English Typing Test

AFR CourtNo.-84 Case:-CRIMINALREVISIONNo.-1629of2021 Revisionist:-VidyaNandYadav OppositeParty:-StateofU.P. CounselforRevisionist:-AkhileshSingh,ShivamYadav CounselforOppositeParty:-G.A. Hon'bleDr.YogendraKumarSrivastava,J. 1.HeardSriShivamYadav,learnedcounselfortherevisionistandSriPankajSaxena,learnedAdditionalGovernmentAdvocate-IappearingalongwithMs.SushmaSoni,learnedAdditionalGovernmentAdvocatefortheState-oppositeparty. 2.Presentcriminalrevisionhasbeenpreferredseekingtoset-asidetheorderdated7.7.2021,passedbytheChiefJudicialMagistrate,KushinagaratPadrauna,wherebytheapplicationfiledbyrevisionistunderSection457oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,19731,forreleaseoftruckseizedunderSection21(4)oftheMinesandMinerals(DevelopmentandRegulation)Act,19572,hasbeenrejected. 3.Pleadingsofthecaseindicatethatthevehicleownedbytherevisionist,atruckcarryinggitti(aminormineral),wasseizedbytheMinesInspector,Kushinagaron19.4.2021,andareportwasforwardedtotheDistrictOfficerforfurtherproceedingsunderRule74oftheUttarPradeshMinorMinerals(Concession)Rules,19633.TherevisionistclaimstohaveapproachedtheDistrictOfficerandthereafterhefiledanapplicationunderSection457oftheCodebeforetheChiefJudicialMagistrate,KushinagaratPadrauna,on3.6.2021,seekingreleaseofthevehicle.TheChiefJudicialMagistrate,aftercallingforareportfromtheMinesInspector,passedanorderon7.7.2021,rejectingtheapplicationfiledunderSection457oftheCode. 4.Learnedcounselforrevisionisthassoughttoassailtheaforesaidorderdated7.7.2021,passedbytheChiefJudicialMagistrate,byseekingtocontendthatsincethevehicleoftherevisionisthadbeenseized,learnedMagistratehascommittedanerrorinrejectingtheapplicationseekingreleaseofthevehicle,despitethenecessarypowersinregardtothesamebeingavailableunderSection457oftheCode.ItissubmittedthatorderpassedbytheMagistrateisbasedonnon-applicationofmindandisillegalandunsustainable.Learnedcounselfurthersubmitsthatthevehicle,whichislyingwiththeauthorities,isliabletobereleased.Insupportofhissubmissions,learnedcounselhasplacedrelianceuponthedecisionsinthecaseofSunderbhaiAmbalalDesaivs.StateofGujarat4,RajendraSinghvs.StateofU.P.andOthers5,Smt.SudhaKesarwanivs.StateofU.P.andAnother6,andSmt.ManuDevivs.StateofU.P.andOthers7. 5.LearnedAdditionalGovernmentAdvocate-Ihascontrovertedtheaforesaidcontentionbysubmittingthatthevehicle/truckinquestion,ofwhichtherevisionistclaimsownership,wasinterceptedwhileillegallytransportinggitti(aminormineral)andwasseizedbytheMinesInspectoron19.4.2021,inexerciseofpowersunderSection21(4)oftheMMDRActandareportwasforwardedtotheDistrictOfficerforinitiationofproceedingsunderRule74oftheConcessionRules.Inthemeantime,therevisionistsubmittedanapplicationdated23.4.2021totheDistrictMagistrate,seekingcompoundingoftheoffence,andanorderdated28.05.2021waspasseddirectingtherevisionisttodeposittherequisiteamounttowardscompoundingfeeaspertherelevantGovernmentOrder,whereuponthecompoundingwastobemadeandthereleaseofthevehiclewouldhavefollowed.IthasbeenpointedoutthattherevisionistdidnotdeposittherequisitecompoundingfeeandmovedanapplicationunderSection457oftheCode,beforetheChiefJudicialMagistrate,whichhasbeenrightlyrejectedasbeingnotentertainable. 6.LearnedAdditionalGovernmentAdvocate-IpointsoutthattherevisionisthavingappliedforcompoundingandanorderhavingalsobeenpassedthereonbytheDistrictMagistrate,incasehewasaggrieved,itwasopentohimtoavailthestatutoryremedyoffilinganappealunderRule77andthereafterarevisionunderRule78oftheConcessionRules.ItissubmittedthatthenecessaryingredientsforinvocationofpowersunderSection457oftheCodehavingnotbeenmadeout,theMagistratehasrightlyrefusedtoentertainthesaidapplication. 7.Thequestion,thus,fallsforconsiderationisastowhetheratthestagewherethevehiclehasbeenseizedinexerciseofpowersunderSection21(4)oftheMMDRActwithanorderhavingbeenpasseduponanapplicationseekingcompoundingoftheoffence,andnocomplainthavingbeenmadebythepersonauthorisedbeforethejurisdictionalMagistrate,theprovisionsunderSection457oftheCode,seekingreleaseofthevehicle,couldhavebeeninvoked. 8.Inordertoappreciatetherivalcontentionsontheaforesaidlegalissue,therelevantstatutoryprovisionsundertheMMDRAct,whichisanActtoprovideforthedevelopmentandregulationofminesandmineralsunderthecontroloftheUnion,maybereferredto. "4.Prospectingorminingoperationstobeunderlicenceorlease.--"(1)Nopersonshallundertakeanyreconnaissance,prospectingorminingoperationsinanyarea,exceptunderandinaccordancewiththetermsandconditionsofareconnaissancepermitorofaprospectinglicenceor,asthecasemaybe,ofamininglease,grantedunderthisActandtherulesmadethereunder"; Providedthatnothinginthesub-sectionshalleffectanyprospectingorminingoperationsundertakeninanyareainaccordancewiththetermsandconditionsofaprospectinglicenceorminingleasegrantedbeforethecommencementofthisActwhichisinforceatsuchcommencement: Providedfurtherthatnothinginthissub-sectionshallapplytoanyprospectingoperationsundertakenbytheGeologicalSurveyofIndia,theIndianBureauofMines,theAtomicMineralsDirectorateforExplorationsandResearchoftheDepartmentofAtomicEnergyoftheCentralGovernment,theDirectorateofMiningandGeologyofanyStateGovernment(bywhatevernamecalled),andtheMineralExplorationCorporationLimited,aGovernmentcompanywithinthemeaningofClause(45)ofSection2oftheCompaniesAct,2013(18of2013),andanysuchentitythatmaybenotifiedforthispurposebytheCentralGovernment. (1-A)NopersonshalltransportorstoreorcausetobetransportedorstoredanymineralotherwisethaninaccordancewiththeprovisionsofthisActandtherulesmadethereunder. (2)Noreconnaissancepermit,prospectinglicenceorminingleaseshallbegrantedotherwisethaninaccordancewiththeprovisionsofthisActandtherulesmadethereunder. (3)AnyStateGovernmentmay,afterpriorconsultationwiththeCentralGovernmentandinaccordancewiththerulesmadeunderSection18,undertakereconnaissance,prospectingorminingoperationswithrespecttoanymineralspecifiedintheFirstScheduleinanyareawithinthatStatewhichisnotalreadyheldunderanyreconnaissancepermit,prospectinglicenceormininglease. 21.Penalties.--(1)Whoevercontravenestheprovisionsofsub-section(1)orsub-section(1-A)ofSection4shallbepunishablewithimprisonmentforatermwhichmayextendtofiveyearsandwithfinewhichmayextendtofivelakhrupeesperhectareofthearea. (2)AnyrulemadeunderanyprovisionofthisActmayprovidethatanycontraventionthereofshallbepunishablewithimprisonmentforatermwhichmayextendtotwoyearsorwithfinewhichmayextendtofivelakhrupees,orwithboth,andinthecaseofacontinuingcontravention,withadditionalfinewhichmayextendtofiftythousandrupeesforeverydayduringwhichsuchcontraventioncontinuesafterconvictionforthefirstsuchcontravention. (3)Whereanypersontrespassesintoanylandincontraventionoftheprovisionsofsub-section(1)ofSection4,suchtrespassermaybeservedwithanorderofevictionbytheStateGovernmentoranyauthorityauthorisedinthisbehalfbythatGovernmentandtheStateGovernmentorsuchauthorisedauthoritymay,ifnecessary,obtainthehelpofthepolicetoevictthetrespasserfromtheland. (4)Wheneveranypersonraises,transportsorcausestoberaisedortransported,withoutanylawfulauthority,anymineralfromanylandandforthatpurpose,usesanytool,equipment,vehicleoranyotherthing,suchmineral,tool,equipment,vehicleoranyotherthingshallbeliabletobeseizedbyanofficerorauthorityspeciallyempoweredinthisbehalf. (4-A)Anymineral,tool,equipment,vehicleoranyotherthingseizedundersub-section(4),shallbeliabletobeconfiscatedbyanorderofthecourtcompetenttotakecognizanceoftheoffenceundersub-section(1)andshallbedisposedofinaccordancewiththedirectionsofsuchcourt. (5)Wheneveranypersonraise,withoutanylawfulauthority,anymineralfromanyland,theStateGovernmentmayrecoverfromsuchpersonthemineralsoraised,orwheresuchmineralhasalreadybeendisposedof,thepricethereof,andmayalsorecoverfromsuchpersonrent,royaltyortax,asthecasemaybe,fortheperiodduringwhichthelandwasoccupiedbysuchpersonwithoutanylawfulauthority. (6)NotwithstandinganythingcontainedintheCodeofCriminalProcedure,1973(2of1974),anoffenceundersub-section(1)shallbecognizable. 22.Cognizanceofoffences.--NocourtshalltakecognizanceofanyoffencepunishableunderthisActoranyrulesmadethereunderexceptuponcomplaintinwritingmadebyapersonauthorisedinthisbehalfbytheCentralGovernmentorStateGovernment. 23-A.Compoundingofoffences.--(1)AnyoffencepunishableunderthisActoranyrulemadethereundermay,eitherbeforeoraftertheinstitutionoftheprosecution,becompoundedbythepersonauthorisedunderSection22tomakeacomplainttothecourtwithrespecttothatoffence,onpaymenttothatpersonforcredittotheGovernment,ofsuchsumasthatpersonmayspecify: Providedthatinthecaseofanoffencepunishablewithfineonly,nosuchsumshallexceedthemaximumamountoffinewhichmaybeimposedforthatoffence. (2)Whereanoffenceiscompoundedundersub-section(1),noproceedingorfurtherproceeding,asthecasemaybe,shallbetakenagainsttheoffenderinrespectoftheoffencesocompounded,andtheoffender,incustody,shallbereleasedforthwith." 9.Section4oftheMMDRAct,andinparticular,sub-section(1-A)thereof,putsatotalrestrictiononthetransportationorstorageofanymineral,otherwisethaninaccordancewiththeprovisionsoftheActandtheRulesmadethereunder.Section21providesforpenaltiesinrespectofcontraventionoftheprovisionsofsub-section(1-A)ofSection4.Aspertermsofsub-section(4)ofSection21,wheneveranypersonraises,withoutanylawfulauthority,anymineralfromanylandandforthatpurpose,usesanymineral,tool,equipment,vehicleoranyotherthing,suchmineraltool,equipment,vehicleoranyotherthing,shallbeliabletobeseizedbyanofficerorauthorityespeciallyempoweredinthisbehalf.Sub-section(4-A)providesthatthethingsseizedundersub-section(4)shallbeliabletobeconfiscatedbyanorderoftheCourtcompetenttotakecognizanceoftheoffenceundersub-section(1)andshallbedisposedofinaccordancewiththedirectionsofsuchCourt. 10.Section22relatestocognizanceofoffenceandintermsthereofnocourtshalltakecognizanceofanyoffencepunishableundertheMMDRActoranyrulesmadethereunderexceptuponcomplaintinwritingbyapersonauthorisedinthisbehalfbytheCentralGovernmentortheStateGovernment. 11.Section23-AisinrespectofcompoundingofoffenceswhereinanyoffencepunishableundertheActoranyrulesmadethereunder,may,eitherbeforeoraftertheinstitutionoftheprosecution,becompoundedbythepersonauthorisedtomakeacomplaint,onpaymenttothatpersonforcredittotheGovernmentofsuchsumasthatpersonmayspecify.Aspertermsofsub-section(2),whereanoffenceiscompoundedundersub-section(1)noproceedingorfurtherproceeding,asthecasemaybe,shallbetakenagainsttheoffenderinrespectofoffencesocompoundedandtheoffender,incustody,shallbereleasedforthwith. 12.UndertheConcessionRules,thesubjectmatterrelatingtocontraventions,offencesandpenaltiesaredealtwithunderChapterVII,andChapterVIIIcontainsmiscellaneousprovisions.TheprovisionsoftheConcessionRules,whicharerelevantforthepurposeofthecontroversyathand,maybeadvertedto. "74.Cognizanceofoffences.--(i)NocourtshalltakecognizanceofanyoffencepunishableundertheserulesexceptonacomplaintinwritingofthefactsconstitutingsuchoffencesbytheDistrictOfficerorbyanyofficerauthorisedbyhiminthisbehalf. (ii)NocourtinferiortothatofaMagistrateofthefirstclass,shalltryanyoffenceundertheserules. 75.Compoundingofoffence.--(1)Anyoffencepunishableundertheserulesmay,eitherbeforeoraftertheinstitutionoftheprosecutionbecompoundedbytheDistrictOfficerorbysuchofficerastheStateGovernmentmaybygeneralorspecialorderauthoriseinthisbehalfonpaymenttotheStateGovernmentofsuchsumassuchofficermayspecify: Providedthatinthecaseofanoffencepunishablewithfineonlynosuchsumshallexceedthemaximumamountoffinewhichmaybeimposedforthatoffence. (2)Whereanoffenceiscompoundedundersub-rule(1),noproceedingorfurtherproceeding,asthecasemaybe,shallbetakenagainsttheoffenderinrespectoftheoffencesocompoundedandtheoffenderifincustody,shallbereleasedforthwith. (3)Theofficercompoundingtheoffenceundersub-rule(1)shallmaintainaregistershowingthefollowingdetails: (a)Serialnumber(byfinancialyear). (b)Nameandaddressoftheoffender. (c)Dateanddetailsofoffence. (d)Sumofcompoundingamountanddateofitspayment. (e)Signatureoftheofficerwithdateandseal. 77.Appeal.--AnappealagainstanorderpassedundertheserulesbytheDistrictOfficerortheCommitteeshalllietotheDivisionalCommissionerwithinaperiodofsixtydaysfromthedateofcommunicationofsuchordertothepartyaggrieved. 78.Revision.--TheStateGovernmentmay,eithersuomotoatanytimeoronanapplicationmadewithinninetydaysfromthedateofcommunicationoftheorder,callforanexaminationoftherecordrelatingtoanyorderpassedorproceedingtakenbytheDistrictOfficerCommittee,DirectorortheDivisionalCommissionerundertheserulesandpasssuchordersasitmaythinkfit." 13.Rule74relatestocognizanceofoffenceandaspertermsthereof,nocourtshalltakecognizanceofanyoffencepunishableundertherulesexceptonacomplaintinwritingofthefactsconstitutingsuchoffencebytheDistrictOfficerorbyanyofficerauthorisedbyhiminthisbehalf. 14.Rule75isinrespectofcompoundingofoffencewhichprovidesthatanyoffencepunishableundertherulesmadebeforeorafterinstitutionoftheprosecution,becompoundedbytheDistrictOfficerorbyanysuchofficerastheStateGovernmentmayauthoriseinthisbehalfonpaymenttotheStateGovernmentofsuchsumassuchofficermayspecify.Sub-rule(2)mandatesthatwhereanoffenceiscompoundedundersub-rule(1),noproceedingorfurtherproceedingshallbetakenagainsttheoffenderinrespectofoffencesocompounded. 15.Rule77providesforanappealtoaDivisionalCommissioneragainstanorderpassedundertherulesbytheDistrictOfficerortheCommitteeandRule78containstherevisionalpowersoftheStateGovernment. 16.Section457,whichfallsunderChapterXXXIVoftheCodeandpertainstodisposalofproperty,mayalsobereferredto,andthesamereadsasfollows:- "457.Procedurebypoliceuponseizureofproperty.--(1)WhenevertheseizureofpropertybyanypoliceofficerisreportedtoaMagistrateundertheprovisionsofthisCode,andsuchpropertyisnotproducedbeforeaCriminalCourtduringaninquiryortrial,theMagistratemaymakesuchorderashethinksfitrespectingthedisposalofsuchpropertyorthedeliveryofsuchpropertytothepersonentitledtothepossessionthereof,orifsuchpersoncannotbeascertained,respectingthecustodyandproductionofsuchproperty. (2)Ifthepersonsoentitledisknown,theMagistratemayorderthepropertytobedeliveredtohimonsuchconditions(ifany)astheMagistratethinksfitandifsuchpersonisunknown,theMagistratemaydetainitandshall,insuchcase,issueaproclamationspecifyingthearticlesofwhichsuchpropertyconsists,andrequiringanypersonwhomayhaveaclaimthereto,toappearbeforehimandestablishhisclaimwithinsixmonthsfromthedateofsuchproclamation." 17.Inthecaseathand,thetruckstatedtobeownedbytherevisionistwasinterceptedforillegallytransportingcertainminormineralsincontraventionwiththeprovisionsoftheMMDRActandwasaccordingly,seizedbytheMinesInspectoron19.4.2021,andareportinregardtosamewasforwardedtotheDistrictOfficerforinitiationofprosecutionunderRule74oftheConcessionRules.Therevisionistatthisstagemovedanapplicationdated23.4.2021forcompounding,onwhichtheDistrictMagistratepassedanorderdated28.5.2021directingreleaseofthevehicleupondepositoftherequisiteamounttowardscompoundingaspertherelevantgovernmentorder. 18.Itappearsthatsincetherevisionisthadsoughtcompoundingoftheoffence,proceedingsforprosecutionbyfilingacomplaintunderSection22/Rule75werenotinitiatedandalsonoorderforconfiscationundersub-section(4-A)ofSection21oftheMMDRActwasmade. 19.TherevisionistdidnotmaketherequisitedepositpursuanttotheorderpassedbytheDistrictOfficeronhisapplicationseekingcompoundingoftheoffence,nordidheseekthestatutoryremedyofanappealunderRule77,incasehewasaggrievedwiththeorderpassedbytheDistrictOfficer.Therevisionist,instead,movedanapplicationbeforetheChiefJudicialMagistrate,seekingtoinvoketheprovisionsunderSection457oftheCodeanditwasturneddownasnotbeingentertainable. 20.Asalreadynotedabove,thevehicleownedbytherevisionisthadbeeninterceptedforillegallytransportingcertainminormineralsincontraventionwiththeprovisionsoftheMMDRActandaccordingly,thesamewasseizedbytheMinesInspectorinexerciseofpowersreferabletosub-section(4)ofSection21oftheAct.Uponseizureofthevehicleundersub-section(4),thesamewasliabletobeconfiscatedaspertermsofsub-section(4-A),byanorderofthecourtcompetenttotakecognizanceoftheoffenceundersub-section(1)andwastobedisposedofinaccordancewiththedirectionstobepassedbysuchcourt.ThecognizanceoftheoffencepunishableundertheActortherulesthereunder,inrespectofcontraventionsmade,couldbetakenbythecourtconcerneduponcomplaintbytheDistrictOfficeroranyofficerauthorisedbyhiminthisbehalf. 21.AspertheprovisionsrelatingtocompoundingofoffenceunderSection23-AreadwithRule75,anyoffencepunishableundertheAct/Rules,couldbecompounded,beforeoraftertheinstitutionofprosecution,bytheDistrictOfficer/officerauthorised.Further,aspertheprovisionscontainedundersub-section(2)ofSection23-Areadwithsub-rule(2)ofRule75upontheoffencebeingcompoundednoproceedings/furtherproceedingsaretobetakenagainsttheoffenderinrespectofoffencessocompounded. 22.Intheinstantcase,consequenttothevehiclehavingbeenseizedundersub-section(4)ofSection21,andbeforeacomplaintcouldbemovedbytheofficerauthorisedbeforetheMagistrareconcernedwhereuponanorderofcognizanceorconfiscationcouldbepassed,therevisionistsoughtcompoundingoftheoffencebymovinganapplicationbeforetheDistrictOfficerwhichwasallowedandanorderwaspasseddirectinghimtodeposittherequisitesumwhereuponthecompoundingwastobemadeandthevehiclewastobereleased. 23.Therevisionistneitherdepositedtherequisitecompoundingfeetogettheoffencecompoundedandthevehiclereleased,noravailedthestatutoryremedyofappealunderRule77andarevisionunderRule78oftheConcessionRules,incasehewasaggrievedwiththeorderpassedbytheDistrictOfficerupontheapplicationseekingcompounding.Therevisionist,insteadmovedanapplicationbeforetheChiefJudicialMagistrateseekingtoinvoketheprovisionsunderSection457oftheCode. 24.Thefactsasnoticedabovewouldgotoshowthatuponthevehiclehavingbeenseizedandbeforeanycomplaintcouldbefiledbytheauthorisedofficerforcognizanceoftheoffencewhereuponthecompetentcourtcouldhavepassedanorderofconfiscation,therevisionistmovedanapplicationseekingcompoundingofoffenceandinviewofthebarcontainedundersub-section(2),noproceeding/furtherproceedingcouldbetakenagainsthiminrespectofoffenceofwhichcompoundinghadbeensought. 25.ItmaybeappositetorefertothedecisioninthecaseofJayantandOthersvs.StateofMadhyaPradesh8,forthepropositionthatinacasewheretheviolatorispermittedtocompoundtheoffencesonpaymentofpenaltyaspersub-section(1)ofSection23-AoftheMMDRAct,inviewofsub-section(2)thereof,thereshallnotbeanyproceedingsorfurtherproceedingsagainsttheoffenderinrespectoftheoffencespunishableundertheMMDRActoranyrulesmadethereunder.Theobservationsmadeinthejudgement,inthecontextofSection23-A,arebeingextractedbelow: "5.4.Section23-AoftheMMDRActcontemplatesthecompoundingofoffenceundertheMMDRAct.Therefore,theRulesmadeundertheMMDRActcontainprovisionsforcompoundingofoffence.Sub-section(2)ofSection23-Aplacesabaronproceedingsorfurtherproceedings,whentheoffenceshavebeencompoundedundersub-section(1).Therefore,oncetheproceedingshavebeencompoundedundertheActorRulesmadethereunder,nofurtherproceedingscanlie.... 17.1.Section23-Aasitstandstodayhasbeenbroughtonthestatuteintheyear1972ontherecommendationsoftheMineralAdvisoryBoardwhichprovidesthatanyoffencepunishableundertheMMDRActoranyRulesmadethereundermay,eitherbeforeoraftertheinstitutionoftheprosecution,becompoundedbythepersonauthorisedunderSection22tomakeacomplainttothecourtwithrespecttothatoffence,onpaymenttothatperson,forcredittotheGovernment,ofsuchsumastheypersonmayspecify.Sub-section(2)ofSection23-Afurtherprovidesthatwhereanoffenceiscompoundedundersub-section(1),noproceedingorfurtherproceeding,asthecasemaybe,shallbetakenagainsttheofficerinrespectoftheoffencesocompounded,andtheoffender,ifincustody,shallbereleasedforthwith.Thus,thebarundersub-section(2)ofSection23-AshallbeapplicablewithrespecttotheoffencesundertheMMDRActoranyRulesmadethereunder. 21.5.Inacasewheretheviolatorispermittedtocompoundtheoffencesonpaymentofpenaltyaspersub-section(1)ofSection23-A,consideringsub-section(2)ofSection23-AoftheMMDRAct,thereshallnotbeanyproceedingsorfurtherproceedingsagainsttheoffenderinrespectoftheoffencespunishableundertheMMDRActoranyRulesmadethereundersocompounded...." 26.Itwouldbeinthebackdropoftheaforestatedfactsituationthatthequestionwithregardtomaintainability/entertainabilityoftheapplicationfiledbytherevisionistbeforetheMagistrateunderSection457oftheCode,wouldberequiredtobeconsidered. 27.Asnotedabove,thepoweroftheMagistrateseekingreleaseofthevehicleunderSection457oftheCodewassoughttobeinvokedatastage,wherenocomplainthadyetbeenmovedbytheauthorisedofficerbeforethecompetentcourtandneitheranycognizancehadbeentaken,northecourthadpassedanyorderofconfiscation. 28.Section457oftheCodeempowerstheMagistratetopassordersfordisposalofpropertywhichisseizedbythepoliceandnotproducedincourtduringinquiryortrialwhenevertheseizureofpropertybythepolicehastobereportedtoaMagistrateundertheprovisionsoftheCode.Thesectionwouldbeapplicableonlyifthefollowingtwoconditionsaresatisfied:(i)theseizureofpropertybyapoliceofficerisreportedtoaMagistrateundertheprovisionsoftheCode;and(ii)suchpropertyisnotproducedbeforeacriminalcourtduringanenquiryortrial. 29.Itistherefore,seenthatinordertoattracttheprovisionsofSection457,itisessentialthattheseizureofpropertyisbya''policeofficer',andthesameisreportedtoaMagistrateundertheprovisionsoftheCode. 30.ThequestionwhichthereforeariseswouldbeastowhetherseizureofthevehiclebyaMinesInspectorexercisingpowersundertheMMDRActcanbeheldtobe''seizureofpropertybyapoliceofficer'. 31.ThePoliceAct,1861(ActVof1861),whichisanActfortheregulationofpolice,wouldberequiredtobelookedintosoastounderstandastothekindofofficerswhowouldcomewithinthemeaningoftheword''police'.ThePreambleoftheActindicatesthattheenactmentwasmadeconsideringthatitwasexpedienttoreorganisethepoliceandtomakeitamoreefficientinstrumentforpreventionanddetectionofcrime.Section1ofthePoliceAct,whichistheinterpretationclause,definestheword''police'asincludingallpersonswhoshallbeenrolledundertheAct.LookingtotheobjectoftheAct,thepoliceforcewouldprimarilybeseentohavebeenorganisedasaninstrumentforthepreventionanddetectionofcrimeandinviewthereoftheterm''policeofficer'wouldrefertothoseofficerswhoareconferredwiththepowersfortheeffectivepreventionanddetectionofcrimeinordertomaintainlawandorder. 32.Itcan,therefore,besaidthatapersonwhoisamemberofthepoliceforcecanbesaidtobea''policeofficer',andapersoncanbeheldtobeamemberofthepoliceforceonlywhenheholdshisofficeunderanyoftheenactmentsdealingwiththepolice.Therebeingnostatutorydefinitionoftheexpression''policeofficer',itcanbestatedthatapoliceofficerisapersonwhomanystatuteorotherprovisonoflawcallssuch,or,onwhomitconfersall,or,substantiallyallthepowersandimposesthedutiesofapoliceofficer. 33.Themeaningoftheexpression''policeofficer'inthecontextofSection25oftheEvidenceActandthequestionastowhetheracustomsofficercanbeheldtobeapoliceofficerweresubjectmatterofconsiderationinTheStateofPunjabv.BarkatRam9,anditwasheldthatthoughtheexpression''policeofficer'isnottobeconstruedinanarrowway;however,thesamecannotbegivensuchawidemeaningastoincludesuchotherpersonswhomayhavebeenconferredwithcertainpowers.Itwasheldthatmerelybecausesomepowerswithregardtodetectionofinfractionsofcustomslawshavebeenconferredonofficersofthecustomsdepartment,thesamewouldnotbeasufficientgroundforholdingthemtobe''policeofficer'withinthemeaningoftheterm.Theobservationsmadeinthejudgment,relevanttothecontroversyathand,areasfollows: "8.ThePoliceAct,1861(ActVof1861),isdescribedasanActfortheregulationofpolice,andisthusanActfortheregulationofthatgroupofofficerswhocomewithintheword'police'whatevermeaningbegiventothatword.ThepreambleoftheActfurthersays:'whereasitisexpedienttore-organisethepoliceandtomakeitamoreefficientinstrumentforthepreventionanddetectionofcrime,itisenactedasfollows'.Thisindicatesthatthepoliceistheinstrumentforthepreventionanddetectionofcrimewhichcanbesaidtobethemainobjectandpurposeofhavingthepolice.Sections23and25laydownthedutiesofthepoliceofficersandS.20dealswiththeauthoritytheycanexercise.TheycanexercisesuchauthorityasisprovidedforapoliceofficerunderthePoliceActandanyActforregulatingcriminalprocedure.Theauthoritygiventopoliceofficersmustnaturallybetoenablethemtodischargetheirdutiesefficiently.OfthevariousdutiesmentionedinS.23,themoreimportantdutiesaretocollectandcommunicateintelligenceaffectingthepublicpeace,topreventthecommissionofoffencesandpublicnuisancesandtodetectandbringoffenderstojusticeandtoapprehendallpersonswhomthepoliceofficerislegallyauthorisedtoapprehend.Itisclear,therefore,inviewofthenatureofthedutiesimposedonthepoliceofficers,thenatureoftheauthorityconferredandthepurposeofthepoliceAct,thatthepowerswhichthepoliceofficersenjoyarepowersfortheeffectivepreventionanddetectionofcrimeinordertomaintainlawandorder. 9.Thepowersofcustomsofficersarereallynotforsuchpurpose.Theirpowersareforthepurposeofcheckingthesmugglingofgoodsandtheduerealisationofcustomsdutiesandtodeterminetheactiontobetakenintheinterestsoftherevenuesofthecountrybywayofconfiscationofgoodsonwhichnodutyhadbeenpaidandbyimposingpenaltiesandfines 12....thedutiesoftheCustomsOfficersareverymuchdifferentfromthoseofthepoliceofficersandthattheirpossessingcertainpowers,whichmayhavesimilaritywiththoseofpoliceofficers,forthepurposeofdetectingthesmugglingofgoodsandthepersonsresponsibleforit,wouldnotmakethempoliceofficers. 13.Thereseemstobenodisputethatapersonwhoisamemberofthepoliceforceisapoliceofficer.ApersonisamemberofthepoliceforcewhenheholdshisofficeunderanyoftheActsdealingwiththepolice...." 34.AsimilarqustioncameupforconsiderationbeforeaConstitutionBenchoftheSupremeCourtinBadakuJotiSvantv.StateofMysore10,andwhileconsideringthepowersconferreduponaCentralExciseOfficerinmattersrelatingtoinvestigatingacognizablecase,itwasheldthataCentralExciseOfficercanonlymakeacomplaintunderclause(a)ofSection190(1)oftheCode,andhisreportisnotareportmadebyapoliceofficer.ItwasheldthatevenifabroadviewistakenmereconfermentofpowersofinvestigationintoacriminaloffenceunderSection9wouldnotmaketheCentralExciseOfficera''policeofficer'.Theobservationsmadeinthejudgment,inthisregard,areasfollows: "6.TherehasbeendifferenceofopinionamongtheHighCourtsinIndiaastothemeaningofthewords"policeofficer"usedinS.25oftheEvidenceAct.Oneviewhasbeenthatthosewordsmustbeconstruedinabroadwayandallofficerswhethertheyarepoliceofficersproperlyso-calledornotwouldbepoliceofficerswithinthemeaningofthosewordsiftheyhaveallthepowersofapoliceofficerwithrespecttoinvestigationofoffenceswithwhichtheyareconcerned.TheleadingcaseinsupportofthisviewisNanooSheikhAhmedv.Emperor,AIR1927Bom4(FB).Theotherviewwhichmaybecalledthenarrowviewisthatthewords"policeofficer"inS.25oftheEvidenceActmeanapoliceofficerproperlyso-calledanddonotincludeofficersofotherdepartmentsofgovernmentwhomaybechargedwiththedutytoinvestigateunderspecialActsspecialcrimesthereunderlikeexciseoffencesorcustomsoffences,andsoon.TheleadingcaseinsupportofthisviewisRadhaKishunMarwariv.Emperor,AIR1932Pat293(SB).TheotherHighCourtshavefollowedoneviewortheother,themajoritybeinginfavouroftheviewtakenbytheBombayHighCourt. 7....WeshallproceedontheassumptionthatthebroadviewmaybeacceptedandthatrequiresanexaminationofthevariousprovisionsoftheAct... 10....weareoftheopinionthatmereconfermentofpowersofinvestigationintocriminaloffencesunderS.9oftheActdoesnotmaketheCentralExciseOfficerapoliceofficerinthebroaderviewmentionedabove.OtherwiseanypersonentrustedwithinvestigationunderS.202oftheCr.P.C.wouldbecomeapoliceofficer. 11....inthesecircumstancesweareofopinionthateventhoughtheCentralExciseOfficermayhavewhenmakingenquiriesforpurposesoftheActpowerswhichanofficer-in-chargeofapolicestationhaswheninvestigatingacognizableoffence,hedoesnottherebybecomeapoliceofficerevenifwegivethebroadermeaningtothosewordsinS.25oftheEvidenceAct." 35.Theexpression''policeofficer'asheldinvariousjudicialauthorities,doesnotincludeofficersofotherdepartmentonwhomcertainpowersofapoliceofficerareconferredunderaparticularenactmentforcertainspecificpurposes.(SeeHaruvStateofMP11,TheStateofPunjabvBarkatRam9) 36.InacasewhereconfiscationproceedingunderSection52oftheIndianForestAct,1927inrespectofavehicleseizedforaforestoffencehadbeeninitiated,itwasheldthattheMagistrateexercisingpowersundertheCodewouldhavenojurisdictiontoorderfordeliveryofthevehicleortoentertainanapplicationforreleaseofthevehicle.(SeeJagabandhuMahantav.BijayKumarKarandAnother12) 37.ConsideringtheapplicabilityoftheprovisionsofSection457toaseizurebyacustomsofficer,inthecaseofAssistantCollectorofCustomsvSmt.MariaRegeandanother13,itwasheldthatunlessthepropertyinquestionhadbeenseizedbyapoliceofficerduringinquiryortrial,thecriminalcourtwouldnotgetjurisdictionunderthesectiontodealwithsuchseizureandthatthecustomsofficerbeingnota''policeofficer'theseizureofpropertyeffectedbyhimanddisposalthereof,cannotbetakencognizanceofbyacriminalcourtunderthesection. 38.TheseizurebyaForestRangeOfficerundertheWildLife(Protection)Act,1972wasalsoheldnottoattracttheprovisionsofSection457oftheCodeassuchofficerisnotapoliceofficer.(SeeBabulalLodhivStateofMadhyaPradeshandanother14) 39.ThequestionastowhetheranofficeroftheRailwayProtectionForcemakinginquiryundertheRailwayProperty(UnlawfulPossession)Act,1966,couldbecoveredwithinthemeaningoftheexpression''policeofficer'underSection25oftheEvidenceActorSection162oftheCodewassubjectmatterofconsiderationinBalkishanA.Devidayalv.StateofMaharashtra15,anditwasheldthatanofficeroftheRailwayProtectionForcewouldnotbeapoliceofficer,soalsowouldbethepositionofaCustomsorExciseOfficer.Inthisregard,thetestevolvedinBadakuJotiSvant(supra)bytheConstitutionBenchwasreferredto,whichis:whethertheofficerconcernedunderthespecialAct,hasbeeninvestedwithallthepowersexercisablebytheofficer-in-chargeofaPoliceStationunderChapterXIVoftheCode,quainvestigationofoffencesunderthatAct,includingthepowertoinitiateprosecutionbysubmittingareport(chargesheet)underSection173oftheCodeanditwouldnotbeenoughtoshowthatheexercisessomeorevenmanyofthepowersofapoliceofficerconductinganinvestigationundertheCode.Itwasstatedthus:- "54.ItmayberecalledthattheprimarytestevolvedinBadkuJotiSavantcasebytheConstitutionBench,is:WhethertheofficerconcernedunderthespecialAct,hasbeeninvestedwithallthepowersexercisablebyanofficer-in-chargeofapolicestationunderChapterXIVoftheCode,quainvestigationofoffencesunderthatAct,includingthepowertoinitiateprosecutionbysubmittingareport(charge-sheet)underSection173oftheCode.Inordertobringhimwithinthepurviewofa"policeofficer"forthepurposeofSection25,EvidenceAct,itisnotenoughtoshowthatheexercisessomeorevenmanyofthepowersofapoliceofficerconductinganinvestigationundertheCode. 57.InStateofU.P.v.DurgaPrasad(1975)3SCC210,aftercarefullyexaminingandcomparingthepowersofarrest,inquiryandinvestigationofanofficeroftheForceunderthe1966ActwiththoseofapoliceofficerundertheCode,itwaspointedoutthatsuchanofficeroftheRPFdoesnotpossessalltheattributesofanofficer-in-chargeofapolicestationinvestigatingacaseunderChapterXIVoftheCode.HepossessesbutapartofthoseattributeslimitedtothepurposeofholdingtheinquiryundertheAct.Onthesepremises,itwasheldthatanofficeroftheRPFmakinganinquiryunderthe1966Act,cannotbeequatedwithaninvestigatingpoliceofficer.Inreachingthisconclusion,Chandrachud,J.(ashethenwas),speakingforthecourt,appearstohaveappliedthesametestwhichwasadoptedinBadkuJotiSavantcase,whenheobserved: Therightanddutyofaninvestigatingofficertofileapolicereportoracharge-sheetontheconclusionofinvestigationisthehallmarkofaninvestigationundertheCode.Section173(1)(a)oftheCodeprovidesthatassoonastheinvestigationiscompletedtheofficer-in-chargeofthepolicestationshallforwardtoaMagistrateempoweredtotakecognizanceoftheoffenceonapolicereport,areportintheformprescribedbytheStateGovernment.TheofficerconductinganinquiryunderSection8(1)cannotinitiatecourtproceedingsbyfilingapolicereport.... ThedecisioninRajaRamJaiswalv.StateofBihar,AIR1964SC828case,onwhichShriGargrelies,wasdistinguished,aswasdoneinBadkuJotiSavantcase,onthegroundthatJaiswalcaseinvolvedtheinterpretationofSection78(3)oftheBiharandOrissaExciseAct,1915. 58.Inthelightoftheabovediscussion,itisclearthatanofficeroftheRPFconductinganenquiryunderSection8(1)ofthe1966Acthasnotbeeninvestedwithallthepowersofanofficer-in-chargeofapolicestationmakinganinvestigationunderChapterXIVoftheCode.Particularly,hehasnopowertoinitiateprosecutionbyfilingacharge-sheetbeforetheMagistrateconcernedunderSection173oftheCode,whichhasbeenheldtobetheclinchingattributeofaninvestigating"policeofficer".Thus,judgedbythetestlaiddowninBadkuJotiSavant,whichhasbeenconsistentlyadoptedinthesubsequentdecisionsnoticedabove,InspectorKakadeoftheRPFcouldnotbedeemedtobea"policeofficer"withinthemeaningofSection25oftheEvidenceAct,andtherefore,anyconfessionalorincriminatingstatementrecordedbyhiminthecourseofaninquiryunderSection8(1)ofthe1966Act,cannotbeexcludedfromevidenceunderthesaidsection." 40.UndertheschemeoftheMMDRActandtherulesmadethereunder,asnoticedearlier,consequenttoaseizuremadeundersub-section(4)ofSection21,acomplaintinwritingistobemadebytheauthorizedofficerbeforethejurisdictionalcourtfortakingcognizanceoftheoffenceasrequiredunderSection22/Rule74.Sub-section(4-A)providesthatanythingseizedundersub-section(4),shallbeliabletobeconfiscatedbyanorderofthecourtcompetenttotakecognizanceandshallbedisposedofinaccordancewiththedirectionsofsuchcourt. 41.Itwould,therefore,beseenthatintermsoftheprovisionscontainedundertheMMDRActandtherulesmadethereunder,theofficerexercisingpowersundersub-section(4)ofSection21,(theMinesInspector,inthepresentcase)uponmakingseizureofavehicleoranyotherthing,onaccountofunlawfultransportation,isrequiredtosubmitareporttotheDistrictOfficer/OfficerauthorisedforthepurposeofmakingacomplaintbeforetheCourtconcernedfortakingcognizanceoftheoffence. 42.TheMinesInspectorortheOfficerexercisingpowersofseizureundersub-section(4)ofSection21cannotinanymannerbedeemedtobea''policeofficer'havingnotbeingconferredwithanysuchpowerswhichmaybesaidtobeattributabletoaninvestigating''policeofficer'.TheprimarytestlaiddownintheConstitutionBenchdecisioninthecaseofBadakuJotiSvant(supra),whichhasbeenfollowedinthesubsequentjudicialauthorities,isclearlynotsatisfiedinthefactsofthepresentcase. 43.Section457oftheCodecontemplatesexerciseofjurisdictionbyaMagistrateinacasewhereseizureofthepropertyisbyanypoliceofficer.TherightanddutyofaninvestigatingofficertofileapolicereportorachargesheetontheconclusionofaninvestigationhasbeenheldtobethehallmarkofaninvestigationundertheCodeandaclinchingattributeofaninvestigatingpoliceofficer.Theaforementionedclinchingattributebeinglackinginthepresentcase,theseizuremadebytheMinesInspectorunderSection21(4)oftheMMDRAct,cannotbeheldtobeseizurebya''policeofficer'soastobringitwithintheambitofSection457oftheCode.Itmaybereiteratedthatmereconfermentofcertainpowersrelatingtoseizureunderaparticularenactmentforcertainspecificpurposeswouldnotmaketheofficerconcerneda''policeofficer'. 44.Inthepresentcase,asnotedearlier,beforetheDistrictOfficer/officerauthorisedcouldhaveacteduponthereportsubmittedbytheMinesInspector,consequenttoseizureofthevehicleandcouldhaveproceededtomakeacomplaintbeforetheMagistratefortakingcognizance,therevisionistsoughtcompoundingoftheoffenceaspertheprovisionscontainedunderSection23-A/Rule75andanorderwaspassedbytheDistrictOfficerdirectingpaymentoftherequisitefeewhereupontheoffencewastobecompoundedandthevehiclewastobereleased.ItwasinthesesetoffactsthatneitheranycomplaintwasfiledbeforetheconcernedMagistratenoranyorderofconfiscationwaspassedbythecompetentcourtundersub-section(4A)ofSection21. 45.Itwouldthereforebeseenthattherebeingnocomplaintandnocognizanceoftheoffencehavingbeentaken,noproceedingcouldbesaidtobependingnorcoulditbesaidthatseizureofthepropertyinquestionhadbeenreportedbyany''policeofficer'tothecompetentjurisdictionalMagistrateundertheprovisionsoftheCode.ThenecessaryingredientsforinvocationofthepowersunderSection457oftheCodehavingthusnotbeenfulfilled,theprovisionsofthesectioncannotbesaidtobeattracted,andinviewthereoftheMagistratehasrightlydeclinedtoexercisethejurisdictionconferredunderthesection. 46.InthecaseofSunderbhaiAmbalalDesai(supra),whichissoughttobereliedupononbehalfoftherevisionist,thesubjectmatterofconsiderationwasachallengewhichhadbeenraisedtoanorderofpoliceremandgrantedtotheprosecutingagencyforthepetitionerstherein,whowerepolicepersonnelinvolvedinoffencespunishableunderSections429,420,465,468,477-Aand114oftheIndianPenalCode,186016onallegationsthattheyhadcommittedoffencesduringaperiodoftimebyreplacingofvaluablearticlesretainedascasepropertybyotherspuriousarticles,misappropriationoftheamountwhichwaskeptatthepolicestation,unauthorisedauctionofthepropertywhichwasseizedandkeptinthepolicecustodypendingtrialandtamperingwiththerecordsofthepolicestation.TheoffenceswhichweresubjectmatterofthecasewereunderthePenalCode.ThejudgmentinthecaseSunderbhaiAmbalalDesai(supra),whichisanauthorityrelatingtoreleaseofvehiclesseizedinconnectionwithcriminalproceedingsundergenerallawwouldnotbeapplicableunderthefactsofthepresentcase,whereintheseizureofthepropertyhasnotbeenreportedbyanypoliceofficerorbyanyofficerauthorisedcompetenttofileacomplaintbeforethejurisdictionalMagistrate. 47.IncaseofRajendraSinghvs.StateofU.P.5whichissoughttoberelieduponbycounselforrevisionist,theorderpassedbytheDistrictMagistrate,directingreleaseoftheseizedminormineral,wassubjectmatterofconsiderationandupontakingnoteoftheprovisioncontainedundersub-section(4-A)ofSection21oftheMMDRAct,whichempowerstheCourtcompetenttotakecognizance,passanorderofconfiscationandalsodirectdisposaloftheseizeditem,itwasheldthatthereleaseorderbytheDistrictMagistratewaswithoutauthority.Intheinstantcase,therevisionisthavingappliedforcompoundingoftheoffencesoonafterseizureofvehicle,proceedingsforinitiationofprosecutionwerenotinitiatedandalsonoorderforconfiscationwasmadebytheCourtconcerned.Inviewofsame,thefactsofthepresentcasebeingdistinguishable,thejudgmentinthecaseofRajendraSinghwouldbeofnohelptotherevisionist. 48.ThedecisionsinthecaseofAwadheshTripathiv.StateofU.P.17,Smt.SudhaKesarwanivs.StateofU.P.andAnother6,Smt.ManuDevivs.StateofU.P.andOthers7andMohammadRazavs.StateofU.P.andAnother18,areallbasedondistinctfactsasin
0:00