Arun Kumar Goel, J.
1. This revision is directed against the order dated 23-12-1997 passed by Sessions Judge, Jammu. By means of impugned order it has been held that on examination of the materials on record there exists prima facie case against the petitioner and respondents 2 to 4 for sending them to trial, and consequently charge under Section 3 of J & K Prevention & Separation of Sabotage Act, 1965; Sections 302/307 read with Section 120-B, RPC has been ordered to be framed against the petitioner and respondents 2 to 4.
2. Case as setup in the Court below against all the accused is that on 29-3-1997 respondents with a criminal intent planted explosive device (RDX) in an Ambassador Car as also in its dicky. While doing so accused were well aware that explosion of RDX would cause loss of human lives as well as property. This car was brought pursuant to a conspiracy hatched on the night intervening 15-16 March, 1997 at Baba Muslim Hotel, Talab Kharikan, Jammu, when it was decided to cause an explosion in a crowded area, the aim whereof was to cause terror in the public at large as well as to de-stabilise the Government by use of arms, ammunition and explosives. For achieving this unlawful end, explosive was managed by other accused, as detailed in the challan. Ambassador Car was brought from Delhi and a fictitious number plate PUH-3307 was affixed thereon. Its chassis and engine number were also tampered with. This car was brought to Bathindi at Darul-Allom being run by respondent No. 2. With a view to accomplish their plan of causing explosion in a crowded area this object was given final shape at Baba Muslim Hotel, Talab Kharikan, Jammu on 28-3-1997 when with a view to achieve the aforesaid criminal object three other accused namely Jalal Din, Faiz-ulwahid (respondent No. 2) and Abdul Rashid (respondent No. 4) planted the RDX, as aforesaid, in the' car.
3. In addition to the explosive planted in the Ambassador car, a small dibba was planted by the accused on the road in a drain by respondent No. 3. All the accused were aware that due to Daler Mahendi Night in Jammu Stadium there will be big rush in the area where the explosion took place.
4. Explosion did take place on 29-3-1997 resulting in 15 casualties and causing injuries to 72 persons. In this back ground present revision has been filed by petitioner Shahid Sheikh questioning the order, as aforesaid, as well as framing of the charge against him.
5. Shri Shah, learned counsel appearing for petitioner submitted that even if it be assumed for the sake of argument without being conceded that all the facts existing on the file of trial Court are taken to be correct, no case is made out against the petitioner, therefore the impugned order cannot be sustained. It was further pointed out by the learned counsel that the statement recorded under Section 15 of Terrorists & Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 in FIR No. 162/ 94 registered at Police Station Sririagar cannot be used against the petitioner in the present case. Admittedly present FIR was registered vide No. 106/97 at Police Station Jammu. While further advancing his submissions, it was pointed out by Shri Shah that there is complete non-participation on the part of petitioner either directly or indirectly so as to connect him even by pressing Section 120-B of the RPC against him. Alternatively it was submitted that at the most petitioner can be said to have had the knowledge of some conspiracy and nothing more. In such a situation also charge against the petitioner cannot be sustained. Confession of respondents 2 and 3 in FIR No. 162/94 was recorded on 21-5-1997, whereas petitioner was arrested in the said FIR on 22-4-1997 at Srinagar. On a habeas corpus petition having been filed by the petitioner, the same was disposed of on 15-12-1998. Petitioner is stated to have been released on 13th June, 1997 in case of Police Station Srinagar, but was again arrested on 14th June, 1997 in connection with the present case. In this background according to Mr. Shah there is no overt act of either omission or commission attributable to the petitioner to show that he participated in the commission of alleged offences in any manner whatsoever or that he had any reasonable connection with the same. Unless participation may be directly or indirectly, or commission of an illegal act and or lawful act by illegal means in the whole chain of events is shown against the petitioner, trial Court according to Mr. Shah had fallen into error by passing the impugned order.
6. All these pleas have been controverted by the learned Government Advocate, who submitted that there is enough prima facie material on the file of trial Court which justifies the framing of charge against the petitioner. Besides this, it was pointed out that when a reference is made to the prosecution evidence recorded during the course of investigation, which forms part of the challan, it cannot be said that it is not likely to lead in recording a finding of conviction against the petitioner. While advancing this line of argument Mrs. Shekhar, learned Government Advocate pointed out that a meeting was held on 15-16 March, 1997 at Baba Muslim Hotel, Talab Kharikan, Jammu for causing the bomb blast in Jammu City and all the accused including the petitioner were present in this meeting. With a view to give practical shape to this unlawful activity and thereby causing loss of human lives and property and also to create terror against the general public with a view to destabilise the Government, the conspiracy was hatched which resulted in the bomb blast in question. Reference in this behalf was made to the statements recorded under Section 161 of different persons with reference to those of Ghulam Qadir son of Mohd. Akbar Dar, Mohd. Iqbal son of Fateh Mohd. Major Tajinder Pal Singh S. P. B.S.F., Shamshu Din In~charge Police Post Pir Mitha as well as to the extracts from the diary of a Pak National Abdul Mateen Kolachi, Commander Harkat-ul-Ansar, which was recovered on his arrest by the B.S.F. at Srinagar. In addition to these, other documents were also referred to from the trial Court file.
7. So far plea on behalf of the petitioner that confession of a co-accused cannot be used against the other co-accused is concerned, a question arises as to at what stage it can be examined. The matter need not detain us any further in view of the judgment reported in (1997) 8 SCC 732 : 1998 Cri LJ 369, "Kalpnath Rai v. State (through CBI)" and other connected cases, wherein it was as under (paras 74 to 77, at pp. 382-83 of Cri LJ):
72. What is the effect of such deletion from Section 21 and addition to Section 15 of TADA? It should be remembered that under Sections 25 and 26 of the Evidence Act no confession made by an accused to a police officer, or to any person while he was in police custody could be admitted in evidence, and under Section 162 of the Code no statement made by any person during investigation to a police ok fleer could be used in a trial except for the purpose of contradiction. In view of the aforesaid ban imposed by the legislature Section 15 of TADA provides an exception to the ban. But it is well to remember that other confessions which are admissible even under the Evidence Act could be used as against a co-accused only upon satisfaction of certain conditions. Such conditions are stipulated in Section 30 of the Evidence Act, which reads thus:
30. When more persons than one are being tried jointly for the same offence, and a confession made by one of such persons affecting himself and some other of such persons is proved, the Court may take into consideration such confession as against such other person as well as against the person who makes such confession.
73. The first condition is that there should be a confession i.e. inculpatory statement. Any exculpatory admission is not usable for any purpose whatsoever as against a co-accused. The second condition is that the maker of the confession and the co-accused should necessarily have been tried jointly for the same offence. In other words, if the co-accused is tried for some other offence, though in the same trial, the confession made by one is not usable against the co-accused. The third condition is that the confession made by one accused should affect him as well as the co-accused. In other words, if the confessor absolves himself from the offence but only involves the co-accused in the crime, while making the confession, such a confession cannot be used against the co-accused.
74. Even if no conditions are satisfied the use of a confession as against a co-accused is only for a very limited purpose i.e. the same can be taken into consideration as against such other person. It is now well settled that under Section 30 of the Evidence Act the confession made by one accused is not substantive evidence against a co-accused. It has only a corroborative value, (vide Kashmira Singh v. State of M.P., 1952 Cri LJ 839 : AIR 1952 SC 159, Nathu v. State of U.P., (1956) Cri LJ 152 : AIR 1956 SC 56, Haricharan Kurmi v. State of Bihar, 1964 (2) Cri LJ 344: AIR 1964 SC 1184).
75. A confession made admissible under Section 15 of TADA can be used as against a co-accused only in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as stipulated in Section 30 of the Evidence Act.
8. It would not be proper to assess the situation in the present case nor can it be said at this stage that there is no material for framing charge against the petitioner. There is no dispute that confession of respondents 2 and 3 is admittedly there ori the record against the petitioner. Plea urged regarding its admissibility or otherwise may provide a good ground to the petitioner for claiming acquittal at the end of case. But, accepting such a plea at the stage of charge would result in acquitting the petitioner without trial and without legally testing the value of such confession. Therefore, the plea urged by Shri Shah in this behalf is rejected. So far participation of petitioner as a co-conspirator in the bigger conspiracy is concerned, prima facie there is enough material, both oral as well as documentary so as to sustain the framing of charge against him. It cannot be said in this behalf that this is a case of no evidence as was forcefully urged by Mr. Shah.
9. Here it may not be out of place to mention that no roving muchless fishing enquiry is to be made out while examining the case whether the charge can be framed or not. In the face of this position, plea urged by Shri Shah that accepting the prosecution case as it is, is a case r f no evidence against his client.
10. Another ground urged by Shri Shah was that if the impugned order is not set aside, it will result in abuse of the process of Court and, therefore for preventing the same as well as securing the ends of justice, it is a fit case where not only under its revisional powers, but also under its inherent powers this Court should quash and set aside the impugned order and consequently discharging the petitioner.
11. In AIR 1991 SC 1308 : 1991 Cri LJ 1416, "State of Bihar v. Raj Narain Singh", it was observed as under (paras 6 & 7):
6. We have been shown the petition of the respondent where he himself has disclosed as alias name for him being Rajan. Notwithstanding this admitted position the High Court has made capital of the fact that respondent Raj Narain Singh has been described in some of the documents appearing in the police papers as Rajan. Evidence has yet to be takea and the aspects which have been relied upon by the High Court could very well be clarified by evidence when the prosecution has its opportunity of placing the case through witnesses in Court. What the High Court has done is prejudging the question without affording reasonable opportunity to the prosecution to substantiate the allegations -- a practice which has no more than one occasion been found fault with it by this Court. Instead of referring to a series of decisions supporting the view, we find it enough to refer the case in Eastern Spinning Mills and Virender Kumar Sharda v. Rajiv Poddar 1989 Suppl (2) SCC 385 : AIR 1985 SC 1668 : 1985 Cri LJ 1858.
7. We are of the opinion that the High Court had no justification to interfere with the prosecution at the preliminary stage. We accordingly allow the appeal, set aside the decision of the High Court and restore the criminal case to its former position and direct the trial Court to dispose of the matter in accordance with law.
12. In (1996) 7 SCC 705 : 1996 Cri LJ 1878, "State of U.P. v. O. P. Sharma", while examining the matter in relation to quashing of criminal proceedings at the initial stage, it was held by the Supreme Court that High Court should be loath to interfere at the threshold to thwart the prosecution in exercise of its inherent power under Section 482, Cr. P.C. or under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India.
13. Reference in this behalf can also be made to the following observations of Supreme Court in (1996) 2 SCC 37 : 1996 Cri LJ 1354, "State of H.P. v. Pirthi Chand" (at pp. 1356-57 of Cri LJ):
It is thus settled law that the exercise of inherent power of the High Court is an exceptional one. Great care should be taken by the High Court before embarking to scrutinise the
FIR/charge-sheet/complaint. In deciding whether the case is rarest of rare cases to scuttle the prosecution in its inception, it first has to get into the grip of the matter whether the allegations constitute the offence. It must be remembered that FIR is only an initiation to move the machinery and to investigate into cognizable offence. After the investigation is conducted (sic concluded) and the charge-sheet is laid, the prosecution produces the statements of the witnesses recorded under Section 161 of the Code in support of the charge-sheet. At that stage it is not the function of the Court to weigh the pros and cons of the prosecution case or to consider necessity of strict compliance of the provisions which are considered mandatory and its effect of non-compliance. It would be done after the trial is concluded. The court has to prima facie consider from the averments in the charge-sheet and the statements of witnesses on the record in support thereof whether Court could take cognizance of the offence on that evidence and proceed further with the trial. If it reaches a conclusion that no cognizable offence is made out, no further act could be done except to quash the charge-sheet. But only in exceptional cases, i.e., in rarest of rare cases of mala fide initiation of the proceedings to wreak private vengeance process of criminal is availed of in laying a complaint or FIR itself does not disclose at all any cognisable offence the Court may embark upon the consideration thereof and exercise the power.
When the remedy under Section 482 is available, the High Court would be loath and circumspect to exercise its extraordinary power under Article 226 since efficacious remedy under Section 482 of the Code is available. When the Court exercises its inherent power under Section 482, the prime consideration should only be whether the exercise of the power would advance the cause of justice or it would be an abuse of the process of the Court. When investigating officer spends considerable time to collect the evidence and places the charge-sheet before the Court, further action should not be short-circuited by resorting to exercise inherent power to-quash the charge-sheet. The social stability and order requires to be regulated by proceeding against the offences as it is an offence against the society as a whole. This cardinal principle should always be kept in mind before embarking upon exercising inherent power. The accused involved in an economic offence destabilises the economy and causes grave incursion on the economic planning of the State. When the legislature entrusts the power to the police officer to prevent organised commission of the offence or offences involving moral turpitude or crimes of grave nature and are entrusted with power to investigate into the crime in intractable terrains and secretive manner in concert, greater circumspection and care and caution should be borne in mind by the high Court when it exercises its inherent power. Otherwise, the social order and security would be put in jeopardy and to grave risk. The accused will have field day in destabilising the economy of the State regulated under the relevant provisions.
Again in (1996) 1 JT (SC) 656 : 1996 Cri LJ 1877, "Mushtaq Ahmed v. Mohd. Habibur Rehman Faizi", following observations were made (para 4):
...According to the complaint, the respondents had thereby committed breach of trust of government money. In support of the above allegations made in the complaint copies of the salary statements of the relevant periods were produced. In spite of the fact that the complaint and the documents annexed thereto clearly made out a, prima facie case for cheating, breach of trust and forgery, the High Court proceeded to consider the version of the respondents given out in their petition filed under Section 482, Cr. P.C. vis-a-vis that of the appellant and entered into the debatable area of deciding which of the version was true, a course wholly impermissible....
In (1997) 1 SCC 90 : 1997 Cri LJ 2976, "State of J & K v. Romesh Chander, while setting aside the order of quashing criminal proceedings at the preliminary stage the Apex court observed as under (at p. 2978 of Cri LJ):
Shri D. D. Thakur, learned Senior Counsel appearing for Respondents 5 to 7, the lessees, contends that they did not commit any offence and they do not come under the provisions of either Ordinance 5 of 1986 or the Act which was quashed by the High Court or Act 7 of 1987. Therefore, no case has been made out against them. As stated earlier, we decline to consider the matter on merits for the reason that the High Court should have considered all the relevant provisions of the Act and offences and the contentions of the parties taking into consideration the averments made in the charge-sheet. It is now settled law that the charge-sheet constitutes prima facie evidence constituting the offence for proceeding further in the matter. Necessarily, therefore, the Court has to look into the relevant law and the allegations made in the charge-sheet and then consider whether any offence has been committed to frame charges for trial before discharging the accused.
In (1996) 8 SCC 164 : 1996 Cri LJ 1372, "State of Bihar v. Rajendra Agrawalla it was held as under (at pp. 1373-74 of Cri LJ):
5. It has been held by this Court in several cases that the inherent power of the Court under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure should be very sparingly and cautiously used only when the Court comes to the conclusion that there would be manifest injustice or there would be abuse of the process of the Court, if such power is not exercised. So far as the order of cognizance by a Magistrate is concerned, the inherent power can be exercised when the allegations in the first information report or the complaint together with the other materials collected during investigation taken at their face value, do not constitute the offence alleged. At that stage it is not open for the Court either to sift the evidence or appreciate the evidence and come to the conclusion that no prima facie case is made out. In a recent judgment of this Court to which one of us (Hon. K. Ramaswamy, J.) was a member it has been held, following the earlier decision in Rupan Deol Bajaj v. Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, 1996 Cri LJ 381 (SC):
It is thus settled law that the exercise of inherent power of the High Court is an exceptional one. Great care should be taken by the High Court before embarking to scrutinise the
FIR/charge-sheet/complaint. In deciding whether the case is rarest of rare cases to scuttle the prosecution in its inception, it first has to get into the grip of the matter whether the allegations constitute the offence. It must be remembered that FIR is only an initiation to move the machinery and to investigate into cognizable offence. After the investigation is concluded and the charge-sheet is laid the prosecution produces the statements of the witnesses recorded under Section 161 of the Code in support of the charge-sheet. At that stage it is not the function of the Court to weigh the pros and cons of the prosecution case or to consider necessity of strict compliance of the provisions which are considered mandatory and its effect, of non-compliance. It would be done after the trial is concluded. The Court has to prima facie consider from the averments in the charge-sheet and the statements of witnesses on the record in support thereof whether Court could take cognizance of the offence, on that evidence and proceed further with the trial. If it reaches a conclusion that no cognizable offence is made out no further act could be done except to quash the charge-sheet. But only in exceptional cases, i.e., in rarest of rare cases of mala fide initiation of the proceedings to wreak private vengeance, issue of process under Criminal Procedure Code is availed of in laying a complaint or FIR itself does not disclose at all any cognizable offence -- the Court may embark upon the consideration thereof and exercise the power.
When the remedy under Section 482 is available, the High Court would be loath and circumspect to exercise its extraordinary power under Article 226 since efficacious remedy under Section 482 of the Code is available. When the Court exercises its inherent power under Section 482 the prime consideration should only be whether the exercise of the power would advance the cause of justice or it would be an abuse of the process of the Court. When the investigating officer spends considerable time to collect the evidence and places the charge-sheet before the Court, further action should not be short-circuited by resorting to exercise of inherent power to quash the charge-sheet. The social stability and order requires to be regulated by proceeding against the offender as it is an offence against the society as a whole. This cardinal principle should always be kept in mind before embarking upon exercising inherent power.
6. Bearing in mind the aforesaid parameters if the chargesheet and the FIR filed in the case in hand are examined and the impugned order of the High Court is tested, the conclusion becomes irresistible that the High Court exceeded its jurisdiction by trying to appreciate the evidence and coming to a conclusion that no offence is made out. On examining the material on record and the impugned judgment of the High Court, we are of the considered opinion that the High Court was wholly unjustified in invoking its inherent power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to quash the cognizance taken in as much as the allegation in the FIR and material referred to in the charge-sheet do make out an offence under Section 414 of the Indian Penal Code, so far as the respondent is concerned. In the aforesaid premise the impugned order of the High Court dated 5-3-1992 passed in Criminal Miscellaneous No. 475 of 1992 is quashed and this appeal is allowed. The Magistrate is directed to proceed with the trial against the respondent. The respondent may now appear before the Magistrate forthwith.
To similar effect is the judgment of this court while considering the matter relating to quashing of FIR in case reported in 1998 Kash LJ 227 : 1998 Cri LJ 3569, "Lalit Goel v. State of J&K.
14. Learned counsel appearing for petitioner also placed reliance on AIR 1992 SC 604 : 1992 Cri LJ 527, "State of Haryana v. Ch. Bhajan Lal", and urged that petitioner's case is covered by all the circumstances enumerated in paragraph 108 of this judgment, and on this ground he prayed for exercise of the powers vested in this Court under Section 561-A of J & K, Cr. P.C. As already observed, it cannot be said that either it is a case of no evidence or there was not enough material to order framing of the charge against the petitioner. In the face of this position it cannot be said that this case is covered by the situation carved out in paragraph 108 of this judgment.
15. No other point is urged.
16. For the aforesaid reasons this revision is hereby dismissed. Record of the trial Court is here. Registry is directed to send it back forthwith to the trial Court.