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Assistant Collector of Central Excise Vs. Jainson Hosiery Industries - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectExcise
CourtSupreme Court of India
Decided On
Case NumberSpecial Leave Petition (Civil) No. 4059 of 1979
Judge
Reported inAIR1979SC1889; 1979(4)ELT511(SC); (1979)4SCC22; [1980]1SCR134
ActsConstitution of India - Article 226
AppellantAssistant Collector of Central Excise
RespondentJainson Hosiery Industries
Advocates: Soli J. Sorabjee,; Addl. Sol. Genl. of India and; Girish Chand
Prior historyFrom the Judgment and Order dated January 30, 1979, of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Civil Writ Petition No. 106 of 1979--
Excerpt:
.....court may intervene in exceptional cases if alternative remedy was dilatory - during course of investigation courts be cautious while giving interim relief which may hamper investigation. - indian evidence act, 1872 section 32 :[dr.arijit pasayat & asok kumar ganguly,jj] dying declaration held, though dying declaration is entitled to great weight, significantly accused has no power of cross-examination - court has to be, therefore, on guard that it was not the result of tutoring or prompting. section 32 : murder held, dying declaration can form sole basis of conviction. rule requiring corroboration is merely a rule of prudence. indian penal code, 1890 section 300:murder - conviction based on dying declaration sustainability - appellant-husband who was drunk allegedly poured..........appear to be one-that extra-ordinary power may be exercised. so it is right to point out that the high courts will be careful to be extremely circumspect in granting these reliefs especially during the pendency of criminal investigations. the investigation of a criminal offence is a very sensitive phase where the investigating authority has to collect evidence from all odd corners and anything that is likely to thwart its course may inhibit the interests of justice. all that we need say here is that the high courts will bear in mind the need for extreme reluctance when, during the investigation, any relief interim or final, which has a tendency to slow down or otherwise hamper the investigation, is sought.2. in the present case, the requirements that the prosecution put forward were.....
Judgment:

V.R. Krishna Iyer, J.

1. The Additional Solicitor General appearing for the Petitioner, the Assistant Collector of Central Excise, complains that the Order of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution is a wrong exercise of its jurisdiction because there is an alternative statutory remedy under the Central Excise Act for relief When goods are seized. It is correct to say that the High Court must have regard to the well established principles for the exercise of its writ jurisdiction and unless it is satisfied that the normal statutory remedy is likely to be too dilatory or difficult to give reasonably quick relief, it should be loath to act under Article 226. May be, in exceptional cases-the present one does not appear to be one-that extra-ordinary power may be exercised. So it is right to point out that the High Courts will be careful to be extremely circumspect in granting these reliefs especially during the pendency of criminal investigations. The investigation of a criminal offence is a very sensitive phase where the investigating authority has to collect evidence from all odd corners and anything that is likely to thwart its course may inhibit the interests of justice. All that we need say here is that the High Courts will bear in mind the need for extreme reluctance when, during the investigation, any relief interim or final, which has a tendency to slow down or otherwise hamper the investigation, is sought.

2. In the present case, the requirements that the prosecution put forward were readily granted by the High Court and the teed for the containers which bear tell-tale testimony necessary for the investigation does not appear to have been pointed out to the High Court. We certainly agree that even while releasing the goods the Courts must be very careful to see that every condition or need that the investigator points out as essential for discharging his investigative functions, should be readily conceded by the Court unless plainly unreasonable. After all, at the stage of investigation it is risky for the Court to intervene except where manifest injustice cries for the Order of the Court. With these observations, we dismiss the Petition.


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