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Suresh Prakash Vs. Krishna Swarup and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1976CriLJ462
AppellantSuresh Prakash
RespondentKrishna Swarup and ors.
Excerpt:
- - learned counsel for the petitioner has also argued that section 133 requires that the magistrate should be satisfied but the magistrate has not recorded any such satisfaction while issuing the notice to the applicant. when no preliminary order .at all was passed for removing the building i fail to understand how by modifying the order issued against the tenant the landlord can be asked to remove the building......to give a restricted interpretation to the words 'due process of law' that they refer only to civil proceedings.4. learned counsel for the applicant has also argued that the dispute is of a civil nature and recourse should not have been taken to the proceedings under section 133, cr.p.c. in support of this contention he has placed reliance on the case of asharfi lai v. state (1965) 1 cri lj 535 (all), and in jwala prasad v. state, 1958 all wr (hc) 866. these cases pertain to removal of obstruction from] the public way. in one case such obstruction was continuing for 16 years and in another case it was continuing for 40 years. but suddenly proceedings were started under section 133, cr.p.c. when the dispute was of such nature which should have been decided by the civil court. both.....
Judgment:
ORDER

H.N. Kapoor, J.

1. This petition has been filed toy Suresh Prakash under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for quashing the proceedings in case No, 2 under Section 133, Cr.P.C. pending in the court of City Magistrate, Etawah,

2. Suresh Prakash claims to be tenant of the shop which is sought to be demolished. Proceedings under Sec 133, Cr.P.C. were started on the basis of the application of Krishna Swarup and his brothers, opposite parties, who are the owners of the building No, 125 in Mo'halla Karsol, Etawah, of which the shop is a portion. The application was supported by a report of the Engineer to the effect that the building had (become very old and was in a dilapidated condition and was likely to fall down. That report of the Engineer has been annexed to the counter-affidavit but there is reference to it in the subsequent order of the Magistrate .passed on 2-6-1975. The Magistrate passed the preliminary order under Section 133, Cr.P.C. against the petitioner on 8-4-1975 which was to the effect that it has been made to appear to him that the portion of the building has become in such a condition that it was likely to fall any moment and thereby to cause injury to .persons living in the neighbourhood and the pedestrians passing on the railway station Gwalior Road and that in consequence the removal of the portion of the building was urgent to save the life and property of the general public and the petitioner being licen-cee, he was directed to vacate the building within 7 days or to appear in his court on the date fixed and show cause. It appears that the petitioner had already filed suit No. 472 of 1973 against the landlord for restraining them from demolishing that building. That suit is said to be still pending. In that suit an interim injunc- tion order dated 17-3-1975 was obtained by the .petitioner which was to the effect that the defendants' (i.e. present opposite parties) were restrained from either demolishing the shop in suit or from evicting the .plaintiff from the said shop except in due process of law. The applicant appeared before the Magistrate and moved an application to the effect that the proceedings should be dropped because the same matter was pending in the court of the Munsif and an injunction order has already been issued. It was also stated in the application that the entire proceedings had been started mala fide by the landlords. The learned Magistrate considered that application and after hearing the applicant .passed another order dated 2-6-1975 to the effect that the case would proceed in spite of the injunction order as (by that order the Magistrate has not been restrained and has not put any bar even on the defendants to proceed according to law. Feeling aggrieved by this order this petition was filed,

3. learned Counsel for the petitioner has argued that any final order passed by the Magistrate in the proceedings under Section 133, Cr.P.C. would be in conflict with the injunction order passed by the Munsif as ultimately the landlord alone would be required to demolish the building under Section 133, Cr P.C. As already stated above there is no bar to the landlord demolishing the building in due process of law. The learned Counsel has argued that due process of law would mean under the decree of a civil court where rights or title of the parties can be decided. He has placed reliance on the definition of the word 'due' as given in Webster dictionary. It means 'right' or 'title'. This- definition applies when the word 'due' is used as a noun, In case the landlord who is the defendant in the civil suit is ordered to demolish a building under Section 133, Cr.P.C. by the Magistrate and he demolishes it in pursuance of that order, it can certainly be said that he acted in due process of law, I am not prepared to give a restricted interpretation to the words 'due process of law' that they refer only to civil proceedings.

4. learned Counsel for the applicant has also argued that the dispute is of a civil nature and recourse should not have been taken to the proceedings under Section 133, Cr.P.C. In support of this contention he has placed reliance on the case of Asharfi Lai v. State (1965) 1 Cri LJ 535 (All), and in Jwala Prasad v. State, 1958 All WR (HC) 866. These cases pertain to removal of Obstruction from] the public way. In one case such obstruction was continuing for 16 years and in another case it was continuing for 40 years. But suddenly proceedings were started under Section 133, Cr.P.C. when the dispute was of such nature which should have been decided by the Civil Court. Both these oases are distinguish-' able. Reliance was also placed on the case of Mangal Sen v. Kewal Ram : AIR1940All75 in which a flour mill was working for the last 10 years and earlier proceedings under Section 133, Cr.P.C. on the ground of nuisance had already been taken and the directions had been given by the Magistrate for fixing silencers and for regulating working hours. Those directions had not been violated. It was held that subsequent proceeding for removing the flour mill on the ground of nuisance was not justified. That case is also distinguishable.

5. learned Counsel for the applicant has also argued that Section 133, Cr.P.C. is meant for removing public nuisance and not private nuisance. In support of this contention he has placed reliance on the case of Ramu v. Murli Das : AIR1943All19 and Shaukat Hussain v. Sheodayal Sak-saina, 1958 Cri LJ 1319 (Madh. Pra.). There can ibe no dispute with this principle. No person has a right to agitate any matter under Section 133, Cr.P.C. as a private dispute. He can only bring to the notice of the Magistrate and then it is for the Magistrate to take ^proceedings under Section 133, Cr.P.C. or not. After he has started proceedings the matter will be between the Magistrate on the one side on behalf of the .public at large and the person on the other side to whom notice was issued, as was held in the case of Ramu v. Murli Das AIR 1943 AH 19 :(1943) 44 Cri Lj 205). But certainly there is no bar to the landlord himself bringing this fact to the notice of the Magistrate. In the present case the application made by the landlord was supported by a report of the Government Engineer. There was reference to this report in the order of the Magistrate dated 2-6-1975 but that report itself was not filed along with the petition. It was filed along with the counter-affidavit, in the rejoinder affidavit a statement has been made that the Engineer was related to Krishna Swamp and was his brother-in-law. This allegation made at the late stage in the rejoinder affidavit could not have been rebutted. learned Counsel for the petitioner has also argued that Section 133 requires that the Magistrate should be satisfied but the Magistrate has not recorded any such satisfaction while issuing the notice to the applicant. I find that under Form No. 20 of the 2nd Schedule the form of the order required to be passed under Section 133, Cr.P.C. is given and the order was pass-eu according to this form.

6. learned Counsel for the (petitioner has also argued that the same matter can now be decided by the civil court under U, P. Urban Buildings (Regulations of Letting Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972 and the building can be got demolished under the ,provisions of that Act and so the applicant should have taken recourse to the proceedings under that Act. I had occasion to decide this matter in the case of Rewa Chandra v. Maqbool, 1974 All Lj 328 and I had held that the proceedings under Section 133, Cr.P.C. are independent of Civil Proceedings and proceedings under Act No. XIII of 1972. It is not necessary for me to repeat all those reasonings, in the case of Abdul Rashid v. State of U.P., 1970 All Cri C 301, D. D. Seth, J. also held that proceedings under Section 133, Cr.P.C. were independent of civil proceedings. It need not be dropped simply 'because civil suit could have been filed In the case of M. S. Sheriff v. State of Madras : [1954]1SCR1144 the Hon'ble Supreme Court had held that criminal proceedings should be given preference over civil proceedings. There is thus no bar to starting of proceedings under Section 133, Cr.P.C. simply because a civil suit had been filed by the petitioner or because proceedings could have been taken by the opposite parties for the ejectment of the petitioner for the purpose of demolishing the building under Act No. 13 of 1972.

7. learned Counsel for the petitioner has also argued that it was a mala fide act on the part of the opposite parties to have taken recourse to the proceedings under Section 133, Cr.P.C. which was only for the purpose of ousting the petitioner by such procedure. He had also stated that similar order had been obtained for ejecting another person from garage in 1971 but the garage had not been demolished. It is clear from the petition that the roof of the garage had already been demolished. It has been alleged in the rejoinder affidavit that its eastern wall is still standing. This allegation could not be rebutted although Mr, G. P. Dixit, learned Counsel for the opposite party offered to file a reply to the rejoinder affidavit during the course of arguments on this .point asserting that this allegation was wrong, it is not necessary for this Court to enter into these facts. It is certainly expected that the Magistrate will exercise his power under Section 133, Cr.P.C. reasonably and not for the purpose of siding one party against the other. When there are such serious allegations a greater caution is needed on the part of the Magistrate so that no injustice is done to any party.

8. There is, however, a very serous objection to the issue of the prelimi- nary notice dated 8-4-1975 under Section 133, Cr.P.C. which is Annexure 2 to the petition. It has been addressed only to the petitioner for vacating the premises. No doubt in the earlier .part of the notice it is stated that the removal of the portion of the building is urgent to save life and property of the general public but in the body of the notice no direction whatsoever has been given to the landlord to demolish or remove the building after it has been vacated. It is certainly possible to issue notice to the tenant to vacate the building for being demolished but that direction can be issued only when other direction has also been given to the landlord to demolish the building. It was so held in both the decisions cited above (1970 All Cri C 301 and 1974 All LJ 328). Under Section 133, Cr.P.C. primary direction is to be given to the person concerned for removing the structure. Certainly this direction could not have been given to the tenant or the licencee and liad to be given to the landlord. Only the ancillary direction is to be given to the tenant or the licencee to vacate the premises. Sri G, P, Dixit, learned Counsel for the opposite party has argued that under Section 138, Cri! P.C. while issuing the final order the learned Magistrate can either make the original order absolute or modify it. When no preliminary order .at all was passed for removing the building I fail to understand how by modifying the order issued against the tenant the landlord can be asked to remove the building. The notice issued by the Magistrate suffers from this serious defect and as such has to be quashed.

9. In the result the petition is allowed. The order passed by the City Magistrate dated 8-4-1975 is set aside and the subsequent proceedings started on the basis of this order are quashed. It shall, however, be open to the Magistrate concerned to take fresh proceedings according to law if he so deems necessary.


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