Court name
High Court of Tanzania

Inspection Note () [1984] TZHC 1 (01 January 1984);

Law report citations
1984 TLR 110 (TZHC)
Media neutral citation
[1984] TZHC 1
Sisya, J.

Sisya, J.:  made the following inspection note in the Resident Magistrates' Court of Tanga Criminal  C Case Nos. 45 of 1984, Republic v Idd Ramadhani and Mdoe Mduma:
These two accused persons appeared on 28/10/83 before the Principal Resident Magistrate, Tanga, M.M. Luguru Esq., charged, jointly, with a single offence of intentionally endangering the safety of  D persons travelling by railway, contrary to section 224(5) of the Penal Code.  The offence is triable by the High Court see Section 4 and 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Part A of the first Schedule thereto.  Mr. Luguru, however, did not only read over and explain the charge to the accused persons. He also asked them to plead thereto and both of them pleaded not guilty to the  E charge.  These latter steps were a nullity because the learned Principal Resident Magistrate acted without or in excess of his jurisdiction.
Be it as it may, thereafter followed a series of adjournments.  The record passed through the hands of several other magistrates, one of whom was S.C. Byabusha Esq., Resident Magistrate.  During his  F turn Mr. Byabusha made the following endorsement in the file and I quote from the record of proceedings:
   Court: The offence is triable by the High Court.  The accused are informed on the procedures and the G prosecutor is directed to initiate steps for a P.I.
   Charge is explained to the accused who are not asked to plead. H
As investigations were said to be incomplete there followed another spate of adjournments.  Finally, the matter came up before Mr. Luguru again on 7.6.84 when the Public Prosecutor applied "to withdraw (the) charge under section 86(a) C.P.C."  The learned Principal Resident Magistrate then made the following endorsement in the file that is to say: I

A    "Application granted as prayed, accused discharged under s.86(a) C.P.C."
Coincidentally, the Public Prosecutor who made the application is shown in the record to have been   B the same as when the case was first brought before Mr. Luguru and pleas of the accused were taken and recorded.
Again this was an error because a public prosecutor can withdraw from the prosecution of any person under section 86 of the criminal Procedure Code only in cases which are triable by a   C subordinate court, of which the instant one was not.
Two things emerge from this matter.  The first is that both the learned Principal Resident Magistrate and the Public Prosecutor, a Inspector Exaud, who appeared before him on both occasions under   D querry are oblivious of the provisions of section 4 and 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code and part A of the first schedule thereto.  They are well advised to acquaint themselves with these provisions of the law.
The second point is that it is abundantly clear that Mr. Luguru, PRM., did not bother to read what   E his learned brothers had endorsed in the same file when this same matter was pleaded before them.  Had he done so he would almost certainly not have failed to see the endorsement by Mr. Byabusha which I have quoted supra and which demonstrates the proper way of how this matter ought to have   F been handled. In this connection Magistrates are reminded that it is desirable to go through the record, particularly the one which has gone through several hands, and acquaint oneself with all the endorsements and/or orders therein before proceeding to the next step.
  G For the benefit of the learned Principal Resident Magistrate and his Public Prosecutor the section stating that they ought to have withdrawn from the inquiry is s.222 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
As the accused persons were not prejudiced or embarrassed by these errors I make no orders in this matter.  The record should, however, now be sent back to the court of the Resident Magistrate,   H Tanga, for safe custody.
Order accordingly