B N KUTTAPPA Vs. STATE OF COORG
HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA
STATE OF COORG
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(1.)This is an application filed by the petitioner under section 526 of the Criminal Procedure Code, praying that C. C. Nos. 43 and 44 of 1955 pending on the file of the learned Munsiff and First Class Magistrate, Mercara, Coorg, may be transferred to any other Court of competent jurisdiction outside the State of Coorg.
(2.)The facts that have given rise to this petition are briefly as under: The petitioner is the 16th accused in C. C. 43 of 1955 and the 8th accused in C. C. 44 of 1955. The accused in C. C. 44 of 1955 are eight of the sixteen accused in C. C. 43 of 1955. The petitioner is stated to be the President of the Indian Coffee Board Labour Union, Coorg Branch, of which the other accused in these cases are said to be the members. It is further stated that the Petitioner is also the President of All Coorg Estate Workers Union and one of the Vice-Presidents of Indian Coffee Board Labour Union.
(3.)In C. C. 43 of 1955 the charge-sheet against the petitioner is stated to be that he abetted the commission by the other fifteen accused persons of offences under sections 148, 353 and 324 I.P.C. In C. C. 44 of 1955 the case against the petitioner is that he abetted the commission by the other seven accused of offences under sections 148 and 353 I.P.C. The allegations made in the application and the affidavit attached to it are that the Congress Party in power in Coorg has'been against the Unions of which the petitioner is the office-bearer, that the said party has been supporting the Indian National Trade Union Congress, which is the Labour Wing of the Congress Party, that on this account the Congress Party which is in power in Coorg has been harassing the Unions of which the petitioner is the President, that some of the members of the Indian Coffee Board Labour Union had put forth certain demands regarding the wages and other amenities before the District Magistrate, that the said demands have not favourably been considered, that the District Magistrate is further the Labour Commissioner and Conciliation Officer, that he has dealt with many matters arising in connection with the demands made by the Unions, that the Magistrate before whom the cases are pending is subordinate to the said District Magistrate, that the Magistrate refused bail to the accused in C.C. 21 of 1955 for whom the petitioner had stood surety that the said accused have subsequently been released on bail by the learned Sessions Judge, Mercara, that C.C. 21 of 1955 was posted for trial to 1st March 1955, that the case was taken up earlier on 18th February 1955 without notice to the petitioner, that one of the accused Kandaswami was convicted and sentenced on that day on his own admission, that on 18th February 1955 the learned Magistrate issued a notice to the petitioner to produce Kandaswami and the other accused in C.C. 21 of 1955 as he had stood surety for them though Kandaswami had been released earlier, that in C.C. 38 of 1955 in which the petitioner appeared as a defence witness the same Magistrate convicted 16 accused persons belonging to All Coorg Estate Workers Union, that C.C. 37 of 1955 and the two cases in question have got a common background, that in C.C. 43 of 1955 some articles that were seized in C.C. 44 of 1955 have been marked as material objects in spite of the objections raised by the defence, that the learned Magistrate has further permitted the Police to investigate the case coming under sections 124A and 153A of the Indian Penal Code without a complaint from the Central Government as required by law, that under these circumstances the petitioner apprehends that he will not have a fair and impartial trial at the hands of the learned Magistrate and that justice requires that the two cases pending before him should be transferred to a Court of competent jurisdiction outside the State of Coorg.
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