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Central Bank of India V. Ram Narain

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Citations: (1955) 1 SCR 697; AIR 1955 SC 36

Case Type: Criminal Appeal

Case No.: 90 of 1952

Decided on: Oct 12, 1954

Appellant: Central Bank of India

Respondent: Ram Narain

Bench: Mahajan, Mehar Chand (Cj), Mukherjea, B.K., Bose, Vivian, Jagannadhadas, B., Aiyyar, T.L. Venkatarama

Statutes Referred:

Indian -Penal Code & Criminal Procedure Code


  • The respondent, Ram Narain, following up for his firm, Ram Narain Joginder Nath, carrying on business at Mailsi in Multan District, was permitted a money credit breaking point of rupees three lakhs by the Mailsi part of the Central Bank of India Ltd. (the litigant) on the 23rd December, 1946, right away before the parcel of British India.
  • The account was secured against stocks which were to remain in possession of the borrowers as trustees on behalf of the bank. On 15th August, 1947, when British India was split into two Dominions, the amount due to the bank from Ram Narain was over Rs. 1, 40, 000, exclusive of interest, while the value of the goods pledged under the cash credit agreement was approximately in the sum of Rs. 1, 90, 000.
  • On account of the disturbances that continued in the wake of the partition of the country, the bank’s godown-attendant at Mailsi left Mailsi sometime in September, 1947, and the cashier, who was left in control, likewise had to leave that place in October, 1947, and consequently nobody was in Mailsi to defend the bank’s godowns after that date.
  • It is alleged that in January, 1948, when, Mr. D. P. Patel, Agent of the Multan branch of the appellant bank, visited Mailsi, he discovered that stocks pledged by Messrs. Ram Narain Joginder Nath, against the cash credit agreement had disappeared.
  • On inquiry he found that 801 cotton bales pledged with the bank had been stolen, and booked by, Ram Narain to Karachi on the 9th November, 1947, and that he had recovered a sum of Rs. 1, 98, 702-12-9 as price of these bales from one Durgadas D. Punjabi. The bank claimed this amount from Ram Narain but with no result.
  • It at that point applied under section 188, Criminal Procedure Code, to the East Punjab Government for sanction for the prosecution of Ram Narain for the offenses committed in Pakistan in November, 1947, when he was there, in regard of these bales.
  • The East Punjab Government, by its order dated 23rd February, 1950, agreed sanction for the prosecution of Ram Narain, under section 380 and 454, Indian Penal Code. Ram Narain, at this time, was residing in Hodel, District Gurgaon, and was carrying on business under the name and style of Ram Narain Bhola Nath, Hodel.
  • In compatibility of this authorization, on eighteenth April, 1950, the bank documented a complaint against Ram Narain under section 380 and 454, Indian Penal Code, and furthermore under area 412 of the Code before the District Magistrate of Gurgaon.
  • Ram Narain, when he showed up in Court, brought up a preliminary objection that at the time of the supposed occurence he was a national of Pakistan and subsequently the East Punjab Government was not competent to grant sanction for his prosecution under section 188, Criminal Procedure Code, read with section 4, Indian Penal Code.
  • This objection was not decided at that moment, but after evidence in the case had been taken at the request of both sides the Court heard arguments on the preliminary point and overruled it on the finding that Ram Narain could not be said to have acquired Pakistan nationality by merely staying on there from 15th August, till 10th November, 1947, and that all this time be had the desire and intention to revert to Indian nationality because he sent his family out to India in October, 1947, wound up his business there and after his migration to India in November, 1947, he did not return to Pakistan
  • It was likewise said that in those days Hindus and Sikhs were not safe in Pakistan and they will undoubtedly come to India under the inevitable pressure of conditions over which they had no control. Ram Narain applied to the Sessions Judge, Gurgaon, under sections 435 and 439, Criminal Procedure Code, for putting to the side this order and for suppress the charges outlined against him.


To what degree Indian jurisdiction apply? Just an aim to move to India before partition, Does it makes him Indian resident?

The sole inquiry for assurance in the appeal is whether on a genuine development of section 188, Criminal Procedure Code, and section 4 of the Indian Penal Code, the East Punjab Government had ability to concede authorize for the prosecution of Ram Narain for offenses carried out in Pakistan before his relocation to India.

The genuine inquiry to be resolved here-is, regardless of whether Ram Narain had Indian domicile at the hour of the commission of the offense.

Contentions advanced by the Respondent:

When he appeared in Court, raised a preliminary objection that at the time of the alleged occurrence he was a national of Pakistan and therefore the East Punjab Government was not competent to grant sanction for his prosecution under section 188, Criminal procedure code read with section 4, Indian penal code.


  • Referring to the case, The Additional Sessions Judge excused this petition and insisted the choice of the trial magistrate. Ram Narain at that point favored an application in revision to the High Court, Punjab, at Simla, and with progress. The High Court permitted the amendment and suppressed the charges and held that the trial of respondent, Ram Narain, by a Magistrate in India was without jurisdiction.
  • It was held that until Ram Narain actually left Pakistan and came to India he could not possibly be said to have become a citizen of India, though undoubtedly he never intended to remain in Pakistan for any length of time and wound up his business as quickly as he could and came to India in November, 1947, and settled in Hodel. It was further held that the Punjab Government had no power in February, 1950, to sanction his prosecution under section 188, Criminal Procedure Code, for acts committed in Pakistan in November, 1947. 
  • The High Court additionally repelled the further dispute of the appellant bank that regardless Ram Narain could be attempted at Gurgaon for the belonging or maintenance by him at Hodel of the deal continues of the stolen cotton which themselves establish stolen property. Leave to appeal to this Court was allowed under article 134(1) (c) of the Constitution.
  • The learned Attorney-General argued that Ram Narain was a native Indian subject of Her Majesty before the 15th August, 1947, and that description continued to apply to him after the 15th August, 1947, whether he was in India or in Pakistan, but we think that the description ‘Native subject of Her Majesty’ after the 15th of August, 1947, became applicable in the territory now constituted India only to residents of provinces within the boundaries of India, and in Pakistan to residents of provinces within the boundaries of Pakistan and till the time that Ram Narain actually landed on the soil of India and took up permanent residence therein he cannot be described to be domiciled in India or even a Native Indian subject of His Majesty domiciled in India.
  • For the reasons given above we are of the opinion that the decision of the High Court that Ram Narain couldn’t be attempted in any Court in India for offenses submitted in Mailsi in November, 1947, is correct and that the Provincial Government had no power under section 188, CrPC to accord sanction to his prosecution.
  • The result is that the appeal fails and is excused. appeal dismissed.


In this case, none of these conditions decisively demonstrate an intention in Ram Narain of for all time removing himself from Pakistan and relocating to India. It must be recalled that in October or November, 1947, men’s minds were in a state of flux.

The Supreme Court held that in IPC nowhere domicile was characterized obviously, according to the proof and argument of respondent it unmistakably shows that after partition appealing party didn’t have any intention to stay in Pakistan.

However, just with intention we can’t close anything except if intention went with facts or lead of appellant to get citizenship of India whenever demonstrated.

According to pertinence of Section 4 of IPC it clearly says that criminal law of India is applicable to Indian resident. Since the offense occurred outside domain of India and appellant was not resident of India while submitting the offense, so appeal got dismissed.

Prepared by Kashish Luthra