RAM KAMAL BEZBORUAH Vs. CHANDRA NATH KALITA AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Ram Kamal Bezboruah
Chandra Nath Kalita
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P.K. Goswami, C.J. -
(1.) THIS appeal by .special leave is against an order of acquittal passed by a Magistrate, First Class, in a case instituted on a complaint.
(2.) THE facts to which we will soon briefly refer, throw a lurid light over the affairs of an educational institution at Teok within Sibsagar District. The complainant in this case is the son of late C. K. Bezbarua, in whose name this college has been functioning. It is said, he and his other brothers donated a sum of nearly Rs. 90,000/ - for the college which was initially sponsored by the public of the area and given the name of Purbachal College. Later on, perhaps, on the land being donated by these Bezbaruas and some funds being also made available by them, the original sponsors agreed that the college would be named after their late father C. K. Bezbarua. At first, there was a Steering Committee of the College whose members initiated the whole project and came to be known as the Ad hop Governing Body of the College. This governing body functioned under the Presidentship of Shri Golok Chandra Barua, M. A., B. L., examined as P.W. 4 in the case. The complaint which was filed on 19th October, 1964 is with reference to an incident which was said to have taken place in the College premises on 8th October, 1964, The delay of 11 days as explained by the complainant is for his mental shock for one or two days and the Puja vacation intervening.
On 8th October, 1964 a meeting of the new governing body was called by the Principal -Secretary, who is accused No. 1, and the same was held in a room of the College building. The whole atmosphere of the college was humming with hilarious activities on account of the 'College Week' which was going on. It is unfortunate that during such a week some contentious matters had to be discussed in a very uncongenial atmosphere with conflicting ideas across the table. It is equally unfortunate that on 4th October, 1964 the Ad hoc Governing Body had to decide to suspend the Principal who was perhaps taking various steps and organising the 'College Week' during that week. Be that as it may, the complaint is that the two brothers along with P.W. 3 Indreswar Chakravarty and another went to the meeting only to protest about the constitution of the new governing body by the Principal. Their case is that the Principal had been already suspended and, therefore, had no authority to constitute the governing body and to take any steps for convening a meeting of that governing body.
It is complained that in that meeting the accused Principal along with others and with the backing of his students, numbering about 100, succeeded in creating an atmosphere in which the complainant and his brother and another member of the Ad hoc Governing Body were threatened to execute a document, which is marked as Ext. 2 in the case. By this document it was written that the suspension order of the Principal was illegal and that the same was unconditionally withdrawn. The Office -door had been also kept under lock and key as well as the drawer in the office. These were also broken open by the complainant under the threatening orders of the accused. These are, in short, the allegations in the complaint. There is a further complaint that they were kept confined inside the room for nearly three hours.
On the above allegations, the following charges were framed by the learned Magistrate against all the six accused persons:
First - That you, on or about the 8th day of October, 1964 at C. K. Bezbarua College, Teok were member of an unlawful assembly and in prosecution of the common object of such assembly in obtaining a withdrawal order of suspension order issued on the accused Principal and for opening the lock by breaking it open committed the offence of rioting and thereby committed an offence punishable Under Section 147 of the Indian Penal Code;
Secondly - That you, on or about the same day and place and time wrongfully confined Dr. N. K. Bezbarua, R. K. Bezbarua and Indreswar Chakravarty for the purpose of extorting from the said R. K. Bezbarua and Indreswar Chakravarty to write a document and signed by them both -the withdrawal order of suspension issued against C. Kalita and thereby committed an offence punishable Under Section 347, of the Indian Penal Code.
Thirdly - That you, on or about the same day and place and time committed extortion by putting Dr. N. K. Bezbarua, R. K. Bezbarua and Indreswar Chakravarty in fear of instant physical injury to their persons and thereby dishonestly induced R. K. Bezbarua and Indreswar Chakravarty to deliver you a document written by them under your dictation and thereby committed an offence punishable Under Section 383 (it is perhaps an error for Section 384) of the Indian Penal Code.
(3.) PROSECUTION examined seven witnesses including the complainant and the material evidence with respect to the charges is given by P.Ws. 1, 2 and 3. P.W. 4 Golok Chandra Barua was not present and happened to be the President of the College Ad hoc Governing Body. Search warrant was issued for recovery of the documents which were said to be extorted and these were found in the house of the accused Principal,;
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