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  • Wednesday, 05 October 2022
Hon’ble Apex Court Ruled : How To Calculate Limitation Period U/S. 468 Criminal Procedure Code?

Hon’ble Apex Court Ruled : How To Calculate Limitation Period U/S. 468 Criminal Procedure Code?

Hon’ble Apex Court Ruled : How To Calculate Limitation Period U/S. 468 Criminal Procedure Code?

 

The Apex Court has ruled that the relevant date for calculating the period of limitation under Section 468 Cr.P.C is the date of filing of the complaint or the institution of prosecution, not the date on which the Magistrate takes cognizance of the offence. 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 468 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides:

Bar to taking cognizance after lapse of the period of limitation.

(1) Except as otherwise provided elsewhere in this Code, no Court shall take cognizance of an offence of the category specified in sub- section (2), after the expiry of the period of limitation.

(2) The period of limitation shall be-

(a) six months, if the offence is punishable with fine only

(b) one year, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year;

(c) three years, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for term exceeding one year but not exceeding three years.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the period of limitation in relation to offences which may be tried together, shall be determined with reference to the offence which is punishable with the more severe punishment or, as the case may be, the most severe punishment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this case, the defacto complainants filed a written complaint with the Superintendent of Police, Khachrod, on 10.07.2012, claiming that he had entrusted 33.139 Kg of silver to the accused, and that on 04.10.2009, when the demand was made, and the accused refused to return the same. 

As a result, on December 4, 2012, the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Khachrod took cognizance.  The High Court allowed a petition filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C and quashed the criminal proceedings on the grounds that taking cognizance of this matter on 04.12.2012 (three years later) was barred by limitation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Supreme Court referring to the Constitution Bench Judgement in Sarah Mathew ruled that the Constitution Bench’s enunciations and declarations of law leave no doubt that, for the purposes of computing the period of limitation under Section 468 CrPC, the relevant date is the date of filing of the complaint or the date of institution of prosecution, not the date on which the Magistrate takes cognizance of the offence. 

The bench said that the High Court made a fundamental error in assuming that the date of taking cognizance, 04.12.2012, is decisive of the matter, while ignoring the fact that the written complaint was indeed filed by the appellant on 10.07.2012, well within the period of limitation of 3 years from the date of commission of the offence, 04.10.2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bench also rejected the respondent’s contention that Sarah Mathew’s case should be reconsidered because some of the factors related to Chapter XXXVI Cr.P.C were not considered by the Court.

 

Read/Download Judgement

 

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