Decided on February 09,1953

STATE Appellant


Mohapatra, J. - (1.) The present contempt proceedings arise under the following circumstances : -Sri Sripati Nanda, IPS.. Deputy secretary to the Government of Orissa (Enforcement), Cuttack, on 5-4-1952, wrote a demi-official letter to Radhagobinda Das, IAS., District Magistrate, Cuttack. The letter is D. O. No. 12533/Enf. 59/52. The letter runs to the effect: "Sri S. Nanda, I. P. S., Deputy Secretary to Govt. GOVERNMENT OF ORISSA (Enforcement), Orissa, SUPPLY DEPARTMENT Cuttack. (ENFORCEMENT & ANTICORRUPTION) D. O. No. 12533/Enf. 59/52 Dated, Cuttack, the 5th April, 52. Mr. Dear Das, A prosecution report against M/S. Nathmal Sitaram, cloth dealer of Bakharabad, Cuttack town is being sent to you. This is a spectacular case in which a large quantity of clothes was hoarded by the accused dealer (a Marwari merchant) by fabricating a false account of sale. I am, therefore, to request you to please ensure speedy trial of this spectacular case and intimate the result. Yours faithfully, Sd/- S. Nanda. 4-2-52. (S. Nanda) To Sri R. G. Das, I. A. S., District Magistrate, 'Cuttack'.
(2.) On that very day, that is, on 5-4-1952, Sri R. G. Das made an endorsement on the letter "Show this to S. D. M. Sadar for needful". Sri S. N. Patnaik, opp. party 3 who was in charge of the duties of the Sub-divisional Magistrate, Sadar, Cuttack, made an endorsement on the letter on 9-4-1952, "Put up after the P. R. received". Again on 28-4-1952 while he was also in charge of the duties of the Sub-divisional Magistrate, Sadar, Cuttack, he made another endorsement "To Trying 'Magistrate for needful". On that very day, that is, on 28-4-1952, the Criminal Case against Nathmal Jajodia and Sitaram Jajodia under Section 7 of Act 24 of 1946 was transferred to the file of Sri C. V. Murti, Magistrate First Class, for favour of disposal according to law. After several dates, the Trying Magistrate Sri C. V. Murti on 28-7-1952, wrote a letter to the Registrar of our High Court requesting him to place the letter before the Hon'ble Judges of the Court for proper action to be taken for contempt of Court. On receipt of this letter of Sri Murty, notices were issued, in the first instance to Sri Das, District Magistrate of Cuttack, and to Sri Nanda, Deputy Secretary to the Government of Orissa (Enforcement), Cuttack, to show cause why they should not be punished or suitably dealt with according to law for contempt of Court. It having transpired from the explanation, submitted by Sri Das, that he did not transmit the letter to the Trying Magistrate but only to the Sub-divisional Magistrate and that Sri Patnaik, who was in charge of the duties of the Sub- divisional Magistrate, Cuttack, on the date the case was transferred to the Trying Magistrate, that is, on 28-4-1952, had transmitted the letter to the Trying Magistrate, notice also was issued to Sri Patnaik to show cause why he should not be suitably dealt with according to law for contempt of Court and notice was issued also giving Sri Das a fresh opportunity to produce further explanation, If he so desires.
(3.) The written explanation, submitted by Sri Nanda, is to the effect that, he being the Superintendent of Police, Enforcement, and Ex-officio Deputy Secretary to Government, Supply Department, and opp. party 1, Sri Das, being the District Magistrate of Cuttack, he had written the demi-official letter to the District Magistrate, who is the Head of the Criminal as well as Civil Supplies Administration of the District, in due course of discharge of his official duties as Superintendent of Police, Enforcement, for the state. Under Book Circular no. 6 of the Government of Orissa, Home Department, Notification No. 2616-A, the District Magistrate should not concern himself with Court work, whether Criminal or Revenue or Miscellaneous and that he must have time fully to carry out the functions laid down for him in connexion with the execution of Post War Development plans in his District, general matter relating to law and orders,. Civil Supplies &c. The letter was, therefore, written with the full knowledge and belief that he was also not to try the case. It was simply meant to expedite its hearing. He (Sri Nanda) has also referred to Rule 19, Orissa Police Manual, that the Superintendent of Police is required to remain in touch and in constant personal communication with the District Magistrate whenever possible. It is also a-part of his duty to keep the District Magistrate fully informed of all matters coming to his knowledge affecting the peace of the District, The D. O. letter was never meant to be transmitted to the Trying Magistrate, and, as such, it was never meant to affect the fair trial of the case in anyway whatsoever.;

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