MEHTA BROTHERS Vs. STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
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(1.) THE petitioner has filed these petitions challenging the orders passed by the learned Sessions Judge in appeals, on 12th July, 1977 affirming the orders of forfeiture of timber passed by the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Simla, on 10th August, 1976 in respect of offences alleged to have been committed under Section 41 read with Section 42 of the Indian Forest Act by the drivers of two different trucks. Two separate challans were filed by the police against the drivers of truck Nos. HPS 982 and HP's 399 for the offences under Section 41 read with Section 42 of the Indian Forest Act. The petitioner is the same in both these petitions and claims to be the owner of the forfeited timber. Since a common question of law and facts arises in both the petitions, therefore, both these petitions can conveniently be disposed by a common judgment.
(2.) BRIEFLY, the facts of Criminal Petition No. 15 of 1978 are that on 5th August, 1978 the police intercepted truck No. HPS 982, which was loaded with timber and was being driven by Shri Kali Dass, the driver of the truck, who is impleaded as respondent No. 2 in this petition. On demand by the police, the said respondent produced a challan dated 5th August, 1976 issued by the petitioner-firm, which pertained to 106 logs of Deodar wood only. On actual checking by the police it was discovered that the truck was carrying 152 logs of Deodar wood. As such, 46 logs of Deodar wood were being transported by respondent No. 2 without an export permit. Respondent No. 2 was challenged under Section 41/42 of the Indian Forest Act and produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Simla. The said respondent admitted his guilt and the Chief Judicial Magistrate convicted him under Section 42 of the aforesaid Act and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment till the rising of the Court and to pay a fine of Rs. 150/ -. The Chief Judicial Magistrate, however, ordered the forfeiture of 46 logs Deodar wood in favour of the State.
(3.) IN Criminal Petition No. 16' of 1978, the facts are almost identical except for the difference in the number of logs of Deodar wood which were also being exported without a valid export permit on that very day in truck No. HPS 399. The driver of the said truck was Shri Sukh Dev, respondent No. 2. In this case also the police intercepted truck No. 399 near Sanjauli. The challan issued by the petitioner pertained to 9l logs of Deodar wood only, but actually 137 logs of Deodar wood were being carried in the truck. Thus 46 logs of Deodar wood were being exported by respondent No. 2 without any export permit. A challan was put up against the said respondent under Section 41/42 of the Indian Forest Act and the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Simla, on a confession having been made by the said respondent, convicted him under Section 42 of the aforesaid Act and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment till the rising of the Court and to pay a fine of Rs. 150/ -. The Chief Judicial Magistrate, however, ordered the forfeiture of 46 logs of Deodar wood in favour of the State.;
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