1. This is an appeal by the State Government, Madhya Pradesh, against the order of acquittal, dated 8.2.1951, of the Court of Shri W.S. Deshmukh, Magistrate First Class, Akola.
2. The respects. Rukhabdas Jinwarsa & Dharamchand Hirasa Ruiwala, owner & manager respectively of the Narandra Gin and Press Factories, Karanja, were prosecuted for bleaches of Sections 52 and 63, Factories Act, 1948, punishable under Section 92 of the Act. The breaches according to the prosecution, were detected by Shri A.P. Verkhedekar, Inspector of Factories on Sunday, 26.2.1950 when he inspected the factory. He drew up a complaint on 15.4.1950 and forwarded a copy to the respondents with the following endorsement:
They may make their representation, if any, to the District Magistrate, Akola, direct within 10 days from the date of the issue of this endorsement before the prosecution is finally sanctioned by the District Magistrate Akola.
The District Magistrate, Akola, sanctioned the prosecution of the respondents o(n 20-5-1950 and forwarded the relevant papers including. the complaint of the Inspector of Factories on the same date to Shri T.B. Wankhede, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Murtajapur. The complaint was registered on 26.6.1950 and summonses were ordered to be issued.
3. The respondents raised an objection that the Court had no jurisdiction to take cognizance as the complaint had been filed more than 3 months after the detection of the offence. The Court upheld the objection.
4. Section 106, Factories Act, says that no Court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act unless complaint thereof is made within three months of the date on which the alleged commission of the offence came to the knowledge of an Inspector. On the back of the order, dated 20.5.1950, passed by the District Magistrate, Akola, and forwarded to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Murtajapur, there is the following endorsement:
Register the case and summon the accused Illegible21-5 S.D.M....
Reliance is placed on this endorsement by the learned Government Pleader to show that the complaint was made within limitation. Learned Counsel for the respondents says that in the lower Court no reference was made to it. It appears that the learned Magistrate had not taken into consideration this endorsement.
5. The main question in this appeal is about limitation. The question is on what date was the complaint received by the Court. If the complaint was received on 21.5.1950 and the endorsement was made by the S.D.M. on the same date, the complaint will not be barred by limitation. We consider that additional evidence is necessary on the point. We accordingly direct the trial Court to take additional evidence regarding the date on which the complaint was received and the endorsement to which we have referred earlier. It will afford opportunity to the prosecution and the respondents to adduce evidence if they wish to do so. It should certify and forward the, evidence to this Court under Section 428(2), Criminal P. C. within 2 months of this order.