Telangana High Court: The Division Bench of Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, CJ and Vijaysen Reddy, J., observed that
if the consequences of an offence are suffered at a different place, than the place where the offence had occurred, even then the Court where the consequences are suffered would certainly have the jurisdiction to try the case.
Petitioner has filed the habeas corpus writ petitions on behalf of her husband and has prayed that he should be set at liberty.
Detenu is the Chief Executive Officer of Trillion Capital (P) Ltd., Mumbai and is also an Agent/Relationship Manager of the stockbroking firms — Manoj Javeri Stock Broking (P) Ltd. and Conard Securities (P) Ltd. Mumbai.
Detenu ad the directors of the said firms assured the complainant that he would receive a high rate of returns over his investment, on believing the assurance of the detenu, the complainant along with his family members and others opened Demat Accounts with different client codes.
Complainant and others, transferred an amount of Rs. 7.19 crores for the purpose of share trading. Further, they also transferred Rs 1.55 crores.
Monies were transferred to the accounts of Manoj Javeri Stock Broking Private Limited and Conard Securities Private Limited through their respective bank accounts at Hyderabad. Subsequently, in December 2019, the complainant requested for the redemption of the funds.
On receiving no response from the offenders, the complainant requested for withdrawal of the funds.
Later, the Director of Conard Securities (P) Ltd. called the complainant and assured that the withdrawal of payment would start soon. However, the complainant approached the Economic Offences Wing Hyderabad and lodged a complaint.
On investigation, it was found that the amounts invested by the victims, including the complainant were diverted into personal accounts of the detenu and other co-accused instead of investing in share market.
Siphoned off Money
Later it was found that Javeri Stock Broking was declared as a defaulter by SEBI.
The detenu, claiming to be an Agent/Relationship Manager of the above-mentioned companies, had induced hundreds of clients/investors to open share trading accounts with Manoj Javeri Stock Broking Private Limited, by sending fabricated trade statements through Trillion Capital and contract notes.
Later on, he, along with other accused, diverted the funds and siphoned off the money of innocent investors.
Respondent 4 in view of the above arrested the detenu as Sahara Airport, Mumbai and brought him to Hyderabad.
Detenue was remanded to judicial custody.
Hence the writ petitions have been filed.
Analysis and Decision
Supreme Court’s decision in Rupali Devi v. State of U.P., (2019) 5 SCC 384, was referred which dealt with the inter-relationship between the three provisions mentioned, i.e. Sections 177, 178 and 179 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.
Supreme Court’s opinion:
“Section 178 creates an exception to the “ordinary rule” engrafted in Section 177 by permitting the courts in another local area where the offence is partly committed to take cognizance. Also if the offence committed in one local area continues in another local area, the courts in the latter place would be competent to take cognizance of the matter. Under Section 179, if by reason of the consequences emanating from a criminal act an offence is occasioned in another jurisdiction, the court in that jurisdiction would also be competent to take cognizance. Thus, if an offence is committed partly in one place and partly in another; or if the offence is a continuing offence or where the consequences of a criminal act result in an offence being committed at another place, the exception to the “ordinary rule” would be attracted and the courts within whose jurisdiction the criminal act is committed will cease to have exclusive jurisdiction to try the offence.”
Though Sections 178 and 179 CrPC are exceptions to the ordinary rule, merely by being “exception” they do not lose their legal relevance.
In view of the above, Court observed that,
While Section 177 CrPC prescribes the general rule, with regard to the jurisdiction of a Court to try the case, Section 178 and 179 CrPC further bestow power upon different Courts to try an offence, depending on the nature of the offence, the sequence/steps in the commission of the offence and the consequence of an offence.
Hence, if the consequences of an offence are suffered at a different place, than the place where the offence had occurred, even then the Court where the consequences are suffered would certainly have the jurisdiction to try the case.
Further, the Court also added that since many times, an offence may be committed in different areas, since many times, a given offence may have different steps that are required to be taken, Section 178 CrPC deals with such a situation.
Section 181 CrPC deals with the trial of offence of Criminal Breach of Trust.
The above provision bestows a power to try the case upon the Court where the property which was entrusted is required to be returned or accounted for by the accused person.
In the instant case, the money was sent from Hyderabad; the money had to be returned to the complainant at Hyderabad; the transaction had to be accounted for to the complainant at Hyderabad.
Hence, under Section 181(4) CrPC, the Court at Hyderabad would have the jurisdiction to try the case.
Court relied on the decision of Supreme Court in Manubhai Ratilal Patel, stated that while carrying out the remand duty, the Magistrate is not required to hold a mini-trial
Magistrate is required to consider whether the commission of a cognizable offence is mentioned in the FIR or not?
Whether the Police is justified in arresting the accused person or not? Whether the Police requires the continuation of the police custody for the purpose of further investigation or not?
Or whether the accused person should be sent into judicial custody so as to ensure that the accused person would face the trial as and when called for?
Or whether the accused was subjected to torture or not while he was in police custody? Or whether the accused should be set at liberty or not?
In the present case, the FIR was lodged in Hyderabad, which clearly alleged the commission of a cognizable offence. Since part of the cause of action had arisen in Hyderabad, the police force of Telangana was justified in arresting the detenu who was residing in Mumbai, and in bringing him to the State of Telangana for further investigation.
Judicial Custody of the Detenu
Magistrate had remanded the detenu to judicial custody by exercising the power bestowed upon the Magisterial Court.
Hence, judicial custody was a legal one.
No merit was found in the petitions. [Radhika Anil Upadhyaya v. Principal Secy., Home Department; 2020 SCC OnLine TS 1577, decided on 25-11-2020]