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Accused is entitled for hearing in Revision, against order of dismissal of Complaint under Sec 203 Cr.P.C.: Supreme Court

The SC on June 18, 2020 {SUBHASH SAHEBRAO DESHMUKH vs SATISH ATMARAM TALEKAR AND OTHERS} held that the restoration of the complaint by the Additional Sessions Judge was undoubtedly to the prejudice of the appellant/ accused.

It was further held by the Bench, comprising of Justice Navin Sinha and Justice Indira Banerjeethat in a revision petition preferred by the complainant before the High Court or the Sessions Judge challenging an order of the Magistrate dismissing the complaint under Section 203 of the Code at the stage under Section 200  or   after following  the   process contemplated under Section 202 of the Code, the accused   or   a   person   who   is   suspected   to   have committed the crime is entitled to hearing by the Revisional   Court.   In   other   words, it was held that where   the complaint has been dismissed by the Magistrate under Section 203 of the Code, upon challenge to the   legality   of   the   said   order   being   laid   by   the complainant in a revision petition before the High Court or the Sessions Judge, the persons who are arraigned as accused in the complaint have a right to be heard in such revision petition. It was held that this is a plain requirement of Section 401(2) of the Code.

It was however held by the SC that if the Revisional   Court   overturns   the   order   of   the Magistrate   dismissing   the   complaint   and   the complaint is restored to the file of the Magistrate and   it   is   sent   back for fresh consideration, the persons who are alleged in the complaint to have committed the crime have, however, no right to participate in the proceedings nor are they entitled to   any   hearing   of   any   sort   whatsoever   by   the Magistrate until the consideration of the matter by the Magistrate for issuance of process.

Accordingly, the impugned orders dated 6.03.2009 and 08.10.2007 were held to be unsustainable in their present form by the SC. They were therefore set aside. The matter was remanded by the SC to the Additional Sessions Judge, Greater Mumbai to hear the revision application afresh after notice to the appellant also and then pass a fresh reasoned and speaking order to his satisfaction. The appeal was allowed.

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