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Public Prosecutor Vs. Perumal Naidu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal App. Nos. 413 and 494 of 1966 etc. and Crl. R.C. No. 258 of 1966, etc.
Judge
Reported inAIR1970Mad351; 1970CriLJ1236; (1970)2MLJ309
ActsMadras Paddy and Rice (Movement Control) Order, 1965; Defence of India Rules, 1962 - Rule 125(3A); Madras Paddy and Rice (Movement Control) Order, 1964; Madras Paddy and Rice Dealers (Licensing and Regulation) Order, 1965; Madras Paddy and Rice (Declaration and Requisitioning of Stocks) Order, 1964
AppellantPublic Prosecutor
RespondentPerumal Naidu and ors.
Appellant AdvocateAssistant Public Prosecutor, ;C.K. Venkatanarasimham, ;M. Narayanamurthi, ;G. Gopalaswami, ;C.F. Louis, ;S.S. Bharadwaj, ;M. Sugananthan, ;K. Ramachandran, ;R. Sundaralingam, ;R. Santhanam, ;P.R. Vasu
Respondent AdvocateC.K. Venkatanarasimhan, ;N. Dhinakaran and ;P.C. Kurian, Advs.
Excerpt:
- .....government was not obtained within 'thirty days after sub-rule (3-a) of rule 125 of the defence of india rules, 1962 came into force. sub-rule (3-a) of rule 125 of the defence of india rules came into force on 20-5-1965, the madras paddy and rice (movement control) order, 1965 was passed in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-rule (2) of rule 125 of the defence of india rules, 1962 read with sub-rule (3) and clause (b) of sub-rule (9) of that rule, by the governor of madras, which came into force on 1-1-1965. at the time when the madras paddy and rice (movement control) order 1965 was passed, sub-rule (3-a) to rule 125 of the defence of india rules was not in force. therefore, it may be necessary to examine the scope of sub-rule (3-a) of rule 125, which runs thus:'notwithstanding.....
Judgment:

Krishnaswamy Reddy, J.

1. First Batch:-- These cases relate to offences under the Madras Paddy and Rice (Movement Control) Order, 1965. The only point raised in these cases is that the Madras Paddy and Rice (Movement Control) Order, 1965 is not valid on the ground that the concurrence of the Central Government was not Obtained within 'thirty days after Sub-rule (3-A) of Rule 125 of the Defence of India Rules, 1962 came into force. Sub-rule (3-A) of Rule 125 of the Defence of India Rules came into force on 20-5-1965, The Madras Paddy and Rice (Movement Control) Order, 1965 was passed in exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-rule (2) of Rule 125 of the Defence of India Rules, 1962 read with Sub-rule (3) and Clause (b) of Sub-rule (9) of that rule, by the Governor of Madras, which came into force on 1-1-1965. At the time when the Madras Paddy and Rice (Movement Control) Order 1965 was passed, Sub-rule (3-A) to Rule 125 of the Defence of India Rules was not in force. Therefore, it may be necessary to examine the scope of Sub-rule (3-A) of Rule 125, which runs thus:

'Notwithstanding anything contained In Sub-rules (2) and (3), an order under these sub-rules for regulating by licences, permits or otherwise the movement of transport of any foodstuffs including edible oil-seeds and oils, or for controlling the prices or rates at which any such foodstuffs may he bought or sold, shall not be made by the State Government after the commencement of the Defence of India (Third Amendment) Rules, 1965, except with the prior concurrence of the Central Government, and any order made before such commencement under these sub-rules for any of the purposes aforesaid by a State Government or any officer or authority authorised by it in that behalf shall cease to have effect on the expiry of a period of thirty days from such commencement except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such expiry, unless such order is confirmed by Central Government before such expiry.'

The latter portion of Sub-rule (3-A) is relevant in respect of these cases. It is clear that in respect of the order in question, unless the confirmation of the Central Government is obtained on or before 20-6-1965, it would expire. The prosecutions in all these cases were in relation to matters done or omitted to have been done after 20-6-1965. These things done or omitted to have been done before 20-6-1965 would be valid for the simple reason that this order was in force till that time.

2. The question that arises in respect of these' cases where the prosecution was launched in respect of certain things done or omitted to be done after 20-6-1965 is whether the confirmation as required under Sub-rule (3-A) was obtained by the State Government from the Central Government. The learned Public Prosecutor admits that there is no notification published in the Gazette of India in respect of confirmation of this order. But, however, he drew my attention to a letter purported to have been sent by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Government of India, under the signature of the Under Secretary, dated 11-6-1965, addressed to the Secretary to the Department of Food and Agriculture, Government of Madras, stating that with reference to their letter dated 31st May 1965, he was directed to state that the Government have confirmed the following orders which includes (1) The Madras Paddy and Rice (Movement Control) Order, 1965; (2) The Madras Paddy and Rice (Declaration and Requisitioning of Stocks) Order 1964, and (3) The Madras Paddy and Rice Dealers (Licensing and Regulation) Order 1965.

3. It is contended for by the learned counsel, appearing for the accused in all these cases, that the letter sent by the Under Secretary, Ministry of Food and Agriculture to the Secretary to Government, Department of Food and Agriculture, Government of Madras, stating that the Government of India had confirmed the order in question is not sufficient compliance under Sub-rule (3-A) of rule 125. It is further contended that such confirmation must not only be made by the Central Government but also it must be made by a notification published in the Official Gazette of the Government of India. There is force in their contention. A mere letter passed between the two Governments would not be sufficient to validate the order unless the confirmation, which is the condition precedent, to validate the order Is officially notified, so that the citizens who are affected by such order will know whether the order had come into force for them to obey. In the absence of such notification in the Official Gazette and much less in the absence of evidence that such confirmation was made by the Central Government, excepting the letter that has been produced before me, I am Of the view that Sub-rule (3-A) was not complied with and eventually, I hold that this order had expired on the 20th June ,1965 for the reason that no valid con-firmation was obtained within a month in after Sub-rule (3-A) came into force.

4. All the prosecutions in respect of offences committed after 20-6-1966 under this order are quashed. All the convictions and sentences passed under this order are set aside. The appeals filed by the Public Prosecutor are dismissed. The revisions filed by the accused are allowed. The order of confiscation made in all these' cases on a conviction or irrespective of the conviction are all set aside. The sale proceeds in respect of the properties seized in all these cases are directed to be returned to those persons who claim them on their filing applications before the lower courts. The fines, if paid, will be refunded to the petitioners.

5. Second Batch:-- These appeals were filed by the Public Prosecutor against the order of acquittal of the accused in these cases, by the Judicial Sub-Magistrate, Madurai in respect of offences under Section 3 of the Madras Paddy and Rice (Movement Control) Order 1964. The offences in these cases were said to have been committed on 23-10-1965, 23-9-1965 and 22-11-1965 respectively after Sub-rule (3-A) or Rule 125 of the Defence of India Rules, came into force, which was on 20-5-1965. For the reasons given by me in the earlier batch just now disposed of, I hold that the order under which1 the respondents were prosecuted, expired on or after 20-6-1965. These appeals are dismissed.

6. Third Batch:-- In this batch, Crl R. C. 315 of 1966 and 91 of 1967 relate to offences under the Madras Paddy and Rice Dealers (Licensing and Regulation Order 1965 and Crl. R. C. 316 of 1966 relates to the offence under the Madras Paddy and Rice (Declaration and Requisitioning of Stocks) Order 1964. In these cases, the offences were committed subsequent to 20-6-1965. For the reasons given by me in the first batch of cases, I hold that the orders were not valid at the time the offences were committed. The proceedings concerned in Crl. R C. Nos. 315 and 316 of 1966 are quashed. The conviction of the petitioners in Crl. R. C, 91 of 1967 are set aside and the fine, if paid, will be refunded to the petitioners. The confiscation in these cases are set aside. The sale proceeds of the properties seized would be returned to the claimants by the lower court after due enquiry.

7. Fourth. Batch:-- These two cases relate to offences under the Madras Paddy and Rice (Declaration and Requisitioning of Stocks) Order 1964. The offences in these cases were committed subsequent to 20-6-1965. For the reasons given by me in the first batch of cases, I hold that the order in question was not valid at the time the offences were committed. The convictions and sentences are set aside. The fine, if paid, will be refunded to the petitioners. The confiscation in these cases are set aside. The sale proceeds of properties seized would be returned to the claimants by the lower Court after due enquiry.


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