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Mst. Dhoopo Vs. State and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Ref. No. 263 of 1963
Judge
Reported in1966CriLJ1329
ActsRajasthan Municipalities Act, 1959 - Sections 170, 170(1), 170(6), 170(7), 170(11), 203, 251 and 265(2); Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Sections 41, 42 and 64; Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Sections 33
AppellantMst. Dhoopo
RespondentState and anr.
Respondent Advocate Amrit Raj, Asst. Govt. Adv.
DispositionReference partly allowed
Cases ReferredSukdeo Singh v. Calcutta Corporation
Excerpt:
.....rupees. in every case of an offence punishable with imprisonment as well as fine in which the offender is sentenced to a fine, whether with or without imprisonment. there can, therefore, be no doubt that the rajasthan municipalities act, 1959 is a special law, as well as local law within the definition of sections 41 and 42 of the i......deeg under sections 170 (11), 203 and 251 of the rajasthan municipalities act, 1959. the learned magistrate after recording the evidence of the parties found the petitioner guilty of committing offence of raising construction on a public street without the permission of the municipal board and, therefore, she was convicted under sections 170, 203 and 251 of the rajasthan municipalities act, 1959, and she was sentenced to pay fine of rs. 10, rs. 25 and rs. 15, respectively, on these counts. the learned magistrate also ordered that in default of the payment of the fine she would serve simple imprisonment for a week. the petitioner thereupon preferred a revision application before the district and sessions judge, bharatpur, who after hearing the parties came to the conclusion that.....
Judgment:
ORDER

V.P. Tyagi, J.

1. This is a reference made by the Sessions Judge, Bharatpur, and it arises out of the following circumstances.

2. Petitioner Mst. Dhoopo raised certain constructions within the municipal limits of Deeg without the permission of the Municipal Board and, therefore, a notice was issued to her by the Municipal Board, Dees, to refrain from making the construction. When she did not pay any attention to that notice and continued the construction undertaken by her, the Municipal Board, lodged a complaint against the petitioner in the Court of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Deeg under Sections 170 (11), 203 and 251 of the Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 1959. The learned Magistrate after recording the evidence of the parties found the petitioner guilty of committing offence of raising construction on a public street without the permission of the Municipal Board and, therefore, she was convicted under Sections 170, 203 and 251 of the Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 1959, and she was sentenced to pay fine of Rs. 10, Rs. 25 and Rs. 15, respectively, on these counts. The learned Magistrate also ordered that in default of the payment of the fine she would serve simple imprisonment for a week. The petitioner thereupon preferred a revision application before the District and Sessions Judge, Bharatpur, who after hearing the parties came to the conclusion that the petitioner has not committed any offence under the Rajasthan Municipalities A or and, therefore, recommended that the conviction and sentence passed by the learned Sub-Divisional Magistrate may be set aside. While making this recommendation the learned Judge further observed that the learned Magistrate had no jurisdiction to award a sentence of imprisonment in lieu of fine in view of the provisions of Section 265 (2) of the said Act.

3. This reference raises certain important questions of law which I would like to deal one by one.

4. The learned Judge came to the finding that the petitioner had raised construction in her private building, therefore, she could not be convicted under Section 170 (11) of the Act. This recommendation is probably made on the assumption that Section 170 is applicable only when the construction is raised on land belonging to the municipalities and as the petitioner was raising a construction on her private land she could not be found guilty of an offence under Section 170 of the Act. This, in my opinion. is a misreading of the law. Section 170 (11) of the Act reads as follows: -

'Section 170 (11).--Whoever begins, continues or completes the erection or re-erection of, or any material alteration in, a building or a part of building or the erection or re-erection of any projecting portion of a building in respect of which the board is empowered by Section 166 to enforce a removal or set-back or the construction or enlargement of a well without giving the notice required by Sub-section (1) or in contravention of any provision of this section or of an order of the board made under Sub-section (6) or Sub-section (7) shall be liable on conviction to a fine which may extend to two hundred rupees....'

The perusal of this section indicates that the offence envisaged under this provision is for raising construction without giving notice as required by Sub-section (1), or in contravention of any order of the board made under Sub-section (6) or Sub-section (7) of this section.

5. The charge against the petitioner was that she had started construction without any notice to the board as required under Sub-section (1) of this section and, therefore, the question of raising construction on public place or on municipal land is not an ingredient to commit an offence under Sub-section (11) of Section 170 of the Act. This is admitted that no permission was ever sought by the petitioner to raise constructions even in her private building and, therefore, she cannot be absolved from the liability of raising construction without permission. In such circumstances the conviction under Section 170 (11) is quite in order.

6. The learned Judge after appreciating the evidence adduced by the parties in the case came to the conclusion that the petitioner neither made any encroachment on any public street, or open space, nor did she obstruct the same and, therefore, the conviction under Section 203 was uncalled for. In view of the finding arrived at by the learned Judge for which I do not find any reason to take a different view, I agree with the opinion expressed by him in his reference order.

7. As regards her conviction under Section 251 of the Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 1959, I agree with the learned Judge that it being a residuary section it could not be attracted to the instant case, as the petitioner was specifically charged for the contravention of the provisions of Section 170 which provides for the punishment. Under these circumstances conviction of the petitioner under Rs. 203 and 251 cannot be maintained.

8. As regards awarding of sentence of imprisonment in lieu of payment of fine, it is contended by the learned Assistant Government Advocate that the Rajasthan Municipalities Act being a special law within the meaning of Section 41 of the I. P, C., any offence committed thereunder would be an offence under Section 40(2) of that Code and would attract the application of Section 64 which provides for awarding the sentence of imprisonment in lieu of fine. Section 64 of the T. P. C. reads as follows:--

'Section 64--Sentence of imprisonment for non-payment of fine. In every case of an offence punishable with imprisonment as well as fine in which the offender is sentenced to a fine, whether with or without imprisonment.

and in every case of an offence punishable with imprisonment or fine, or with fine only, in which the offender is sentenced to a fine.

It shall be competent to the Court which sentences such offender to direct by the sentence that in default of payment of the fine, the offender shall suffer imprisonment for a certain term which imprisonment shall be in excess of any other imprisonment to which he may have been sentenced or to which he may be liable under a commutation of a sentence.' Relying on this provision of the law, the learned Assistant Government Advocate submits that where an offence under the Rajasthan Municipalities Act is punishable with a sentence of fine only, the Magistrate can by virtue of the said provision of the I. P. C. impose a sentence of Simple imprisonment in default of the payment of fine.

9. The Indian Penal Code has classified the offences for different purposes. In some eases offences are only offences under the Indian Penal Code, but under Section 40, I. P. C. the definition of the word 'offence' is enlarged for the purpose of Sections 64 to 67 of the Code and the word 'offence' for that purpose includes an illegal act under the Indian Penal Code, or under any special or local law, as defined in Sections 41 and 42 of the I. P. C. According to Section 41 'Special law' is a law applicable to a particular subject and by virtue or Section 42, 'Local law' is a law applicable only to a particular part of India. There can, therefore, be no doubt that the Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 1959 is a special law, as well as local law within the definition of Sections 41 and 42 of the I. P. C. and as such the application of Sections 64, I. P. C. cannot ordinarily be ruled out to the offences under the Rajasthan Municipalities Act, but this proposition has got to be considered in view of the special provision of Section 265 (2) of the Rajasthan Municipalities Act.

10. Learned Asstt. Govt. Advocate in support of this argument has cited a Supreme Court case in Bashiruddin Ashraf v. State of Bihar, (S) AIR 1957 SC 645. In that case a 'mutawalli' was charged for the violation of the provisions of Section 58 of the Bihar Waqfs Act, (8 of 1948) for not discharging the obligation enjoined upon him as a 'mutawalli' and, therefore, he was convicted under Section 65 (1) of the said Act by the Divisional Magistrate, Patna, and he was sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 100 and in default to undergo 15 days simple imprisonment. On appeal filed by the convict an objection was raised before the Supreme Court that the Magistrate had no power to award a sentence of imprisonment, as the law did not prescribe any imprisonment in lieu of the fine imposed under the provisions of the said Act. Learned Judges of the Supreme Court while dealing with this question observed:

'It was also pointed out that Section 65 does not provide for any imprisonment in default of payment of fine, but the appellant was sentenced to 15 days simple imprisonment in default of payment of fine. Section 33 of the Cr. P. C. read with Sections 40 and 67 of the I. P. C. appears to us to be a clear answer to this contention.'

11. Another case relied upon by the Assistant Government Advocate is that of Sukdeo Singh v. Calcutta Corporation, AIR 1953 Cal 41, where the petitioner was convicted by the Municipal Magistrate for keeping buffalo within the municipal limit without the permission of the Municipal Board and, therefore, he was fined Rs. 15 and in default simple imprisonment for a week. The accused raised a similar contention that in lieu of fine the learned Magistrate could not pass a sentence of imprisonment, as such a power was not given to him under the Calcutta Municipal Act (3 of 1923). The learned Judge after considering the provision of Sections 40, 41, 42, 64 to 67 of the I. P. C. came to the conclusion that the learned Magistrate could pass sentence of imprisonment in lieu of fine by virtue of Sections 64 to 67 of the I. P. C.

12. In my view the above referred cases are distinguishable. In these cases it was never urged that the law under which fine was imposed contained a specific provision for its recovery in a manner different from the procedure laid down to the Criminal Procedure Code and, therefore, the provision of Section 64, I. P. C. could not be attracted. This question was not considered by their Lordships of the Supreme Court, or the Calcutta High Court in the form it has cropped up before me. The Rajasthan Act provided a special mode for the recovery of fine imposed under the Act and Sub-section (2) of Section 265 is as follows:--

'Section 265 (2).--Any prosecution under this Act or under any rules or bye-laws thereunder may, save as therein otherwise provided, be instituted, before any Magistrate, and every fine or penalty imposed under or by virtue of this Act or any rule or bye-law thereunder ex-penses for the recovery of which no special provision is otherwise made in this Act, may be recovered on application to such Magistrate by the distress and sale of any movable property within the limits of his jurisdiction belonging to the person from whom the money is claimable.' This provision prescribes a mode for the realisation of fine by issuing distress warrant and sale of movable property of the convict within the municipal limits. This manner of realisation is different from the procedure prescribed by the Criminal Procedure Code which shows that the legislature intended to provide a specific mode for the recovery of fine imposed under the Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 1959 which is different from the one given in general law. Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 1959 being a special law providing a definite mode for dealing with the sentence of fine, the provision relating to it in the general law, i.e., in the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code can-not be made applicable for the recovery of fine imposed under this special enactment.

I find that in the above referred two cases no such plea was taken either before the Supreme Court or before the Calcutta High Court that the law under which the fine was imposed provides a special procedure for the realisation of fine which is different from the provisions contained in the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code and, therefore, provisions of the general law would not be attracted for the recovery of fines imposed under the special law; nor did the learned Asstt. Government Advocate could point out to me that the laws under which fine was imposed in these two cases contained provisions analogous to Section 265 (2) of the Rajasthan Municipalities Act. This case is, therefore, distinguishable on account of the special provision in the Rajasthan Municipalities Act which provides a special mode for the recovery of fine imposed under the Act by issuing a distress warrant and sale of movable property within municipal limits. In this view of the matter provision of Section 64, I. P. C. which deals with the power of the criminal Court for awarding sentence of imprisonment in lieu of fine cannot apply to the oases where fine is imposed under the Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 1959. The Legislature while enacting the Rajasthan Municipalities Act, 1950 never intended that persons disobeying the orders of the Municipal Board should be sent behind the bars and it is why special provision has been enacted to enable the Magistrate to recover the fine imposed by him, or other authorities to realise the claims of compensation or other expenses for the recovery of which no special provision has been made in the said Act.

13. In view of what has been discussed above, I am of the opinion that the learned Magistrate had no jurisdiction to impose a sentence of imprisonment in lieu of fine and the only way open to the learned Magistrate was to follow the procedure laid down in Section 265, Sub-section (2) for the recovery of fine imposed by him under the Municipal Act.

14. The reference is partly allowed. The conviction of the accused petitioner Mst. Dhoopo under Section 170 (11) is maintained, the conviction and sentence under Sections 203 and 251 of the Rajasthan Municipalities Act are set aside. The order of the learned Magistrate awarding a sentence of imprisonment in lieu of fine is also set aside.


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