STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH Vs. LAXMINARAYAN AGRAWAL
HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH
STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH
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(1.) THE State of Madhya Pradesh has filed this appeal against an order of acquittal passed by the Magistrate First Class, Raipur, dated 13th December 1965, acquitting the respondent of the charge that he had committed a breach of Clause 3 (l) of the Madhya Pradeah Foodgraina Dealers Licensing Order, 1958 (hereinafter referred to as the 'order'), which ia an offence punishable Under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (hereinaftsr referred to a3 the'act') on the ground that the breach by him of its provisions was without any dishonest intention.
(2.) THE facts giving rise to this appeal briefly stated, are these: The respondent who was previously carrying on business under the name and style of "messrs. Gopal Dal Mills, Raipur'1 had been licensed as a dealer, under Clause 3 (1) of the Order for the financial year 1960-61. That licence was, however, cancelled w. e. f. 13th April 1961 and admit, tedly neither had it been renewed nor the respondent had any licence to do deal in food grains for the years subsequent thereto. Nevertheless, he imported 4 wagon loads of gram Dal weighing 923 quintals from Morena and Bhopal between the 5th and 18th January 1965, under 6 different railway receipts. After having placed orders for these purchases, the respondent applied to the Collector on 31st December 1964 for the issue of a licence as a dealer. In the meanwhile, when the consignments reached Raipuf,he endorsed the rela. tive railway receipts to Messrs. Rarcswaroop Mohanlal Khandelwal, who are licensed as a dealer for the sale of his foodgrains by them as his commission agents, and they, accordingly, sold the same and paid him the sale, proceeds Jthereof after deducting their usual commission. During an investigation held on 20th January 1965, the Food Inspector, Raipur discovered that the respondent was dealing in foodgrains without a licence and that the entire stook of 923 quintals of gram Dal imported by him had been sold in the commission agency of Messrs Ramawaroop Mohanlal Kbandelwal. Thereupon, he lodged a complaint against the respondents for having committed a breach of Clause 3 (1) of the order.
(3.) EVEN though the learned Magistrate has found that the respondent in relation to the transactions in question came within the definition of a "dealer" as contained in Clause 3 (1) of the Order, be hab, nevertheless, acquitted him of the offence oharged on the ground that on being apprised that hia original licence had not been renewed, the respondent had taken the step of instructing hia suppliers at Morena and Bhopal, not to despatch the goods but as the consignment had, in the meanwhile, been already sent, he did not take delivery of the goods but instead endorsed the railway receipts to a licensed dealer. Following the decision in Nathulal v. State of Maihyapradesh the learned Magistrate held that the respondent had not acted with any guilty intention, and so far aa the receipt of the sale proceeds by him from the endorsee was concerned, he observed that such receipt from the commission agents was in the usual course of dealings.;
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