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In Re: Pattinathan Alias Krishnaswami Naidu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCustoms
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1937)1MLJ178
AppellantIn Re: Pattinathan Alias Krishnaswami Naidu
Cases Referred and Emperor v. Aijaz Husain I.L.R.
Excerpt:
.....question that is argued in this petition, and that is an important question, is whether the facts as alleged and proved by the prosecution constitute the offence in question, or to put it more clearly whether the facts constitute obstruction. the point therefore for decision is whether failure to stop when asked, to stop by a customs officer who has the right to stop suspected smugglers is an obstruction to the custom officer. 506. in my opinion reference to authorities is hardly required in dealing with a simple point like this. the direction to the petitioner to execute a bond for his good behaviour for one year is set aside and that bond is cancelled and the petitioner is acquitted......and emperor v. aijaz husain i.l.r. (1916) 38 all. 506. in my opinion reference to authorities is hardly required in dealing with a simple point like this. it seems to me hardly arguable that when a man runs away when asked to stop, he is obstructing the man who asked him to stop. it follows therefore that the facts alleged and proved in this case do not constitute the offence of which the petitioner has been convicted. the conviction of the petitioner must therefore be set aside. the direction to the petitioner to execute a bond for his good behaviour for one year is set aside and that bond is cancelled and the petitioner is acquitted.
Judgment:
ORDER

Pandrang Row, J.

1. The petitioner in this case has been convicted of an offence punishable under Section 167, Clause 78 of the Sea Customs Act (VIII of 1878) according to which the offence is defined as follows:

If any person intentionally obstructs any officer of Customs or other person duly employed for the prevention of smuggling, in the exercise of any powers given under the Act to such officer or person.

2. The sentence imposed on the petitioner was modified in appeal into one directing him to execute a bond for his good behaviour for one year. The only question that is argued in this petition, and that is an important question, is whether the facts as alleged and proved by the prosecution constitute the offence in question, or to put it more clearly whether the facts constitute obstruction. The facts are briefly as follows. Two customs peons who were stationed on a road to watch and arrest smugglers who were expected to pass along the road saw a bicycle being driven very fast along the road and they shouted that they were customs men and wanted to search. In spite of this the cycle was ridden fast along a side track and did not stop. It is alleged that this non-stopping of the cycle of which the petitioner was the rider constitutes obstruction to the Customs Officer. It is not alleged that anything else was done by the petitioner which constitutes obstruction. The point therefore for decision is whether failure to stop when asked, to stop by a Customs Officer who has the right to stop suspected smugglers is an obstruction to the Custom Officer. I have no doubt that this question has to be answered in the negative. Mere evasion or disobedience to a lawful order is not an obstruction to the officer who issues the order. Obstruction implies some actual resistance offered to the public servant in the discharge of his duties. Obstruction is under certain circumstances an offence under Section 186 and under certain other circumstances an offence under Section 225. I have been referred to two decisions relating to each of the two offences, namely, Queen-Empress v. Sommanna : (1892)2MLJ120 and Emperor v. Aijaz Husain I.L.R. (1916) 38 All. 506. In my opinion reference to authorities is hardly required in dealing with a simple point like this. It seems to me hardly arguable that when a man runs away when asked to stop, he is obstructing the man who asked him to stop. It follows therefore that the facts alleged and proved in this case do not constitute the offence of which the petitioner has been convicted. The conviction of the petitioner must therefore be set aside. The direction to the petitioner to execute a bond for his good behaviour for one year is set aside and that bond is cancelled and the petitioner is acquitted.


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