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Darbari Singh Vs. Chandra Kali and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1974CriLJ384
AppellantDarbari Singh
RespondentChandra Kali and ors.
Excerpt:
- - 245 could have exercised ownership in any manner they liked and could have destroyed the drain if any which had not been authorised under the act. this definition clearly shows that water course need not be maintained bv the state government, section 70 (1) and (4) of the act is as follows: the applicants interfered with the authorised distribution of water and as such the applicants are clearly guilty of the offence of which they have been charged, 6. in the result, the revision is dismissed......the owner of plot no. 246. there was a drain running through plot no. 245 supplying water from the canal to plot no. 246. this drain was carved out during consolidation proceedings about seven years prior to the occurrence and the drain had been allotted a separate no. 242. the applicants destroyed this drain as a result of which the complainant could not get water and suffered a damage of rs. 2,500/- as her sugarcane crop had dried up.3. learned counsel for the applicants has argued that there is no evidence that this drain had any sanction of the canal department or proceedings had been taken under sections 20 and 21 for supply of water to plot no. 246 through this drain. his argument is that the applicants admittedly being the owners of plot no. 245 could have exercised ownership in.....
Judgment:
ORDER

H.N. Kapoor, J.

1. The applicants have been convicted under Section 70 of the U. P, Canal and Drainage Act and sentenced till the rising of the court. That order was maintained in appeal.

2. The prosecution case is that the applicants are the owners of plot No. 245 while the complainant Smt. Chandra Kali is the owner of plot No. 246. There was a drain running through plot No. 245 supplying water from the canal to plot No. 246. This drain was carved out during consolidation proceedings about seven years prior to the occurrence and the drain had been allotted a separate No. 242. The applicants destroyed this drain as a result of which the complainant could not get water and suffered a damage of Rs. 2,500/- as her sugarcane crop had dried up.

3. Learned Counsel for the applicants has argued that there is no evidence that this drain had any sanction of the canal Department or proceedings had been taken under Sections 20 and 21 for supply of water to Plot No. 246 through this drain. His argument is that the applicants admittedly being the owners of plot No. 245 could have exercised ownership in any manner they liked and could have destroyed the drain if any which had not been authorised under the Act. In support of this contention, he has placed reliance on the case of Moola Singh V. Surendra Singh : AIR1960All656 . In that case, a Division Bench of this Court held as follows:

The owner of the land over which a water-course runs has by the mere fact of the said ownership 'proper authority' to deal with it-including the right to damage it-unless the person complaining against that act is able to show that he had acquired a right to the user of the said water-course either under the Northern India Canal and Drainage Act, or under any other provision of law.

4. In the present case evidence has been led to show that this drain had been carved out during the consolidation proceedings and a separate No. 242 had been allotted to it and then it had been constructed. Obviously water was being supplied through this course before it was demolished by the applicants. This water course was thus duly authorised under the law. Water-course has been defined to Section 3 (2) of the Act which runs as follows:

Water-course means any channel which is supplied with water from a canal, but which is not maintained at the cost of the State Government and all the subsidiary works belonging to any such channel.

This definition clearly shows that water course need not be maintained bv the State Government, Section 70 (1) and (4) of the Act is as follows:

70. Whoever without proper authority and voluntarily, does any of the following acts, that is to say,

(1) damages, alters; enlarges or obstructs any canal or drainage work.

(2) ...

(3) ...

(4) being responsible for the maintenance of the water course, or using as water-course, neglects to take proper precautions for the prevention of waste of the water thereof, or interferes with the authorised distribution of the water therefrom, or uses such water in an unauthorised manner, shall be liable, on conviction before a Magistrate of such class as the State Government directs in this behalf, to a fine not exceeding 50 rupees, or to imprisonment not exceeding one month, or to both.

5. In the present case, it was no doubt the duty of the applicants to maintain the water-course which passed through their field, water supply through this water-course carved out during consolidation proceedings would be deemed to be authorised distribution of water. The applicants interfered with the authorised distribution of water and as such the applicants are clearly guilty of the offence of which they have been charged,

6. In the result, the revision is dismissed.


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