JOYLAL AGARWALA Vs. STATE UNION OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: CALCUTTA)
STATE,THE UNION OF INDIA
Referred Judgements :-
JATINDRA NATH GUPTA V. THE PROVINCE OF BIHAR AND OTHERS
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(1.)These two criminal appeals are from convictions of the appellants by the High Court at Calcutta. In the first case. leave to appeal to this Court was granted by the High Court under Art. 134 (1) (e) of the Constitution of India. In the second case, special leave to appeal was granted by this Court under Art. 136 (1) of the Constitution. The appeals heard together, but as they are by different parties and the facts are different, it is desirable to have two separate judgments.
Criminal Appeal No. 7 of 1950
(2.)The appellant, Joylal Agarwala, who was a salesman in a retail shop in Pulbazar in the district of Darjeeling in the State of West Bengal, was charged with having sold a piece of textile cloth at a price in excess of the controlled price. For this contravention of the provisions of Cl. 24 (1) of the Cotton Textiles Control Order, 1948, he was convicted by the Sub-divisional Magistrate of Darjeeling under S. 7, Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers that (Act XXIV  of 1946) (hereinafter referred as the Essential Supplies Act), and sentenced to six months' rigorous imprisonment. On appeal to the Sessions Judge, the appellant Was acquired on two grounds, viz., (1) that no sanction was previously obtained for the prosecution as required by Cl. 96 of the Cotton Textiles Control Order, and (2) that the Essential Supplies Act was not in force in the district of Darjeeling on the date of the occurrence. On appeal to the High Court the State of West Bengal, the point about the absence of sanction under Cl. 36 of the Control Order was given up by the present appellant, as its necessity had been abolished by a later Notification of the Central Government. On the second point, the learned Judges of the High Court held that the Act was validly extended to the district of Darjeeling and was in force in that area on the date of the occurrence, viz., 14-10-1949. The acquittal of the appellant was set aside, the order of conviction passed by the Magistrate was restored, and the appellant was sentenced to four months' rigorous imprisonment.
(3.)To understand the main legal argument as to whether the Essential Supplies Act of 1946 was in force at the time of the alleged commission of the offence, it is necessary to set out the relevant provisions of a few Acts and Orders and their dates. The Essential Supplies Act came into force on 19-11-1946. Section 92 (1 ) of the Government of India Act. 1935 provided is follows :
".... No Act of the Federal Legislature or of the Provincial Legislature, shall apply to an excluded area or a partially excluded area, unless the Governor by public notification so directs, and the Governor in giving such a direction with respect to any Act may direct that the Act shall in its application to the area . . . . have effect subject to such exceptions or modifications as he thinks fit."
In exercise of the powers conferred on him by this section, the Governor of Bengal by a notification published on 14-12-1946 directed that the Essential Supplies Act shall apply to the district of Darjeelingee which was an excluded area.
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