Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Whether civil court can entertain application U/S 340 of CRPC?

Bombay HC-NAGPUR BENCH- Even though any Civil Suit is pending Court cannot deny case u/s 340 CrPC. Perjury Application to be register as Miscellaneous Judicial Case as per Civil Manual Chapter XIX para 337 in Civil case.



 Kenneth Desa s/o Late John Desa,
Gopal s/o Leeladhar Narang,

Citation;2007 ALL M R(CRI)2281


11th July, 2007.

1. Rule. Heard Finally with consent of parties.
2. This petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure seeks to quash the order passed by Civil Judge (Jr.Dn.) and

the Sessions Judge on an application under Section 340 of Code of
Criminal Procedure.
A few facts may be stated thus -
Criminal Procedure and appeal thereon under Section 341 of Code of
The petitioner had filed Civil Suit against the non-applicant
for injunction and other reliefs. In the said civil suit, it is alleged that
the respondent had filed an affidavit in which the petitioner claims
that the respondent has made patently false statement.
petitioner, therefore, filed an application purporting to be an
application under Section 340 of Code of Criminal Procedure. As
said earlier, it is the contention of the petitioner that respondent had
made a false statement on oath in the affidavit as regards the height
of the compound wall constructed by the respondent. It appears that
the petitioner's contention is that respondent while answering to the
allegations in para no.6 of the plaint had undertaken not to increase
the height of wall beyond 7 feet even though sanction was given by
the Municipal Corporation for construction of a wall of having height
of 2 meters equivalent to 6 ft. 6 inches. The petitioner's grievance is
that how could defendant/respondent on oath say that he will not
increase the height above 7 feet when Corporation has granted

sanction for 6.6 ft. and this amounts to making false statement on
The learned Civil Judge rejected the application saying that
the evidence of both sids is closed and matter is fixed for arguments
and in such circumstances it would not be appropriate to hold
separate enquiry and give a finding which may even cause prejudice
to both the parties. Holding so, he rejected the application.
The learned Sessions Judge concurred with the Civil Judge
and dismissed the appeal.
I have heard the petitioner-in-person and the learned
counsel for the non-applicant.
Whenever an application under Section 340 of Code of
Criminal Procedure is filed, the Civil Manual Chapter XIX para 337
requires that it should be registered as Miscellaneous Judicial Case i.e.
a case where a Judicial Enquiry is contemplated. The learned Civil
Judge should have, therefore, directed the application to be registered

Section 340 of Code of Criminal
Procedure reads thus -
340. Procedure in cases mentioned in Section 195
as Miscellaneous Judicial Case.
(1) When upon an application made to it in this
behalf or otherwise any Court is of opinion that it is
expedient in the interest of justice that an inquiry
should be made into any offence referred to in
clause (b) of sub-section (1) of Section 195, which
appears to have been committed in or in relation to
a proceeding in that Court or, as the case may be, in
respect of a document produced or given in evidence
in a proceeding in that Court, such Court may, after
such preliminary inquiry, if any, as it thinks
necessary, -
(a) record a finding to that effect ;
(b) make a complaint thereof in writing;
(c) send it to a Magistrate of the first class having
(d) take sufficient security for the appearance for
the accused before such Magistrate, or if the
alleged offence is non-bailable and the Court
thinks it necessary so to do send the accused

(e) bind over any person to appear and give
evidence before such Magistrate.
in custody to such Magistrate ; and
(2) The power conferred on a Court by sub-
section (1) in respect of an offence may, in any
case where that Court has neither made a
complaint under sub-section (1)
in respect of
that offence nor rejected an application for the
making of such complaint, be exercised by the
Court to which such former Court is subordinate
within the meaning of sub-section (4) of Section
(3) A complaint made under this section shall be
(a) Where the Court making the complaint is a High
Court, by such officer of the Court as the Court
may appoint;
(b) in any other case, by the presiding officer of the
Court or by such officer of the Court as the Court
may authroise in writing in this behalf.
(4) In this section, “Court” has the same meaning as
in Section 195.
The section thus says that the court should be of opinion
that an enquiry should be held. Even for forming an opinion, there
should be some evidence and not mere surmises. If there is a prima

facie evidence, the court must enter into an enquiry and record a
finding as to whether an offence referred to in Section 195 of Code of
Criminal Procedure is committed. It was, therefore, not proper on
part of Judges of the lower courts to have rejected the application.
The learned Civil Judge should have, in fact, upon consideration of
the application, decided whether it was necessary to hold the enquiry
and if found necessary should have held an enquiry. Merely because
civil suit was pending, that did not prevent and could not prevent the
Civil Judge from entering into an enquiry. I would, therefore, set
aside both the orders and direct the civil judge to register Exh.52 as
Miscellaneous Judicial Case and then proceed to decide the
application according to the provisions contained in Section 340 of
Code of Criminal Procedure. Pendency of this application shall not be
and cannot be a constraint on the Civil Judge in deciding the Civil suit
on merits. The civil judge may proceed to decide the suit and may
also proceed to decide the application under Section 340 of Code of
Criminal Procedure separately. The application under Section 482 of
Code of Criminal procedure is thus disposed of in the above terms.

Print Page

No comments:

Post a Comment