Skip to content


Municipal Board Vs. Kripa Ram and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 246 of 1963
Judge
Reported inAIR1965All160; 1965CriLJ412
ActsUttar Pradesh Municipalities Act, 1916 - Sections 293(2) and 299; Constitution of India - Article 20(2); Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 403(1)
AppellantMunicipal Board
RespondentKripa Ram and anr.
Appellant AdvocateShanti Swarup Bhatnagar, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateK.L. Grover, Adv.
DispositionAppeal allowed
Excerpt:
.....is occupying a khokha which is standing on the 'patri' of the municipal road. 10. thus it is clear that the respondent has failed to prove that he has been occupying the khokha with the permission of the municipal board and that he has been paying rent therefor. he has also failed to prove that the rent receipts (exs......a magistrate, 1st class, in a case under section 299 of the u. p. municipalities act, 1916. 2. the municipal board of saharanpur sent information to the city magistrate that the respondent has put on a khokha (temporary structure of wood) without the permission of the board, on the municipal land, which is creating obstruction in the free flow of the traffic on the municipal road which is against law and as such has made himself liable for punishment under section 299 of the act. cognizance was taken by the learned city magistrate on this information and he transferred the case to the court of h. p. srivastava, another magistrate, for trial. 3. the respondent was summoned and the substance of the accusation was stated to him. he admitted that he was occupying a khokha on the land of the.....
Judgment:

H.C.P. Tripathi, J.

1. This is an appeal by leave under Section 417(3) of Cr. P. C. against an order of acquittal recorded by a Magistrate, 1st Class, in a case under Section 299 of the U. P. Municipalities Act, 1916.

2. The Municipal Board of Saharanpur sent information to the City Magistrate that the respondent has put on a khokha (temporary structure of wood) without the permission of the Board, on the Municipal land, which is creating obstruction in the free flow of the traffic on the municipal road which is against law and as such has made himself liable for punishment under Section 299 of the Act. Cognizance was taken by the learned City Magistrate on this information and he transferred the case to the Court of H. P. Srivastava, another magistrate, for trial.

3. The respondent was summoned and the substance of the accusation was stated to him. He admitted that he was occupying a khokha on the land of the municipal board but asserted that the aforesaid khokha had been constructed by one Sona Ram with the permission of the Board.

4. The complainant Municipal Board examined its Fire Inspector Jai Bhagwan and Overseer Govind Singh in support of its case, Jai Bhagwan stated that the respondent had been occupying a khokha on the 'patri' of the municipal road without the permission of the Board and that it has been interfering with the free flow of the traffic. He expressed his ignorance as to whether any case has been filed in civil court in respect of the land under the khokha by the respondent and Sona Ram. P. W. 2 Govind Singh proved the site plan (Ex. Ka. 1. which he had prepared after inspecting the locality which shows that the khokha in question stands on the left 'patri' of the Nawabganj Road of the Municipal Board. From the testimony of these two witnesses as well as from the admission of the respondent it is abundantly clear that the respondent is occupying a khokha which is standing on the 'patri' of the municipal road. According to the prosecution witnesses this khokha does obstruct the free flow of the traffic on the road.

5. The relevant portion of the bye-law No. 1(c) framed by the Municipal Board of Saharanpur in accordance with the provisions of Section 293(2) of the Municipalities Act reads as under:

'1. No person shall, without the previous permission in writing of the Collector or the Chairman,or the Executive Officer of the Board, according as the property belongs to the Crown or the Board.

(a) ..................

(b) .............

(c) build upon, erect any structure, do anything upon, or occupy in any manner any road, patri, street or place, situated within the Municipality and being the property of the Crown or of the Board or being under the control of the Board:

...............'

6. A contravention of the provisions of bye-law No. 1 has been made punishable by buy-law No. 2 which runs as follows:

'2. Whoever contravenes the provisions of bye-law No. 1 shall on conviction be punishable with fine which may extend to Rs. 250/-, and, when the breach is a continuing one, with a further fine which may extend to Rs. 5/- for every day after the date of the first conviction during which the offender proved to have persisted in the offence.'

7. The question which requires determination in this case is as to whether the respondent is occupying the khokha with the permission of the municipal board or without its permission.

8. The respondent has not stated anywhere that he is occupying the khokha with the permission of the municipal board. His case is that the khokha was constructed by one Sona Ram after obtaining permission from the municipal board. In support of his allegations the respondent has (fled receipts (Exs. Kha 1 to kha 3) which have been granted by the municipal board in favour of Sona Ram in lieu of rent received from him for land given for putting khokha near Mission School (kiraya zamin lagan khokha Mission School). Rameshwar Dayal (D. W. I.) Superintendent, Municipal Board, Saharanpur, deposed to have signed these rent receipts on behalf of the Municipal Board. He however stated that the respondent had not made any payment of rent to the Municipal Board and that the receipts (Exs. Kha 1 to Kha 5) had been granted for 'Tahbazari' dues which had been realised for temporary use of the fund.

9. The other defence witness Sattan Lal asserted that the respondent had not put on a khokha but only a hut in which he carries on a shop but he did not know whether he pays any rent to the Municipal Board for the same.

10. Thus it is clear that the respondent has failed to prove that he has been occupying the khokha with the permission of the Municipal Board and that he has been paying rent therefor. He has also failed to prove that the rent receipts (Exs. Kha. 1 to Kha 5) which have been filed by him are in respect of rent paid by Sona Ram to the Municipal Board for the same land and for the same khokha which was being occupied by the respondent. Sona Ram himself has not come in the witness box and there is nothing on the record to connect these receipts with the impugned structure or the land under it.

11. It is really strange that the trial court missed this fact and accepted the receipts as evidence of permission having been granted by the Municipal Board to the respondent for occupying the khokha in question.

12. Even if it is assumed that the khokha in question was constructed by Sona Ram who had been paying rent therefor previously for some time to the Municipal Board, that will not entitle either Sona Ram to give it to the respondent or the respondent to occupy it without the permission of the Municipal Board.

13. Learned counsel for the respondent has urged that his client was being tried on the same facts and for the same offence before another Magistrate and the trial, which had given rise to this appeal, was barred under Article 20 of the Constitution and also under Section 403 of Cr. P. C. There is no evidence on this record that the respondent was prosecuted for the same offence and on the same facts in the court of another Magistrate and was convicted or acquitted. P. W. 1 Jai Bhagwan has stated that there was a case pending against the respondent in the court of Bishal Chandra Jain. That does not indicate the respondent was being prosecuted on the same facts and in respect of the same offence. Moreover, an offence under bye-law No. 2 o the Municipal Board read with Section 299 of the U. P. Municipalities Act is a continuing offence and if a person is prosecuted for having committed an offence during a particular period, there is no bar for prosecuting him again for committing a similar offence on some other date. Therefore the bar raised under Article 20 of the Constitution and under Section 403 of Cr. P. C. is not attracted to the facts of the present case.

14. Learned counsel for the respondent has argued that the complaint on which the cognizance of the case was taken by the Magistrate was defective and not by a competent person inasmuch as there is nothing to show that the Municipal Board had authorised its Executive Officer for filing the complaint. I do not find any force in this argument. No doubt the complaint on which the cognizance had been taken is not happily worded, but it has been signed by the Executive Officer Municipal Board and it mentions the accusation against the respondent to the effect that he had constructed a khokha without the permission of the Municipal Board on its land. Schedule II to the U. P. Municipalities Act which deals with the scheduled powers of an Executive Officer read with Section 60 of the Act makes it clear that it is within the competence of the Executive Officer to institute the prosecutions by making complaints and giving information, and to authorise other persons to make such complaints and to give such information.

15. The appeal is allowed. The judgment ofacquittal recorded by the learned Magistrate isset aside and the respondent is convicted under Section 299 of the U. P. Municipalities Act, 1916, readwith bye-law 2 of the Municipal Board of Saharanpur and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 25/- only.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //