Decided on August 07,1979

STATE OF BIHAR Respondents

Referred Judgements :-



M.P.Singh, J. - (1.)-On the 27th of May. 1978, the Subdivisional Judicial Magistrate, Buxar took cognizance of the offence under section 7 of the E.C. Act against the petitioner, Remeshwar Prasad, as well as against his mastar, namely. Amar Nath Prasad. The petitioner, Ramashwar Prasad seeks to quash that cognizince by filing this application under section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Amar Nath Prasad is not petitioner in this case and, as such, I am not concerned with his case.
(2.)IT is argued on behalf of the petitioner, Rameshwar Prasad, that he being only the Munib of the firm "Lachmiram Amar Nath Prasad" and there being no liability on him to maintain books of account, the order taking cognizance against him is an abuse of the process of law. In my opinion the contention is of subtance. In an unreported decision of Division Bench of this Court Criminal Revision No. 186/53 (Ganesh Lal Sarawagi and another v. The State), decided on the 31st August, 1954. IT was held that where the duty was of the licensee to maintain the account then it would be the licensee who would be liable for not maintaining the daily accounts and not his servant. In that case it was further observed that the servant was not liable even for abatment of the offence. In the present case no specific allegation was made against the petitioner, Rameshwar Prasad who is the munib of the firm The complaint petition does not say how he will be liable for the contravention of the Food grain Dealers, Licensing Order, 1967 or the contravention of the provisions of the Bihar Essential Articles (Display of prices and stocks) order 1977. In R. N. Dutt v. State of Bihar, 1977 B.LJ.R. 1005 it has been held that order taking cognizence on vague and general allegations must be quashed. Learned counsel appearing for the State contends that the petitioner Rameshwar Prasad, would be guilty under clause 7 of the Foodgrains Dealers Licensing Order, 1967, read with section 7 of the E. C. Act. That clause simply provides for cancellation of the licence as a penalty. IT does not say that the servant would be liable to be punished in all circumstances and without there being specific case against him. This contention, therefore, must be repelled, In view of the principles laid down in the aforesaid cases, I would hold that Munib viz. the petitioner Rameshwar Prasad in the present case cannot be said to have committed any offence. Cognizance taken against him is, therefore, illegal and accordingly it must be quashed. For the reason mentioned above, I would allow this application and quash the cognizance taken against the petitioner. IT follows that the criminal proceeding cannot now proceed against him. Application allowed.

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