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Shaikh Abdus Samad Vs. Yusuf - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in59Ind.Cas.917
AppellantShaikh Abdus Samad
RespondentYusuf
Cases ReferredEmpress v. Indarjit
Excerpt:
workman's breach of contract act (xiii of 1859), section 2 - criminal procedure code (act v of 1898), section 4(o), 260--punishment--offence--summary trial, legality of. - interpretation of statutes definition clause: [markandey katju & h.l. dattu, jj] meaning given to an expression in one statute cannot be applied to another statute. - xiii of 1359, alleging that he had been guilty of breach of contract inasmuch as he had failed to continue to work although payment for his labour had been made under the contract in advance by the master......clear statement, maintaining his original view that he had jurisdiction to dispose of the case summarily. the question turns upon the interpretation to be given to section 260 of the code of criminal procedure. a magistrate of the first class has jurisdiction to try in a summary way offences not punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding six months. the question which we have to decide is, whether this is a punishable offence within the meaning of that section. in the ordinary colloquial sense of the term it certainly is not, but when reference is made to the definition of offense provided by section 4(o) of the same code, it is found to mean any act made punishable by any law for the time being in force. the act under which this complaint was 'brought authorises a magistrate.....
Judgment:

1. In this case the complainant, a master, made a complaint before a Magistrate of the First Class against a young workman under Section 2 of Act No. XIII of 1359, alleging that he had been guilty of breach of contract inasmuch as he had failed to continue to work although payment for his labour had been made under the contract in advance by the master. The Magistrate of the First Class dealt with the case summarily and dismissed it on the merits. The matter same up before the Sessions Judge who raised the question whether the proceeding was a proper one, on the ground that the Magistrate had no jurisdiction to try the case summarily. The learned Sessions Judge has set out his view in a closely reasoned statement referring to the authorities, and the Magistrate who tried the case has submitted his explanation in an equally clear statement, maintaining his original view that he had jurisdiction to dispose of the case summarily. The question turns upon the interpretation to be given to Section 260 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. A Magistrate of the First Class has jurisdiction to try in a summary way offences not punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding six months. The question which we have to decide is, whether this is a punishable offence within the meaning of that section. In the ordinary colloquial sense of the term it certainly is not, but when reference is made to the definition of offense provided by Section 4(o) of the same Code, it is found to mean any act made punishable by any law for the time being in force. The Act under which this complaint was 'brought authorises a Magistrate to pass certain orders if a breach of contract is proved, and in the preamble, which does not conflict in any way with the enacting portion of the Act, it is provided that it is just and proper that persons guilty of such breach of contract shall be subject to punishment. Inasmuch as the Legislature has described the order which a Magistrate is authorised to make against a workman, in a case proved as punishment' we find it impossible to say that the act, if proved, is not an offence punishable by law within the meaning of Section 4(o) and, therefore, within the meaning of Section 260. It is unfortunate that we should find ourselves in conflict on this point with both ancient and modern authorities of other High Courts. The Madras High Court in the care of Pollard v. Mothial 4 M. 234 : 1 Weir 695 : 1 Ind. Dec. (N.S.) 999 took another view but, as pointed out in the case of Queen Empress v. (sic) at (sic) 20 M. 235 at p. 238 : 1 Weir 697 : 2 Weir 40 : 7 Ind. Dec. (N.S.) 167, the definition in the Criminal Procedure Code on which we base our decision is subsequent in date to that authority. As regards Bombay, there is a quite recent authority following a previous authority both of which are to be found in the same volume, namely, Emperor v. Dhondu 1 Ind. Cas. 378 : 33 B. 22 : 6 Bom. L.E. 255 : 1 Cr.L.J. 263 and Emperor v. Dalu Saluji 1 Ind. Cas. 387 : 33 B 25 : 10 Bom. L.R. 1126 : 8 Cr. L.J. 409 in which the Bombay High Court, following an English authority which dealt with, the question of a penalty, has emphatically taken the other view without, however, noticing the use of the word 'punishment' in Act No. XIII of 1859. On the other hand, there is a clear dictum by a Judge of this Court reported in the case of Queen-Empress v. Indarjit 11 A. 262 : A.W.N. (1889) 85 : 6 Ind. Dec. (N.S.) 595 which has never been questioned and which must be taken to have been for all these years the guiding principle in this Province. We have come to the conclusion that we are compelled by the force of language to follow this ruling and we bold that this offence is triable summarily by a Magistrate of the First Class. Let the record be returned.


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