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Sheo NaraIn Lal Vs. A.N. Rastogi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMisc. Case No. 5 of 1958
Judge
Reported inAIR1964All16; 1964CriLJ24
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 268 and 290
AppellantSheo NaraIn Lal
RespondentA.N. Rastogi and ors.
Appellant AdvocateKesri Bir Pd., Adv.
Respondent AdvocateStanding Counsel for Opposite Party 1
DispositionPetition allowed
Excerpt:
criminal - public nuisance - sections 290 and 268 of indian penal code, 1860 - taxes to panchayat not paid - petitioner convicted under section 290 - not paying taxes does not amount to public nuisance - cannot be convicted under section 290 - conviction liable to be quashed. - 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..........laharpur, district sitapur, for having committed offences under sections 290 and 174 of the indian penal code. he was sentenced to pay a fine of rs. 10/- on each count. on a revision having been filed by him, sri rule n. rastogi sub-divisional magistrate, sitapur, set aside the order of conviction in respect of section 174 of the indian penal code but maintained the said order in so far as section 290 of the indian penal code is concerned. section 290 lays down that whoever commits a public nuisance in any case not otherwise punishable by this code, shall be punished with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees. the allegation against the petitioner was that he had not paid panchayat taxes for 1355 and 1356 fasli, and further that he was unable to offer any explanation as to why he.....
Judgment:
ORDER

N.U. Beg, J.

1. The applicant was convicted by the Nyaya Panchayat, Lachhannagar, police station Laharpur, district Sitapur, for having committed offences under Sections 290 and 174 of the Indian Penal Code. He was sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 10/- on each count. On a revision having been filed by him, Sri Rule N. Rastogi Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Sitapur, set aside the order of conviction in respect of Section 174 of the Indian Penal Code but maintained the said order in so far as Section 290 of the Indian Penal Code is concerned. Section 290 lays down that whoever commits a public nuisance in any case not otherwise punishable by this Code, shall be punished with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees. The allegation against the petitioner was that he had not paid Panchayat taxes for 1355 and 1356 Fasli, and further that he was unable to offer any explanation as to why he did not do it. Public nuisance has been defined in Section 268 as follows :

'A person is guilty of a public nuisance who does any act or is guilty of an illegal omission which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicility, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right.

A common nuisance is not excused on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage.'

2. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner has argued before me that non-payment of tax by a person can, by no stretch of imagination be brought within the purview of the aforementioned definition of 'public nuisance'. Non-payment of Panchayat taxes may result in injury to the revenues of the Panchayat. It cannot, however, be said that an omission to pay the same causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public. The public is a body different from the Panchayat, and the one has nothing to do with the other. In fact, there may be a clash between the interests of the public which is required to pay taxes and the interests of the Panchayat which imposes taxes on the public. The imposition of the taxes may be against the wishes of the public. There may be cases where the public may want to resist the payment of the taxes to statutory bodies. It cannot, therefore, be said that non-payment of taxes to the Panchayat must necessarily cause injury, danger or annoyance to the public.

3. For the above reasons, I am of opinion that even accepting the allegation of the prosecution it is not possible to bring the case within the purview of Section 290 of the Indian Penal Code.

4. I, accordingly, allow this writ petition and quash the conviction of the applicant under the said section. The, fine, if paid, shall be refunded.

5. No order as to costs.


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