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Emperor Vs. Himanchal Singh - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1930All265
AppellantEmperor
RespondentHimanchal Singh
Excerpt:
- cantonments act[c.a. no. 41/2006]. section 346 & cantonment fund (servants rules, 1937, rules 13, 14 & 15: [h.l. gokhale, ag. cj, p.v. hardas, naresh h. patil, r.m. borde & r.m. savant, jj] jurisdiction of school tribunal constituted under maharashtra employees of private schools (conditions of service) regulations act, (3 of 1978) held, school run by the cantonment board is a primary school and it is not a school recognised by any such board comparable to the divisional board or the state board. the school tribunal constituted under section 8 of the maharashtra act cannot entertain appeals filed under section 9 by the employees working in schools which are established and administered by the cantonment board. teacher employed in the school run by cantonment board being covered under.....1. this is an appeal by the local government from an order passed by a magistrate acquitting himanchal singh upon a charge of an offence under section 174, i.p.c. the magistrate acquitted the accused following, as he was bound to do, the decision of two judges of this court in emperor v. bhirgu singh : air1927all122 . the local government being dissatisfied with the decision in that case that a citation to appear issued under section 147, land revenue act (u.p.), 3 of 1901, was not a summons, notice or order which the recipient was legally bound to obey have appealed from the decision of the magistrate. without waiting to see whether the bench of two judges of this court before whom the appeal might come agreed with the decision of the two judges of this court above mentioned, the learned.....
Judgment:

1. This is an appeal by the Local Government from an order passed by a Magistrate acquitting Himanchal Singh upon a charge of an offence under Section 174, I.P.C. The Magistrate acquitted the accused following, as he was bound to do, the decision of two Judges of this Court in Emperor v. Bhirgu Singh : AIR1927All122 . The Local Government being dissatisfied with the decision in that case that a citation to appear issued under Section 147, Land Revenue Act (U.P.), 3 of 1901, was not a summons, notice or order which the recipient was legally bound to obey have appealed from the decision of the Magistrate. Without waiting to see whether the Bench of two Judges of this Court before whom the appeal might come agreed with the decision of the two Judges of this Court above mentioned, the learned Government Advocate, presumably under instructions from the Local Government, secured an immediate reference by the Chief Justice of the appeal to a Full Bench. We think that the Chief Justice would not have referred the matter to a Full Bench at all if the point we have mentioned had been brought to his attention. If the Bench of two Judges before whom the appeal would have come in the ordinary course agreed with the two Judges who had already decided the question, there would have been an end of the matter. If, on the other hand, they had disagreed, it would have been open to them to ask the Chief Justice, in accordance with the ordinary procedure to refer the matter to a Full Bench.

2. The question now before us is whether a citation to appear issued under Section 147, U.P. Land Revenue Act, 3 of 1901, is a summons, notice or order which the recipient is legally bound to obey.

3. The facts are simple. Himanchal Singh was in arrears in the payment of Government revenue for a sum of Rs. 108-6-0. Whether or no a writ of demand had or had not already issued to him under Section 147 we are not informed; nor is it in fact material. The document which was Served upon him is a citation to appear, purporting to be drafted in accordance with form 2 of the forms drawn up by the Local Government by virtue of its power under Section 234 Revenue Act. This document was treated in the argument before us by both sides as if it was a document of a composite character embodying a writ of demand and a citation to appear in the one document. But this is not so as a reference to the forms will show. The English form does not contain an unconditional intimation to appear. It requires the recipient to appear on a certain date and at a certain hour 'if the entire arrears plus the talbana for this citation are not sooner paid. The vernacular of the document which was actually served calls upon him to appear if the amount 'is not paid with the greatest promptitude' (jaldtar ada na kardiya jawe'.) The translation is not accurate but the inaccuracy is immaterial. The document further bears a foot-note intimating that failure to attend is punishable (in the criminal Courts) under Section 174 I.P.C. This footnote manifestly begs the question and is immaterial, except so far as it may indicate a desire to give to the intimation a force which the Act itself certainly does not expressly give it. The Local Government has power to make rules and prepare forms under Section 234, but manifestly, as Section 234 itself declares, only rules 'consistent with this Act.'

4. It is common ground that the citation was served upon Himanchal Singh personally and that he did not attend, nor paid the arrears within the time specified in the citation. Himanchal Singh was put upon his trial under Section 174, I.P.C. He admitted that the citation was served upon him and that he did not attend or deposit the amount of the arrears. The Magistrate describes this as a plea of guilty. It clearly was not a plea of guilty of an offence under Section 174, I.P.C. But this ceased to be of importance again in view of the fact that the Magistrate acquitted him in obedience to the ruling to which we have referred. It has only been necessary to mention these immaterial matters because they did in fact form the subject of argument, and it is necessary to sweep them aside. Before giving briefly our reasons for holding that the citation to appear was not a summons, notice or order which the recipient was legally bound to obey by appearing within the meaning of Section 174, I.P.C. we will narrate as briefly as possible the history of the previous decisions on the point.

5. In 1909 the Sessions Judge of Benares, Mr. E.H. Ashworth, subsequently Ashworth, J., referred a conviction under Section 174 to this Court on the ground that in his view it was an illegal conviction in that the accused was not bound to appear. The matter came before Knox, J. and Tudball, J. and was registered as 'Sarju Singh Reference No. 320 of 1909.' On 3rd August 1909, they recorded the following brief judgment:

In our opinion a citation issued by a Tahsildar is an order to appear before the Tahsildar which the person cited is bound to obey, The intentional disobedience of it is therefore an offence under Section 174,

6. No reasons for this view were given. The next case, Emperor v. Sheopal Singh we are unable to give the date but the case is quoted in the next case to which we shall refer) came before Mr. Piggott, A.J.C., Oudh, subsequently Piggott, J., of this Court. The full judgment not being available to us we are only able to note that he held that the accused was not bound to obey the citation, basing his judgment on the report of the Select Committee during the passage of the bill.

7. In 1909 Mr. Chamier, Judicial Commissioner, and Mr. Evans, A.J.C., Oudh, held that the accused was bound to appear in obedience to the citation. They rejected the decision of Mr. Piggott because he had relied upon the report of the Select Committee. They quoted the form of the citation and then rejected the argument (the only one apparently urged) that a citation was merely an alternative to a writ of demand, because if a citation merely took the place of a writ of demand, the citation itself would be useless as it did not make any demand. No other consideration was apparently drawn to the attention of the learned Judges and they gave no further reason for holding that the recipient was bound to appear in accordance with the citation. This case is Rambali v. Emperor [1910] 13 O.C. 55.

8. The next case is that to which we have already referred, Emperor v. Bhirgu Singh : AIR1927All122 decided by Dalal, J., and one of the members of the present Pull Bench, Boys, J. It was held that the recipient was not legally bound to obey the citation. This appears to have been the first case in which the matter was at all fully argued and reasons are given at length for the decision to which reference may be made.

9. In the following year the matter came up before a single Judge of this Court, Sulaiman, J., in Emperor v. Banwari : AIR1927All49 . The learned Judge said:

If the matter were entirely res integra I would have been inclined to hold 'that the citation was at any rate a notice, if not a summons or order, and that, therefore, its disobedience was covered by Section 174, I.P.C.

10. He held himself, however, bound by the last decision to which we have referred. It will be noticed that the learned Judge did not consider whether, even though the citation might be regarded as a notice, it was a notice that the recipient was legally bound to obey. He proceeded to set out in detail the reasoning in Emperor v. Bhirgu : AIR1927All122 and then added

the view taken by the Bench certainly prevents the abuse of the power to issue a citation to appear and then to arrest the defaulter, which may be an intolerable hardship... It may be doubtful whether such a procedure was contemplated by the legislature when the Act was passed.

11. Lastly, the question came up in 1927 before Stuart C.J., and Pullan, J., in the Chief Court at Lucknow in Chandrika Singh v. Emperor A.I.R. 1928 Oudh 122. The learned Judges delivered separate judgments to which reference may be made. It is only necessary to point out that Stuart, C.J., referred to the complete difference of opinion in regard to the effect of the citation between the decisions in Rambali v. Emperor [1910] 13 O.C. 55 and Emperor v. Bhirgu : AIR1927All122 , and further stated

why the word citation was used in this portion of Local Act, 3 of 1901, I am in no position 'to decide,

though he added that the word 'citation' was possibly used in Chap. 8 and the word 'summons' in Chap. 9, because Chap. 8 is concerned with the purely fiscal act in collecting land revenue, while Chap. 9 is concerned with the procedure of revenue Courts and Revenue Officers exercising judicial or quasi judicial functions. It may be noted further that Pullan, J., relied to some extent at least on the threat in the foot-note to the citation form to which we have referred.

12. These are all the cases to which we have been referred. It would seem that a mere recital of these cases is sufficient to show this much at least, that there is room for doubt as to the force to be given to the term 'citation to appear.' That being so, there comes into force immediately the principle of interpretation of a statute that where there is reasonable ground for doubt as to the correct interpretation of an enactment that interpretation should be adopted which is most in favour of the person to be penalised. This principle is of general application to fiscal and penal statutes. Here we have both a fiscal and a penal statute.

13. Next, there is the principle of interpretation that where the matter is in doubt, that interpretation should be given to the statute which will prevent or will not permit of an abuse of the process of the law. The learned Government Advocate, putting as best he could the case for the appellant Local Government, was unable to suggest to us why the Local Government should be so anxious to secure the strict interpretation, for which he pleaded, of the word 'citation.' If the defaulter fails to appear in response to the citation, and even without the issue of a citation, the Revenue Officer has power to issue a warrant of arrest. The only motive underlying the desire of the Local Government to put a strict interpretation on the word 'citation' which anybody could suggest was that it would save the Revenue Officer the trouble of issuing a warrant of arrest and of bringing the defaulter before him under arrest. He could, if the defaulter was bound to appear in answer to a citation, issue the citation, and then having the defaulter before him say to him:

Now corns to terms such as I can accept, or I will forthwith arrest you.

14. Can anybody doubt but that this would be an abuse of the process of the law. No other motive is suggested to us. We should therefore give effect so far to the principle that where there is doubt, that interpretation should be put on the enactment which will prevent an abuse of the legal process.

15. Having stated these two principles we next turn to the question, what explanation is there of this special use of the word citation' in Section 147 when it is used nowhere else in the whole Act. When the N.W.P. Land Revenue Act, 19 of 1873, and the Land Revenue Act of Oudh, 17 of 1876, were consolidatad into the present U.P. Act 3 of 1901, the draftsman had to consider whether he should or should not use the word 'a summons to appear' which appeared in the Oudh Act, and he substituted, and can only be held to have deliberately substituted, the word 'citation.' It is not the case that the word was used carelessly or with some vague idea that it did not really matter whether one used the word 'summons,' 'citation,' 'notice'' 'call upon,' etc. The drafts man had the word 'summons' before his eyes. He had not the word 'citation.' He deliberately substituted 'citation' for 'summons.' What was the reason for this? No one has been even able be suggest that there was any reason except possibly, and that is in favour of giving the less strict interpretation to the word, that in Chap. 9 where the word 'summons' in used the legislature was dealing with the procedure of the Courts, and in Chap. 8 he was dealing only with the proceedings of officers for the collection of the amounts due to Government. There would be a natural inclination to substitute the milder word in the latter case for the stricter word used in the former. This is the only possible explanation that occurs to us or that has been offered by anybody of the deliberate substitution of the term.

16. Much argument has been directed to suggest that a citation is in fact equivalent to a summons carrying with it the consequence enacted in Section 174, I.P.C. It may be that it is so in some cases. It does not follow that it is so in all. But in fact even if it could be held to be merely a variant of the word ''summons,' and that the two words are interchangeable, even that will not help the appellant, for it is manifest that the word 'summons' is sometimes used in cases where the recipient is not bound to obey the summons. It is in itself a striking fact that nobody has ever yet heard of a man being prosecuted under Section 174, I.P.C., for failing to obey a summons to attend a Court as a witness. The invariable procedure followed, if the attendance of the witness is essential, is to issue a warrant for his arrest; and indeed in the Civil Procedure Code express provision for this is made in Section 32, in which there is no reference to Section 174, I.P.C. But more than this, we find the word 'summons' actually used in the very Act which we are considering in Section 201 where it is laid down in the proviso that no order shall be altered without previously summoning the party, in whose favour that order was passed, to appear. Manifestly here no liability under Section 174, I.P.C., can arise. Again, where it is intended that failure to appear even in answer to a summons should carry the consequences laid down in Section 174, I.P.C., we find it expressly stated, which declares that 'all persons so summoned shall be bound to attend.' As to citations, to refer to another Act, we find that where it is intended that failure to obey a citation should be penalised, that intention is made the subject of express enactment, e.g., Act 21 of 1866, Sections 10 and 11, where it is declared that the respondent, in other words, the defendant in the suit, shall be served with a citation to appear, and that in default of his or her appearance, liability to punishment under Section 174, I.P.C., follows. Lastly, we may note that to give the less strict meaning to the term 'citation' if indeed the more severe interpretation be permissible at all, is in accordance with a reasonable interpretation, of the scheme of the Act. The Tahsildar has under Section 145 to certify a statement of account showing the existence of the arrear, of its amount and of the person who is the defaulter. It is declared that this statement of account shall be conclusive evidence of the facts stated in it. It is manifest, however, that this cannot possibly be held to prevent the Tahsildar from amending the certified statement of account if he desires to do so. If he has issued a writ. of demand in accordance with that statement of account, and either in consequence of information received from the alleged defaulter, or from any other source, he has reason to doubt the correctness of the statement or the desirability of proceeding to extreme measures without further light on the matter, it is reasonable to suppose that he should be empowered to give the alleged defaulter an opportunity of appearing before him and explaining either that he is not the person liable, or that he is not liable for the whole amount claimed, or of offering to make an arrangement which will not necessitate proceeding to extreme measures. It is not necessary to elaborate this. We have already noted above that no other proper motive can be suggested as underlying the use of the word 'citation.'

17. For the reasons we have given we hold that the citation was not a summons, notice or order which Himanchal Singh was legally bound to obey, and we dismiss the appeal.

Sen, J.

18. This is an appeal by the Local Government from an order, passed by a Magistrate, acquitting Himanchal Singh of an offence under Section 174, I.P.C.

19. Himanchal Singh was in arrear of Government revenue for a sum of' Rs. 108-6-0 on account of Rabi 1332 Fasli. A writ was issued to him under Section 147, United Provinces Land Revenue Act (Act 3 of 1901) on 11th July 1928. This document was of a composite character being a writ of demand and a citation for appearance, if the demand for revenue is not complied with. The document is in a printed form which is headed as 'summons for attendance.' The wording of this document is substantially in accord with the prescribed form to be found in the Land Revenue Manual for the United Provinces, which is a Government publication. The document is addressed to Himanchal Singh, who is directed to attend the Court of the Tahsildar of Tahsil Shahjahanpur, on 26th July 1928, at noon, if the amount of arrears together with the costs of the process fee is not paid with the greatest promptitude (Jaldtar ada na kar diya jawe). The order was served upon Himanchal Singh personally, on 17th July 1928. The document bears the following endorsement by Himanchal Singh:

I am informed of your order and received a copy of the summons through the peon.

20. This document contained a warning note:

A failure to attend will be punishable in the criminal Courts under Section 174, I.P.C.

21. Himanchal Singh did not pay the amount of arrears together with the costs of the process fee nor did he attend the Court of the Tahsildar, on 26th July 1928, as he was directed to do. Proceedings were initiated against him under Section 174, I.P.C., and he was eventually put upon his trial before Khan Bahadur Maulvi Muhammad Mansub Hasan Khan, Special Magistrate of Second Class. The statement of the accused was recorded, on 5th October 1928, under Section 364, Criminal P.C., and the accused admitted that the summons was issued to him and that he neither deposited the revenue nor attended the Court. The Magistrate acquitted him on 8th October 1928. The Magistrate held that, though the accused pleaded guilty, no, offence was committed by him under Section 174, I.P.C., for non-attendance in the Court of the Tahsildar and reliance was placed upon a Division Benth ruling of this Court in re, Emperor v. Bhirgu Singh : AIR1927All122 in support of this view.

22. The Magistrate is not quite accurate in stating that the accused pleaded guilty before him. The accused was not asked whether he had committed an offence under Section 174, I.P.C., and he did not plead guilty in express terms. The Magistrate was, however, bound to follow the ruling of this Court, which undoubtedly supported his view.

23. The Local Government challenges the correctness of the decision in re, Emperor v. Bhirgu Singh : AIR1927All122 . The point to be considered in this appeal is of far reaching effect as involving a question of principle, and is a matter of general importance, affecting the authority of the Revenue Officers acting under the Land Revenue Act, as also the liberty of the subjects of the Crown to whom citations are addressed under Section 147 of the Act.

24. In approaching the question before this Court, no importance can be attached to the fact that the citation is headed as 'Notice of attendance' nor to the further fact that the foot-note contains a pointed warning. Nor can the fact of the citation being issued from 'the Court of the Tahsildar' and Himanchal Singh being directed to appear 'in the Court of Tahasildar' be permitted to be strained too far. The Tahasildar was acting in his administrative capacity as a Revenue Collector. He was not, strictly speaking, a 'Court' and was exercising, at the most a quasi judicial function. In Section 189, a Tahsildar is authorized to hold his Court within his tahsil, but his powers under Section 147 are more administrative than judicial.

25. Section 174, I.P.C., provides:

Whoever, being legally bound to attend in parson... at a certain place and time in obedience to a summons, notice, order or proclamation proceeding from any public servant legally competent, as such public servant to issue the same, intentionally omits to attend at that place or time... shall be punished with imprisonment... or with fine...

26. The ingredients of the offence under this section are, therefore, (1) that a summons for attendance must be issued by a public servant who was legally competent to issue the same, (2) that the person summoned must be legally bound to attend at a certain place and time in answer to the summons and (3) that the person summoned must intentionally have omitted to attend at that place and time. Section 147, Land Revenue Act provides that when an arrear of revenue becomes due, a writ of demand calling on the defaulter to pay the amount within the time therein stated or a citation to appear may issue.

27. Circular 3-III of the rules framed by the Board of Revenue contained, amongst others the following provisions relating to Section 147, Land Revenue Act:

Processes under Section 147, shall be issued by the Tahashildar of the tahsil in which the arrear fell due, or by order of the Collector or Assistant Collector in charge of the Sub-Division,' 'Writs, warrants and proclamations shall be in the forms appended. They shall bear the date of issue and shall be signed by the issuing officer and sealed with his official seal.

Process under Section 147 is not required by law to precede processes under Section 150 but ordinarily writ or citation to appear should issue before any other procees is resorted to.' 'The fee charged for the issue of a writ or citation to appear shall be 12 annas. The fee shall be included in the amounts specified in the writ or citation as that for the recovery of which the writ is issued.

No more than one writ shall be issued, in respect of the same arrear to any defaulter, except under the orders of the Collector. If the arrears be not paid within 15 days from the date of the service, severer measures should promptly be taken.

28. It is not controverted that the Tahsildar of Tahsil Shahjahanpur was a public servant, legally competent as such public servant to issue a citation to Himanchal Singh to appear before him under Section 147, Land Revenue Act, or that Himanchal Singh as a defaulter was duly served with the citation calling upon him to appear on 26th July 1928. But it has been argued that a citation to appear under Section 147, Land Revenue Act is not a 'summons' within the purview of Section 174, I.P.C., and that Himanchal Singh was not legally bound to appear.

29. Statutes of a fiscal or penal character must be strictly construed so as to prevent undue encroachment upon the liberty of the subject. Where the words of a statute are ambiguous, or of a doubtful import, the words should be construed generously. Where, however, the words of the statute are unequivocal and unambiguous, they must be construed in their plain, natural and grammatical senses.

30. The question which emerges for decision in this appeal is whether the words 'a citation to appear' in Section 147, Land Revenue Act can note anything different from a summons to appear. The word 'citation' has not been defined in the Land Revenue Act nor has, the word 'summons' been defined in the said Act. It is presumable that the words citation and summons have not been used in the Act in a special or technical sense. If recourse be had to standard books of reference, it would appear that citation and summons are interchangeable words. For instance, in Webster's New International Dictionary, 'citation' means amongst other things, an official summons or notice given to a person to appear before a tribunal of justice; hence any summons. In Murray's Dictionary 'citation' is a citing or summoning to a Court of justices Bouvier gives the following note on 'citation':

A writ issued out of a Court of competent jurisdiction, commanding a person therein named to appear on a day named and do something therein mentioned, or show cause why he should not.

The act of which a person is so summoned or cited.

In the ecclesiastical law, the citation is the beginning and foundation of the whole cause, and is said to have six requisites, namely, the insertion of the name of the Judge, of the promovert, of the impugnant of the cause of suits, of the place, and of the time of appearance; to which may be added the affixing the seal of the Court, and the name of the Registrar or his Deputy.

Process issued in Courts of Probate and Admiralty Courts. It is usually the original process in any proceeding where used and is in that respect analogous to, the writ of capias or summons at law, and the subpoena in Chancery.

31. According to Wharton (Law Lexicon, Edn. 4, p. 187) 'citation' is a summons to appear, applied particularly to a process in the spiritual probate and matrimonial Courts.

32. In its common significance, therefore, 'citation to appear' is clearly 'a summons to appear' and cannot be held to mean anything short of this. If this meaning is applied to the text of Section 147, it fits in with the context. It is not necessary either to strain the language or to have recourse to a process of reasoning to find out the meaning of the text. Indeed, if regard be paid to the context and the scheme of the Act, it is not possible to construe the word 'citation' otherwise than as a summons.

33. Section 146, Land Revenue Act prescribes the processes by which an arrear of revenue may be recovered. These processes are eight in number, and have been enumerated in Clauses (a) to (h). Each of these processes is and is intended to be coercive. Every process enumerated in the section is severer or more drastic than the one immediately preceding it. There may be variance in the degree of the effectiveness of the several processes as also in the degree of their coerciveness, but all of them share one common character in so far that all of them are coercive.

34. The Local Government may issue a warrant of arrest in the very first instance but the legislature provided for a less drastic remedy by the issue of a citation. It cannot be assumed that the object of the citation is simply to facilitate the execution of the warrant of arrest. The two processes are different. If the man appears in obedience to the citation, he may be allowed to go without any warrant being executed against him. That the process of citation to appear may be abused is no argument against the process itself being from its very inception an instrument of an imperative or compelling character.

35. A writ of demand or a citation to appear is one of the statutory processes for recovering an arrear of revenue. A citation to appear could not have been intended to be a mere invitation from the Tahsildar to appear in his Court to parley with him about the amount of the arrear or to negotiate with him the time as to its payment. It is not till the revenue has fallen into arrears that steps can be taken for its recovery. Section 145, Land Revenue Act enacts that a statement of account certified by the Tahsildar shall for purposes of Chap. 8 be conclusive evidence of the existence of the arrear, of its amount and of the person who is the defaulter. Ex hypothesi, the amount due has been determined and has been duly certified. The certificate being conclusive, the issue of a citation could not be treated as a mere occasion given to the cosharer concerned to come and discuss with the Tahsildar because of any dispute or uncertainty about the amount of revenue. The certificate having already settled the matter, the chapter regarding dispute or uncertainty is closed anon and for ever. It is extremely difficult to conceive that the legislature could have intended 'citation to appear' to have been one of the modes or processes for recovering the arrear of revenue without looking forward to the obedience of that process by the person against whom it is directed.

36. It has been argued that the processes from (b) to (h) are coercive but 'a writ of demand' or 'a citation to appear' is not a coercive process. According to Wharton, a writ is:

a judicial process by which any one is summoned as an offender and is also a legal instrument to enforce obedience to the orders and sentences of the Courts.' A writ of demand is a peremptory order to pay.

37. 'A citation to appear' cannot be otherwise than a peremptory order to appear, if the arrear of revenue is not paid. It is coercive because he has to leave his business and has to undergo the worry, trouble and expense of a journey to the Tahsil. The appearance before the Tahsildar as a defaulter is humiliation enough. He is exposed to the risk of being arrested by the Tahsildar if the latter chooses to do so. Besides this, he has to pay the expenses of the process issued to him. It is the extent of the privation, wherein lies the compulsion.

38. The word 'citation' does not appear to have been used in Sections 146 and 147, Land Revenue Act in a technical sense. 'Citation' may have a limited or a technical meaning in a particular statute relating to ecclesiastical law or to law relating to probate and administration. But it is not permissible to construe words in one Act by a reference to the use of the same words in another Act which is not in pari materia with the former. It was held in the case of Muddoo Soodan Dey v. BamaChuran Mookerji 1 Hydge 100 that the meaning of an Act is to be gathered solely by a reference to the Act itself. In Walji Karimji v. Jagannath Premji [1877] 2 Bom. 84 it was held that:

enactments in pari material should be read together as if they were one law and interpreted as consistently and harmoniously as their language will fairly admit but an enquiry into the vicissitudes which a measure experienced in the course of its passage as a bill through the legislature is not a legitimate mode of ascertaining the intention of the legislature.

39. It is, therefore, submitted with respect that it is not legitimate to construe the words 'citation to appear' in Sections 146 and 147, Land Revenue Act by a reference to Section 69, Act 5 of 1881 or Sections 199 and 250, Succession Act (Act 10 of 1865). Section 69, Act 5 of 1881 is a replica of Section 250, Succession Act of 1865 and provides that it shall be lawful for the District Judge..., to issue citations calling upon all persons claiming to have any interest in the estate of the deceased to come and see the proceedings before the grant of probate or letters of administrations. The citation here is a general citation and is not addressed to a particular individual by name. The citation is not addressed to persons who do not put forward any claim in the estate of the deceased. It is not a process for enforcement of a pre-existing liability as in the case of a defaulting landholder. If a person having a claim to the estate of the deceased holds himself back, he exposes himself to the risk of an ex parte order against him or to his prejudice. But no liability has been incurred till this order has been passed. Section 199 is clear that no appearance on the part of the next-of-kin is contemplated and he has the option to accept or refuse the letters of administration.

40. It is worthy of note that a mode of publication of the citation was prescribed by the Probate and Administration Act and the Succession Act. In the Land Revenue Act, no mode for the service of the citation under Section 147 has been specifically, provided for. But the mode of service of summons under the Act has been expressly provided. This could not be treated as a case of omission from inadvertence. It is rather suggestive of the fact that the framers of the Act considered the two terms to be synonymous.

41. In Section 151, N.W.P. Land Revenue Act (Act 19 of 1873) there was a provision for the 'writ of demand' but there was no provision of the issue of a citation or summons to the defaulting zamindar. In Section 114, Land Revenue Act of Oudh (Act 17 of 1876), there was a provision for both, that is, there was a provision for 'a writ of demand' and, alternatively, for 'a summons to appear.' Under Act 3 of 1901, the two aforesaid Acts were repealed and they were consolidated into one. In the new Act, a provision has been made for both, with this difference that the word 'citation' has been substituted for 'summons.' This would suggest that the legislature considered the word 'summons' and 'citation' as convertible terms. As has already been observed, the context, where the words 'citation' has been used, is also indicative of the same conclusion. The word 'citation' has to be read with reference to the context and not divorced from it, and the interpretation as to the nature and character of the citation may be mild in one case and more severe in another if the mildness or severity is to be assigned to the legal effect of the process. But it would depend in each case upon the text of the statute with special reference to the character of the proceedings, it relates to. Having regard therefore (1) to the natural and grammatical meaning of the word 'citation,' (2) to the general scheme of the Land Revenue Act and (3) to the use of the word 'citation' with reference to the context, it is clear that 'citation to appear' cannot but have one meaning, namely, 'summons to appear.' There is no ambiguity in the word 'citation to appear' and the words cannot be construed to mean citation to appear or not to appear at the option of the person served with the citation. There can be no warrant for introducing words into the text of Section 147 as an addition or an alternative. It will be trenching upon the province of the legislature to add an inconsistent alternative into the text.

42. There are certain sections of the Land Revenue Act, where the word 'summons, has been used; for example, Sections 123, 194, 195 and 201. In Section 193,' all persons' summoned 'are bound to appear.' If after due service they do not attend, they are, it is submitted liable to be prosecuted under Section 174, I.P.C. It was not necessary to aid a provision to Section 147 like the one in Section 193, because the legislature has already declared its mind in Section 146 that citation to appear is a process for enforcing payment of arrears of revenue and it follows that it has to be obeyed.

43. It cannot be argued from this that the framers of the Act in using the word 'citation' Sections 116 and 147 deliberately intended to use a word of different connotation from 'summons.' A comparison of those sections with Sections 146 and 147, Land Revenue Act, satisfies me that no distinctiation or differention was intended to be made. Sections 146 and 147 are to be found in Chap. 8 which relates to collection of revenue. The matters dealt with therein are purely fiscal and administrative. Sections 193, 194, 195 and 201 are to be found in Chap. 9, which relates to procedure of revenue Courts and Revenue Officers. It is not unlikely that 'summons' and 'citation' were used as mere variants of the same idea and two words were used to mark off the nature and character of the proceedings before the Revenue Officers concerned but the nature and obligatory character of the 'summons' or 'citations' are different according to the nature of the proceedings.

44. The learned Government Advocate has invited the attention of this Court to the following decisions in support of his appeal. In the matter of Surju, decided by Knox, A.C.J., and Tudball, J. Ram Bali v. Emperor [1910] 13 O.C. 55, decided by Messrs. Chamier and Evans, JJ., which overruled an unreported decision of Mr. Piggot founded upon the report of the Select Committee: Chandrika Singh v. Emperor A.I.R. 1928 Oudh 122, decided by Stuart, C.J. and Pullan, J. The last mentioned case expressly dissents from the Division Bench ruling of this Court in Emperor V. Bhirgu Singh : AIR1927All122 . I am in general agreement with the reasonings of the learned Judges in this case. In Banwari Lal v. Emperor : AIR1927All49 , Sulaiman, J., is reported to have observed as follows:

The question is whether 'the citation to appear' doss not coma, within the expression 'summons, notice, order of proclaimation.

45. If the matter were entirely res integra I would have been inclined to hold that the citation was at any rate, a notice, if not, a sumnons or order, and that, therefore, its disobedience was covered by Section 174, I.P.C. I might have sought support from the case of Ram Bali v. Emperor [1910] 13 O.C. 55, if the matter were not concluded by a recent pronouncement of a Division Bench in Emperor v. Bhirgu Singh : AIR1927All122 , which is binding on me as a single Judge.

46. A point is sought to be made of the fact that no penalty for non-attendance has been provided for in the Land Revenue Act as appears to have been done in Section 2 of Act 21 of 1866. This cannot be treated as an example of a casus omissus nor can an inference be drawn from this omission. Section 174, I.P.C., was already on the statute book to meet the situation and it was not necessary to make a special provision for a case like this in the body of the Land Revenue Act.

47. There can be no charm in the word 'citation' or 'summons.' Citation or summons may be issued to a party or to a Witness or to a party who is sought to be examined in the case as a witness. The object may be to give notice to a party of some suit, application or other proceeding. In such a case the party is not bound to appear in Court although his non-appearance may entail the consequence of an exparte order against him (see for instance Order 9, Civil P.C.). Again the object may be to compell his appearance in Court to give evidence. In such a case, he is legally bound to appear in Court and he cannot be allowed to contumaciously withhold his appearance. A summons to a witness is a process of a mandatory character. In a civil suit, the Court has summary powers to proceed against him and pass orders under O.16, Rule 12, Civil P.C. The rule aforesaid, however, does not take away the powers of the Court to prosecute him under Section 174, I.P.C. Cases of deliberate disobedience of summons are rare. Even where they occur the civil Courts may deal with the offender under Order 16, Rule 12, and not file a complaint against him in the criminal Court under 8. 174, I.P.C. I am by no means certain that witnesses are never prosecuted by the civil Court for disobedience of summons, although I must say that there are no reported cases where this has taken place. The powers of the civil Court in this respect are foreign to the enquiry in hand. Whether a party or a witness was bound to appear in a proceeding of a civil nature has to be determined by a reference to the nature of the proceeding and the provision of the particular statute under which he is served with the notice. Any answer for or against cannot be made in the abstract and the answer cannot be helpful in the solution of the question which is now before us, which has to be determined by a reference to the relevant portions of the Land Revenue Act and nothing beyond.

48. Section 201, Land Revenue Act provides that no ex parte order or order by default shall be set aside without a notice of the application to the opposite party. This section is analogous to Order 9, Rule 14, Civil P.C. Here the notice served to a party is not for personal appearance. It is a matter of his option to appear or not to appear but non-appearance exposes him to certain legal consequences. It may be conceded at once that the party served with notice in these cases is not legally bound to appear.

49. I hold, therefore, that where a citation has been issued to a person who is in arrear of Government revenue under Section 147, Land Revenue Act, the said citation is a summons within the meaning of Section 174, I.P.C., that the accused was legally bound to appear in the Court of the Tahsildar in obedience to it and that by his failure to attend, he was guilty under Section 174, I.P.C.

50. I would, therefore, allow the Government appeal and convict the accused.

51. The result is that the appeal by the Local Government fails and is hereby dismissed, and the acquittal of Himanchal Singh accused of an offence under Section 174, I, P.C. is hereby confirmed.


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