GOBINDA CHANDRA SAHU Vs. STATE OF ORISSA
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Gobinda Chandra Sahu
STATE OF ORISSA
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J.K. Mohanty, J. -
(1.) THIS revision is directed against an order of the Additional Sessions Judge, Cuttack confirming an order of the Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Cuttack convicting the accused Petitioner under Section 7(1) of the Essential Commodities Act and sentencing him to undergo S. I. for one month and to pay a fine of Rs. 200/., in default to undergo S. I. for 15 days more.
(2.) THE case against the accused -Petitioner is that he did not maintain the up to -date accounts of kerosine of which he was a retail dealer. The account was not maintained beyond 25 -6 -1973 and he had not indicated the stock position of kerosine. It is alleged that on 18 -11 -1973 when the Additional S.P. and the A.D.M. Cuttack alone with the Officer -in -charge, Sadar P.S. inspected the shop, they found the aforesaid discrepancy and thereby the accused -Petitioner had contravened Clause 12 of the Orissa Kerosene Control Order, 1962 (hereinafter to be referred as the "Order"). After due investigation charge -sheet was submitted against the accused -Petitioner. The accused -Petitioner was tried in the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Cuttack in G.R. Case No. 2226 of 1973. The charge framed against the Petitioner was as follows:
That you on or about the 18.11.1973 at College square were a Kerosene retailer and that you on the said date found not to have maintained the stock position and thereby contravened Rule 12 of the Kerosene Control Order and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act.
The accused -Petitioner pleaded not guilty. The learned Magistrate after considering the evidence adduced before him convicted the Petitioner under Section 7(1) of the Essential Commodities Act and sentenced him as aforesaid and the seized Kerosine was also confiscated to the State Government.
(3.) ADMITTEDLY , in this case, as would appear from M.O.I. the Kerosene Sale Register, the accused -Petitioner has not maintained any account of sale of Kerosene beyond 25 -6 -1973 and M.O.III, the chart, also does not indicate the position of Kerosene in stock on 18 -11 -1973 when the accused -Petitioner shop was inspected.
Mr. R.C. Patnaik, learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the accused -Petitioner, submitted that the accused -Petitioner has not violated any of the provisions of the Order or of the conditions of licence or the certificate granted to him and in any event the question of violation of Clause 12 of the Order do not arise. On the other hand, the learned Additional Standing Counsel appearing for the State submitted that there is violation of Clause 12(a) of the Order as the accused -Petitioner has admittedly, not maintained any account beyond 25 -6 -1973. Clause 12(a) of the Order reads as follows:
12. The licensing authority or any other officer specified in the Schedule appended to this order may with such assistance, if any, as he thinks fit -
(a) require the owner, occupier or any other person in charge of any place, premises, vehicle or vessel in which he has reason to believe that any contravention of any of the provisions of this order or of the conditions of any licence issued thereunder has been is being, or is about to be committed to produce any books of accounts or other documents showing transactions relating to such contravention.
Under the above clause the owner, occupier or any other person in charge of any place or premises is required to produce books of accounts or other documents showing transactions relating to any till contravention of this Order for inspection by the licensing authority or other officer specified in the Schedule, if such officer or authority believes that there is any contravention of any of the provisions of the Order or of the conditions of any licence issued thereunder has been, is being, or is about to be committed.;
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