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Section 205 CrPC- Magistrate Cannot Mechanically Impose Conditions to An Order Dispensing Personal Appearance of Accused: Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court has held that magistrate cannot mechanically impose conditions to an order dispensing the personal appearance of accused under Section 205 Code of Criminal Procedure. In the instant case, the petitioner had filed an application before the Metropolitan Magistrate under Section 205 of CrPC for dispensing with his personal appearance during proceedings under Sections 138 and 141 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881. The Magistrate vide order dated February 15, 2017, had allowed the application but ordered the petitioner to be personally present for examination u/s 251 and 313 of CrPC. This was subsequently affirmed by the Sessions Court. Aggrieved by the order, the present plea had been filed in the High Court. The counsel for the petitioner argued that both the Magistrate and the Sessions Court did not appreciate the ambit of Section 205 of the CrPC and accordingly imposed conditions mechanically while advocating for personal appearance. While upholding the contentions of the petitioner, Justice Kausik Chanda observed, “From the order of the learned Magistrate it does not appear that the learned Magistrate assigned any reason as to why the appearance of the petitioner was necessary at the time of examination under Sections 313 and 251 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Learned Magistrate merely mentioned that there are certain facts which can only be explained by the accused persons, and those facts are only within their knowledge, and as such, their presence may be required. In my view, the order of the learned Magistrate cannot be said to be a speaking order, so as to justify the presence of the petitioner at the time of examination under Section 251 or under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.”

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