MESSRS CHODEY JANAKIRAMAIAH AND CO Vs. STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
MESSRS. CHODEY JANAKIRAMAIAH AND CO., BY ITS PARTNER BODA SEETHARAMAMURTHY
STATE OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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(1.) This appeal raises an important question of law inasmuch as the decision of the Bench in Krishnamurthy v. State of Andhra, 1960 2 AnWR 502. was rendered before the judgment of their Lordships of the Supreme Court in State of Rajasthan v. Vidhyawati, 1963 1 SCJ 307 : 1963 1 MLJ (S.C.) 70 : 1963 1 AnWR. (S.C.) 70 : AIR 1962 S.C. 933
(2.) In the circumstances, it is a fit case to be heard by a Bench. The appeal was then heard by the Division Bench. The Judgment of the Court was delivered by The Second Appeal arises out of a suit for the recovery of Rs. 2,923-11-6 being the price of 57 bags of boiled rice and 57 gunny bags seized and removed from the plaintiffs, a firm of dealers in foodgrains on 1st October, 1952 on suspicion that they were purchased unauthorisedly from the Government stocks held by a procuring agent at Karapa. Plaintiffs are the appellants.
(3.) The facts about which there is no controversy are these : The plaintiffs are firm of dealers in foodgrains. One Chelikani Venkata Surya Narasimha Rao, who was the owner of a rice mill at Karapa, was a miller and a procuring agent tor the Government. He was so appointed by the Collector of East Godavari district to procure paddy and rice on behalf of the Government and to hold and deliver the stocks therefrom time to time under the directions of the Collector or any other officer appointed by him in that behalf. In his capacity as procuring agent he was holding large stocks of paddy and rice belonging to the Government. It was suspected that this person had sold away the Government stocks, which he held, to different persons in breach of the terms of his agency, and that the plaintiffs were among the purchasers who removed the Government stocks to their godowns at Kakinada. The Anti-blackmarketing Sub-Inspector seized 57 bags of boiled nice, 19 bags of dalva paddy and one bag of old paddy from the plaintiffs' godown on 1st October, 1952 and a case was filed against the managing partner, Mutyala Subbanna, for an offence under section 411, Indian Penal Code, before the Sub- Divisional Magistrate, Kakinada. The stocks seized from the godown of the plaintiff were kept in the custody of the second defendant, one Chikkala Narayanamurthy, who was also a procuring agent for the Government. The case against the managing partner was subsequently withdrawn and the grain seized was ordered to be returned ; but it would appear that the plaintiffs refused to take delivery saying that the grain was damaged and unfit for consumption and further that the grain offered to be delivered was of an inferior variety. Therefore, under the orders of the Magistrate, the grain was sold in public auction for Rs. 305 and the sale proceeds were credited to criminal Court deposits. The plaintiffs have filed the suit on 8th December, 1956, claiming Rs. 2,923-11-6 as the price of the paddy and the gunny bags seized from them alleging that the seizure was illegal and that the State of Andhra represented by the Collector, East Godavari (the first defendant in the suit) was liable to pay them the amount claimed. The procuring agent, who had the custody of the grain, was impleaded as the 2nd defendant. The defendants repudiated the claim of the plaintiffs.;
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