1. The facts leading to this Criminal Revision application are as follows: The applicant-accused Babulal s/o Mannalal of Mandsaur was put up for trial in the Court of Additional District Magistrate, Mandsaur, for charge under Section 3(a) of Foodgrains Control of S.Y. 2005 and Section 8 of Essential Supplies Temporary Powers Act and was sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 150/- and in default rigorous imprisonment for 6 months. The petitioner preferred an appeal to the Sessions Judge, Mandsaur, but it was dismissed. The accused Babulal s/o Mannalal is the manager of the shop of Ramratan Pannalal at Mandsaur. It is alleged that in July 1950, this firm while dealing as adatia & commission agent dealt in grains to the extent of 470 maunds of maize (Makka). It was supplied by them to different merchants at Ratlam and Ramratan Pannalal as adatia earned a commission of Rs. 104-7-6. The case of the prosecution is that the firm Ramratan Pannalal had not obtained license to deal in grain as a wholesale dealer. Therefore the District Magistrate Mandsaur convicted the accused under Section 3(a), Madhya Bharat Foodgrains Control Order of S.Y. 2005 (1948).
2. The aforesaid section states that no person shall deal in Foodgrains as a wholesale dealer except under and in accordance with a license issued by an officer authorised by Director of Food Madhya Bharat.
3. The main contention of Mr. Samvatsar, learned pleader for the petitioner is that in July 1950, the Foodgrain Control Order of S.Y. 2005, was not in force in Mandsaur and therefore the petitioner had not contravened the aforesaid order and, therefore, the conviction under the Foodgrains Control Order is illegal and must be set aside.
4. It appears that in pursuance to Section 5, Madhya Bharat Essential Supplies Temporary Powers Act, power was delegated to the Food Controller by the Government vide Notification. No. 2058, dated the 18th October 1948. The Government delegated powers to the Food Controller and accordingly the Food Controller promulgated the Madhya Bharat Foodgrains Control Order Samvat 2005 (1948). Section 1, Clause (b) stated that it extends to the whole of the United State of Madhya Bharat. Clause (c) runs as follows:
It shall come into force on such date and in such areas as the Director of Food, Madhya Bharat may, by notification specify.
Mr. Samvatsar contended that the Director of Food did not specify by a separate notification the area to which the Foorigrains Control Order was to apply and also the date from which the order was to come into force.
5. The Government Advocate on the other hand argued that as stated in Section 1, Clause (b) Madhya Bharat Foodgrains Control Order S.Y. 2005 extended to the whole of the United State of Madhya Bharat. Further in pursuance of Sub-clause (c) of Section 1 of the Foodgrains Control Order S.Y. 2005, the Director of Food Madhya Bharat specified that the Foodgrains Control Order shall come into force from the publication of the notification in Madhya Bharat Gazette, viz., 23rd October 1948 and it indicated that Subhas Administrators and Amins and Tahsildars shall exercise powers in area under their control. The contention of the Government Advocate is that the legislature intended that Madhya Bharat Foodgrains Control Order should be made applicable to the whole of Madhya Bharat and left it to the discretion of Food Controller to declare the date of its commencement to the whole of Madhya Bharat or part of its area.
6. In my opinion the argument of the learned Government Advocate is not tenable. Section 1, Clause (b) merely states that the Foodgrains Control Order is enacted for the whole of Madhya Bharat. But enactment is different from its effectiveness. In Crawford's Statutory Construction page 151 it is stated that the enactment of a statute is not the same as its taking effect as law. Statutes do not always take effect upon their enactment but the effective date may be postponed either by virtue of their own provisions or by the terms of a general law or a constitutional requirement upon the subject. Here Section 1, Clause (c) clearly states that the Madhya Bharat Food-grains Control Order shall come into force on such date and in such areas as the Director of Food may by notification, specify.
7. The Director of Food did not specify the areas to which the order was to apply by a separate gazette notification. It was this lacuna which prompted the authorities to publish in Madhya Bharat Gazette, dated the 20th January 1951, that it shall apply to the whole of Madhya Bharat.
8. In my opinion both the date of coming into force and specification of area are obligatory before the Madhya Bharat Foodgrains Control Order can come into force.
9. The notification of 20th October 1948, published in Madhya Bharat Gazette on 23rd October 1948, does not disclose the area to which it shall apply. The indication that the Suba in District, Tahsildars in Tehsil and Administrators shall exercise the authority possessed by Food Controller refer to delegation but no area is specified. Under the circumstances the contention of the petitioner that there was no Foodgrains Control Order in force in Mandsaur on 20th July 1950 must prevail. Hence the petitioner is not guilty of the breach of an order which was not prevalent in that area on the date of transaction.
10. I, therefore, acquit the accused of the charge and direct that the fine, if paid, be refunded. This judgment will also govern criminal Revision No. 106 of 1951.