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Munni Lal Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectExcise
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1936All361
AppellantMunni Lal
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
- - the motive of the buyer, namely the informer in this case, is perfectly immaterial. 3. i think that munni lal's act clearly amounted to sale and that the object of the informer or mr......the informer of mr. jagdamba prasad should purchase cocaine from munni lal in the presence of mr. surya narain, a deputy collector, who had been recently transferred to allahabad. the informer and mr. surya narain proceeded to the house of the accused who was found standing at his door. the informer handed over a currency note of rs. 10 to manni lal and asked for cocaine. munni lal demanded an additional sum of 8 annas but on the informer asking him to remit that sum he accepted rs. 10 for the two packets of cocaine which he brought out from the house and handed them over to the informer. the latter there and then passed them on to mr. surya narain. there is no dispute that the content of those packets was cocaine. on these facts the applicant has been tried and convicted of an offence.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Niamatullah, J.

1. This is an application in revision by Munni Lal who has been convicted under Section 14, Dangerous Drugs Act, in that he sold cocaine. The Excise Inspector, Mr. Jagdamba Prasad, informed the District Excise Officer, Mr. Abbasi, that the applicant Munni Lal was in the habit of selling cocaine and that he had done so a number of times during the ten or twelve days preceding. It was arranged that the informer of Mr. Jagdamba Prasad should purchase cocaine from Munni Lal in the presence of Mr. Surya Narain, a Deputy Collector, who had been recently transferred to Allahabad. The informer and Mr. Surya Narain proceeded to the house of the accused who was found standing at his door. The informer handed over a currency note of Rs. 10 to Manni Lal and asked for cocaine. Munni Lal demanded an additional sum of 8 annas but on the informer asking him to remit that sum he accepted Rs. 10 for the two packets of cocaine which he brought out from the house and handed them over to the informer. The latter there and then passed them on to Mr. Surya Narain. There is no dispute that the content of those packets was cocaine. On these facts the applicant has been tried and convicted of an offence under Section 14, Dangerous Drugs Act, which makes selling of cocaine inter alia punishable with two years' rigorous imprisonment or with fine. The applicant had once before been convicted of a cognate offence and the sentence which the Magistrate considered necessary to pass was one year's rigorous imprisonment. The applicant had also been tried for the offence of being in possession of cocaine on a set of facts which are quite independent of the transaction of sale. The two trials were separate. The Magistrate convicted him of both, but on appeal the learned Sessions Judge quashed the conviction for being in possession of cocaine but confirmed the conviction for sale of the two packets of cocaine in the circumstances already described.

2. In revision it has been strongly contended by the applicant's learned Advocate that the sale was staged and cannot be considered to be one contemplated by Section 14, Dangerous Drugs Act. It is argued that sale in the legal sense implies mutuality, and unless both the seller and the buyer are actuated by a common desire of the commodity being sold by one and purchased by the other, the transaction cannot be considered to be a sale within the meaning of Section 14, Dangerous Drugs Act. The argument is that Mr. Surya Narain, to whom the informer passed on the packets, had no intention whatever of purchasing cocaine, and that in the circumstances of this case the unilateral act of Munni Lal cannot be considered to be such sale as is contemplated by Section 14, Dangerous Drugs Act. It is also urged that the transaction was entirely 'fictitious.' I do not think that the word 'sells,' occurring in Section 14, Dangerous Drugs Act, is used in any but the popular sense It merely implies transfer of a commodity for a price paid or promised to be paid. In this case Munni Lal meant to transfer the two packets of cocaine for a price and actually did so. The sale was in point of fact to the informer, but it would have made no difference if Mr. Surya Narain had been the purchaser. The motive of the buyer, namely the informer in this case, is perfectly immaterial. It may be that his object was merely to demonstrate in the presence of Mr. Surya Narain that Munni Lal sold cocaine, but the facts which constituted the transaction of sale were all present.

3. I think that Munni Lal's act clearly amounted to sale and that the object of the informer or Mr. Surya Narain will not affect the real nature of the transaction. It is also urged that in so far as the prosecutor, namely Mr. Jagdamba Prasad, had brought this transaction Section 14 cannot be held to be applicable. For the reasons already stated I think the only question is whether the applicant sold cocaine and the fact that the Excise Inspector brought it about to entrap him will not make it any the less sale. All that has been said is based on the assumption that Munni Lal sold cocaine to the informer in the presence of Mr. Surya Narain. It is pointed out that the whole story for the prosecution rests on the evidence of Mr. Surya Narain and that he gave a totally incorrect description of the house where cocaine is alleged to have been sold. The only effect which can be given to this argument, if it be accepted, is that Mr. Surya Narain's evidence should not be accepted as true. His evidence has been accepted by both the Courts below. He is a man of position and there was not the slightest motive on his part to be a party to a false prosecution. I think Mr. Surya Narain who was new to the station did not accurately remember the description of the applicant's house and hence he gave incorrect details of the premises. Lastly an appeal has been made for the reduction of sentence, The offence of selling cocaine is very serious and the applicant was once before convicted of a similar offence. I do not think that in all the circumstances of the case that the sentence is excessive. This application is dismissed.


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