INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE CALCUTTA VIGILANCE DEPARTMENT GOVERNMENT OF BIHAR Vs. CENTRAL MANBHUM COAL COMPANY PVT LTD
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE, CALCUTTA (VIGILANCE) DEPARTMENT, GOVERNMENT OF BIHAR
CENTRAL MANBHUM COAL COMPANY PVT.LTD.
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Sen, J. -
(1.) This is an appeal under section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 1944 (hereinafter referred to as the said Ordinance) preferred by the State of Bihar through its authorised authority, namely, the Inspector-General of Police, Calcutta (Vigilance) Department. The order impugned is the one dated August 5, 1982, passed by the learned District Judge, Alipore, dismissing an application for attachment made by the appellant under section 3 of the said Ordinance. It was so dismissed not on merits but on the point of maintainability. That application for attachment was undisputedly a second such application, earlier application having lapsed, and the only point which arises for our consideration in this appeal is as to whether a second such application could be entertained in law when the earlier one was rendered frustrated before it could be brought to its legitimate end. It would be necessary to refer to the facts in the background which may be set out briefly as follows :-
(2.) On July 6, 1979, a first information report was lodged with a police station against the respondent No.2, Keshab Narayan Banerji and others including some officials of the State of Bihar alleging commission of certain offences including some specified in the schedule to the said Ordinance in the matter of obtaining compensation money from the State of Bihar amounting to Rs. 1,48,60,950.00 in bonds and Rs. 65,11,250.14 in cash. An investigation was initiated over the said first information and the respondent No.2 was arrested on April 2, 1980. The said respondent No.2 filed a writ petition in this Court and obtained a Rule, being Civil Rule No. 2731 (W) of 1980. By an interim order obtained in the said Rule, further investigation was stayed. That petition, however, was dismissed by a learned single Judge of this Court whereupon the respondent No.2 preferred an appeal wherein the Appeal Court on November 10, 1981, passed an ad interim order allowing investigation to proceed but the appellant was restrained from taking any action on the result of that investigation except on further leave from the Court.
(3.) On a communication received from the income tax authorities the appellant came to know that the money received by the respondent No.2 by way of compensation was lying in different fixed deposits in different names including certain fictitious names. The appellant having reasonably believed that those fixed deposits as also a Calcutta property acquired by the respondent No.2 were all acquired with the money obtained by commission of a scheduled offences, wanted to obtain an order of attachment under the provisions of the said Ordinance. Accordingly, the appellant obtained leave from the Appeal Court to take out such an attachment. Such leave was obtained on January 21, 1982, and on January 22, 1982, an application under section 3 of the said Ordinance read with section 4 thereof was filed before the learned District Judge, 24 Parganas. The appellant prayed for attachment of the properties specified in the application belonging to the respondent No.2. The learned District Judge directed issue of a notice and made an order for ad interim attachment but as the respondent No.2 had already lodged a caveat through Mr. Bagchi, lawyer, the learned District Judge made the following direction substantially on the prayer of the respondent No.2 :
"Mr. Bagchi at this stage submitted that in order to ensure that the matter be speedily disposed of so that the respondents were not affected in the least and that they were prepared to file objection within a fortnight and they may be permitted to take copies of the proceedings with annexures from the Court and the matter may be finally fixed for hearing a month hence. It is accordingly further ordered that the petitioner shall supply copies of the application and the annexures thereto within 3 days to the respondents to be received by Mr. Bagchi on their behalf and the respondents if they accept such copies and enter appearance may file written objection by 13th February, 1982 and the matter shall finally come up for hearing on 24th February, 1982".
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