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Chint Ram Vs. State of Himachal Pradesh and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtHimachal Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1976CriLJ1353
AppellantChint Ram
RespondentState of Himachal Pradesh and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....pathak, c.j.1. the petitioner challenges an order for the confiscation of his goods made by the special tribunal constituted under the defence and internal security of india act, 1971.2. on a search made on july 18, 1975 of the petitioner's premises by the police authorities it was discovered that the petitioner had stocks of gur and rice in excess of the maximum quantity which he could keep in stock. it was also found that the list of prices displayed by him was not signed. the case was taken up by the special tribunal constituted under section 7 of the defence and internal security of india act, 1971 and the tribunal held that the petitioner was guilty of a contravention of clause (4) of the himachal pradesh commodities price marking and display order, 1975 and of clause 3(1)(a) of.....
Judgment:
ORDER

R.S. Pathak, C.J.

1. The petitioner challenges an order for the confiscation of his goods made by the Special Tribunal constituted under the Defence and Internal Security of India Act, 1971.

2. On a search made on July 18, 1975 of the petitioner's premises by the police authorities it was discovered that the petitioner had stocks of Gur and rice in excess of the maximum quantity which he could keep in stock. It was also found that the list of prices displayed by him was not signed. The case was taken up by the Special Tribunal constituted under Section 7 of the Defence and Internal Security of India Act, 1971 and the Tribunal held that the petitioner was guilty of a contravention of Clause (4) of the Himachal Pradesh Commodities Price Marking and Display Order, 1975 and of Clause 3(1)(a) of the Himachal Pradesh Hoarding and Profiteering Prevention Order, 1974. It convicted the accused accordingly and sentenced him to pay a fine in respect of each offence. It went on further to make an order confiscating the Gur and rice recovered from his possession.

3. In this petition, the petitioner contends that there was no power in the Special Tribunal to make an order of confiscation. I have heard learned Counsel for the parties, and in my judgment the contention must be upheld. Rule 114(11)(b) of the Defence and Internal Security of India Rules, 1971 provides:

If any order made under this rule so provides, any Court trying a contravention of the order may direct that any property in respect of which the Court is satisfied that the order has been contravened shall be forfeited to Government.

It is clear that the power conferred by this provision can be exercised only where an order made under Rule 114 has been contravened in respect of some property and there is a provision in the order conferring power to confiscate the property. Neither in the Himachal Pradesh Commodities Price Marking and Display Order, 1975 nor in the Himachal Pradesh Hoarding and Profiteering Prevention Order, 1974 is there any provision empowering the Special Tribunal to make an order of confiscation. The Special Tribunal has acted without jurisdiction, and the order of confiscation, must be quashed.

4. Learned Counsel for the petitioner states that the stocks of Gur and rice recovered from the possession of the petitioner have already been sold by the respondents. In the circumstances, the petitioner is entitled to payment of the sale proceeds of those stocks.

5. The petition is allowed, the order of the Tribunal confiscating the petitioner's stocks of Gur and rice is quashed, and the petitioner is entitled to payment of the sale proceeds of those stocks. The petitioner is entitled to his costs.


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