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In respect of an interlocutory order, the Court cannot exercise its revisional jurisdiction : Madhya Pradesh High Court

The Madhya Pradesh High Court in the case of Dr. (Mrs.) Neena V. Patel vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh (Criminal Revision No. 219 of 2021) upheld that in respect of an interlocutory order passed in any appeal, inquiry, trial or other proceedings the Court cannot exercise its revisional jurisdiction.

Facts of the case: The applicant and respondent No. 6 (original complainants) filed a complaint under Section 200 of Cr.P.C. against accused No. 1 and respondent Nos. 2 to 5 alleging that accused No. 1, respondent Nos. 2 to 4 and youngest brother Mr. Siddharth P. Patel colluded with each other and with common intention created a forged will purporting it to be the last genuine will and testament of late Parmanand Bhai Patel, consequently deceived and caused damage to the applicant and respondent No. 6. It was further alleged that accused No.1, respondent Nos. 2 to 5 and Mr. Siddharth P. Patel have committed forgery of valuable security and will, by making & possessing counterfeit seal intending to use it as genuine and by fraudulent cancellation & destruction of the Will and codicil of late Parmanand Bhai Patel, thereby they committed offence under Sections 467, 468, 471, 472, 473, 474 and 477 read with Section 34 of IPC.

During the course of arguments on framing of charge on the aforesaid complaint, respondent No. 1/State filed an application under Section 311 of Cr.P.C. seeking recall of respondent No. 6 for further examination in order to place on record certified copies of papers and proceedings with regard to the judicial proceedings in relation to the alleged forged Will as well as estate/assets of late Parmanand Bhai Patel, which was dismissed by the trial Court  on the ground that the complaint was being tried in accordance with the provisions of Sections 225-237 of Cr.P.C. which do not provide for recalling of any witness or complainant prior to framing of charge(s) or recording evidence before framing of charges.

The counsel for applicant argued that there is no embargo or prohibition in law for a Court to exercise the powers under Section 311 of Cr.P.C. at the stage of framing of charges.  The trial Court could not exercise its discretion to dismiss the application under Section 311 of Cr.P.C. because Section 311 itself permits summoning of the witnesses at any stage of an inquiry, trial or proceedings.

Learned counsel appearing on behalf of respondent Nos. 2 to 4 raised an objection that as per the provision of Section 397(2) of Cr.P.C. the power of revision conferred by sub-section (1) shall not be exercised in relation to any interlocutory order passed in any appeal, inquiry, trial or other proceedings. In the present case, the impugned order rejecting the application under Section 311 of Cr.P.C. is purely an interlocutory order, hence no revision would lie against the impugned order and the present revision is barred on this ground alone.

Judgment: There are three categories of orders that a Court can pass – final, intermediate and interlocutory. There is no doubt that in respect of a final order, a court can exercise its revisional jurisdiction i.e. in respect of a final order of acquittal or conviction. In respect of an interlocutory order, the Court cannot exercise its revisional jurisdiction. As far as an intermediate order is concerned, the court can exercise its revisional jurisdiction since it is not an interlocutory order.

If the order under challenge culminates the criminal proceedings as a whole or finally decides the rights and liabilities of the parties then the order passed is not interlocutory in spite of the fact that it was passed during any interlocutory stage.

In the courts view the order under challenge in the revision did not culminate the criminal proceedings as a whole or finally decides the rights and liabilities of the parties, therefore, it could not be said to be a final order or an intermediate order. The impugned order was purely interlocutory in nature. Therefore, order passed while dismissing application filed by respondent No.1/State under Section 311 Cr.P.C. for recalling the witness was an interlocutory order and in the considered opinion of this Court no revision petition against such an order was maintainable in view of the provision of Section 397 (2) of Cr.P.C.

JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY : SHUBHANGI CHAUDHARY

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