SUDHIR KUMAR ROY Vs. STATE OF ASSAM AND OTHERS
LAWS(GAU)-1994-2-21
HIGH COURT OF GAUHATI
Decided on February 08,1994

SUDHIR KUMAR ROY Appellant
VERSUS
State of Assam and Others Respondents

JUDGEMENT

S.K. Homchaudhuri, J. - (1.)Heard Mr. D.S. Bhattacharyya, learned counsel for the petitioner and Mr. AR Paul Mazumdar, learned Public Prosecutor.
(2.)The petition is directed against the order dated 11 3.93 passed by the learned District Magistrate, Karbi Anglong, Diphu in CR Case No. 1538/92 under section 36 of the Plantation Labour Act, 1951, purporting to issue non bailable warrant against the petitioner and also attaching the movable properties of Dopani Tea Estate. For alleged non submission of return under the provisions of Plantation Labour Act, 1951 for the year 1991-92 at the instance of the Chief Inspector of Plantations, the complaint case has been filed under section 36 of the Plantation Labour Act, 1951 and the case is registered as CR Case No. 1538/92 in the Court of District Magistrate, Diphu. The petitioners case is that he is the Manager of the Deopani Tea Estate and after receipt of summon, he appeared before the learned District Magistrate and was granted bail on furnishing a PR Bord of Rs. 10,000.00. The learned District Magistrate however fixed 11.3.93 for filing written statement of defence by the petitioner. On 11.3.93 the petitioner appeared but the Advocate for the petitioner having not appeared, petitioner could not file written statement of defence and made an application before the learned District Magistrate praying for times stated on oath by the petitioner that the learned District Magistrate instead of allowed time by the order dated 11.3.93, issued non-bailable warrant against the petitioner had also ordered for attaching movable properties of the Deopani Tea Estate. Petitioner, further case is that the return in question in respect of the year 1991-92 already been submitted to the Labour Department on 17th Aug., 1992. Be the as it may, non submission of return under the provisions of Plantations Labour Act, is not such a grave offence which warrants issuance of non-bailable warrant as well as attaching the properties of the Deopani Tea Estate. In such cases Court should be lenient to exempt personal appearance of the accused on each date and accused should be allowed to be represented by an Advocate on the date on which appearance of the accused is not essential. The impugned order dated 11.3.93 purporting to issue non-bailable warrant against the petitioner and attaching movable properties of the Deopani Tea Estate for failure to file written statement of defence which is not essential under law, is immunable, harsh, unwarranted and has caused failure of justice.
(3.)The petition is therefore allowed and the impugned order dated 11.3.93 passed by the learned District Magistrate, Karbi Anglong, Diphu in CR Case No. 1538/92 is set aside. Although filing of written statement of defence by the accused is not essential, however, petitioner can certainly satisfy the learned District Magistrate that in fact he had submitted return in question and if the learned District Magistrate is satisfied that the petitioner in fact submitted return.


Click here to view full judgement.
Copyright © Regent Computronics Pvt.Ltd.