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Ramrao Versus Narayan

1968 (12) TMI 102 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRL.A. 51 OF 1967 - Dated:- 20-12-1968 - Shah J.C. And Grover A.N., JJ. R. K. Garg, S. C. Agarwala, G. V. Kalikar, S. K. Dhingra and M. S. Gupta, for the appellants. W. S. Barlingay and A. G. Ratnaparkhi, H. R. Khanna and S. P. Nayar, for respondent JUDGMENT: Shah, J.C. The Nagpur District Land Development Bank Ltd. is registered as a society under the Maharashtra Co-oPerative Societies Act, 1960. One Narayan Tanbaji Murkute applied for membership of the Bank -as a "non-borrowing member&quo .....

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t and the Secretary from holding the annual General Meeting. The Registrar referred the dispute for adjudication under s. 93 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960, to H. V. Kulkarni, his nominee. The nominee decided the dispute on May 7, 1965 and held that Murkute and other applicants were members of the Bank. In the proceeding before the nominee certain documents including the minutes book of the Bank were produced. It is claimed by Murkute that those books were fabricated by the .....

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ith the intention of causing it to be believed that the clause was part of the original. Resolution passed by the Board of Directors in the meeting held on June 30, 1964, whereas it was known to them that at that meeting no such clause was passed. The two accused raised an objection that the Magistrate had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the complaint without the previous sanction of the Registrar of Co-operative Societies under s. 148(3) of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 .....

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oceeding in respect of a document produced or given in evidence in such proceeding, cannot be entertained except on a complaint in writing of such court, or of a court to which it is subordinate; and (2) that offences charged in the complaint fell within the description of the offence under s. 146(p) of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960, and without the sanction of the Registrar the complaint was not maintainable. Section 195 Code of Criminal Procedure insofar as it is relevant pr .....

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des a Civil, Revenue or Criminal Court, but does not include a Registrar or Sub-Registrar under the Indian Registration Act, 1877." Murkute complained that the President and the Secretary of the Bank who were parties to the proceeding before the nominee of the Registrar had committed offences under ss. 465 & 471 I.P. Code in respect of documents produced or given in evidence at the trial. If the Registrar s nominee is a Court within the meaning of s. 195 Code of Criminal Procedure the M .....

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to entertain disputes with regard to certain matters concerning cooperative societies is expressly excluded from the jurisdiction of the Civil Court, and the Registrar or his nominee is alone competent to determine those questions; thereby the Registrar and his nominee are invested with the judicial power of the State and they are on that account "courts" within the meaning of s. 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Section 2(2) of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960, de .....

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bearers, conduct of general meetings, management or business of a society shall be referred by any of the parties to the dispute........... to the Registrar, if both the parties hereto are one or other of the following (a) (b) a member, past member or a person claiming through a member, past member or a deceased member of a society, or a society which is a member of the society. (c) (d) (e) (2) When any question arises whether for the purpose of the foregoing subsections matter referred to, for .....

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all, subject to the rules, decide the dispute himself, or refer it for disposal to a nominee, or a board of nominees, appointed by the Registrar. (2) Where any dispute is referred under the foregoing sub-section, for decision to the Registrar s nominee or board of nominees, the Registrar may at any time, for reasons to be recorded in writing withdraw such dispute from his nominee or board of nominees, and may decide the dispute himself, or refer it again for decision to any other nominee, or boa .....

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suspending proceedings, the Registrar shall take action as is provided in subsection Section 94 provides for the procedure of settlement of disputes and power of the Registrar, his nominee or the board of nominees. It provides, insofar as it is material : "(1) The Registrar, or his nominee or board of nominees, hearing a dispute under the last preceding section shall hear the dispute in the manner prescribed, and shall have power to summon and enforce attendance of witnesses including the p .....

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f S. 94 authorises the Registrar, his nominee or the board of nominees to join or substitute new parties. Section 95 authorises the Registrar or his nominee or board of nominees to pass an order of attachment and other interlocutory orders. Section 96 provides "When a dispute is referred to arbitration the Registrar or his nominee or board of nominees may, after giving a reasonable opportunity to the parties to the dispute to be heard, make an award on the dispute, on the expenses incurred .....

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r or his nominee or board of nominees under the last preceding section, or an order passed under section 95 may,............... appeal to the Tribunal. Section 98 provides that every order passed by the Registrar or his nominee or board of nominees or in appeal therefrom shall, it -not carried out, on a certificate signed by the Registrar, be deemed to be a decree of a civil court, and shall be executed in the same manner as a decree of such court or be executed according to the law and under th .....

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e is required by law to be referred to the Registrar or his nominee. Against the decision of the Registrar s nominee an appeal lies under s. 97 and the order made for payment of money is enforceable as a decree of the Civil Court. The Registrar or his nominee called upon to decide the dispute are bound to hear it in the manner prescribed and they have power to summon and enforce attendance of witnesses and to compel them to give evidence on oath, affirmation or affidavit and to compel production .....

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es not include a Registrar or Sub-Registrar under the Indian Registration Act, 1877. The expression "court" is not restricted to courts, Civil, Revenue or Criminal; it includes other tribunals. The expression "court" is not defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure. Under s. 3 of the Indian Evidence Act "Court" is defined as including "all Judges and Magistrates, and all persons, except arbitrators, legally authorised to take evidence". But this definition .....

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parlance is a generic expression and in the context in which it occurs may mean a "body or organization" invested with power, authority or dignity. In Halsbury s Laws of England, 3rd Edn., Vol. 9, Art. 809 at p. 342 it is stated : "Originally the term "court" meant, among other meanings, the Sovereign s place; it has acquired the meaning of the place where justice is administered and, further, has come to mean the persons who exercise judicial functions under authority d .....

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. On the other hand, a tribunal may be a court "in the strict sense of the term although the chief part of its duties is not judicial. Parliament is a court. Its duties are mainly deliberative and legislative : the judicial duties are only part of its functions." In Art. 810 it is stated "In determining whether a tribunal is a judicial body the facts that it has been appointed by a nonjudicial authority, that it has no power to administer an oath, that the chairman has a casting v .....

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ly a court in the strict sense of exercising judicial power because (1) it gives a final decision; (2) hears witnesses on oath; (3) two or more contending parties appear before it between whom it has to decide; (4) it gives decisions which effect the rights of subjects; (5) there is an appeal to a court; and (6) it is a body to which a matter is referred by another body. Many bodies are not courts, although they have to decide questions, -and in so doing have to act judicially, in the sense that .....

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officer of a force exercising discipline over members of the force." A body required to act judicially in the sense that its proceedings must be conducted with fairness and impartiality may not therefore necessarily be regarded as a court. Counsel for the appellants however invited our -attention to a number of decisions in support of his contention that wherever there is a dispute which is required to be resolved by a body invested with power by statute and the body has to act judicially .....

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g under ss. 172 to 188 I.P; Code, offences against public justice under ss. 193, 194, 195, 196, 199, 200, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211 and 228, when such offences are alleged to have been committed in or in relation to, any proceeding in any Court, and offences described in s. 463 or punishable under ss. 471, 475 or 476, when such offences are alleged to have been committed by a party to any proceeding in any Court in respect of a document produced or given in evidence in such proceeding, c .....

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r omission. To that rule there are certain exceptions which are specified in ss. 195, 196, 197, 198, 198A of the Code of Criminal Procedure and other special statutes. Authority of courts to entertain complaints in respect of the offences so specified is barred in view of the special nature of the offence which vitally affect individuals only or public bodies and in the larger interest of society it is deemed expedient to exempt them from the general rule. The nominee of the Registrar acting und .....

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ngs in regard to any dispute, if the question at issue between -a society and a claimant or between different claimants, is one involving complicated questions of law or fact. The jurisdiction of the nominee or board of nominees arises by reason not of investment by statute, but by appointment made by the Registrar who exercises control over the proceeding. The nominee therefore derives his authority from his appointment by the Registrar : the Registrar is entitled to withdraw his authority; and .....

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he Code of Civil Procedure. Thereby he is required to act judicially i.e. fairly and impartially : but the obligation to act judicially will not necessarily make him a court within the meaning of S. 195 of the Code. The position of a nominee of the Registrar is analogous to that of an -arbitrator designated under a statutory arbitration to which the provisions of S. 47 of the Arbitration Act, 1940, apply. The authorities to which our attention was invited by counsel for the appellants may now be .....

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pute touching a debt due to a society by a member is referred has power to administer oaths, to require the attendance of all parties concerned and of witnesses, and to require the production of all books and documents relating to the matter in dispute, and the Registrar is required to give a decision in writing, and when it is given the decision may be enforced on application to the Civil Court having jurisdiction as if it were a decree of the Court. deface, or secrete or attempts to secrete an .....

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y person to part with property, or to enter into any express or implied contract, or with intent to commit fraud or that fraud may be committed, (S. 463). In order to attract s. 463 I.P. Code there must therefore, be making of a false document with the intention mentioned in that section. By 464 it is provided : "A person is said to make a false document- First.-Who dishonestly or fraudulently makes, signs, seals or executes a document or part of a document, or ,,makes any mark denoting the .....

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rt thereof, after it -has been made or executed either by himself or by any other person, whether such person be living or dead at -the time of such alteration; or Thirdly Who dishonestly or fraudulently causes any person to sign, seal, execute or alter a document, -knowing that such person by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication cannot, or that by reason of deception practised upon him, he does not know the contents of the document or the nature of the alteration." Making of a fal .....

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ulent entry in any register, book of account or document belonging to the society liable to be punished. under s. 146 (p) The offence may be committed under s. 146 only by an officer or member-past or present-of the society. Even destruction or secreting of a document or security is penalised under s. 146 of the Act. We are unable to accept the contention that these two sections s. 146(p) of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act and s. 465 P. Code,-are intended to deal with the same offence .....

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ing that s. 465 I.P. Code and the related offences were intended to be pro tanto repealed by the enactment of s. 146(p) of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act. When the Indian Penal Code seeks to impose in respect of offences under As, 477 imprisonment which may extend to imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment upto a period of seven years for an offence under s. 477A it would be difficult to hold that when committed by an officer or a member of a society the maximum punishment which c .....

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