EMPEROR Vs. J K GAS PLANT MANUFACTURING CO LTD
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
J K GAS PLANT MANUFACTURING CO LTD
Referred Judgements :-
KING V. THE INHABITANTS OF BIRMINGHAM
KAY V. GOODWIN
STEAVENSON V. OLIVER
KUNDALMUL DALMIA V.W.DYER
COLE V. GREEN
IN RE LORD THURLOW
COURTNEY TERRELL C.J. IN HARI LAL V. KING-EMPEROR
EMPEROR V. BANS GOPAL.
EMPEROR V. RAJENDRASING RAMSING
GOVERNMENT V. SAYAD ALI SAYAD MUNIR.
MADHO SINGH V. KING-EMPEROR.
HEX V. WICKS
KING-EMPEROR V. BENOARI LAL SARMA
KRISHNASAMI PANNIKONDAR V. MUTHUKRISHNA PANNIKONDAR
R K MODY AND CO VS. MAHOMEDBHAI ABDOOL HOOSSEIN AND CO
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Leonard Stone, Kt. , C. J. -
(1.)THE historical background from which these applications in revision spring, is set in the Ordinances, Notifications and Orders for regulating' the life of the Community, the preservation and distribution of supplies and the efficient prosecution of the war created under emergency legislation of War.
(2.)THE matters with which we are concerned depend upon two Notifications for regulating the distribution and transportation of raw materials in the iron and steel industry, the rules for the punishment of offences, and a group of Ordinances designed for setting up Special Tribunals for the trial of offenders against the control Notifications. Except for prolongation, all the Orders made under the Defence of India Act, 1939, and the Rules would have expired on September 30, 1946, being the date fixed, as being six months after the cessation of hostilities against the enemy.
The applicants are two companies incorporated outside British India, and three persons who hold responsible positions in one or other or both these companies, and the offences alleged against them are said to have occurred in the latter half of the year 1943, though the trial of them by the Second Special Tribunal at Lahore was far from being completed by September 30, 1946, indeed, the stage reached is that the charges have only recently been formulated.
The submissions of the applicants fall under three principal heads: (1) that the Notifications were bad ah initio, because they were not made according to law; (2) that in the events which have happened the alleged offences have ceased to exist and cannot now be tried or punished; and (3) that the Second Tribunal at Lahore has itself ceased to exist. If any of these submissions was to succeed, it would of necessity follow that the applicants could not be tried by the Second Special Tribunal at Lahore.
(3.)AT the outset, be it observed, that these applications are made to this Court in revision, and that by virtue of Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code, it rests in our discretion whether to interfere or not. In any event such discretionary power can only be exercised in respect of proceedings in an inferior Court situated within the local limits of the jurisdiction of this Court, but in view of Bombay Act XXI of 1946. If the Special Tribunal is in esse at all, it is such an inferior Court.
Our attention has been invited to the fact, that these revisional applications are in the nature of test cases, and that there are many other pending proceedings depending upon the outcome of our decision. That is undoubtedly the case, and as we have had the benefit of hearing very full arguments by Mr. Setalvad on behalf of the applicants, and by the Advocate General on behalf of Government, we think it expedient to take this matter up, as it is one which unquestionably is of considerable public importance.
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