STATE OF GUJARAT Vs. KAMLASHANKER BHULESHWAR
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
STATE OF GUJARAT
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(1.) In support of its case against accused No. 1 the prosecution led the evidence of Mr. J. C. Trivedi Inquiry Officer; and the prosecution relied upon the two statements made by accused No. 1 before Mr. Trivedi. The first statement was made on February 9 1958 and that statement is Ex. 43 on the record. The other statement was made on February 22 1958 and that statement is Ex. 42 on the record. According to the prosecution Ex. 43 contained certain statements of self-inculpatory nature and amounted to a confession on the part of accused No. 1. It was urged before us that Ex. 42 was made by accused No. 1 in the course of the inquiry conducted by Mr. J. C. Trivedi when the evidence was recorded on oath and therefore this statement Ex. 42 was hit by the provisions of Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India. We will first deal with the legal aspect of this matter before considering the contents of Ex. 42 As is well-known Article 20(3) provides against testimonial compulsion and lays down that no person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. It was urged before us that looking to the nature of the inquiry before Mr. J. C. Trivedi there was a compulsion on accused No. 1 to make that statement before Mr. J. C. Trivedi and therefore we cannot take the contents of Ex. 42 into consideration as that document was the result of something which was done contrary to the provisions of Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India.
(2.) In order to appreciate this argument it is necessary to bear in mind that the inquiry before Mr. Trivedi was under sec.43(1) of the Bombay Cooperative Societies Act 1925 That section provides as follows :-
43 (1) The Registrar may of his own motion by himself or by a person duly authorised by him in writing in this behalf hold an enquiry into the constitution working and financial condition of a society.
(3.) The original order appointing either Mr. J. P. Parikh or Mr. J. C. Trivedi as the Inquiry Officer was not on record but at the request of the learned counsel for the appellant we have allowed the original order dated June 22 1957 and the subsequent order dated September 11 1957 appointing Mr. J. P. Parikh to be brought of record and the copies of these orders have been kept on the record of this case. The order dated June 22 1957 mentions that the appointing authority viz. the Assistant Registrar for Industrial Cooperatives Baroda had read the confidential letter of the Special Auditor Cooperative Societies regarding the working of this Society and also the letter of the Deputy Registrar for Industrial Cooperatives Ahmedabad; and after setting out various details the order says as follows :-
The above happenings call for an exhaustive inquiry and a detailed investigation into the affairs of the Haveli Vibhag Co-operative Forest Labourers Society Ltd. Taluka Lunawada. Under the circumstances I Shri N. R. Kolhe Assistant Director of Small Industries and Assistant Registrar for Industrial Cooperatives Baroda hereby order an inquiry into the constitution working and financial position of the Haveli Vibhag Cooperative Forest Labourers Society Ltd. under sec. 43(1) of the Bombay Cooperative Societies Act (VII of 1925) with special reference to the points noted above and others that may come to notice of the Inquiry Officer during the course of inquiry and on such other points which he deems necessary to investigate with a view to bring to light the gross irregularities etc. if any and also report cases of responsible persons which might be noticed by him.;
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