Decided on December 16,2020

Narayan Dhondu Bhamre Respondents


- (1.) This is an appeal impugning an order and judgment dated 28th March 2003 passed by the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Malegaon, acquitting six accused (respondents) of offences punishable under Section 3 read with Section 7 of Essential Commodities Act (the said Act).
(2.) The allegation against respondents is that they have contravened the orders made under Section 3 of the said Act and found with 12000 liters blue coloured government controlled kerosene in a tanker no.MH-18-9859 (the said tanker) for selling the essential commodity, i.e., kerosene, illegally in the black market.
(3.) It is prosecution's case that on 5th October 2001 complainant (PW-12) was in Malegaon on bandobast duty. On 6 th October 2001 complainant was present on the Mumbai Agra Highway bypass at Manmad Chaufully. At that time, complainant received confidential and reliable information at about 6.00 p.m. that in a tanker bearing no.MH-18-9859 containing 12000 liters of government controlled blue coloured kerosene, which has collected from Manmad HPCL Depot to deliver at Aurangabad, is going to be diverted to be sold in black market in Malegaon. PW-12 immediately arranged for two panchas, viz., Hakim Mohammad Usman and Shaikh Ayyub Shaikh Ibrahim, PW-4 and PW-3, respectively, to be present as panchas alongwith the police party. The police party comprised of PW-13, PW-8 and one Mahendra Sambrekar, who has not been examined. PW-12 informed these people about the information received by him and they were keeping a watch for the said tanker. After some time, the said tanker came from Manmad side and turned towards Dhule side. Therefore, PW-12 alongwith police party and panchas started chasing the said tanker by government jeep bearing no.MH-15-AA-106. The tanker then turned towards Daregaon side to go to Malegaon with the police jeep chasing it. The tanker then entered a compound at Daregaon and stopped there. Two persons alighted from the driver's cabin and then joined a pipe to the tanker and the other side of the pipe was put inside an underground tank. The police party found four persons near the tanker and the driver disclosed his name as Shaikh Rafiq Shaikh Kasam, who is accused no.2. The cleaner disclosed his name as Shaikh Rashid Shaikh Kasam, who is accused no.3. Both were resident of Ayesha Nagar, Malegaon. The two other persons were accused no.4 and accused no.5, respectively.;

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