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State Government Madhya Pradesh Vs. Pirmohammad Nazafikhan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1953CriLJ1349
AppellantState Government Madhya Pradesh
RespondentPirmohammad Nazafikhan
Excerpt:
- - 5 of the licence issued in form b under the cenerl provinces and berar yarn dealers licensing order, 1949. 2. it is not disputed that the respondent is a dealer in yarn and was given b class licence under clause 4, central provinces and berar yarn dealers licensing order, 1949. he had the accounts entered in his register till the end of 29.12.1950. he had dealings in yarn on 20th and 31st december 1950, but failed to maintain the account for these two days in his stock register. he thus contended that his failure to maintain the stock register was due to causes beyond his control. failure to maintain accounts would, therefore, amount to contravention of clause 3 of the order. 13. it was argued that the failure of the respondent to maintain the stock register was due to causes..........for breach of condition no. 5 of the licence issued in form b under the cenerl provinces and berar yarn dealers licensing order, 1949.2. it is not disputed that the respondent is a dealer in yarn and was given b class licence under clause 4, central provinces and berar yarn dealers licensing order, 1949. he had the accounts entered in his register till the end of 29.12.1950. he had dealings in yarn on 20th and 31st december 1950, but failed to maintain the account for these two days in his stock register. he thus contravened the condition no. 5 of the licence granted to him.3. his defence was that he was illiterate and could not make the necessary entries. he used to maintain the register with the help of a clerk who remained absent. he thus contended that his failure to maintain the.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal filed by the State Government of Madhya Pradesh against the judgment of the Sessions Judge, Jabalpur, in Criminal Appeal No. 434 of 1951 acquitting the respondent who was convicted by the Magistrate, First Class, Jabalpur, under Section 7, Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, for breach of condition No. 5 of the licence issued in form B under the Cenerl Provinces and Berar Yarn Dealers Licensing Order, 1949.

2. It is not disputed that the respondent is a dealer in yarn and was given B class licence under Clause 4, Central Provinces and Berar Yarn Dealers Licensing Order, 1949. He had the accounts entered in his register till the end of 29.12.1950. He had dealings in yarn on 20th and 31st December 1950, but failed to maintain the account for these two days in his stock register. He thus contravened the condition No. 5 of the licence granted to him.

3. His defence was that he was illiterate and could not make the necessary entries. He used to maintain the register with the help of a clerk who remained absent. He thus contended that his failure to maintain the stock register was due to causes beyond his control. The plea raised on behalf of the respondent for not maintaining the accounts of the dealings on the 30th and 31st December 1950 was negatived. The only question raised on behalf of the respondent before the learned Sessions Judge was that the breach of the condition No. 5 of the licence in form B did not amount to a breach of the Central Provinces and Berar Yarn Dealers Licensing Order, 1949. Under the circumstances, he could not be convicted under Section 7, Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act. The learned Sessions Judge accepted the contention and acquitted the respondent. The State Government has, therefore, come, up in appeal against the acquittal.

4. It was argued on behalf of the State Government that Clause 3, Central Provinces and Berar Yarn Dealers Licensing Order, 1949, makes it obligatory on a dealer in yarn to deal with the commodity according to the conditions laid down in the licence, one of the conditions being to maintain the accounts of the transactions. Failure to maintain accounts would, therefore, amount to contravention of Clause 3 of the Order.

5. As against this, it was contended on behalf of the respondent that the definition of the word, 'dealer' in the Order does not include maintenance of accounts of the transactions. As such 'keeping account' is not within the ambit of the expression 'deal' as defined in Clause 2 of the Order. It was then argued that the Central Provinces and Berar Yam Dealers Licensing Order, 1949, does not provide for punishment for the breach of the conditions of the licence. The only penalty for a breach of the condition is cancellation of the licence under Clause 22. In support of this contention, reference was made to Clause 9 of the Food grains Control Order which separately provides punishment for the breach of the conditions of the licence. Reference was also made to a similar provision in Rule 81 of the Defence of India Rules as amended on 18.7.1942. The rule prior to its amendment contained no provision for punishing the contravention of orders framed under Rule 81(2)(b).

6. The Central Provinces and Berar, Yarn Dealers Licensing Order, 1949, was made by the State Government in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3, Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946. Clause 3 of the Order is as follows:

Save as hereinafter provided, no person shall deal in yarn except under and in accordance with the conditions of a licence granted by the licensing authority.

7. It makes it clear that the dealer in yarn is prohibited from dealing in the commodity in any manner except in accordance with the conditions of a licence granted by the licensing authority. In order to regulate trade and to see that the goods were sold to 'bona flde' consumers at fair prices, it was necessary to impose conditions in. the licence issued to the dealers. The licence in the present case was granted in form B which imposes six conditions. Condition No. 5 enjoins that the licenses shall maintain daily accounts for each of the different types and counts of yarn in respect of which he holds the licence showing correctly the opening balance on each day, the quantities received, the quantities disposed of and the closing balance at the end of the day.

8. 'The paramount duty of the judicial interpreter' says Maxwell, 'to put upon the language of the legislature, honestly and faithfully, its plain and rational meaning and to promote its object.'

In our opinion, the conditions of the licence are not independent of Clause 3, Central Provinces and Berar Yarn Dealers Licensing Order, 1949, as will be clear from condition No. 6 which reads as follows:

The licensee shall be bound to carry out the provisions of the Cotton Textiles (Control) Order, 1948, issued by the Central Government and further shall comply with all orders and directions issued thereunder from time to time by the Textile Commissioner.

9. The plain meaning of Clause 3 is that whoever is a dealer in yarn shall deal with the commodity only in accordance with the conditions of his licence. It is thus dear that if the dealer fails to observe any of the conditions mentioned in his licence, he deals with the commodity in contravention of the conditions laid down in Clause 3 of the Order. Thus a breach of the condition of the licence implies a breach of Clause 3 of the Order and is made punishable under Section 7, Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act.

10. Clause 9, Food grains Control Order, 1945, reads as follows:

No person being the holder of a licence issued under this Order shall contravene any of the conditions mentioned in his licence.

It was not necessary to incorporate similar provision in the Central Provinces and Berar Yarn Dealers Licensing Order, 1949, as in our opinion, breach of the conditions of the licence implies breach of Clause 3 of the licensing Order. The reasons for amending Rule 81, Defence of India Rules, were different and have no implication here.

11. Clause 22, Central Provinces and Berar Yarn Dealers Licensing Order, 1949, reads as follows:

The licensing authority may, without prejudice to any other action that may be taken against a licensee for supplying incorrect information in his application for the grant or renewal of the licence, or for contravention of any of the provisions of this Order or a condition of his licence, cancel or suspend his licence after such enquiry as it deems necessary. The suspension or cancellation of a licence shall not entitle the licensee to any compensation, or the refund of any fees paid in respect of the licence.

There is no substance in the argument advanced on behalf of the respondent that the only penalty for the breach of the conditions of the licence is cancellation of the licence under the above Clause. Clause 22 gives the licensing authority power to impose additional penalty by cancelling the licence irrespective of punishment awarded under Section 7, Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, for contravention of any of the provisions of this Order or a condition of the licence.

12. The learned Sessions Judge was in error in his interpretation of Clause 3 of the Order. The breach of the conditions of the licence by the dealer amounts to contravention of Clause 3 of the Central Provinces and Berar Yarn Dealers Licensing Order, 1949, and as such is punishable under Section 7, Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act.

13. It was argued that the failure of the respondent to maintain the stock register was due to causes beyond his control, There is no force in this argument. The respondent knew that the law and the conditions of the licence given to him require that he should comply with certain formalities. He did maintain the accounts of the transactions till. 29.12.1950. He must be held responsible for omitting to make the necessary entries in the stock register during the following two days, as he knew this omission was a violation of what the law required.

14. The appeal is, therefore, allowed. The acquittal of the respondent is set aside. He is convicted under Section 7, Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, for not maintaining the stock register. As regards the punishment, we are of opinion that a small fine would meet the ends of justice in the present case. We, therefore, sentence him to imprisonment till the rising of the Court and to pay a fine of Rs. 25/- in default one month's rigorous imprisonment.


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