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Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Rice Mill Vs. the State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1976CriLJ524
AppellantVeera Venkata Satyanarayana Rice Mill
RespondentThe State
Excerpt:
.....appealed against, in this provision, there is nothing from which it .can be inferred that the sessions judge is prohibited from making over the appeal to the additional sessions judge for disposal like any other appeal before him. are appeals under the code of criminal procedure and section 381(2) does not apply to appeals under other statutes like the essential commodities act and the district and sessions judge is, therefore, incompetent to make over to the additional sessions judge an appeal preferred to him under section 6-c of the act and consequently an additional sessions judge is incompetent to hear an appeal preferred to the district and sessions judge under section 6-c and this is irrespective of the question whether the district and sessions judge acts as a court or as a.....punnayya, j.1. these two petitions are directed against the orders passed by the district and sessions judge, west godavari at eluru before whom appeals were preferred under section 6-c of the essential commodities act (hereinafter referred to as the 'act') making over criminal appeals nos. 65/1974 and 84/1974 from his file to the file of the additional sessions judge, eluru.2. according to the petitioner, the learned additional sessions judge is not competent to hear and dispose of the appeals under section 6-c of the act. he, therefore, requests this court to retransfer the appeals to the file of the district and sessions judge, eluru from the file of the additional sessions judge.3. the question whether the additional sessions judge is competent to hear and dispose, of the appeals.....
Judgment:

Punnayya, J.

1. These two petitions are directed against the orders passed by the District and Sessions Judge, West Godavari at Eluru before whom appeals were preferred under Section 6-C of the Essential Commodities Act (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act') making over Criminal Appeals Nos. 65/1974 and 84/1974 from his file to the file of the Additional Sessions Judge, Eluru.

2. According to the petitioner, the learned Additional Sessions Judge is not competent to hear and dispose of the appeals under Section 6-C of the Act. He, therefore, requests this Court to retransfer the appeals to the file of the District and Sessions Judge, Eluru from the file of the Additional Sessions Judge.

3. The question whether the Additional Sessions Judge is competent to hear and dispose, of the appeals under Section 6-C of the Act was decided by our learned brother Chinnappa Reddy, J. in L. Ramayya v. State of Andhra Pradesh (1972) 1 Andh WR 118 : 1972 Cri LJ 1071. The learned Judge held that whether the District and Sessions Judge acts as a Court or persona desienata. the Additional Sessions Judge is incompetent to hear an appeal preferred to the District and Sessions Judge under Section 6-C of the Act. This decision holds the field all the while.

4. Recently the Full Bench of this Court held in Public Prosecutor v. L. Ramayya (1974) 2 APLJ 305 : 1975 Cri LJ 144 (FB) that the District and Sessions Judge acting under Section 6-C of the Essential Commodities Act as the Judicial Authority acts as a Court and not as a persona designata. that where, by the statute, matters are referred to the determination of an authority acting in a judicial manner with no further provision, the necessary implication is that the Court will determine the matters as a Court that its jurisdiction is enlarged with all the incidents of such jurisdiction, that when the District and Sessions Judge was appointed as Appellate Authority, it must be taken that the appointment is of Sessions Court, that it is how appeals against the orders of confiscation are filed in the Sessions Court and the appeals are treated as criminal appeals, that since it is not provided in the Act as to what would become of orders passed in the appeals under Section 6-C the ordinary incidents of the procedure of the Sessions Court would attach to those orders and that the orders passed in an appeal under Section 6-C of the Act by the Sessions Court would be liable to revision.

5. In the light of the Full Bench decision, can it still be said that the Additional Sessions Judge is not competent to hear and dispose of the appeals preferred under Section 6-C of the Act This question came up for consideration before Ramachandra Raju, J.. (one of us), while considering these two petitions. The learned Judge has felt that this question requires consideration of a Division Bench as he thinks that in view of the Full Bench decision and in view of Section 381, Criminal P.C. and Section 6-C of the Essential Commodities Act, there is nothing, prima facie, to prohibit the Additional Sessions Judge from hearing the appeals preferred under Section 6-C of the Act. when they are made over to him by the Sessions Judge.

6. When 'the District and Sessions Judge who is the Judicial Authority appointed under Section 6-C of the Act to hear appeals against the orders of confiscation under Section 6A acts as a Court and not as a persona designata as held by the Full Bench, the necessary implication, therefore, is that such a Court will determine the matters as a Court and its jurisdiction is enlarged with all the incidents of such jurisdiction. If Section 381, Criminal P.C. is attracted to the appeals filed before the Sessions Judge under Section 6-C of the Act. then the Sessions Judge has the power to make over the appeals preferred to him under Section 6-Cof the Act and the Additional Sessions Judge will have the power to hear and dispose of the same. If provision is made under Section 381, Criminal P. C, as to how an appeal preferred to a Court of Session has to be heard, that provision also will apply to the appeals filed before a Court of Session under Section 6-C of the Act because it would be an incident of the enlarged jurisdiction given to the Court of Session to hear appeals under Section 6-C of the Act. Apart from this, as provided under Section 4(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code the procedure mentioned in the Code not only applies to the offences under the Indian Penal Code, but also to offences coming under any law the only restriction being that it will be subject to the procedure laid down in the special law with regard to the offences under that law. It is provided under Section 6-C of the Act that any person aggrieved by an order of confiscation made under Section 6A may, within one month from the date of communication to him of such order, appeal to any judicial authority appointed by the State Government concerned and the Judicial Authority shall, after eyeing an opportunity to the appellant to be heard, pass such order as it may think fit confirming, modifying or annulling the order appealed against, In this provision, there is nothing from which it .can be inferred that the Sessions Judge is prohibited from making over the appeal to the Additional Sessions Judge for disposal like any other appeal before him.' Since the learned Judge is, of the view, that there is nothing in the Essential Commodities Act restricting the application of Section 381, Criminal P.C. with regard to appeals filed under Section 6-C of the Act before the Sessions Judge, he felt that the matter is of some importance and hence he thought it necessary that the matter should be considered by a Division Bench to give an authoritative pronouncement in the matter.

7. The learned Counsel for the petitioner contends that Section 6-C of the Act provides that Judicial Authority appointed by State should dispose of the appeal and in pursuance of this provision the State Government issued G. O. Ms. No. 18,63 dated 2nd November. 1967. appointing the District and Sessions Judge as the Judicial Authority of the District end the appeals which the Sessions Judge may make over under Section 381(2), Criminal P.C. are appeals under the Code of Criminal Procedure and Section 381(2) does not apply to appeals under other statutes like the Essential Commodities Act and the District and Sessions Judge is, therefore, incompetent to make over to the Additional Sessions Judge an appeal preferred to him under Section 6-C of the Act and consequently an Additional Sessions Judge is incompetent to hear an appeal preferred to the District and Sessions Judge under Section 6-C and this is irrespective of the question whether the District and Sessions Judge acts as a court or as a persona designata when he hears the appeals under Section 6-Cof the Act.

8. There is no dispute that Section 4(1), Criminal P.C. specifically provides that all the offences under the Indian Penal Code shall be investigated, enquired into, tried and otherwise dealt with according to the provisions of the Criminal P.C. Clause (2) provides that all offences under any other law shall be investigated, enquired into, tried and otherwise dealt with according to the same provision but subject to any enactment for the time being in force regulating the manner of place of investigating, inquiring into trying or otherwise dealing with such offences.

9. In Sholapur Municipality v. R.V. Relekar : AIR1970Bom333 it was held that the conjoint effect of Section 1(2) and Section 5(2). Criminal P.C. (old code) is that all offences whether under Penal Code or under any other law have to be investigated, inquired into, tried and otherwise dealt with according to the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, unless, there be an enactment regulating the manner or place of investigating inquiring into, trying or otherwise dealing with such offences or which case such an enactment will prevail over the Code of Criminal Procedure and that the provisions of special or local law will prevail over those of the Code of Criminal Procedure unless there is a specific provision contrary. In Re Kaitan ILR (1907) 31 Bom 438 : 1907 6 Cri LJ 60 it was held that where the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act has provided for the manner or place of investigation or inquiring into any offence under it, its provisions must prevail and the Criminal P.C. must give way. In In Re Pavadi Goundan : AIR1957Mad292 it Was held that the Prohibition Officer who was given the powers to investigate into offences under the Prohibition Act should follow the procedure prescribed in Chapter V of the Madras Prohibition Act. In State of Kerala v. Kochuthoma. AIR 1959 Ker 350 : 1959 Cri LJ 1322 it was held that the Travancore and Cochin Forest Act did not provide for appeal either from a conviction or acquittal of an offence under the said Act. But it is provided in the Act that on offence under the Travancore and Cochin Forest Act is to be tried by a Magistrate under the Code of Criminal Procedure and hence it is the Code which regulates the procedure and provides for appeal, revision etc. When once prosecution is launched, the subsequent procedure is governed by the Code of Criminal Procedure. It was held by the Calcutta High Court in Anchor Aluminium Work v. Howrah Municipality 1957 Cri LJ 63 (Cal) that where the special Act under which the criminal proceedings are taken has not laid down any special procedure to be followed the proceedings must be held to be governed by the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, The Allahabad High Court in State v. Awtar Krishna : AIR1957All88 held that Section 14 (b) of the U.P. Sales Tax Act merely constitutes an offence and makes it punishable and does not prescribe the procedure for the trial of the offence. The offence created by Section 14(b) of the U.P. Sales Tax Act is an offence as defined in Section 4(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Consequently, to the trial of an accused for an offence under Section 14(b) of the U.P. Sales Tax Act. the Code of Criminal Procedure is applicable and all its provisions have therefore, to be given effect to, Hence, an appeal filed by the State Government under Section 417, Criminal P.C. against an order of acquittal in respect of an offence under Section 14(b) of the Act would be perfectly competent even though there is no provision for appeal in the Act itself.

10. The Supreme Court in Sukhadev Singh v. Teja Singh AIR 1954 SC 186 : 1954 Cri LJ 460 held that 'the Code of Criminal Procedure does not apply in matters of contempt triable by the High Court. The High Court can deal with it summarily and adopts its own procedure. The power of High Court to institute proceedings for contempt and punish where necessary is a special jurisdiction which is inherent in all Courts of record. Section 1(2) Criminal P.C. expressly excludes special jurisdiction from its scope.'

11. In State of Mysore v. Gurupadappa. AIR 1961 Mys 257 :(1961) 2 Cri LJ 789 it was held that 'the Bombay Village Panchayat Act 1933 is a special law as contemplated by Section 1(2) Cr.P.C. in respect of certain matters special procedure is also prescribed and under that procedure only one appeal against the orders and decrees of the Nyaya Panchayats is provided and hence the Sessions Court while hearing and disposing of an appeal under Section 78 of the Bombay Village Panchayat Act is exercising a special jurisdiction and not the ordinary jurisdiction attributable to it under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and hence the general provisions of Section 417 of the Code of Criminal Procedure do not and cannot affect the special provision contained in Sections 78 and 79 of the Bombay Village Panchayat Act.'

12. The expression 'otherwise dealing with' provided under Clause (2) of Section 4 refers to dealing with offences in a manner other than investigation, enquiry and trial expressly mentioned and provided in the Code itself. It may include disposal of the property under Chapter XXXIIV of the Code. If by a special statute an offence is created and provision is also made for the disposal of the property involved in such offence, there cannot be any objection for that provision being applied to the property (Vide State of Kerala v. C.K. Assainar : AIR1969Ker151 .

13. It is. therefore, clear that where a complete procedure is provided in any enactment for the trial of an offence under a special or local law. that procedure must be followed and not the one prescribed by the Code. Where an Act provides a special procedure only for some matter, such procedure must be followed as regards those matters only and in regard to the other matters on which that enactment is silent, the provisions of the Code must be applied, and where there is no enactment prescribing the procedure for dealing with an offence under a special or local law. the procedure laid down in the Code must be applied. The same principles apply even in the case of appeals.

14. It is not in dispute that the Essential Commodities Act is a,, special law. Section 6-A deals with the procedure to be followed by the Collector for passing orders of confiscation. Against that order, the Act provides for appeal under Section 6-C. According to Section 6-C, the aggrieved party should file the appeal before the 'judicial authority' appointed by the State Government. Under Section 6-A the Collector is empowered to pass order of confiscation. He does not pass such order in exercise of magisterial power. The Collector does not come under any of the hierarchy of the Courts constituted under Section 6 of the Criminal Procedure Code. On the other hand, the Collector is an authority provided Under Section 6-A of the Essential Commodities Act for passing order of confiscation. But the Appellate Authority under Section 6-C of the Act is a Judicial Authority, but not an administrative authority like the Collector for the purpose of hearing and disposing of the appeals preferred by the aggrieved party. Section 6-C provides that any person, aggrieved by an order of confiscation under Section 6-A may, within one month from the date of communication to him of such order, appeal to the 'Judicial Authority' appointed by the State Government concerned and the judicial authority shall after giving an opportunity to the appellant to be heard, pass such order as it may think fit. conferring, modifying or annulling the order appealed against. These are the only limitations imposed on the judicial authority when it exercises jurisdiction over the appeals preferred under Section 6-C of the Act-

15. The State Government by G. O. Ms. No. 1863 dated 2nd. November, 1967 has appointed the District and Sessions Judge of each district as a Judicial authority t0 whom appeals may be preferred under Section 6-C of the Act.

16. The District and Sessions Judge appointed as the judicial authority functions as a Court, but not as persona designata when he exercises jurisdiction under Section 6-C of the Essential Commodities Act. This legal position is settled by the Full Bench of this Court in Public Prosecutor v. L. Ramayya. 1975 Cri LJ : 144 (Andh Pra) (FB). The Full Bench held, that the District and Sessions Judge appointed as Judicial Authority under Section 6-C for hearing and disposing of the appeals preferred before him is a Court but not persona designata. It has held further that when nothing has been mentioned in Section 6-C with regard to the finality of the orders passed thereunder, it is to be concluded that the District and Sessions Judge is to act as a Court in which case only it is not necessary to mention whether an order to be made under Section 6-C is to be final or not. as all the incidents of exercising jurisdiction as a Court including the right of appeal or revision, as the case may be, from its decision would follow. It has also held that merely because the District Collectors acting under Section 6-A of the Act act as persona designata. it dots not necessarily follow that the District and Sessions Judges who are given the powers of appeal over the decisions of the Collectors would also act as persona designata and the District and Sessions Judge as appellate authority has to deal with appeals as criminal appeals because the proceedings are criminal in nature and having regard to the nature of the proceedings, it must be taken that the appointment is of the Sessions Court.

17. From the principles laid down by the Full Bench, it is manifest that the District and Sessions Judge would function as a Criminal Appellate Court with all its attributes and incidents for disposing of the appeals preferred, under Section 6-C of the Essential Commodities Act.

18. When the District and Sessions Judge exercises jurisdiction as Criminal Appellate Court in the same manner as he exercises its appellate jurisdiction with regard to offences arising under the I. P.C. is he not empowered even under Section 6-C to exercise the powers provided under Section 381, Criminal P.C. ?

19. The Additional Sessions Judge appointed under Section 9(3) exercises the same powers exercisable by the District and Sessions Judge, except the power of receiving any application, case or appeal. The District and Sessions Judge has complete jurisdiction by virtue of his position as Judge of the Court of Session to receive, hear and dispose of all matters such as applications, or cases which are required by law to be submitted to or filed inv the Court of Session, But an Additional Sessions Judge is not competent by virtue of his office to receive, hear or dispose of any matter submitted- to or filed in his Court in which he exercises jurisdiction. He gets jurisdiction in such matters only when it is placed before him either under a general or special order of the High Court or a general or special order of the Judge of the Sessions Division. With regard to appeals, it is provided under Sub-section (2) of Section 381 that an Additional Sessions Judge can only hear those appeals that are made over to him for disposal. It was not the jntentioii of the legislature that the power given to the Sessions Judge to hear the appeals under Section 381 should include also the power to receive and admit such appeals. The Legislature has clearly stated in Section 381(2) that only such appeals as are covered by an order of the High Court or are made over by the Sessions Judge shall be heard by an Additional Sessions Judge. The Full Bench of Patna High Court in Kameswara Singh v. Dharma Dev Singh : AIR1957Pat375 held that an Additional Sessions Judge has no power to receive and admit appeals filed in his Court. In the absence of an order of transfer by the Sessions Judge and in the absence of any direction of the High Court, an Additional Sessions Judge has no iurisdiction even to hear an appeal. The Division Bench of this Court in N. Narayanamma v. Satyanarayana : AIR1960AP425 also held that the words of Section 409(2) (Section 381(2) now under the new Code) are plain and emphatic. They enjoin on Additional Judges to hear only -such appeals as the State Government (now the High Court) may by general or special order direct or as the Sessions -Judge of the Division may make over to them. Section 409(2) is, therefore, clearly a provision restricting their iurisdiction conferred upon them by Section 9(3). The Full Bench of this Court also held in In Re P. Nanjappa : AIR1961AP471 that an Additional Sessions Judge has no power under the Code by virtue of his office to receive appeals and admit them.

20. Thus law is settled that under Section 381, Criminal P.C. the Additional Sessions Judge is empowered to hear and dispose of only such criminal appeals that are made over to him. but he has no jurisdiction to receive the criminal appeals. But when once the appeals are made over to him, the Additional Sessions Judge gets the iurisdiction to hear and dispose of them.

21. It is therefore, to be seen whether the District and Sessions Judge appointed under Section 6-Cof the Act as Judicial authority is competent to make ,over the appeals preferred under Section 6-C? We have pointed out above that the District and Sessions Judge appointed under Section 6-Cis judicial authority, but not administrative authority and the District and Sessions Judge appointed as Judicial Authority acts as a Court, but not as persona designata and it also exercises its powers under Section 6-Cas an Appellate Court with all incidents and attributes of a Criminal Appellate Court. It is true that the appeals filed under Section 6-Cof the Essential Commodities Act are the appeals preferred under the special Act but not under the Code, It is also true that the appeals preferred under the Special Act should be disposed of according to the procedure if any laid down in that Act, A careful reading of Section 6-Cof the Essential Commodities Act makes it abundantly clear that it has not laid down any procedure except stating that the appeal should be preferred within one month from the date of communication of such order and the Judicial Authority should pass order confirming or modifying or annulling the order appeared against and it has not imposed any restrictions on the powers of Judicial Authority in the exercise of its jurisdiction. When no restrictions are imposed on the power of the judicial authority in the exercise of its jurisdiction conferred on it under Section 6-Cof the Act, the general law would undoubtedly apply. That is to say all the incidents of the Court would be attached to the judicial authority and as such it can exercise the ordinary rules of procedure as provided in the Criminal Procedure Code. This legal position is made clear in National Telephone Co. Ltd. v. Post Master General 1913 A. C. 546 and in Adaikapa Chettiar v. Chandrasekhara Thevar. AIR 1948 PC 12. In the former case, the Privy Council held that 'where by statute matters are referred to the determination of a Court with no further provisions, the necessary implication is that the Court will determine the matters as a Court. Its jurisdiction is enlarged but all the incidents of such jurisdiction including the right of appeal from its decision remain the same'. In the latter case, the Privy Council held that 'where a legal right is in dispute and the ordinary courts of the country are seized of such dispute, the Courts are governed by the ordinary rules of procedure applicable thereto and an appeal lies if authorised by such rules notwithstanding that the legal right claimed arises under a special statute which does not in terms confer a right of appeal.' The Privy Council was considering the provision made under Section 70 of the Trade Marks Act which confers a right of appeal to the High Court and says nothing more about it. The Privy Council held that the High Court being seized of the appellate iurisdiction conferred by Section 76 it has to exercise that jurisdiction in the same manner as it exercises appellate Court iurisdiction and when such jurisdiction is exercised by a single Judge, his judgment becomes subject to appeal under Clause (15) of the Letters Patent, there being nothing to the contrary in the Trade Marks Act.

22. Thus it is clear that the District and Sessions Judge being seized of the Appellate Jurisdiction conferred by Section 6-Chas to exercise that jurisdiction in the same manner as he exercises the Appellate Court's jurisdiction. That being the legal position, the District and Sessions Judge appointed under Section 6-Cof the Act is empowered to exercise the power under Section 381. Criminal P.C. and make over even the appeals preferred under Section 6-Cto the Additional Sessions Judge for disposal and the Additional Sessions Judge exercises jurisdiction for disposing of the appeals confirming or modifying or annulling the order appealed against as provided under Section 6-Cof the Act. Hence, the argument that the District and Sessions Judge appointed under Section 6-Cas the Judicial Authority has no power to make over the appeals preferred before him under Section 6-Cof the Act to the Additional Sessions Judge is devoid of force. For the aforesaid reasons, we are not able to agree with the ruling of the single Judge in L. Ramayva v. State of Andhra Pradesh 1972 Cri LJ 1071 (Andh Pra). It is. therefore, overruled.

23. In view of our above discussion, we hold that the District and Sessions Judge of West Godavari at Eluru has not committed any error of law nor has acted without jurisdiction making over the two appeals which are the subject-matter of these two petitions to the Additional Sessions Judge for disposal. Thus, we find no merits in the petitions and they are dismissed accordingly.


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