procedure Code 1898 is to enable the accused to obtain a clear picture of the case against him before the commencement of the inquiry. The Sections impose an obligation upon the investigation officer to supply before the commencement of the inquiry copies of the statements of witnesses who are intended to be examined at the trial so that the accused may utilize those statements for cross-examining the witnesses to establish such defence as he desires to put up, and also to shake their testimony. However, it has been pointed out by the Apex Court that failure to furnish statements of witnesses recorded in the course of investigation may not vitiate the trial. It is pertinent to note that the Apex Court has laid down that it does not affect the jurisdiction of the Court to try a case, nor is the failure by itself a ground which affects the power of the Court to record a conviction, but the breach thereof must be considered in the light of the, prejudice caused to the accused by reason of its breach. The Apex Court had referred to an earlier judgment in Narayanrao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, . In this judgment, the Apex Court had observed that the word “shall” occurring both in Sub-section (4) of Section 173 and Sub-section (3) of Section 207A, is not mandatory but only directory, because an omission by a police officer, to fully comply with the provisions of Section 173, should not be allowed to have such a far reaching effect as to render the proceedings including the trial before the Court of Session, wholly ineffective. In turn, in this case reliance was placed upon judgment of the Judicial Committee of Privy Council in Pulukuri Kottayya v. Emperor, reported in AIR 1947 PC 67. The Apex Court in Noorkhan v. State of Rajasthan (supra) then observed that however, strong the inference, may be, failure to supply copies will not by itself render the trial illegal. The Court must in each case consider the nature of the defect, the objection raised at the trial, and the circumstances which lead to an inference of prejudice. The strength of the inference of prejudice must always be adjudged having regard to the circumstances of each particular case.

18. In Kanhu Ram and Ors. v. Daurga Ram (supra). Himachal Pradesh High Court has after considering the judgments in Chaturbhuj v. Naharkhan (supra); Ram Narain v. Bi’shamber Nath (supra); Sunilakhya Chowdhury v. H.M. Jadwet, ; Mown v. The Superintendent, Special Jail, Nowgong, Assam and Ors. (supra); Abdullah Bhat v. Ghulam Mohd. Wani, reported in 7972 Cri.LJ., 277 (Full, Bench); and Patel Dhanji Mavji and Ors. v. Gadhvi Govind Jiva and Anr. (supra) has laid down that even if filing of list contemplated by Sub-section 2 of Section 204 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 is considered to be mandatory, the provisions contained in Section 465 of Criminal Procedure Code have to be taken into consideration before declaring the issue of process as illegal and as such the order issuing the process cannot be set aside unless this Court finds that it has resulted in failure of justice. It was further observed that the order of issue of process has not resulted in failure of justice because the matter had not yet proceeded further and the complainant could be asked to furnish list of witnesses before evidence was recorded in the case, so that the accused, for whose protection Section 204(2) is enacted, would know the nature of the evidence which the complainant was likely to produce.

19. The next ruling upon which the reliance has been placed by the learned A.P.P. is Madhavan Nambiar and Ors.v. Govindan and Ors. (supra), wherein Kerala High. Court has laid down that mentioning in the complainant itself of the names of witnesses, would be sufficient compliance of Section 204 (2) of Criminal Procedure Code and that non compliance of the provision does not automatically result in invalidating consequences or vitiate the entire trial, unless it has resulted in prejudice to the accused.

20. Learned A.P.P. has also relied upon Bhalchandra G. Naik v. Suresh Melvani and Anr. (supra) wherein the question involved was whether the accused is entitled to supply of copies of documents upon which the complainant wants to rely, it has been held that the accused is not entitled to supply of copies of documents upon which the complainant wants to rely. In this case, issue of process was challenged on various grounds including that copies of documents had not been annexed with the summons.

21. I shall now refer to the judgments relied upon by the learned Additional Sessions Judge in support of the impugned order. Learned Additional Sessions Judge has relied upon Madhaorao Pandurang v. Yeshwant, reported in 1969 Mh.LJ., 21; and Shashi Nair v. R.C. Mehta and Ors. . He had also referred Bhiku Yeshwant Dhangat and others v. Baban Maruti Barate and others (supra). Relying upon Shashi Nair v. R.C. Mehta and others (supra), the learned Additional Sessions Judge held that if there is any failure on the part of the Court to issue process without supply of list of witnesses or to issue process without attaching a copy of a complaint, it cannot be said that the judicial act of issue of process is without jurisdiction. The Additional Sessions Judge further held that the provisions of Section 204(2) and (3) have to be considered as in directory nature and their non-observance is just an irregularity which can be cured. He has also found that the order of the Magistrate of dismissal of the complaint was non speaking and a cryptic order.

22. In Madhaorao Pandurang v. Yeshwant (supra) (notes of case No. 37), it has been laid down by this Court that provisions of Section 204(1A) are not mandatory and where process is issued before filing of list of witnesses by complainant the proceedings are not vitiated. It will be appropriate to reproduce the observations of this Court in this case, which read as under:–

“The object of putting Sub-sections (1-A) and (1-B) of Section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Code was to give sufficient notice to the accused of the allegations which are made against him on which he is sought to be prosecuted and also of the nature of the evidence which the prosecution proposes to adduce against the accused. The jurisdiction of the Magistrate under Section 204(1) to issue a summons or a warrant in the first instance, as the case may be, if he is satisfied that there was sufficient ground for proceeding cannot be taken away by the failure on the part of the complainant to file a list of prosecution witnesses. Section 204(1-A) does not control Sections 244(1) or 244(2) which were not amended after Sub-section (1 -A) was added in Section 204 of the Code by Act No. 26 of 1955. There is nothing in Section 244(1) or (2) which restricts the power of the Magistrate to take evidence only of those witnesses whose names are not mentioned in the list referred to in Section 204(1-A). Therefore, the provision regarding submission of a list of witnesses in Section 204(1-A) cannot be considered as mandatory so as to control the jurisdiction of the Magistrate to proceed with the trial of the accused and record his plea. The provisions of Section 204(1-A) of the Criminal Procedure Code were not mandatory in nature and if before the list of witnesses is filed the Magistrate issues a summons to the accused after he is satisfied that there is sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused he does not act without jurisdiction and further proceedings after the appearance of the accused are not invalid. Unless clear prejudice is shown to have been caused to the accused by a late submission of the list of prosecution witnesses, the order issuing a summons to him cannot be said to be vitiated. Though the provisions of Section 204(1-A) were directory it is the duty of the Magistrate to secure compliance with the requirement of Section 204(1-A) at the earliest possible stage of the proceeding to avoid any prejudice to the accused is for some reason he did not insist on the list of witnesses to be filed along with the complaint. , Ref. and ,Diss.
The complainant did not file any list of witnesses along with the complaint nor was any list filed on the date on which the Court ordered issue of summonses to the prosecution witnesses. At a later stage after the accused had already appeared and the case was fixed for evidence before charge, an objection was raised that the proceedings were vitiated because the complainant had not complied with the mandatory requirement of Section 204(1-A) of the Criminal Procedure Code, The Magistrate before whom the objection was taken passed an order that issue of process and order of summons against the accused was invalid and the accused be released. When the order was passed the complainant had already supplied the list of witnesses to whom process was to be issued.
Held, that as on the date on which the Magistrate had passed the order releasing the accused, the list of witnesses was on record for about 6 months it was not possible to hold that the accused were in any way prejudiced by the late supplying of the names of witnesses by the complainant. (Order quashing the proceedings passed by the Magistrate was set aside).”
The above conclusion was arrived at after taking into consideration the provisions of Section 204(1-A) and (1-B) pf Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 as also Section 244(1) or 244(2) of Criminal Procedure Code 1898.

23. In Shashi Nair v. R.C. Mehta and others (supra), this Court, after considering almost all judgments available on the subject and which have been quoted above, reiterated the position of law laid down by this Court in Madhaorao Pandurang v. Yeshwant (supra) with reference to Section 204(2) of Criminal Procedure Code 1973. It is pertinent to note that in Madhaorao Pandurang v. Yeshwant (supra) and Shashi Nair v. R. C. Mehta (supra). It has been laid down that the jurisdiction of the Magistrate under Section 204(1) to issue summons or warrant in the first instance, as the case may be, if he is satisfied that there was sufficient ground for proceeding cannot be taken away by the failure on the part of the complainant to file a list of prosecution witnesses.

24. These rulings of this Court wherein the matter has been examined threadbare with reference to the provisions of law as also judgments on the subject, were not placed before the learned Judge in Bhiku Yeshwant Dhangat and Ors. v. Baban Maruti Barate and Ors. (supra). The view taken in the said ruling is not in accordance with the earlier view of this Court and the view taken by learned Judge in Bhiku Y. Dhangat and Ors. v. Baban Maroti Barate and others (supra) that taking cognizance of the complaint without there being any disclosure as to the witnesses whom the complainant would be examining is a proper, is per incuriam in the light of the judgment of the Apex Court in Noor Khan v. State of Rajasthdn wherein it is held that failure to furnish statements of witnesses recorded in course of investigation by police does not affect the jurisdiction of the Court. In Madhaorao Pandurang v. Yeshwant (supra) as well as in Shashi Nair v. R.C. Mehta (supra) also relying upon judgment of Apex Court in Noor Khan v. State of Rajasthan (supra) it was held that the provision regarding submission of list of witnesses under Section 204(1-A) cannot be considered as mandatory so as to control the jurisdiction of the Magistrate to prpceed with the trial and issuance of summons cannot be said to be without jurisdiction.”

25. I shall now refer to the Full Bench Ruling of the Jammu and Kashmir in Abdullah Bhat v. Ghulam Mohd. Wani, 1972 Cri.LJ., 277. In this case, it was held that the omission to file list of witnesses along with the complaint should not have a far reaching effect than the omission to carry out the provisions of Section 173(4). It was pointed out that the object of Section 204(1-A) is not to introduce a requirement that goes to the root of the jurisdiction, as for example, the requirement of previous sanction under Section 197 of Criminal Procedure Code, but to serve a two fold purpose, one, to apprise the accused at the earliest opportunity of the persons who are likely to give evidence against him and second to scuttle any attempt on the part of the complainant subsequently to improve the state of evidence by made-up witnesses. It was further pointed out that Criminal Procedure Code is essentially a procedural law and, therefore, any error or irregularity in the mode or method of trial does not necessarily go to the jurisdiction of the court but is curable under Section 537 of Criminal Procedure Code (Old). It has been further laid down therein that the Section 204(1-A) which is a salutary provision is made not in public interest but only for the protection and benefit of the accused and has to be complied with normally, but it is not mandatory in the sense that even if no prejudice is caused to the accused it will vitiate the trial. It is the essence and not the form which should weigh with courts in assessing the nature of the violation and its effect.

26. In Jagananath Sahu v. State and Anr. , while dealing with Section 204(1-A) of Criminal Procedure Code (old), it has been laid down that the provision is directory in nature and where summons is not accompanied by a copy of complaint, proceedings are not vitiated and the copy of the complaint should be supplied to the accused before proceeding with the case.

27. In Monoranjan Chakraborty v. State reported in 1970 Cri.LJ, 1554, it has been held that the provisions of Section 204(1-A) are directory in nature. It has been pointed out that though it is desirable that the copy of a complaint should be accompanied with the summons, yet non compliance of Section 204(1-A) does not invalidate or nullify the issue of process as the provisions are merely directory and not mandatory.

28. Thus, a survey of law on the subject goes to show that provisions of Section 204(3) are directory in nature. A copy of the complaint should accompany the summons or warrant, as the case may be, and the Magistrate should ensure the compliance of these provisions though it is directory in nature. Nevertheless, the non-compliance of Section 204(3) does not vitiate the issue of process and the copy of the complaint can be furnished to the accused before the proceedings actually start. In the case under consideration, the copy of the complaint admittedly was furnished to the applicant at the stage of bail and before the proceedings had actually started. Therefore, there is no merit in this ground raised by the petitioner.

29. Coming to Section 204(2) of Criminal Procedure Code, I must say that the non-compliance of this provision does not affect the jurisdiction of the Magistrate either to issue process or to try the case. This view has been taken by the Apex Court in Noorkhan v. State of Rajasthan’, Madhaorao Pandurang v. Yeshwant; Abdullah Bhat v. Ghulam Mohd. Wani’, and Shashi Ndir v. R.C. Mehta (supra). The procedural laws are hand maid of justice and the question of prejudice is of paramount consideration in respect of breach of procedural provisions. Therefore, even if it was to be held that the provisions of Section 204(2) are mandatory, that, by itself, would not vitiate the issue of process or the jurisdiction of the Court and where the matter is at the initial stage, directions can be given to furnish the copy of list of witnesses, if any, before the proceedings actually commenced. The stage of the proceedings is relevant to determine the prejudice, if any, caused to the accused. In the case under consideration, the substantive proceedings had not yet started. Therefore, in the circumstances, directions to the complainant to supply copy of witnesses, if any, within a period of four weeks from the receipt of the copy of the order by the trial Court would be considered as sufficient compliance of Section 204(2) of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

30. In view of the above, I do not find any merit in these revisions and the revisions are hereby dismissed in the light of the aforesaid observations.