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The State of Gujarat Vs. Agro Chemical and Animal and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1980CriLJ516
AppellantThe State of Gujarat
RespondentAgro Chemical and Animal and anr.
Cases ReferredState v. Dhulaji Bavaji
Excerpt:
- - as the section clearly provides, it is only that act which becomes an offence by' reason of its relation to another act, which is also an offence, that can be inquired into within the local limits of the court within whose jurisdiction any of the two acts has been done......1 was acting independently and not for and on behalf of accused no. 2 while stocking and effecting sales of fertilisers which he had purchased from baroda where it was manufactured by accused no. 2, and therefore, prima facie, jetpur court would not have jurisdiction to try accused no. 2 for the offence punishable under clause 13 (1) (a) of the fertiliser order read with section 7 of the act on the ground that accused no. 2 was guilty of manufacturing fertiliser which was not in accordance with the prescribed standard.6. but mr. nanavati, the learned public prosecutor, relies on the provisions of section 180 of the criminal procedure code, 1973 ('the code') in support of the state's case that jetpur court also would have jurisdiction to try accused no. 2 for the offence of manufacture of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.K. Shah, J.

1. This revision filed by the State is directed against the order dated 9th August, 1978 passed by the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, First Class, Rajkot in Criminal Case No. 47 of 1977 holding that, so far as opponent No. 1, that is- original Accused No. 2 is concerned, the said court had no jurisdiction to entertain the case.

2. A few facts giving rise to the passing of the said order may be briefly stated as follows:

3. Original accused No. 1 who is a resident of Jetpur in district Rajkot was engaged in the business of selling fertilisers manufactured by original accused No. 2 at Baroda Opponent No. 2, that is- the original complainant, Agro-Inspector visited the premises of accused No. 1 at Jetpur and took samples from the gunny bags of fertilisers of the Alembic Company, that is-accused No. 2. On analysis, it was found that the sample of fertilisers was not of prescribed standard. The complainant, therefore, lodged a complaint for prosecuting both the accused for the offence under clause (a) of sub-clause (1) of clause 13 of the Fertilizer Control Order, 1957 ('fertiliser order') read with Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 ('the Act'). So far as accused No. 1 is concerned, he pleaded guilty and he was convicted and sentenced by the court on his plea being accepted. So far as accused No. 2 is concerned, an application was given at Ex. 23 on 23-6-1978 on its behalf, inter alia contending that the factory of the said company was situated at Baroda; that the work of manufacture of fertilisers was being done at Baroda and that, there fore, so far as accused No. 2 was concerned, no part of the alleged offence was committed in Jetpur and the court had therefore no jurisdiction to entertain and try the said case.

4. The learned Magistrate by his order at Ex. 25 below Ex. 23 upheld the contention raised on behalf of accused No. 2 and held that so far as the said accused was concerned, he had no jurisdiction to entertain the case. Aggrieved by this order, the State has preferred this revision application.

5. Now, there is no dispute that accused No. 1 was acting independently and not for and on behalf of accused No. 2 while stocking and effecting sales of fertilisers which he had purchased from Baroda where it was manufactured by accused No. 2, and therefore, prima facie, Jetpur court would not have jurisdiction to try accused No. 2 for the offence punishable under clause 13 (1) (a) of the Fertiliser Order read with Section 7 of the Act on the ground that accused No. 2 was guilty of manufacturing fertiliser which was not in accordance with the prescribed standard.

6. But Mr. Nanavati, the learned Public Prosecutor, relies on the provisions of Section 180 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 ('the Code') in support of the State's case that Jetpur court also would have jurisdiction to try accused No. 2 for the offence of manufacture of substandard fertiliser, in spite of the fact that the process of manufacture was done at Baroda. Section 180 of the Code reads thus:

When an act is an offence by reason of its relation to any other act which is also an offence or which would be an offence if the doer were capable of committing an offence, the first mentioned offence may be inquired into or tried by a court within whose local jurisdiction either act was done.

It is contended by Mr. Nanavati that in the instant case, the act of stocking substandard fertiliser is an offence by reason of its relation to the act of manufacture of such fertiliser and that, therefore, though the act of manufacture was done at Baroda and the act of stocking was done at Jetpur, as provided under Section 180 of the Code, the court within whose local jurisdiction either act was done viz. the act of manufacture or the act of stocking, would be competent to try the offender and that, therefore, the court at Jetpur was also competent to try accused No. 2 for the offence of manufacture of substandard fertiliser in contravention of the provisions contained in clause 13 (1) (a) of the Fertiliser Order.

7. I am unable to accept this contention of Mr. Nanavati. A close reading of the provisions contained in the said Section will show that at either place, that is- at the place of manufacture or stocking, accused can be tried for the offence of stocking only and not for the offence of manufacture for which he can be tried only at the place where the act of manufacture is done. What Section 180 provides, so for as it is material for our purpose, is that if a particular act becomes an offence, by reason of its relation to any other act which is also an offence, then, in that case, the first mentioned offence, that is the first act which becomes an offence by virtue of its relation to the second mentioned act, may be inquired into or tried by a court within whose local limits either act was done. The first mentioned offence under Section 180 is the act which becomes an offence by virtue of its relation to any other act which is also an offence and it is such an act which can be inquired into or tried by the court within whose local limits, either act was done, but it would not be so vice versa. The act of selling, offering for sale, stocking, exhibiting for sale or distributing fertiliser of sub-standard quality becomes an offence by virtue of the fact that manufacture for the purpose of sale of such sub-standard fertiliser is itself an offence as provided in the very clause that is- clause 13 (1) (a). Therefore, the offence constituted by any of these acts viz, acts of selling, offering for sale, stocking, exhibiting for sale or distributing fertiliser of sub-standard quality may be inquired into and tried, either at the place where the said act was done or at the place where the original act of manufacture was done. Thus, so far as the offence relating to sale, offering for sale, stocking, exhibiting for sale, or distribution of sub-standard fertiliser is concerned, the same may be inquired into at Jetpur if any of the said acts had taken place within the jurisdiction of that court or at Baroda where the act of manufacture was done.

8. By virtue of the provisions contained in Section 180 of the Code, the court within whose local jurisdiction the original act, viz. the act of manufacture for sale of sub-standard quality of fertiliser took place, viz. the Baroda court will also have jurisdiction to try the accused person for committing any of the said later acts of selling, offering for sale, stocking, exhibiting for sale or distributing such fertiliser though the said acts are not done in Baroda. But, so far as the offence of manufacture for sale is concerned, it cannot be said that it becomes an offence by reason of its relation to any other act which is also an offence, and, therefore, the provisions in Section 180 would not apply to such an offence viz. the offence of manufacture of such fertiliser. It would, therefore, be only the Baroda court which would be competent to try accused No. 2 for the offence of manufacturing fertiliser which is not in accordance with the standard prescribed, punishable under clause 13 (1) (a) of the Fertiliser Order read with Section 7 of the Act.

9. Mr. V. B. Patel, the learned Advocate appearing for accused No. 2 drew my attention to State v. Dhulaji Bavaji : AIR1963Guj234 . As observed at p. 287-

It is the relation of one act with the other that brings Section 180 into operation and gives jurisdiction to the courts in both the local areas where either of them has occurred.

Before making these observations, the court referred to illustrations (a), (b) and (c) to Section 180 of the old Code as furnishing examples of the act which is an offence by reason off its relation to any other act which is also an offence. As observed by the court-

Abetment for instance, is an act which is by itself an offence, by reason of its relation to an act which constitutes a particular offence. Similarly, receiving or retaining stolen property is an offence by reason of its relation to the act of theft. Concealing a person with knowledge that he is a kidnapped person is an offence by reason of its relation to the act of kidnapping.

As the section clearly provides, it is only that act which becomes an offence by' reason of its relation to another act, which is also an offence, that can be inquired into within the local limits of the court within whose jurisdiction any of the two acts has been done. But this does not apply conversely. To illustrate, a person can be tried for retaining or receiving stolen property at the place where he is found to have received or retained the stolen property, as also at the place where theft was committed. But so far as the offence of theft is concerned, he can be tried only at the place where the theft is committed and not at the place where the stolen property is received or retained by the offender, unless by virtue of special provisions contained elsewhere in the Code, the latter court is invested with such jurisdiction.

10. The learned Magistrate, therefore, was right in holding that he had no territorial jurisdiction, so far as accused No. 2 is concerned, to try the said accused for the offence for which it was charged viz. of manufacturing fertiliser not in accordance with the prescribed standard prohibited by Section 13(1)(a) of the Fertiliser Order. But, in view of the provisions of Section 201 of the Code, the learned Magistrate will have to return the complaint, so far as it concerns accused No. 2, for presentation to proper court with an endorsement to that effect.

11. The revision application, therefore, fails with the following order:

12. Rule discharged. Revision application dismissed. However, the learned Magistrate is directed to take appropriate action as per provisions of Section 201, as observed above.


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