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State Vs. Narhar Sakharam Dande - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCommercial
CourtMumbai High Court
Decided On
Case Number Criminal Reference Nos. 3 and 5 of 1970
Judge
Reported in(1970)72BOMLR908
AppellantState
RespondentNarhar Sakharam Dande
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Excerpt:
.....accused can get benefit of section 3 of c.p. & b.p.o. act, 1936.;an accused convicted with an offence punishable under section 52 of the bombay shops and establishments act, 1948, can get the benefit of section 8 of the central provinces and berar probation of offenders act, 1936. - - the accused also is said to have failed to maintain the employment register and the leave register. he also failed to display notices as required under section 62 read with rules 20 (2)(a to e), 20 (4), 20 (5) and 20(1) of the maharashtra shops and establishments rules, 1961. 3. after obtaining the necessary authority from the district magistrate, akola, the inspector filed a complaint in the court of the magistrate at washim against each of the accused for offences punishable under section 52 of the..........only when any person is convicted of an offence under any enactment, other than the indian penal code, punishable with imprisonment for not more than six months. the learned additional sessions judge holding this view referred the matter here after allowing the revision application with a recommendation that the order passed by the magistrate of admonition was illegal. he, therefore, recommended that the accused should be sentenced to a fine as provided under the provisions of section 52 of the shops act.6. it is true that the sentence provided for offences punishable under section 52 of the shops act is only fine. the employer and the manager who would be found to have committed offences mentioned in section 52 of the shops act shall, on conviction, each be punished with fine which.....
Judgment:

Bhole, J.

1. Each of these references, arises out of an order passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Akola, in a revision against the order of admonition passed by the Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Washim, on the accused in each case, who was prosecuted for offences punishable under the provisions of the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, 1948.

2. In each of the cases, the Inspector of the Shops and Establishments filed a complaint against the accused on the allegation that he had violated certain provisions of the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act. In Criminal Reference No. 3 of 1970, the Inspector visited the Sarafa Shop of the accused on September 27, 1968 when he found that he had not displayed the notice of weekly closure day in a conspicuous place in his shop as required under Section 18 (I) of the Bombay Shops and Establishments Act, 1948 (hereinafter called the 'Shops Act'). He also found that he had not maintained the lime washing register even after a previous notice as required under Rule 12 (2) of the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments Rules, 1961. In Criminal Reference No. 5 of 1970, the Inspector found in the hotel of the accused on January 25, 1969 that the accused had not sent to him the statement in the prescribed form together with the necessary fees within 80 days from the commencement of the establishment as required under Section 7 (1) and 7 (4) of the Shops Act. The accused also is said to have failed to maintain the employment register and the leave register. He also failed to display notices as required under Section 62 read with Rules 20 (2)(a to e), 20 (4), 20 (5) and 20(1) of the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments Rules, 1961.

3. After obtaining the necessary authority from the District Magistrate, Akola, the Inspector filed a complaint in the Court of the Magistrate at Washim against each of the accused for offences punishable under Section 52 of the Shops Act. In each of the cases, the accused pleaded guilty.

4. The learned Magistrate convicted each of the accused for the offences with which they were charged but released each of them on admonition under Section 8 of the Central Provinces and Berar Probation of Offenders Act, 1986.

5. Being aggrieved by this order of admonition, the State in each of the cases had preferred a revision application before the Sessions Judge. The learned Additional Sessions Judge, who heard the revision application, was of the view that the offences held proved against each of the accused are punishable under Section 52 of the Shops Act, that no sentence of imprisonment was provided for an offence under the Shops Act, that, therefore, the provisions of Section 3 of the Central Provinces and Berar Probation of Offenders Act, 1986, would not be applicable to the facts of the case because the powers of the Court under the Central Provinces and Berar Probation of Offenders Act can be used only when any person is convicted of an offence under any enactment, other than the Indian Penal Code, punishable with imprisonment for not more than six months. The learned Additional Sessions Judge holding this view referred the matter here after allowing the revision application with a recommendation that the order passed by the Magistrate of admonition was illegal. He, therefore, recommended that the accused should be sentenced to a fine as provided under the provisions of Section 52 of the Shops Act.

6. It is true that the sentence provided for offences punishable under Section 52 of the Shops Act is only fine. The employer and the manager who would be found to have committed offences mentioned in Section 52 of the Shops Act shall, on conviction, each be punished with fine which shall not be less than twenty-five rupees and which may extend to two hundred and fifty rupees. There is also a proviso there. Under it, if the contravention of the provisions of Sub-section (J) of Section 7 is continued after the expiry of the tenth day after conviction, the employer shall on conviction be punished, with a further fine which may extend to ten rupees for each day on which the contravention was so continued. We are here concerned in one case with the offence punishable under Section 52 (b) and 52 (/) of the Shops Act and in other case with the offence punishable under Section 52 (a) and 52 (b) of the Shops Act. Each of the offences is punishable with a fine only.

7. The point, therefore, that arises here for consideration is to see whether the accused who is convicted with an offence punishable with fine only can get the benefit of Section 8 of the Central Provinces and Berar Probation of Offenders Act.

8. Under Section 8 of the Central Provinces and Berar Probation of Offenders Act, when any person is convicted of an offence under any enactment, other than the Indian Penal Code, punishable with imprisonment for not more than six months, and no previous conviction is proved against him, the Court before which such person is convicted may, if it thinks fit, regard being had to the character, antecedents, age, health or mental condition of the offender, or to the trivial nature of the offence, or to the extenuating circumstances in which the offence was committed, instead of sentencing him to punishment, release him after due admonition. In other words, the offence before a benefit is given should be punishable with imprisonment for not more than six months and no previous conviction should be proved against him. The learned Additional Sessions Judge is of the view that because the proved offences against the accused are punishable only with fine simpliciter and not punishable with imprisonment for not more than six months, therefore, the benefit of Section 3 cannot be given. Let us see whether this view is correct.

9. What will happen if the accused refuses to pay the fine or is unable to pay the fine We will also have to consider such a contingency. We are here concerned with an offence punishable not under the Indian Penal Code but under an Act other than the Indian Penal Code. Now under Section 26 of the Bombay General Clauses Act, Sections 68 to 70 of the Indian Penal Code, and the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure for the time being in force in relation to the issue and the execution of warrants for the levy of fines, shall apply to all fines imposed under any Bombay Act or the Maharashtra Act or any rule or by-law made under any Bombay Act or Maharashtra Act unless the Act, rule or by-law contains an express provision to the contrary. This section is enacted for the purposes of recovery of fines imposed under any Act other than the Indian Penal Code. We are not concerned with all these Sections 68 to 70 of the Indian Penal Code, but we are here concerned with only Section 67. This section provides imprisonment for non-payment of fine when the offence is punishable with fine only. Section 67 of the Indian Penal Code provides that if the offence be punishable with fine only, the imprisonment which the Court imposes in default of payment of the fine shall be simple, and the term for which the Court directs the offender to be imprisoned, in default of payment of fine, shall not exceed the following scale, that is to say, for any term not exceeding two months when the amount of the fine shall not exceed fifty rupees, and for any term not exceeding four months when the amount shall not exceed one hundred rupees, and for any term not exceeding six months in any other case. In other words, if an offence is punishable with fine only then in default of payment of fine the accused has to suffer a certain period of imprisonment. It is, therefore, plain from Section 67 of the Indian Penal Code that the maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed six months. Therefore, if an offence is punishable with fine only and if fine is not paid then in default he will have to suffer imprisonment of not more than six months and the period varies according to the sentence of fine. In other words, if an offence is punishable with fine only it is also punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six months.

10. We have seen that the power is given to the Court under Section 8 of the Central Provinces and Berar Probation of Offenders Act to release the offenders after admonition if the offender is convicted of an offence punishable with imprisonment for net more than six months and no previous conviction is proved against him. In the instant cases before me the accused are convicted of an offence punishable with fine only. Therefore, he is convicted of an offence punishable with imprisonment for not more than six months, because of Section 67 of the Indian Penal Code. Therefore, the view of the learned Additional Sessions Judge that because offences punishable under Section 32 of the Shops Act are punishable only with fine, therefore, the benefit of Section 8 of the Central Provinces and Berar Probation of Offenders Act, cannot be given, is erroneous. The State's revision applications, therefore, will have to fail. The order passed by the trial Court in both the cases is quite legal and proper. Those orders, therefore, will have to be upheld.

11. Criminal Reference No. 8 of 1970 as well as Criminal Reference No, 5 of 1970 are, therefore, rejected. References rejected.


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