STATE OF GUJARAT Vs. AHMEDABAD EAGLE ENGG ENTERPRISE PRIVATE LIMITED
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
STATE OF GUJARAT
Ahmedabad Eagle Engg Enterprise Private Limited
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J.P.DESAI, J. -
(1.) The respondents were tried before the learned Judicial Magistrate Narol in different criminal cases for offences punishable under Sections 14 (1) and 14 (1A) of the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952 and acquitted of the same by the impugned order stating therein that there was no sanction to prosecute the accused for the above offences as required by the provisions of the Act and that the evidence of the complainant did not disclose that the accused had committed any offence. These orders of acquittal are challenged by the State of Gujarat by filing these appeals.
(2.) The learned Additional Public Prosecutor Mr. S. T. Mehta appears for the State while the learned Advocate Mr. H. K. Thakore appears for the respondent-accused. It is stated in the complaint filed in each of these cases that sanction was accorded by the competent authority and in some cases even a copy of the sanction purporting to bear the signature of the competent authority is produced though in some cases it is not produced. But the fact remains that it is stated in the complaint in each of these cases that sanction was accorded by the competent authority. In spite of this it is surprising that no effort was made by any one to formally bring on record the sanction accorded to prosecute the accused. In some of the cases though it is mentioned in the complaint that sanction was accorded and copy thereof was produced along with the complaint a copy of the sanction is not found. It is not possible to ascertain how it is that though it is mentioned in the complaint that copy was produced it is not there on the record. It is possible that the complainant might have forgotton to produce the same or that it might have been misplaced. The fact however remains that copy of the sanction is not there on record in some of cases. It cannot however be said that there is no sanction at all to prosecute the accused. The acquittal of the accused on the ground that there is no sanction cannot be upheld for a women in these circumstances. The learned Judicial Magistrate could very well have asked the complainant to formally produce a copy of the sanction. He could not have acquitted the accused on such a flimsy ground when it appears that a copy of the sanction is there on the record in some complaints and when in all the matters it is mentioned in the complaint itself that sanction was accorded by the ompetent authority.
(3.) So far as the deposition of the complainant in all the cases is concerned it is so to say perfunctory. It is regrettable that the learned Assistant Public Prosecutor or the Public Prosecutor who appeared for the complainant conducted such a perfunctory examination of the complainant. The complainant has not stated anything his complaint except that the amount was not deposited in time but it was deposited later on. It is not stated in the deposition as to who was responsible for this and how. It was necessary for the complainant to haw on these details in his complaint as well as in his deposition. The complaint in not disclose all the details. In view of this the learned Judicial Magistrate should have examined the complainant in details under Section 200 Cri. Pro. Code before issuing the process. When he issued the process without examining the complainant details he should have asked the Public Prosecutor to bring on record all the details in the examination-in-chief of the complainant. It is not understood how the learned Public Prosecutor who conducted the prosecution did not do so and why the learned Judicial Magistrate also allowed such a perfunctory examination of the complainant in such a serious matter concerning the Provident Fund of employees of an industrial concern. But any was looking to the perfunctory manner in which the evidence was recorded I am not inclined confirm the conclusion of the learned Judicial Magistrate that the guilt of the accused is not established. The trial if we say so cannot in law be said to be a trial according to law. It is true that the learned Public Prosecutor who conducted the prosecution is to be blamed for this but equally is to be blamed the learned Judicial Magistrate who allowed the matter to be disposed of in such a perfunctory manner.;
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