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Procedure where Court considers that case should not be dealt with under section 345 

Procedure where Court considers that case should not be dealt with under section 345 :

Section – 346 . (1) If the Court in any case considers that a person accused of any of the offences referred to in section 345 and committed in its view or presence should be imprisoned otherwise than in default of payment of fine, or that a fine exceeding two hundred rupees should be imposed upon him, or such Court is for any other reason of opinion that the case should not be disposed of under section 345, such Court, after recording the facts constituting the offence and the statement of the accused as hereinbefore provided, may forward the case to a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the same, and may require security to be given for the appearance of such person before such Magistrate, or if sufficient security is not given shall forward such person in custody to such Magistrate.

(2) The Magistrate to whom any case is forwarded under this section shall proceed to deal with, as far as may be, as if it were instituted on a police report.

COMMENTS

GENERAL

Contempt ex facie curiae – Sections 345 and 346, which prescribe the procedure for punishing contempt when committed ex facie curiae correspond to sections 480 to 482 of the old Code. In section 345(1) a provision has been made for giving the offender a reasonable opportunity of showing cause why he should not be punished. This is, as observed by the Joint Committee of Parliament, to secure “that the principles of natural justice should be followed in cases of contempt mentioned therein”.

Case to be dealt with as if instituted on police report – Section 346(2) provides that the Magistrate has to deal with the cases under section 346, as if these were instituted on a police report. The old section had provided for a complaint procedure. Regarding this departure, the Joint Committee of Parliament observed :

“The Committee feels that the procedure prescribed for private complaints would not be appropriate in contempt cases mentioned in the preceding clause and so the procedure applicable to a case initiated on a police report has been prescribed.”

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