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Delhi High CourtIndian Cases

Srichand P. Hinduja vs State Through Cbi on 20 May 2004

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Delhi High Court
Srichand P. Hinduja vs State Through Cbi on 20 May, 2004
Equivalent citations: 112(2004)DLT109
Author: R.S. Sodhi
Bench: R.S. Sodhi
JUDGMENT

R.S. Sodhi, J.

1. This revision petition is directed against the judgment and order dated 26.3.2004 of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Tis Hazari Court, Delhi whereby the learned Magistrate vide that order framed charge under Section 120-B and Section 420, IPC read with Section 120-B, IPC against the petitioners and also framed a charge under Section 465, IPC against M/s. A.B. Bofors.

2. It is contended by Counsel for the petitioners that the judgment of the High Court in Crl.M.C. 3938/2003 as also the connected matters dated 4.2.2004 has categorically stated the conclusions that have emerged from the discussion in the judgment and has stated as under:

“To sum up following conclusions emerge from the aforesaid discussion–
(i) Charges for the offences punishable under Sections 120B/420, IPC and Section 5(2) read with Section 5(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947 and Section 165A read with Section 161, IPC against the petitioners for having entered into a criminal conspiracy with the public servants to cheat the Government of India and having abetted the public servants to commit criminal misconduct by abusing their official position and taken illegal gratification for awarding the contract are quashed.
(ii) The charges that need to be framed against the petitioners P.P. Hinduja, G.P. Hinduja and S.P. Hinduja for the offences punishable under Sections 120B/420, IPC for having entered into a criminal conspiracy between April 1985 to March 1986 to cheat the Government of India by fraudulently and dishonestly representing that there were no agents involved in the negotiation for the contract and further that the price quoted was the reduced price proportionate to the amount of commission they would have otherwise paid to the agents and thereby induced the Government of India to award the contract in favor of Bofors and caused wrongful loss to the Government of India to the extent of the amount they would have paid as commission to the agents viz. Hindujas, Win Chadha and Quattrocchi
(iii) Charge for the offence punishable under Section 465 IPC for having made false documents as referred in the impugned order shall be framed against M/s. A.B. Bofors.”
3. Counsel contends that in paragraph 141(ii) the Court has directed the framing of charge against the petitioners under Sections 120-B/420, IPC and has further in paragraph 143 directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to confine its evidence strictly in terms of charges for the offence punishable under Sections 120-B/420, IPC against the petitioners. He, therefore, contends that the charge framed by the Magistrate is beyond the directions given by the High Court and, therefore, cannot be sustained. He also contends that the learned Magistrate was required to frame a charge in accordance with Chapter 17, Code of Criminal Procedure which he has not done and, therefore, the order under challenge is bad on that account as well.

4. Learned Additional Solicitor General submits that there is no ambiguity in the order under challenge and that the trial Court has correctly appreciated the findings given by the High Court with reference to paragraphs 123, 124, 125 and 132 of the judgment, which clearly lays down that separate charges under Section 120-B, 420/120, IPC are required to be framed. He also points out that this fact is further fortified by the decision of the High Court while disposing of Crl.M. As. 1969 to 1971/2004, moved by the petitioners for clarification. This Court vide its order dated 9.3.2004 has while adjudicating the prayer made in the application observed that the trial Court ought to frame charges against Hinduja Brothers for offence punishable under Sections 120-B and 420 of IPC. Reading the material together, the Learned Additional Solicitor General submits that the order under challenge cannot be faulted with.

5. I have heard Counsel for the parties and with their assistance have gone through the material on record, in particular the judgment of the High Court dated 4.2.2004, I am of the view that the High Court in its judgment has categorically stated as to what it means in its preceding paragraphs and returned a finding whereby it summed up the conclusion that had emerged there from and directed the trial Court that there is need to frame charge against the petitioners under Sections 120-B/420, IPC. This has been further clarified in the concluding paragraph 143, where directions have been given to the Central Bureau of Investigation to confine its evidence strictly in terms of the charges for the offence punishable under Sections 120-B/420, IPC against the petitioners.

6. In this view of the matter what has been said or discussed in the preceding paragraphs of the judgment cannot be re-considered. The application for clarification was to permit the petitioners to address arguments before the Magistrate in terms of the order of the Supreme Court. It was that application which was dismissed and specifically what charges had to be framed was not under consideration and, therefore, any observation made to that effect cannot be drawn upon to mean that the order dated 4.2.2004 was in fact clarified. I, therefore, set aside the order dated 26.3.2004 and the charges framed and direct the learned Magistrate to frame charges strictly in accordance with the directions given by the High Court in paragraph 141(ii) and in accordance with Chapter 17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure after hearing the parties on the procedural aspects of it.

7. With this Criminal Revision Petition Nos. 271/2004, 272/2004 and 273/2004 are disposed of. Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 3915/2004 also stands disposed of.