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Lengu Satchidananda Misra and anr. Vs. the State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtOrissa High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1966CriLJ849
AppellantLengu Satchidananda Misra and anr.
RespondentThe State
Cases ReferredMst. Mathri v. State of Punjab
Excerpt:
.....1995 (2) gau lt 218 (db) and union of india v smt gita banik, 1996 (2) glt 246, are not good law]. - the trial court was of the view that the production of that document would' have been the best evidence to ascertain the extent of the premises of the office of the s. it further appears from evidence that at the place where the alleged meeting was held many persons gather including snake charmers who exhibit their charm by blowing trumpets, on account of this state of evidence mr. in order to establish that the entry on the property was with the intention to annoy, intimidate or insult, it is necessary for the court to be satisfied that causing such annoyance, intimidation or insult was the main aim of the entry;.....i.p.c. and sentenced to r.i. for 15 days.2. it is the case of the prosecution that the petitioners held a meeting on 12.2.1962 in the premises of the office of the sub-divisional officer, bargarh, and gave speeches through a mike and thereby caused annoyance to the deputy collector (p.w. 1) and his head clerk (p.w. 2) and as a result of the said meeting, such a disturbance was created that no person in the office of p.w. 1 could work. p.w. 2 brought this fact to the notice of the second officer p.w. 3, 'who directed p.w. 2 to lodge information before the police and to direct the organizers of the meeting to stop the meeting and to change its venue. p.w. 1 lodged f.i.r. (ext. 1) and after investigation charge-sheet was submitted against the petitioners under section 447, i.p.c.3. the plea.....
Judgment:
ORDER

R.K. Das, J.

1. Each of the petitioners has been convicted under Section 447, I.P.C. and sentenced to R.I. for 15 days.

2. It is the case of the prosecution that the petitioners held a meeting on 12.2.1962 in the premises of the Office of the Sub-Divisional Officer, Bargarh, and gave speeches through a mike and thereby caused annoyance to the Deputy Collector (P.W. 1) and his head clerk (P.W. 2) and as a result of the said meeting, such a disturbance was created that no person in the office of P.W. 1 could work. P.W. 2 brought this fact to the notice of the Second Officer P.W. 3, 'who directed P.W. 2 to lodge information before the Police and to direct the organizers of the meeting to stop the meeting and to change its venue. P.W. 1 lodged F.I.R. (Ext. 1) and after investigation charge-sheet was submitted against the petitioners under Section 447, I.P.C.

3. The plea of the accused petitioners was that they did not hold the meeting in the office premises of the Section D.O., nor did they cause any annoyance to anybody. The plea of the petitioner Sajan Mithal was that the Congress Party is harassing him by starting false cases against him since he belonged to the Socialist Party.

4. The prosecution examined some witnesses to prove its case and the learned Magistrate convicted the accused persons under Section 447 and sentenced them as above. On appeal the learned Sessions Judge upheld the order of conviction and sentence, Hence the petitioners have come up with this revision.

5. Mr. Das, learned Counsel for the petitioners contended: (1) That the prosecution has not established that any meeting was held inside the premises of the Office of the Section D. O. and that such premises was in his possession at the time of the alleged meeting; (2) That it being election time the sole object of the meeting was to carry on canvassing by holding meetings and processions etc. and it was not the intention to cause any annoyance, intimidation or insult to the S.D.O. or any member of the staff.

6. With regard to the first contention, the courts below came to the finding that the meeting was held inside the premises of the Office of the Sub-Divisional Officer. To make out a case under Section 447, I.P.C. the prosecution has to establish criminal trespass within the meaning of Section 441, the material portion of which runs as follows:

Whoever enters into or upon property in the possession of another with intent to commit an offence or to intimidate, insult or annoy any person in possession of such property is said to commit 'criminal trespass.

Thus it has first to be established that the property was in fact in the possession of the aggrieved person. It is the prosecution case that the petitioners held the meeting at a place which was in the possession of the S.D.O. It was contended that the S.D.O. himself was not present in his office at the time the alleged trespass is said to have been committed and the S.D.O. was not in a position to say if in fact the alleged meeting was held inside his office premises. Further, there is a map showing the exact boundary of the premises in question, but the said map has not been produced, though it was admitted by the S.D.O. that such a map is available.

The trial Court was of the view that the production of that document would' have been the best evidence to ascertain the extent of the premises of the office of the S.D.O. But all the same, the courts below accepted the oral evidence and held that the meeting took place within the premises of the office of the S.D.O. Admittedly, there is no compound wall and the boundary of the premises is defined by pillars. It further appears from evidence that at the place where the alleged meeting was held many persons gather including snake charmers who exhibit their charm by blowing trumpets, On account of this state of evidence Mr. Das contended that it cannot be said that the premises of the office of the S.D.O. has any defined boundary so as to make out that it was exclusively in his possession and to convict the petitioners for committing trespass thereon. Thus it was contended that with respect to the actual place of the meeting, the evidence is not very clear, and also with regard to the part played by the petitioners in the alleged meeting.

The prosecution case is that the accused persons gave speeches by mike and caused great disturbance and by that act caused annoyance to P.W. 1 and the members of staff of the S.D.O who could not attend to their office works. No doubt, P.W. 1 himself has stated in his evidence that he did not mark there two petitioners as shouting through mike. There is some evidence to show that the meeting was held in front of the State Bank and though the evidence regarding the actual place of the meeting does not appear to be specific, I think for the purpose of this petition I would accept the findings of the Courts below that the meeting was held somewhere in the court premises of P.W. 6 and inside the area set apart for the office compound of the S.D.O.

7. The important question, however, is whether the sole object of the accused-petitioners was to cause annoyance to P.W. 1 or to any of the officers or staff of the S.D.O. The learned trial Court found that it was election time and the meeting was held for that purpose, but their speech against the Government necessarily caused annoyance. To quote his own words, he said:

They have also caused annoyance as it is in evidence that delivering speeches against the Government which naturally causes annoyance to the Government servants if, in their very presence, their Government is blamed.

The appellate Court was of the view that when the accused persons held a meeting and gave slogans, naturally they must have intended to cause annoyance to the owners of the premises. In my view neither of the Courts below made the proper approach to ascertain the criminal intention for the purpose of Section 441, Indian Penal Code. The Courts below seem to have taken the view that the petitioners must be found guilty under Section 441, I.P.C. since they must have known that the cause of annoyance was a natural consequence of their act and as such they must be credited with the intention to annoy the occupiers of the premises. The correct view of the law has been laid down in a recent decision of the Supreme Court in the case reported in : [1964]5SCR916 , Mst. Mathri v. State of Punjab where their Lordships said that the proposition that every person intends the natural consequence of his act is often convenient and helpful rule to ascertain the intention of persons when doing a particular act. It is wrong however to accept this proposition as a binding rule which must prevail on all occasions and in all circumstances. The ultimate question for decision being whether m act was done with a particular intention all the circumstances including the natural consequence of the action have to be taken to consideration.

It is legitimate to think also that when Section 441, Penal Code speaks of entering on property with intent to commit an offence, or to intimidate, insult or annoy any person in possession of the property it speaks of the main intention in the action and not any subsidiary intention that may also be present. In order to establish that the entry on the property was with the intention to annoy, intimidate or insult, it is necessary for the Court to be satisfied that causing such annoyance, intimidation or insult was the main aim of the entry; that it was not sufficient for that purpose to show merely that the natural consequence of the entry was likely to be annoyance, intimidation or insult and that this likely consequence was known to the persons entering, that in deciding whether the aim of the entry was the causing of such annoyance, intimidation or insult, the court has to consider all the relevant circumstances including the presence of knowledge that its natural consequence would be such annoyance, intimidation or insult including also the probability of something else than the causing of such intimidation, insult or annoyance, being the dominant intention which prompted the entry.

We have already seen that the object of be meeting was not to cause any annoyance to e S.D.O. or his staff but it was only to ovary on canvassing for the election through propaganda, That must be held to be the dominant intention of the petitioners who held the alleged meeting in the premises in question. No doubt, their action has resulted in certain amount of annoyance to the staff of the S.D.O. but the object of the petitioners cannot be said to cause annoyance to them, as their dominant intention was something else than causing annoyance. The case cannot, therefore come within the mischief of Section 441, Indian Penal Code. The essential element of the offence being wanting, die order of conviction and sentence passed upon the petitioners must be set aside and the petitioners are directed to be set at liberty forthwith and their bail bonds if any, stand Cancelled.

8. In the result the revision is allowed and the petitioners are acquitted.


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