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Murari Lal Vs. State of Rajasthan - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtRajasthan High Court
Decided On
Case NumberS.B. Criminal Miscellaneous Application Nos. 1302, 1153 and 1155 of 1974
Judge
Reported in1974WLN960
AppellantMurari Lal
RespondentState of Rajasthan
Cases ReferredSupreme Court of India Malkiat Singh v. State of Punjab
Excerpt:
.....and order made on 8-8-1974 was without jurisdiction.;before the date of this notification the chief judicial magistrate, udaipur, had no jurisdiction to try the petitioner and others for an offence punishable under section 3 read with section 7 of the act. as he became competent to try it later on, 10-8-1974, when he was specially empowered in this behalf by the state government, vide notification no. p. 3 (ii)jud/64 dated 19-9-1974, the order passed by him on 8-8-1974 this, without jurisdiction so far as it related to the framing of the charge under section 3 read with section 7 of the act against murari lal petitioner and other accused persons.;(b) essential commodities act - sections 3 & 7--seizure of bags of rice at a place far from border of gujarat held, no offence is..........cases were investigated into and the petitioner and five others were challaned in the court of the chief judicial magistrate, udaipur, under section 3 read with section 7 of the act and sections 420, 468, 471 and 120b. i.p.c.the learned chief judicial magistrate, udaipur, upon considering the police reports and the documents filed with them under section 173, criminal procedure code and after giving the prosecution and the accused persons an opportunity of being heard, was of opinion that there were grounds for presuming that the accused persons had committed the aforesaid offences, which he was competent to try. he, therefore, passed an order on 8h august, 1974, that charges should he framed against rajendra and yogesh accused under section 3 read with section 7 of the act and under.....
Judgment:

K.D. Sharma, J.

1. These three applications filed by Murari Lal under Section 482, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, involve common question of law and fact and, therefore, they are decided by a common order.

2. The short facts giving rise to these applications may be stated as follows: 3 trucks No. R.J.R. 7855, RJZ 4445, and RJ.Z 4845 containing101 bags, 200 Kattas and 99 bags and 4 Kattas of rice respectively were checked and inspected in the night between 14/15-4-74 at Arawali Petrol Pump, Udaipur by a police party consisting of Mahesh Chander Singh CI., Kalyan Mal, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Gajraj Singh. Shri Madan Mohan, Additional District Supply Officer and Shri Bhagwan Das, Enforcement Officer. On checking it was found that the bags of rice were going to be transpotted to Ahmedabad beyond the territories of the State of Rajasthan without any licence or permission from a competent authority. The drivers of the trucks at first misrepresented to the police party that the bags contained potatoes therein but later on they made a full disclosure of all the true facts by stating that they had brought the bags of rice in the trucks from Jaipur for being taken to Ahmedabad and that they had false documents known as 'Biltis' in their possession showing that the bags contained potatoes. The police seized the trucks and the bags of rice and registered criminal cases under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, hereinafter referred to as the Act. The cases were investigated into and the petitioner and five others were challaned in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udaipur, under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act and Sections 420, 468, 471 and 120B. I.P.C.The learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udaipur, upon considering the police reports and the documents filed with them under Section 173, Criminal Procedure Code and after giving the prosecution and the accused persons an opportunity of being heard, was of opinion that there were grounds for presuming that the accused persons had committed the aforesaid offences, which he was competent to try. He, therefore, passed an order on 8h August, 1974, that charges should he framed against Rajendra and Yogesh accused under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act and under Sections 420 and 120B, I.P.C. and the other accused persons, namely, Murari Lal, Bhag Chand, Radhey Shyam and Man Mohan should be charge sheeted under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act and Sections 420, 368, 471 and 120B IPC. Aggrieved by this order, Murari Lal petitioner has invoked inherent jurisdiction of this court by way of filing these three applications under Section 482, Criminal Procedure Code,1973.

3. I have gene through the impugned orders passed by the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udaipur and heard the arguments advanced by Shri M.M. Singhvi for the petitioner and Shri Dinkar Mehta, Deputy Government Advocate appearing on behalf of the State.

4. Firstly, it has been contended on behalf of the petitioner that the Chief judicial Magistrate, Udaipur, was incompetent to try the offence punishable under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act as he was not empowered in this behalf by the State Government under Section 12A(2) of the Act. It is not disputed before me that under Sub-section (1) of Section 12A of the Act the Central Government had issued a notification specifying the violations of the Rajas-than Rice (Export Control) Order, 1961, hereinafter referred to as the Order, passed under Section 3 of the Act, which shall be tried summarily. The notification issued by the Central Government in this behalf is 'No GSR/810/dated June, 3, 1965, published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary part II, Section 3(1) page 239 dated June 3, 1965, wherein the orders mentioned in column No 2 of Schedule 1 annexed thereto made by the Central Government under Section 3 of the Act in relation to food staffs including edible oils, seeds and rice were specified to be special orders for purposes of summary trial under Sections 12A of the Act. In Schedule 1, at S. No. 22, there is the Rajasthan Rice (Export Control) Order, 1961, which was made by the Central Government in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Act. After the aforesaid notification was issued by the Central Government under Sub-section (1) of Section 12A of the Act in relation to the special order, i.e. The Rajas-than Rice (Export Control) Order, 1961, all cases relating to the contravention of such special orders were to be tried summarily by a Magistrate of the First Class, specially empowered in this behalf by the State Government. The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udaipur, was not specially empowered by the State Government, to try offences entailing violation of the Order in a summary way till 9-9 1974 On 10 9-1974, the State Government, however, issued a notification specially empowering Civil Judges and Chief Judicial Magistrates, Additional Civil Judges and Judicial Magistrates and Civil Judges and Additional Chief Judicial Magistrates to try all cases relating to the contravention of a special Order made under S3 of the Act in relation to any essential commodity. The notification is in vernacular and reads as follows:

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Lak[;k i0 311 U;k;@64 t;iqj fnukad 10 flrEcj] 1974vf/klwpuk

vko';d oLrq vf/kfu;e] 1955 dsfUnz; vf/kfu;e 10] lu~ 1955 dh /kkjk 12d ds vuq'kj.k es rFkk ;g vko';drk fofunsZf'kr djus okys dsfUnz; ljdkj ds fo'ks'k vkns'k fd mDr vf/kfu;e dh /kkjk 3 ds v/khu fdlh vko';d oLrq ds laca/k es fn;s x;s fdlh vkns'k ds mYya?ku dh la{kir% fopkj.k fd;k tk;s] ds Hkh vuqlj.k es jkT; ljdkj] mDr vf/klwfpr vkns'k es fofufnZ'V leLr vijk/kks dk fopkj.k djus ds fy, ,rn~ }kjk fuEufyf[kr izFke oxZ ds n.Muk;dks dks fo'ks'kr% l'kDr djrh gS%&

1- flfoy U;k;k/kh'k ,oa eq[; U;kf;d n.Muk;d] vij flfoy U;k;/kh'k ,oa eq[; U;kf;d n.Muk;d rFkk flfoy U;k;/kh'k ,oa vij eq[; U;kf;d n.Muk;d A

jkT;iky ds vkns'k ls

g@&l0; jk0 fla?kh

lEir jkt fla?kh

Hence before the date of this notification the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udaipur, had no jurisdiction to try the petitioner and others for an offence punishable under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act. As he became competent to try it later on, on 10 9-1974, when he was specially empowered in this behalf by the State Government, vide notification No' P 3(II)Jud/64'dated 10.9.1974,the order passed by him on 8 8-1974 was, without jurisdiction so far as it related to the framing of a charge under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act against Murari Lal petitioner and other accused persons.

5. He was no doubt competent to try the accused persons for offences punishable under Sections 420, 468, 471 and 120B I.P.C. if upon considering the police report and the documents sent with it under Section 173, CrPC and examining the accused persons and after giving the prosecution and the the accused an opportunity of being heard, he was of opinion that there were grounds for presuming that the accused bad committed the said offences, which he was competent to try and which in his opinion would be adequately punished by him. It was further contended on behalf of the petitioner that even if the prosecution case is accepted at its face value, it does not establish any offence under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act against the petitioner and other accused persons and that it would be mock trial if the trial for these offences and other allied offences is allowed to proceed, In support of the above contention, Shri M.M. Singhvi for the petitioner argued before me that an attempt to commit an offence under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act widely differs from an intention to commit it and from the preparation made for its commission. According to him, the trucks were seized by the police party at Arawali Petrol Pump, Udaipur, in the night between 14 and 15th April,1974. The place where the trucks were seized is within the territory of the State of Rajasthan and is far off from the border which separates the State of Gujarat from Rajasthan. It might be that the drivers and the cleaners of the trucks in question would have been instructed later on not to proceed further and to cross the border or that they might have themselves changed their minds and desisted from taking the trucks containing rice bags outside the territory of Rajasthan Hence, according to the learned Counsel, the act of the accused persons in sending or carrying the bags of rice in the trucks to Ahmedabad did not amount to an attempt to commit an offence under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act, because before the actual completion of the offence the offenders could prevent its completion by changing their minds and by not allowing the trucks to cross the territory of the State of Rajasthan Reliance in support of the above proposition was placed on an authority of the Supreme Court of India Malkiat Singh v. State of Punjab : 1970CriLJ750 , wherein their Lordships on almost similar facts were pleased to make the following observations:

The test for determining whether the act of the appellants constituted an attempt or preparation is whether the overt acts already done are such that if the offender changes his mind and does not proceed further in its progress the acts already done would be completely harmless In the present case it is quite possible that the appellants may have been warned that they had no licence to carry the paddy and they may have changed their mind at any place between Samalkha Barrier and the Delhi-Punjab boundary and not have proceeded further in their journey. Section 8 of the Essential Commodities Act states that 'any person who attempts to Contravene, or abets a contravention of, any order made under Section 3 shall be deemed to have contravened that order.' But there is no provision in the Actwhich makes a preparation to commit an offence punishable. It follows therefore that the appellants should not have been convicted under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act.

Consequently, I am unable to hold that the mere seizure of the bags of therice at a place far off from the borders of Gujarat and Rajasthan from the trucks at Arawali Petrol Pump, Udaipur, amounts to an offence to commit a crime under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act and the Order. A greater degree of determination to commit an offence is required in 'attempt' in comparison to the degree of determination that is required for a preparation to commit it. Hence on this ground also the impugned order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udaipur, dated 8-8-1974 is unsustainable in the eye of law so far as it relates to the framing of the charge against the petitioner and others under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act.

6. Another contention put forward by the leraned Counsel for the petitioner is that a bare statement of the facts of this case is sufficient to satisfy this court that the allegations made by the prosecution against the accused persons, if accepted as true, do not disclose any offence under Sections 420, 468, 471 and 120B. The above contention is not acceptable. It is not desirable for me to express any opinion on the merits of the case so far as it relates to the commission of these offences. Suffice it to say that in view of the allegations against the accused persons it would not be a mock trial if the case is allowed to proceed against the petitioner and others under Sections 420, 468, 471 and 120B.

7. Lastly, it was urged that the order of the learned Sessions Judge, Udaipur, dated 18-6 1974 directing the sale of the rice at the market rate after approval of the rate by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udaipur, is illegal and in just, because no offence under Section 3/7 of the Act could prima-facie be held to have been committed by the accused persons I have already held above that the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate had no jurisdiction to try the petitioner and others for 'he offence punishable under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act prior to 10-9-1974 and that the act of the accused persons did not amount to an offence of attempt to carry the rice out of the territories of Rajasthan or violation of the provisions of Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Act and Clause 3 of the Order. In this view of the matter, the rice was not a property in respect of which the Order has been contravened. It could not be forfeited to the State Government under the provisions of the Act. The learned Chief Judicial Magistrate or the learned Sessions Judge, Udaipur, should have passed proper orders as they thought fit for the proper custody of the rice pending the conclusion of the trial for offences punishable under Sections 420, 438, 471 and 120B I.P.C. instead of directing the rice to be sold at a market rate. If he property is not sold in pursuance of the order of the learned Sessions Judge, Udaipur, dated 18-6-1974, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udaipur, is (sic) to make such orders as he thinks fit for the proper custody of the rise pending the conclusion of the trial. Consequently, the order passed by the learned Sessions Judge, Udaipur, dated 18-6-1974 directing the rice to be sold at market price alter approval of the rate by the Chief Judicial Magistrate is liable to be set aside.

8. The result of the above discussion is that the impugned order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udaipur, dated 8-8-1974, so far as it relates to the framing of the charges against the accused persons under Section 3 read with Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act is hereby quashed and in order to give effect to this order and to secure the ends of the justice, it is further ordered that the order of the learned Sessions Judge, Udaipur, dated 18-6-1974, directing the rice to he sold at a market rate after approval of the rate by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Udaipur, is set aside and the Chief Judicial Magistrate is directed to pass such order as he thinks fit, under Section 451, Criminal Procedure Cede, for the proper custody of the rice rending conclusion of the trial for offences under Section 420, 468, 471 and 120B IPC. All the three applications accordingly are partly accepted.


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