24 Jun 2121

All the respective courts in which the respective trial are pending are having the jurisdiction to try criminal cases as per the criteria mentioned in Section 181(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 - Bombay High Court

Case : State of Maharashtra and Sanjay Hariram Agrawal v. Omprakash Baburao Kamdi & Ors. Criminal Application No. 628 of 2014 with Interim Application No. 63 of 2020

Court : Bombay High Court

Bench : Justice A. A. Sayed and Justice Madhav J. Jamdar

Decided on : 24 Jun 2121

Relevant Statutes

Section 403 and 405 of Indian Penal code, 1860

Section 181(4), 407 and 482  of Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973

Brief Facts and Procedural History

1. On 25th April 2002 The Respondent No.2-Sunil Kedar lodged FIR at Ganeshpeth Police Station, Nagpur and stated that, In February 2001, our bank entered into an agreement with M/s. Home Trade Ltd for making assignments in the Govt. Securities and Investments. All the certificates of our financial transactions were given to us. But, for the last three months, we did not get the Investment certificates.

2. In 2002 During this period, NABARD  carried out the inspection of our bank and they demanded the original investment certificates. This broker was sending the Xerox copies of the certificates. We did not receive any certificates of the financial transactions since 25.01.2002 from all the Brokers. The amount of Rs.125.60 crores paid by us for investment in the Govt. Bonds, but we were not given the actual certificates The above-said amount was paid by cheques which are drawn on the Nagpur District Central Co-Operative Bank Ltd and further deposited in the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank, Mumbai Branch. 

3. After this inquiry was made and has been concluded by the applicant in his inspection that the above bank is a Trustee of the Depositors and shareholders and it has done the investment of the Public Money unauthorisedly and illegally through the unauthorized brokers/agents and this Act falls in criminal breach of Trust of the interest of the Depositors and shareholders. The Deputy Superintendent of Police filed a charge sheet for the offence punishable under Sections 406, 409, 468, 471, 120B and 34 of Indian Penal Code 1860. 

4. The Applicant (The original accused)  in various criminal cases pending in various Courts like in Mumbai, Wardha, Nagpur, Pune and Osmanabad has filed nine Criminal Applications under sections 482 and 407 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973  seeking transfer of these cases to the Competent Court in Mumbai for its trial. 

The Issue of the Case

Whether only the Mumbai Court has the jurisdiction to try the case or all the respective courts in which the respective trials are pending are having the jurisdiction to try such cases?

The Observations of the Court:

1. The Honourable Bombay High Court referred the Section 177 to 189 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and Section 403 and 405 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. The Honourable High Court observed that NDCCB is only Nagpur District and therefore the shareholders and the depositors of NDCCB are from Nagpur District. It was observed that the monies of the shareholders and depositors of NDCCB were transferred from Nagpur to Mumbai Account and the said monies are required to return by the accused person to the shareholder and depositors of NDCCB at Nagpur.  As per Section 181(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 i.e. Nagpur Court has the jurisdiction to deal with that case.

2. The Honourable Bombay High Court observed that the entire transaction has taken place in Mumbai and only the Mumbai Court has the jurisdiction to try the case is not correct and it is contrary to Section 181(4) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. The Honourable High Court satisfied that there is no substance in the contention of the applicant that all the criminal cases are interlinked to each other and also held that respective courts in which the respective trial are pending are having the jurisdiction to try such cases as per the criteria mention in Section 181(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973.

3. The Honourable Bombay High Court also observed that all the criminal cases are not identical and interlinked as there is a fundamental difference in all the cases and due to this, It is not possible to have a common trial or consolidated recording of evidence or a common hearing. The Honourable High Court observed that the matter of transferring trial of all the criminal cases is not in the interest of the justice and also it is not a fit case to exercise the power of transfer under section 407 and 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973.  It was observed that the said monies which were misappropriated were belonging to the shareholders and depositors of NDCCB and is public money.

The Decision Held by the Court

1. All Criminal Applications are dismissed. The respective Trial Courts are directed to complete the trial of the case as soon as possible. 

2. The trial in said C.C.No.147/2002 (Crime No.101/2002 registered with Ganesh Peth police station, Nagpur) should be completed by passing the final Judgment and Order within a maximum period of four months from today.

3. The trial against Applicant be commenced by conducting the same expeditiously on day to day basis and the same be completed within a period of four months after commencement of trial against present Applicant. 

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