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Public Prosecutor Vs. Illur Thippayya and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1949CriLJ641
AppellantPublic Prosecutor
Respondentillur Thippayya and anr.
Excerpt:
- - they are clearly orders made by a competent authority or person in british india within the meaning of section 3(27-a), general clauses act and therefore they are part of indian law......contended that the proof of the said fact was not necessary and the lower court should have taken judicial notice of the said facts under section 67 (1), evidenoe act. the learned counsel for the accused argued that that section of the evidence act has no application tq the facts to be proved in this case and in any view the lower oourt had rightly, in the exercise of its discretion, refused to take judicial notice of the facts without the production of the necessary documents.2. the question to be decided in this case turns upon the construction of section 67, evidence act. the relevant provisions of section 57 read as follows:the court shall take judicial notice of the following facts:(1) all indian laws....in all these cases and also on all matters of public history, literature,.....
Judgment:

Subba Rao, J.

1.These are appeals by the Pub-lie Prosecutor against the acquittal of the accua-ed in all the cases. The accused in all the appeals were charged under Sections 7 and 8, Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act 1946, for having contravened the various orders passed by the Government. The following tabular statement shows the orders contravened by the ao- cused in the various cases:

Accused in C.A. No. 629 of 1947: G.O. No. Ms.1026 Food dated 19th Novem ber 1946.Accused in C.A. No. 23 of 1948 : do.Accused in C.A. No. 631 of 1947: B.P. No. 626Dated 15th May1946.Accused in C.A. No. 632 of 1947: do.Accused in C.A. No. 663 of 1948: do.Accused in C.A. No. 22 of 1948 : do.Accused in C.A. No. 633 of 1947: Clause 4 (1) ofThe Madras Cloth(Dealers)Control,1946.

The First Court Convicted all the accused but in appeal the conviction were set Mainly on the ground that there was no proof of the orders or their due publication. The Public Prosecutor contended that the proof of the said fact was not necessary and the lower Court should have taken judicial notice of the said facts under Section 67 (1), Evidenoe Act. The learned Counsel for the accused argued that that section of the Evidence Act has no application tq the facts to be proved in this case and in any view the lower Oourt had rightly, in the exercise of its discretion, refused to take judicial notice of the facts without the production of the necessary documents.

2. the question to be decided in this case turns upon the construction of Section 67, Evidence Act. The relevant provisions of Section 57 read as follows:

The Court shall take judicial notice of the following facts:

(1) All Indian laws....In all these cases and also on all matters of public history, literature, science or Article the Oourt may resort for its aid to appropriate be oks or documents of reference.

If the Court is called upon by any person to take judicial notice of an; fact, it may refuse to do so unless and until such person produces any such be ok or document as it may consider necessary to enable it to do so,

The scheme of the Evidence Act is clear. Gene-rally all the facts alleged have to be proved in the manner provided by the Act but there are three exceptions ; facts admitted, facts presumed and facts of which the Court should take judicial notice need not be so proved. Section 57 enumerates the facts of which the Court should take judicial notice. Under Section 67 (l) the Court should take judicial notice of all Indian laws.

3. 'Indian laws' is defined by the General Clauses Act under Section 3(27-a). It includes any law, ordinance, order, by-law, rule or regulation passed or made at any time by any competent legislature, authority or person in British India. The question for consideration is whether the orders contravened by the acoused are orders within the meaning of this definition. If so, Section 57 (l), Evidence Act would apply. Under Section 3(l) of Act xxiv [24] of 1946, the Central Government so far as it appears to it to be necessary or expedient for maintaining or increasing sup-plies of any essential commodity, or for securing their equitable distribution and availability at fair prices, may by notified order provide for regulating or prohibiting the production, supply and distribution thereof, and trade and commerce therein. Under 8. i of the same Act, the Central Government may by notified order direct that the power to make orders under Sections shall be exercis-able by such officer, or authority subordinate to the Central Government or such Provincial Government or such officer or authority subordinate to a Provincial Government, as may be specified in the direotion. Section 7(1) prescribes the penalties for contravention of the said orders.

4. The aforesaid orders in contravention whereof the accused acted in all the cases were issued in strict compliance with the provisions of this Act by the Government or by authority or persons duly authorised by the Government and they have also been duly notified in the manner provided by the Act. They are clearly orders made by a competent authority or person in British India within the meaning of Section 3(27-a), General Clauses Act and therefore they are part of Indian law. If the said orders come under the definition of Indian laws, the provisions of Section 67 are attracted and the Court should take judicial notice of the same.

5. But the question still remains whether this-is a fit case for interference in these appeals. Though a Court should take judicial notice of the facts mentioned in Section 57, it could only take such notice if unimpeachable be oks or documents are put before it or otherwise accessible for its reference. Under the last paragraph of the section, the Court is given the discretion to refuse to take judicial notice of any fact unless such person calling upon the Court to take any judicial notice ' of such fact produces any such be ok or document as it may be necessary to enable it to do so. In this case, no such be ok or document was placed before the lower Court for its reference to enable it to satisfy itself that such order or notification was in existence. In its discretion the lower Court refused to take judicial notice as neither the orders nor the documents showing, the publication of such orders were placed before it. It is, therefore, impossible to say that the discretion exercised by the lower Court is either perverse or illegal.

6. In the result all the appeals ace dismissed.


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