Decided on November 29,1979

STATE OF BIHAR Respondents


Nagendra Prasad Singh, J. - (1.)This writ application has been filed on behalf of the petitioner who had been taken into custody by the order of the Certificate Officer (respondent no. 2) in the purported exercise of the powers conferred upon him by the Bihar and Orissa Public Demands Recovery Act 1914 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act").
(2.)It appears that a certificate case was filed in the Court of the Certificate Officer (respendent no. 2) saying that Rs. 6,558.60 was due from the petitioner and his other family members named in one of the columns of the form prescribed under Secs. 4 and 6 of the Act. On the back side of that form there is an endorsement dated 5-1-78 made by the Anchal Adhikari saying that in spite of repeated demands the aforesaid amount has not been paid and as such the money should be realised. On 6-1-78, the Certificate Officer passed an order saving "Requisition received. Issue notice under Sec. 7 and the Distress warrant returnable by 15-4-1978." There is nothing mentioned in the order-sheet as to when the notice under Sec. 7 was issued or served on the petitioner and his other co-sharers but from the duplicate copy of the notice which had been issued to the petitioner it appears that the petitioner had received that notice on the 10 of the February, 1978. From the order passed by the Certificate Officer on 25-2-78 it further appears that a report had been submitted by the Anchal Adhikari saying that this petitioner was looking after the affairs of the family and as such the warrant of arrest should be issued against him and on that very date, the Certificate Officer issued a warrant of arrest against the petitioner In execution of that warrant of arrest the petitioner was taken into custody and produced before the Certificate Officer on 9-3-78. He passed an order saving that as this petitioner had not paid the amount due, he should be sent to civil prison and should be released only after he clears his dues Thereafter an amount of Rs. 741.28 which was the snare of the petitioner out of the total amount due was deposited and on 13-3-78 the Anchal Adhikari informed the Certificate Officer about the clearance of the dues by the petitioner and made a request that now he should be released. He also made a request that the certificate case should now proceed against the other co-sharers. A copy of that report is Annexure 2 to the writ application. That report was placed before the Certificate Officer on 13-3-78 itself. On that date, the Certificate Officer rejected the prayer made on behalf of the petitioner to be released saying that the whole amount had not been realised and as the petitioner was a member of the joint family he could not be released till the dues were satisfied. A copy of this order is Annexure 3 to the writ application.
(3.)This writ application was filed on behalf of the petitioner on 16-3-78 as according to the petitioner, his detention in civil prison was without any authority in law. This Court admitted the writ application on 17-3-78 and directed that during the pendency of the application the petitioner be released on furnishing bail-bond.

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