K SATWANT SINGH Vs. STATE OF PUNJAB
HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
K SATWANT SINGH
STATE OF PUNJAB
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WESTON, J. -
(1.) THESE two Letters Patent appeals are from one judgment dated 19.6.1950 of Khosla, J. The two appeals have been filed because the judgment dealt with two matters which arose differently, one on appeal from the order of the Dist. J., Ambala, and the other on application for mandamus. Both the appeal and the application for writ were rejected by
(2.) THE applicant is a person against whom several causes were filed in respect of what are commonly known as the Burma frauds and he has been tried before the Tribunal or Tribunals constituted under various Acts and Ordinances. The applicant has been convicted in five cases. Prior to partition an amount of Rs. 4,98,000 in the possession of the applicant was attached under Section 3 of Ordinance No. XXXVIII  of 1944. This money is said to have been kept in a box along with certain other monies attached in the Treasury at Lahore, and after partition this box has remained at Lahore. The applicant for purposes of conducting his defence made an application to the Dist. J., Ambala, under Section 9 of the Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance No. XXXVIII  of 1944. This section gives to the Dist. J., in this case the Dist. J., Ambala, jurisdiction to provide from the property attached under Section 3 of the same Ordinance such sums as may be reasonably necessary not only for the maintenance of the applicant and his family but also for expenses connected with the defence of the applicant where criminal proceedings have been instituted against him in any Court for a scheduled offence. Had there been any money attached under Section 3 of the Ordinance at the disposal of the Dist. J., Ambala, the Dist. J., undoubtedly would have had to consider the making of an order under Section 9. As however, the only money attached from the applicant under Section 3 was in the box at Lahore the learned Dist. J., considered that no effective order could be made by him and he passed the following orders :
"This application may be put before me when any money belonging to K. Satwant Singh has been transferred to India from Pakistan."
(3.) IT seems to me that Khosla, J., was perfectly correct in dismissing the appeal from this order. It is suggested that the Dist. J., in any case should have fixed the amount which he considered the applicant should be granted for maintenance and for the legal expenses. But I do not think it can be urged seriously that the Dist. J., was wrong when he preferred to consider such an order at the time when money would be available rather than at present when no money at all is available.
In respect of the application for writ Khosla, J., rejected it mainly on the ground that a writ for mandamus could only be issued if a statutory duty was cast upon Govt. to do something, and in this case there was no statutory duty cast upon Govt. to do anything. Khosla, J., considered that the applicant might have a remedy against Govt. if he could establish negligence in leaving the box behind at Lahore. But this remedy obviously would be by other proceedings. I cannot see there is anything in the order of Khosla, J., on either point which properly can be attached. In fact, if I may say so, the present matters were admitted only in the hope that the general confusion surrounding not only these but other applications by other persons convicted by the Tribunal might be cleared by matters being called on at the same time. I think therefore that the two appeals must be dismissed. There will be no order as to costs. Appeals dismissed.;
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