STATE Vs. GOBARDHAN CHOUDHURY
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
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B.K. Ray, J. -
(1.) THIS is an appeal by the State against the order of acquittal passed in 2(c) CC Case No. 4 of 1968/239 Tr. of 1968 by the Munsif -Magistrate, Narasinghpur.
(2.) THE short facts giving rise to this appeal are as follows : On 11 -7 -1967, the then Inspector of Supplies, Athgarh (p.w. 2) went to inspect the rice huller installed and run by the Respondent in village Gopinathpur. On demand, the Respondent could not produce any authority for installation of the rice huller and for running of the same, as required under the Rice Milling Industry (Regulation) Act, 1958 (hereinafter called the 'Act '). Thereafter, he submitted a prosecution report under Section 8(1) and (2) of the Act. On this report, cognizance was taken and the prosecution examined four witnesses in support of its case. The trial Court having acquitted the Respondent, this appeal has been filed by the State. On assessment of evidence the trial Court has found that the Respondent was not carrying on rice milling operations, but recorded a finding that he had established a rice mill after the commencement of the Act without permit. In view of the provisions contained in Section 15 of the Act to the effect that no Court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under the Act except on a report in writing of the facts constituting such offence made by the licensing officer or any person duly authorised by the Central Government or the licensing officer in this behalf, the trial Court came to a finding that the Inspector of Supplies submitting the prosecution report was neither a licensing authority nor was a duly authorised person. Therefore, it held that the Inspector of Supplies submitting the prosecution report was not competent to launch the prosecution as required under the Act, and therefore, no cognizance of the offence as alleged in the prosecution report could be taken. Accordingly, the Respondent was acquitted.
(3.) MR . G.B. Patnaik, learned Counsel appearing for the State in course of hearing of the appeal submitted that the trial Court had committed an error of record by holding that the Inspector of Supplies submitting the prosecution report had not got the required authority. He drew my attention to a letter from a Supervisor of Supplies to the Munsif -Magistrate, Narasingpur saying that Shri Banchanidhi Behera, Inspector of Supplies who had submitted the prosecution report in the case had been duly authorised by the Additional District Magistrate, Cuttack, the licensing authority under the Act. Along with this letter, 4 sheets of the prosecution report in original, and 2 sheets of order of the A.D.M. authorising Shri Banchanidhi Behera to file the prosecution report are said to have been sent. In the original record, however, no order of the A.D.M. authorising Shri Banchanidhi Behera is available. The order of the trial Court also shows that no such order was placed before it. In view of this, it has been rightly held by the trial Court that Sri Banchanidhi Behera, Inspector of Supplies had no authority to file the prosecution report in the case, and as such, it has rightly acquitted the Respondent.;
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