N.M. Kasliwal, J.
1. A case under Section 3/7 of the Essential Commodities Act read with the Rajasthan Cement (Licensing and Control) Order, 1974 is pending in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sawai Madhopur against the petitioners since 1975. The only point involved in the case is whether it was necessary for the petitioners to have obtained licences under, the Rajasthan Cement (Licensing and Control) Order, 1974 and whether they are guilty for any offence for violation of any provisions of the above Order According to the prosecution the petitioners Shri D.K. Jain and Hansh Bhagi were employees of M/s Mukul Trading (P) Ltd. & M/s Bharat Overseas (P) Ltd. respectively, which according to the prosecution were stockists of cement. These two petitioners have already left the jobs under the above concerns and it is stated that the petitioner D.K. Jain is presently employed with Messrs Roadmaster Industries at Ghaziabad and Rajpjra in Haryana and petitioner Harish Bhagi is doing his own business at Ludhiana. These two persons submitted an application before the learned Magistrate for exempting them from their personal attendance & to be represented through their comrsel The learned Magistrate has dismissed their prayer merely on the ground that an offence under the Essential Commodities Act is a very serious offence of anti social nature. It is contended by the learned Counsel for the applies that the personal presence of the petitioners is not at all necessary for deciding the case on merits. The petitioners have already left the employment of the concerns in which they were employed at the time of the alleged offence It is further contended that the petitioners will present themselves when ever they are called upon to do so by the court or for the purpose of recording of the statements under Section 313 CrPC. The offence is of a technical nature and their presence is not required for identification or for any other purpose of the like nature. I am constrained to observe that the learned Magistrate has failed to decide the case on merits which is pending before him for rearly three years. The matter did not require any detailed Investigation of facts and could have been decided within abort period Be that as it may, the petitioners have already left services and are at present living at far distant places from Sawai Madhopur. Their personal presence is not at all necessary for the decision of the case on merits. Merely because it is a case under Section 3/7 of the Essential Commodities Act it cannot be a ground for refusing the exemption from personal attendance to an accused.
2. In these circumstances, the orders of the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sawai Madhopur, refusing to exempt the personal appearance of the petitioners, are set aside and it is directed that the petitioners, may be allowed to be represented through a counsel during the trial. The counsel shall give an undertaking that he will present the petitioners in the court when ever and where-ever called upon or whenever their statements would be recorded under Section 313 Cr.P.C.