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S.M. Fazlul Haq and anr. Vs. State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Misc. Case No. 397 of 1963
Judge
Reported inAIR1964All103; 1964CriLJ324
ActsIndian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 183, 448 and 454 - Order 21, Rule 35 - Order 40, Rule 1; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 195
AppellantS.M. Fazlul Haq and anr.
RespondentState
Appellant AdvocateGirdhar Nath and ;Gopi Nath, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateN.C. Upadhya, Asstt. Govt. Adv.
Excerpt:
.....- sections 448, 454 and 183 of indian penal code, 1860 and section 195 of criminal procedure code, 1898 - receiver taking possession of shops under order of court - also taking possession of accused's property even though not ordered by court - accused entering into his shop premises - cannot be held to have committed any offence as accused entitled to property - proceedings under sections 448 and 454 alleged to be vitiated for want of complaint - no offence committed therefore proceedings not vitiated for want of complaint. - - his first argument was that the possession of the receiver must be deemed to be possession on behalf of all the parties, and, as the nature of the suit itself shows that the applicants have some title in the properties in question, the receiver must, in..........(supra). i findmyself in agreement with the decisions reported in air 1918 all 365 : air1933all816 and : air1960cal189 mentioned above.it, therefore, follows that, on the prosecution,allegations themselves, no offence under sections 448 and 454 indian penal code can be said to have been made out against the applicants. as regards the offence under section 183 indian penal code learned counsel for the state has conceded that,on the prosecution allegations, no such offence can be said to have been committed. the prosecution of the applicants, therefore, is wholly unjustified.10. for the reasons given above, i allow this(sic)cation and quash the proceedings in criminalcase no. 44 of 1963 (state v. fazlul haq andanother) under sections 183, 448 and 454 indianpenal code pending in the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S.K. Verma, J.

1. This is an application under Section 561-A, Cri. P. C. The prayer in the application is that proceedings in criminal case No. 44 of 1963 (State v. Fazlul Haq) under Sections 183, 448 and 454, I. P. C. be quashed.

2. The facts giving rise to this application may be briefly summarised as follows. A suit, No. 162 of 1955, was filed in the Court of the 1st Additional Civil Judge of Kanpur by the applicants' own sister Smt. Sultan Jahan Begam for partition of certain family properties including a shop and a running business styled as Messrs. Mohd. Hafeez Mohd. Siddiq, 42/137 Meston Road, Kanpur. On the 18th of November, 1960, the learned Civil Judge appointed one Sri Daya Shanker Mehrotra as Receiver of the properties in suit. On the 19th of November, 1960, the applicants were in possession of the shop in dispute and they moved an application on the same date for the transfer of the case in the Court of the learned District Judge, and the proceedings in the case were stayed. On the 19th of November, 1960, the applicants came to Allahabad to file an appeal against the order of the learned Civil Judge dated 18-11-1960 appointing Sri Daya Shanker Mehrotra as Receiver. On the 20th of November, 1960, the applicants received a telegram from Kanpur informing them that the applicants' locks on the shop in dispute had been tampered with. They thereupon went to Kanpur and entered the shop to find out whether any articles had been removed or not. The Receiver lodged a protest against the applicants' entry into the shop and the Police was also sent for.

On the 20th of November, 1960, a report was lodged by the Receiver alleging that the applicants had removed the Receiver's locks on the shop in dispute. The Police took no action, and thereupon the Receiver made a report to the learned Civil Judge, who lodged a report with the Police by his letter dated 21/22-11-1960 21/22-11-1960 . In the meantime the applicant's first appeal from order against the order of the learned Civil Judge dated 18-11-1960 appointing Sri Daya Shanker Mehrotra as Receiver, which had been filed some time after the 2oth of November, 1960, was admitted and this Court stayed the operation of the order of the learned Civil Judge. On the report lodged by the learned Civil Judge the Police submitted a final report in the year 1960. The matter was re-investigated and a final report was submitted by the Police a second time in the year 1961. The learned Judicial Officer thereafter directed the Police to submit a charge-sheet. In consequence, the Police submitted a charge-sheet under Sections 183, 448 and 454 Indian Penal Code against the applicants. The gravamen of the offence allegedagainst the applicants is that they committed trespass by interfering with the Receiver's possession over the shop in dispute.

3. I have taken the facts summarised above from the affidavit filed in support of this application and those facts must be taken to be correct, as no counter affidavit has been filed to controvert them.

4. The first point urged by the learned counsel for the applicants is that the applicants' prosecution is illegal for want of a proper complaint under Section 195 Criminal Procedure Code. As regards the offences under Sections 448 and 454 Indian Penal Code, learned counsel for the applicants has contended that as the offence under Section 183 Indian Penal Code is alleged to have been committed by the very act of trespass, the two are inseparable, and if the prosecution, under Section 183 Indian Penal Code cannot be proceeded with, the prosecution under the remaining two sections also must cease. Certain authorities have been relied upon by the learned counsel for the applicants, but I do not propose to go into them, for it has been rightly contended by the learned counsel for the State that, so far, no charge has been framed against the applicants under Section 183 Indian Penal Code and, as the facts do not in fact disclose any offence under that section, the likelihood is that the Court will not frame a charge against the applicants under Section 183 Indian Penal Code, in which event the proceedings will not be vitiated for want of a complaint.

5. It was next contended by the learned counsel for the applicants that, in law, no offence under Sections 448 and 454 Indian Penal Code can be said to have been made out, even if all the allegations made by the prosecution are accepted to be correct. He has supported this contention of his by a number of arguments. His first argument was that the possession of the Receiver must be deemed to be possession on behalf of all the parties, and, as the nature of the suit itself shows that the applicants have some title in the properties in question, the Receiver must, in law, be helds to be in possession, if he is in possession at all, on behalf of the applicant as well as the other parties and that, therefore, the applicants cannot possibly be deemed to have committed criminal trespass by entering upon the premises in question. For this argument, he has relied upon Kerr on Receivers, 7th Edition, p. 188 and Eastern Mortgage and Agency Co., Ltd. v. Mohammad Fazlul Karim AIR 1926 Cal 385. In my opinion this contention of the learned counsel for the applicants is perfectly correct.

6. The second argument advanced by the learned counsel for the applicants was that in fact there was no order of the Court below directing the Receiver to take possession. His order simply was to the effect that Sri Daya Shanker Mehrotra was appointed Receiver. I have been referred to the provisions of Order XL, Rule 1, and there can be no doubt that an order directing the Receiver to take possession was absolutely necessary and it is conceded that no such order exists on the record. In Ramakrishna v. Ganpati AIR 1923 Nag 6 Hallifax, A. J. C. held that 'where a poison, who is to be appointed Receiver, is asked to produresecurity, he cannot be deemed to be appointed till he produces security and that the appointment of a Receiver does not of itself vest the property in him. He also observed as follows:-

'The transfer of the property to his (Receiver's) possession,' actual or constructive, and theconferral of special powers on him require specificorders under Clause (b), (c) and (d) of the samerule (Order XL Rule 1, Civil Procedure Code).'

The contention of learned counsel for the Applicants is that in fact without an order directing theReceiver to take possession, his putting his ownlocks on the premises in dispute was wrongful and,in any event, it cannot amount to the applicants'dispossession. This argument also, is, in myopinion, perfectly correct, and it must be accepted.

7. The next argument, in support of the contention that in fact no offence of criminal trespass has been committed, is that possession was not taken according to law. What learned counsel really means is that by what the Receiver did he cannot be said to have obtained possession. The argument is that possession has to be taken according to law. He has referred me to Section 36 and Order XXI, Rule 35 Civil Procedure Code. Section 36 of the Code reads as follows:-

'The provisions of this Code relating to the execution of decrees shall, so far as they are applicable, be deemed to apply to the execution of orders.'

Rule 35 of Order XXI provides the modes by which a decree for immovable property can be executed. Sub-rule (3) of Rule 35 of Order XXI provides the mode in which possession should be delivered. There cannot be the slightest doubt that the Receiver in this case did not follow the procedure laid down in the Civil Procedure Code, for obtaining possession. He simply sealed the applicants' locks on the shop in question and put his own locks on it. I am, therefore, unable to resist the conclusion that the receiver cannot, in law, be said to have been in possession of the shop in question on the 20th of November, 1960, that is to say, the date on which the applicants entered the shop. I may here also refer to another case of Kaku Singh v. Gobind Singh in which it was held that:-

'Delivery of symbolical possession given in the circumstances in which actual possession ought to have been given is a nullity as symbolical possession is not actual possession nor is it equivalent to actual possession except where the Civil Procedure Code expressly or by implication provides that it should have that effect.'

8. Lastly it has been argued that every act of unlawful possession does not amount to a criminal offence. In Bhagwan Din, v. Emperor AIR 1918 All 365 formal possession of a particular holding had been delivered to the complainant under a decree. The accused filed an appeal against the decree and, during the pendency of that appeal, they entered on the holding and ploughed up the land for cultivation. Subsequently, it was held in the appeal that one of the accused was entitled to occupancy rights in the holding. Banerji, J., held that the accused could not possibly be said to have intended to commit an offence or tointimidate, insult or annoy the zamindar decree-holder, when they entered on the land which formed their occupancy holding for the purpose of ploughing and cultivating it. In Baldewa v. Emperor : AIR1933All816 the accused bad entered, upon a railway property for the purpose, of erecting a building, entertaining a bona fide claim of.' title to the land in question. The Courts below had found that the property on which the entry had been made by the accused belonged to and was in possession of the Railway. Upon these facts Bajpai, J., said this:-

'I may further hold that Baldewa's act although in assertion of a bona fide title was an unlawful act, but every unlawful act is not necessary an offence (See Section 40, Penal Code) and an intention to commit an unlawful act not being, one of the acts mentioned in Section 440, Penal Code, the mere entry does not render the accompanying trespass a criminal trespass.'

In State v. Abdul Sukur : AIR1960Cal189 the accused entered on certain premises in the absence of the complainant, N. K. Sen, J., observed as follows :-

'The question, therefore, is if the complainant himself was not present, who was the person whom the accused intended to annoy? . The evidence in the case has nowhere suggested that the accused had the intent of annoying Golam Muhammad. It is also not the case of the complainant that by entering into the building the accused persons intended to commit any other offence. It may he that by the entry into the building the ultimate result would be to cause annoyance to the complainant. It was pointed out in the case of Satish Chandra Mbdak v. The King, 53 Cal WN 402 : (AIR 1949 Cal 107) by Sen, J., that the intent to annoy and intimidate must be not with respect to any and every person connected with the property but with respect to any person in actual possession of such property. A person in constructive possession is not contemplated by Section 441 Indian Penal Code. The view was also taken by Debabrata Mookerjee, J., in the case of Bata Krishna Ghosh v. The State : AIR1957Cal385 where His Lordship also pointed out that a mere knowledge on the part of the accused that the result of their act is likely to cause annoyance or insult or intimidation to the complainant was wholly insufficient to sustain a charge of trespass. The section indeed speaks not of knowledge but of intention.'

9. I have already pointed out above that the nature of the suit filed against the applicants itself shows that the applicants too had title in the shop in dispute. I have also pointed out above that the applicants' locks were there, and the mere sealing of the locks and putting his own by the Receiver cannot, in law, amount to the applicants dispossession. In the present case I am of the view that the entry of the applicants into the shop in question was not even unlawful; it was much less a criminal offence. Learned counsel for the State has relied upon the case of Jamuna Das v. Emperor : AIR1945All26 . In this case Girish Prasad Mathur, J., was not only of the view that the facts of the case reported in : AIR1933All816 were distinguishable but he dissented from the viewexpressed by Eajpai, J., in that case. This is the solitary case on the other side and the view expressed therein is contrary to the weight of the authorities I have already referred to above. Moreover, the facts of that case are clearly distinguishable. Inthat case the accused undoubtedly entered the premises of the complainant in his absence but he remained there until the complainant arrived and, on the latter's protest, adopted a threatening attitude and by so doing he undoubtedly was guiltyof criminal trespass. On the facts of that case,I agree with Girish Prasad Mathur, J., that theoffence of criminal trespass had been committed,but 1 respectfully dissent from him in so far he hasexpressed his disagreement with the view taken byBajpai, J., in : AIR1933All816 (supra). I findmyself in agreement with the decisions reported in AIR 1918 All 365 : AIR1933All816 and : AIR1960Cal189 mentioned above.

It, therefore, follows that, on the prosecution,allegations themselves, no offence under Sections 448 and 454 Indian Penal Code can be said to have been made out against the applicants. As regards the offence under Section 183 Indian Penal Code learned counsel for the State has conceded that,on the prosecution allegations, no such offence can be said to have been committed. The prosecution of the applicants, therefore, is wholly unjustified.

10. For the reasons given above, I allow this(sic)cation and quash the proceedings in criminalcase No. 44 of 1963 (State v. Fazlul Haq andanother) under Sections 183, 448 and 454 IndianPenal Code pending in the Court of Sri S. N.Sharma, Judicial Officer, Kanpur.


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