Decided on January 12,1960

Nisith Chandra Ghose Appellant


- (1.) This Rule is against an order of conviction of the two Petitioners under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act for violating para. 5 of Iron and Steel (Control) Order, 1956, by having disposed of 41 tons of iron and steel (untested angles) to Messrs. T.D. Kumar and Brothers (Private) Ltd., without any written order, special or general, of the Controller. They were each sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000 in default to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year. There was also an appeal before the Additional Sessions Judge which was dismissed. The Petitioners were tried on two other charges for not having submitted the arrival report and for not submitting a monthly stock return report to the State's Steel Licencing Authority but they were acquitted.
(2.) The prosecution case against the Petitioners is that between the period January 1, 1956 and August 4, 1957, the firm of the Petitioner No. 2 Jyotish Chandra Kundu acquired 2,108 tons of non-sheet iron and steel materials on a permit and sold the entire stock to Messrs. T.D. Kumar and Brothers (Private) Ltd. of which Nishit Chandra Ghosh, Petitioner No. 1, was the Managing Director. The prosecution case relates, however, to the period between September 26, and November 17, 1956, during which period it is alleged the Petitioners had disposed of the entire stock of 41 tons of iron and steel materials (untested angles) to Messrs. T.D. Kumar and Brothers (Private) Ltd., without any written order, general or special, of the Controller.
(3.) The defence of the Petitioners, inter alia, was that the arrival report and the monthly stock return report had been duly submitted and in support they produced Exts. B and C to show that the returns had been duly made. Ext. B. is a receipt for the letter from Jyotish Chandra Kundu and Company addressed to the Subdivisional Controller, Food and Supply, Alipore, intimating the arrival of iron and steel materials. Ext. C is the stock statement of the iron and steel materials as on September 30, 1956, showing the stock of 41 tons the subject matter of the case. At the hearing of the case the learned Public Prosecutor accepted the defence exhibits on these charges which were supported by the evidence of Court Witness No. 1 who was the then Subdivisional Controller of Food and Supply, Alipore, and conceded that these two charges were misconceived. The learned Magistrate acquitted the Petitioners of these charges. So far as the third charge is concerned of which the Petitioners were convicted by the trying Magistrate their defence was twofold. Firstly, they denied the disposal itself and alternatively they asserted that even if they had disposed of the materials they were covered by the written authority of the Subdivisional Controller of Food and Supply, Alipore, and as such they had committed no offence.;

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