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Kedar Nath Saharia Vs. the State - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCriminal Revn. No. 458 of 1960
Judge
Reported inAIR1962Cal410
ActsEssential Commodities Act, 1955 - Section 11; ;Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860 - Section 21; ;Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) , 1898 - Section 190(1)
AppellantKedar Nath Saharia
RespondentThe State
Appellant AdvocateN.C. Banerjee and ;Arun Kumar Mukherjee, Advs.
Respondent AdvocateJ.M. Banerjee, Adv.
DispositionApplication dismissed
Cases ReferredA. P. Misra v. The State
Excerpt:
- .....commodities act 1955, the learned chief presidency magistrate could on the basis of the said police report, take cognizance of the offences concerned.3. section 11 of the essential commodities act, 1955, is as follows:-'no court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this act exception a report in writing of the facts constituting such offence made by a person who is a public servant as defined in section 21 of the indian penal code (xlv of 1860).'4. mr. banerjee appearing for the petitioner has contended that section 11 of the essential commodities act is a departure from the ordinary mode of taking cognizance under section 190 of the code of criminal procedure and that, therefore, clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 190 must be regarded as having been.....
Judgment:

Mitter, J.

1. The petitioner is the Managing Director of Messrs. Satya Narain Tea Co., (Private) Limited. In connection with his business, he had a quota Certificate for 100 tons of iron and steel. It is alleged that out of the said quota, he sold 36 tons of galvanized corrugated sheets in the black market. Consequent upon a report about the said sale by the Officer-in-charge of Hare Street Police Station, the learned Chief Presidency Magistrate purported to take cognizance of the case under Sections 7 and 10 of the Essential Commodities Act 1955 (Act X of 1955).

2. This Rule involves the question whether in view of the provisions of Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act 1955, the learned Chief Presidency Magistrate could on the basis of the said police report, take cognizance of the offences concerned.

3. Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, is as follows:-

'No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act exception a report in writing of the facts constituting such offence made by a person who is a public servant as defined in Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (XLV of 1860).'

4. Mr. Banerjee appearing for the petitioner has contended that Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act is a departure from the ordinary mode of taking cognizance under Section 190 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and that, therefore, Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 190 must be regarded as having been superseded. Section 11 of Essential Commodities Act does not provide for any such cognizance as is permitted either under Clause (a) or under Clause (c) of Sub-section (1) of Section 190. Mr. Banerjee has contended that a report by a police officer as a basis for cognizance is also excluded by the provisions of Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act. The point is important.

5. The learned Chief Presidency Magistratedid not purport to take cognizance of the case upon any police report under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The learned Magistrate regarded the police report as a report by a public servant under Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act. It is true that in the impugned order the learned Magistrate spoke of a 'complaint' under Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act as having been received. There is, however, no doubt that the report was regarded both by the police and by the learned Chief Presidency Magistrate as a report under Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act. Indeed, the report by the police officer is entitled 'Report under Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code'.

6. Now, there can be no doubt that a police officer is a public servant as defined in Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code. Therefore, a report by a police officer can properly be regarded as a report by a public servant. The language of Section 11 is wide enough to include a police officer who cannot be excluded from the category of a public servant. Had the intention of the legislature been to exclude a report by a police officer, the legislature, in our view, would have used apt words to exclude such a report. It has been contended by Mr. Banerjee that if the legislature had intended to reserve the right to take cognizance upon a police report, as provided in Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 190 a further provision in the Essential Commodities Act would have been redundant. On the other hand, it may well be argued that by the provision concerned the legislature intended to enlarge the mode of taking cognizance by providing for cognizance upon a report by any public servant as defined in Section 21 of the Indian Penal Code, fn our view, the latter construction appears to us to harmonise the two provisions respectively contained in Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 190 and Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955. We also take the view that the language of Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act must be given effect to and that in that view of the matters a report by a police officer qua a public servant entitles the Court to take cognizance of offences under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

7. We have been referred to the case of A. P. Misra v. The State, 1958 Cr LJ 1386 : (AIR 1938 Cal 612), in which N. K. Sen, J., held that a First Information Report drawn on a letter sent by a Sub-Inspector of Police was not a report in writing, as required under Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act. The point was whether or not there was a report in writing and not whether the report of a police officer could be regarded as a report by a public servant within the meaning or Section 11 of the Essential Commodities Act.

8. For the foregoing reasons, we would dismiss this application and discharge the relative Rule.

Niyogi, J.

9. I agree.


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