Supreme Court held that all those Order of a Trial Court which terminate the proceedings are not interlocutory Order but are intermediate orders in nature so such Orders are not prohibited in Revision at Session or High Courts.
From Para 16, 17 and 18,
16. While the text of sub-section (1) of Section 397 of the Cr.P.C. appears to confer very wide powers on the court in the exercise of its revision
jurisdiction, this power is equally severely curtailed by sub-section (2) thereof. There is a complete prohibition in a court exercising its revision
jurisdiction in respect of interlocutory orders. Therefore, what is the nature of orders in respect of which a court can exercise its revision jurisdiction?
17. There are three categories of orders that a court can pass – final, intermediate and interlocutory. There is no doubt that in respect of a final order, a court can exercise its revision jurisdiction – that is in respect of a final order of acquittal or conviction. There is equally no doubt that in respect of an interlocutory order, the court cannot exercise its revision jurisdiction. As far as an intermediate order is concerned, the court can exercise its revision jurisdiction since it is not an interlocutory order.
18. The concept of an intermediate order first found mention in Amar Nath v. State of Haryana7 in which case the interpretation and impact of Section 397(2) of the Cr.P.C. came up for consideration. This decision is important for two reasons. Firstly it gives the historical reason for the enactment of Section 397(2) of the Cr.P.C. and secondly considering that historical background, it gives a justification for a restrictive meaning to
Section 482 of the Cr.P.C.
From Para 21,
21. The concept of an intermediate order was further elucidated in Madhu Limaye v. State of Maharashtra8 by contradistinguishing a final order and an interlocutory order. This decision lays down the principle that an intermediate order is one which is interlocutory in nature but when reversed, it has the effect of terminating the proceedings and thereby resulting in a final order. Two such intermediate orders immediately come to mind – an order taking cognizance of an offence and summoning an accused and an order for framing charges. Prima facie these orders are interlocutory in nature, but when an order taking cognizance and summoning an accused is reversed, it has the effect of terminating the proceedings against that person resulting in a final order in his or her favour. Similarly, an order for framing of charges if reversed has the effect of discharging the accused person and resulting in a final order in his or her favour. Therefore, an intermediate order is one which if passed in a certain way, the proceedings would terminate but if passed in another way, the proceedings would continue.
From Paras 23 and 24,
23. We may note that in different cases, different expressions are used for the same category of orders – sometimes it is called an intermediate order, sometimes a quasi-final order and sometimes it is called an order that is a matter of moment. Our preference is for the expression ‘intermediate order’ since that brings out the nature of the order more explicitly.
24. The second reason why Amar Nath is important is that it invokes the principle, in the context of criminal law, that what cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly. Therefore, when Section 397(2) of the Cr.P.C. prohibits interference in respect of interlocutory orders, Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. cannot be availed of to achieve the same objective. In other words, since Section 397(2) of the Cr.P.C. prohibits interference with interlocutory orders, it would not be permissible to resort to Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. to set aside an interlocutory order.
Girish Kumar Suneja Vs CBI on 13 Jul 2017
27. Our conclusion on this subject is that while the appellants might have an entitlement (not a right) to file a revision petition in the High Court but that entitlement can be taken away and in any event, the High Court is under no obligation to entertain a revision petition – such a petition can be rejected at the threshold. If the High Court is inclined to accept the revision petition it can do so only against a final order or an intermediate order, namely, an order which if set aside would result in the culmination of the proceedings. As we see it, there appear to be only two such eventualities of a revisable order and in any case only one such eventuality is before us. Consequently the result of paragraph 10 of the order passed by this Court is that the entitlement of the appellants to file a revision petition in the High Court is taken away and thereby the High Court is deprived of exercising its extraordinary discretionary power available under Section 397 of the Cr.P.C.
28. However, this does not mean that the appellants have no remedy available to them – paragraph 10 of the order does not prohibit the appellants from approaching this Court under Article 136 of the Constitution. Therefore all that has happened is that the forum for ventilating the grievance of the appellants has shifted from the High Court to this Court. It was submitted by one of the learned counsel that this is not good enough for the appellants since this Court is not obliged to give reasons while dismissing such a petition unlike the High Court which would necessarily have to give reasons if it rejected a revision petition. In our opinion, the mere fact that this Court could dismiss the petition filed by the appellants under Article 136 of the Constitution without giving reasons does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that reasons will not be given or that some equitable order will not be passed. The submission of learned counsel has no basis and is only a presumption of what this Court might do. We cannot accept a submission that has its foundation on a hypothesis.
Citations : [2017 SCC ONLINE SC 766], [2017 AIR SC 3620], [2017 CRIMES SC 3 96], [2017 CCR SC 3 409], [2017 MLJ CRL 3 616], [2017 RCR CRIMINAL 3 665], [2017 SCALE 7 661], [2017 SCC 14 809], [2018 SCC CRI 1 202], [2017 CRI LJ 4980], [2017 AIC 180 100]
Other Sources :