Decided on February 13,1979



M.K.SHAH - (1.) These two appeals arise out of an order of conviction and sentence passed by the learned Metropolitan Magistrate 4 court Ahmedabad dated 6-1-1978 convicting the accused for the offence uDder sec. 7 read with sec. 3 of the Essential Commodities Act (the Act)
(2.) A few facts may be stated briefly so that the points which arise in these appeals may be considered. Accused No. 1 is the Managing Director and accused Nos. 2 and 3 are the Factory Manager and Assistant Salesman respectively of M/s. Bhalakia Mills Company Limited Ahmedabad (the company). By an order dated 22-9-1975 the Director in the office of the Textile Commissioner issued a requisition in pursuance of the powers conferred by clauses 20 and 21-A of the Cotton Textile Control Order 1948 (the order) read with Textile Commissioners notify. cation dated 4-3-1966 directing the company to pack during the quarter ending on 31-12-1975 a quantity of controlled cloth not less than 822628 sq. meters. Similarly by another requisition dated 31-12-1975 the company was directed to pack controlled cloth of not less than 733980 sq. meters during the quarter ending on 31-1-1976. The company could not pack the required quantity during the said two quarters ending 31-12-1975 and 31 and the shortage was to the extent of 1370426 sq. meters for these two quarters. The three accused were then prosecuted before the learned Metropolitan Magistrate 4 court Ahmedabad in two cases filed against them in respect of the breach committed for each of the quarters (viz. criminal cases Nos. 3025 and 3409 of 1977) for the offence under sec. 7 read with sec. 3 of the Act for breach of the said directions issued under clause 21A(i) read with clause 20 of the order inasmuch as they failed to pack the required minimum quantity of controlled cloth as directed by the aforesaid two requisitions. The learned Magistrate framed a charge against the three accused to the effect that as per the order of Textile Commissioner they should have packed the minimum quantity of cloth amounting to 1556608 sq. meters while in fact they had packed 186182 sq. meters and thus by short packing 1370426 sq. meters of cloth they had committed breach of the Textile Commissioners order and thus all the accused had violated the provisions of clause 21A(i) of the Order and had thereby committed an offence punishable under secs. 3 and 7 of the Act. All the accused pleaded guilty to the said charge and the learned Magistrate accepting their plea of guilty recorded a finding of conviction against them for the offence under sec. 3 read with sec. 7 of the Act and sentenced accused No. 1 to pay a fine of Rs. 4 0 in default S. J. for six months; accused No. 2 to pay a fine of Rs. 1 0 in default S. I. for two months and accused No. 3 to pay a fine of Rs. 600/in default S. I. for one month.
(3.) Aggrieved by this order passed in criminal cases Nos. 3405 and 3025 of 1977 so far as it relates to the sentence the State has preferred these two appeals being criminal appeals No. 212 and 213 of 1978 praying that the sentence be enhanced on the ground that it is grossly inadequate and unduly lenient instead of being deterrent and that as provided by sec. 7 of the Act some substantive sentence ought to have been awarded and not mere sentence of fine as done by the learned Magistrate.;

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