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Lal Mohan Paul Vs. State of Tripura - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject;Criminal
CourtGuwahati High Court
Decided On
Judge
AppellantLal Mohan Paul
RespondentState of Tripura
Prior history
Lakshmi Narain, J.C.
1. The petitioner Lal Mohan Paul has come to this Court on the Revision Side for setting aside his conviction and sentence passed by Sri C. Singh, Magistrate first class, Sadar, under paragraph 26 (A) read with paragraph 4 of the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order 1353 T.E. and Section 176, I.P.C., which was upheld in appeal by the Sessions Judge, Agartala. He has been awarded 6 months' R.I. and Rs. 250/- as fine or in j default 1 month's further R.I. for th
Excerpt:
- - 3 a clerk of the civil supplies department searched the first floor of the shop in the presence of witnesses as well as accused lal mohan paul, monomohan dey and upendra chandra paul and 5 trunks containing mill-made cloths were found there. this argument holds good. if the licencee intends to store any cloth or yarn in any place, premises, or godown other than those already mentioned in the licence, he shall, intimate the address of such place, premises or godown to the licensing authority concerned and shall not store any cloth or yarn in such place, premises or godown, until the licensing authority has endorsed it on the licence......class, sadar, under paragraph 26 (a) read with paragraph 4 of the tripura state cotton cloth and yarn control order 1353 t.e. and section 176, i.p.c., which was upheld in appeal by the sessions judge, agartala. he has been awarded 6 months' r.i. and rs. 250/- as fine or in j default 1 month's further r.i. for the aforesaid former offence, and 15 days' simple imprisonment under section 176, i.p.c.2. the prosecution case as given in the judgment of the learned sessions judge is as follows:accused lal mohan paul is the proprietor of a shop called ananda bhander situated in the bazar in agartala town. the shop deals in cloths. accused monomohan dey is the employee of lai mohan paul in the shop. accused lai mohan paul is the holder of a licence for dealing in mill-made and handloom cloths.....
Judgment:

Lakshmi Narain, J.C.

1. The petitioner Lal Mohan Paul has come to this Court on the Revision Side for setting aside his conviction and sentence passed by Sri C. Singh, Magistrate first class, Sadar, under paragraph 26 (A) read with paragraph 4 of the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order 1353 T.E. and Section 176, I.P.C., which was upheld in appeal by the Sessions Judge, Agartala. He has been awarded 6 months' R.I. and Rs. 250/- as fine or in j default 1 month's further R.I. for the aforesaid former offence, and 15 days' simple imprisonment under Section 176, I.P.C.

2. The prosecution case as given in the judgment of the learned Sessions Judge is as follows:

Accused Lal Mohan Paul is the proprietor of a shop called Ananda Bhander situated in the Bazar in Agartala town. The shop deals in cloths. Accused Monomohan Dey is the employee of Lai Mohan Paul in the shop. Accused Lai Mohan Paul is the holder of a licence for dealing in mill-made and handloom cloths under the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order, J358. In accordance with that licence, Lai Mohan Paul is entitled to carry on his business and store cloths for sale in his cloth-shop at 48/2, Central Road, Agartala. According to the licence, he was not entitled to store his goods elsewhere without previous intimation to the licensing authority.

On 15.10.50, Lal Mohan Paul was asked by P.W. 2 Jitendra Kumar Sen Gupta of Civil Supplies Department to supply a list with regard to mill-made cloths in his possession. Lal Mohan Paul gave a list accordingly of the cloths kept in his shop at 48/2, Central Road, Agartala. (Ex. 6 is the list). Accused Lal Mohan Paul did not disclose at the time that he kept his goods anywhere else. On 22.10.50, when P.W. 2 Jitendra Kumar Sen Gupta was passing along Motor Stand Road, he noticed 2 big trunks in a shop of a brassware merchant. This aroused his suspicion and he went into the brassware shop and enquired about it. After sometime, accused Monmohan Dey turned up and stated that these two trunks belonged to Ananda Bhander and that the goods were received by post some days before and were kept in his residence near Motor Stand; that he was carrying the goods to the shop (Ananda Bhander) in the afternoon of that day, but owing to rain, he could not carry those goods to the shop, but kept them in the shop of Upendra Chandra Paul the brassware merchant. The key of the trunks was brought after that and the trunks were opened in the presence of witnesses and were found to contain mill-made cloths.

A list of mill-made cloths was prepared at the time (Ex. 7 is the list). Accused Upendra Chandra Paul turned up at the time and submitted a written statement. Accused Monomohan also submitted a written statement. (They have been marked as Exs. 8 & 9). It was 1 A.M. by the time that the statements were taken and the lists were completed. P.W. 2 Jitendra Kumar Sen Gupta suspected that in the first floor of the shop of Upendra Chandra Paul, the brassware merchant, there might be some more cloths; but it was not possible to search the room at that late hour. So he arranged for keeping a watch on the shop throughout the night. On the following morning Santi Ranjan Das Gupta P.W. 3 a clerk of the Civil Supplies Department searched the first floor of the shop in the presence of witnesses as well as accused Lal Mohan Paul, Monomohan Dey and Upendra Chandra Paul and 5 trunks containing mill-made cloths were found there. These were listed and kept in custody of the accused Lal Mohan Paul and Upendra Chandra Paul (Ex. 10 is the list).

3. The other two accused in this case though punished by the trial Court were acquitted on appeal by the learned Sessions Judge.

4. There is no dispute on the following points:

(a) That the accused Lal Mohan Paul is the holder of licence Ex. 16 under the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order 1358 T.E. under which he was permitted to carry on his business in mill-made cloth at 48/2, Central Road, Agartala.

(b) That Ex. 6 is the list of goods supplied by him on 15.10.50 demanded by P.W. 2 Jitendra Kumar Sen Gupta, of the Civil Supplies Department.

(c) That two big trunks containing such cloth wore seized from the shop of Upendra Chandra Paul, a brassware merchant, which belonged to Lai Mohan Paul and so also 5 other trunks containing mill-made cloth belonging to the petitioner were recovered from the first floor of the same brassware shop next day.

5. It is contended that the two trunks immediately recovered from the brassware shop of Upendra Chandra Paul were kept there only temporarily on account of rain while the goods were in transit to the shop of the petitioner called Ananda Bhander and that the other 5 trunks recovered from the 1st floor were stored there on account of shortage of space in Ananda Bhander; the room on the first floor of the brassware shop having been hired for the purpose by the petitioner.

6. The main point for determination on which both the learned Counsel of the parties agreed, is, whether The Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order 1358 T.E. as amended, has been repealed by the promulgation of the 'Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act 1946' by virtue of the 'Merged States (Laws) Act (Act LIX of 1949)'. The other point put forward by the learned Counsel for the petitioner is that it is not proved that the petitioner intentionally omitted to furnish the required information to the authority concerned which he was legally bound to do in terms of the condition of his licence.

7. It is to be noted that the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order, 1353 T.E. which came in force in the State on 13.6.1358 T.E. was further amended by another order dated 26.4.1949 A. D. which resulted in the addition of three more Clauses i.e., 26(A), 26(B), & 26(C). Even before that there was another Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order in the State since 1943 which stood repealed by virtue of the passing of the present Order in 1358 T.E. The Tripura State Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act was promulgated a little later in the same year, i.e., on 7.12.1358 T.E. On the strength of these dates it is argued that the former Order is an independent law not taking its origin from the later Act, i.e., the Tripura State Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act. There is no similarity between the two and both of them are independent of each other. This argument holds good.

8. Section 5 of the Merged States (Laws) Act, 1949 provides that:

If immediately before the commencement of this Act, there is in force in any of the new Provinces or merged States an Act, Ordinance, Regulation or other law corresponding to an Act, Ordinance or Regulation specified in the schedule, whether such Act, Ordinance or Regulation is in force by virtue of an order, legislative power, such corresponding law shall upon the commencement of this Act,

(a) in a new Province, stand repealed, and

(b)in a Merged State, stand repealed to the extent to which the law relates to matters with respect to which the Dominion Legislature has power to make laws for a Governor's Province.

The schedule of this Act includes the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act 1946.

9. There is no denying that the Tripura State Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act 1358 T.E. which is decidedly a corresponding Act to the 'Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act 1946', stands repealed by virtue of the introduction of the later Act in the State, as two parallel laws cannot stand side by side.

10. It is argued on behalf of the petitioner that the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order 1358 T. E. is also a corresponding law to the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act 1946 and on that account this too stands repealed by virtue of the introduction, of the later Act of 1946. It is to be seen, therefore, whether the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order 1358 T.E. can be said to be a corresponding law or not.

11. It may be of some advantage here to quote Section 5 of the Tripura State (Administration) Order, 1950:

5. Exixting Laws To Continue — All Jaws in force in Tripura or any part thereof immediately before the commencement of this Order shall continue in force until repealed or amended by a competent legislature or authority;

Provided that all powers exercisable under the said laws by His Highness the Maharaja or the Government of the State shall be exercisable by the Chief Commissioner.

With the proviso we have nothing to do in the present case. Section 3 of the Part C States (Laws) Act 1950 (Act No. 30 of 1950) runs thus:

The Acts and Ordinances specified in the Schedule to the Merged States (Laws) Act, 1949 (LIX of 1949), are hereby extended to, and shall be in force in the States of Tripura and Vindhya Pradesh, as they are generally in force in the territories to which they extend immediately before the commencement of this Act.

Section 4 of the same Act says that.any law which immediately before the commencement of this Act is in force in any of the States of Manipur, Tripura and Vindhya Pradesh and corresponds to an Act or Ordinance extended to that State by this Act, is hereby repealed.

The Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1949 is included in the schedule of the Merged States (Laws) Act 1949.

12. When we go through both, the Act and the Order, viz., the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946 and the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order, 1358 T.E. it will be found that for all intents and purposes the former is an enabling Act while the latter a procedural one. On that score too they cannot be said to be corresponding to each other. Also both these laws contain no corresponding provision. The Tripura State Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act 1358 T.E. was posterior to the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order 1353 T.E. The latter Order has not taken its origin from the former one. The Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order, 1358 T.E. is an independent law by itself. It has not descended from any parent law.

13. When one law is similar to another, the one can do without the other, but this is not the case with these two laws under discussion. The test fails on this account also. The result is that by the introduction of the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act 1946, the already existing corresponding Act called the Tripura State Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act 1358 T.E. stood repealed by virtue of Section 5 of the Merged States (Laws) Act 1950 and not the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order, 1358 T.E. which is not a corresponding law.

14. It is argued that the present case is that of a simple storage and not of storage for sale as contemplated by Section 4 of the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order 1358 T.E.

15. One cannot but reach at a natural conclusion that Lai Mohan Paul could not have any other purpose but storage for sale regarding the 5 trunks which were kept by him in, the first floor of Upendra Chandra Paul's brassware shop hired by him for the purpose. This is supported by his own statement Ex. 15 to the officer of the Civil Supplies Department just after the recovery when he stated that

Since about a month as there was no space in my shop, I rented a portion of the 1st floor of the building of Upendra Chandra Paul, brassware merchant, and kept my goods in 5 trunks there....

16. In his application dated 15.12.50 to the Chief Commissioner which is Ex. 13, he has stated that

thinking that there would be a demand during the Durga Pujah, I imported a large quantity of mill-made cloth, but finding the space short in my shop, I hired the 1st floor of Upendra Chandra Paul's shop and made it a godown for storing the cloth there. From there I used to bring some stock to my shop for selling.

On such a data on the record, it can at once be said that it is not a case for simple storage but storage for sale. The petitioner is therefore liable under paragraph 4 read with paragraph 26 (A) of the amended Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order, 1358 T.E.

17. Now, the second point regarding 'intentionally omitting to furnish the information etc.' intention is to be presumed from circumstances which are overwhelming in this case, to prove that the petnr did intentionally omit to furnish information to the proper authority. He was duly asked to submit a list of the mill-made cloth with him, which he did, omitting to mention the above-said 5 trunks and the place where they were kept. That he was legally bound to give such an information is proved by the condition No. 3 of his licence which runs as follows:

If the licencee intends to store any cloth or yarn in any place, premises, or godown other than those already mentioned in the licence, he shall, intimate the address of such place, premises or godown to the licensing authority concerned and shall not store any cloth or yarn in such place, premises or godown, until the licensing authority has endorsed it on the licence.

The conclusion is clear that the petitioner intentionally omitted to furnish the information which he was legally bound to furnish to a public servant. He has therefore committed the offence under Section 176, I.P.C.

18. In view of the above discussion, I have no reason to differ from the finding arrived at by the learned Sessions Judge that the petitioner has been rightly convicted for offences committed under paragraph 4 read with paragraph 26 (A) of the Tripura State Cotton Cloth and Yarn Control Order, 1358 T.E. and under Section 176, I.P.C. The sentences are not severe either. The rule issued in this petition is discharged.


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