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E.O.Lawrence vs K.K.Balakrishnan on 15 March, 2010

Kerala High Court
E.O.Lawrence vs K.K.Balakrishnan on 15 March, 2010
       

  

  

 
 
  IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

Crl.MC.No. 2955 of 2008()


1. E.O.LAWRENCE, MANAGING PARTNER,
                      ...  Petitioner
2. P.A.THANKAMMA, W/O.LAWRENCE,

                        Vs



1. K.K.BALAKRISHNAN, DISTRICT SUPPLY
                       ...       Respondent

2. STATE OF KERALA, REPRESENTED BY THE

                For Petitioner  :SRI.V.V.ASOKAN

                For Respondent  :PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

The Hon'ble MR. Justice M.SASIDHARAN NAMBIAR

 Dated :15/03/2010

 O R D E R
          M.SASIDHARAN NAMBIAR,J.

           ------------------------------------------
            CRL.M.C.NO.2955 OF 2008
           ------------------------------------------
            Dated 15th           March 2010


                         O R D E R

Petitioners are the accused in

C.C.1049/2008 on the file of Judicial First

Class Magistrate, Kunnamkulam taken

cognizance for the offence under Section 3

read with Section 7 of Essential

Commodities Act and clause (5) of Kerala

Rationing Order and Essential Commodities

(Maintenance of Accounts and Display of

Prices and Stocks Order), 1966 on

Annexure-A complaint filed by first

respondent, District Supply Officer.

Allegation in Annexure-A complaint is that

on 24/4/2008 at 12.30 p.m, first respondent

along with rationing Inspectors, reached

the godown in the possession of first

Crmc 2955/08
2

accused and owned by M/s.T.A.Jose and

Company, Mundoor, Thrissur. First petitioner

is the Managing Partner and second

petitioner is his wife, who is also one of

the partners of that firm. According to

first respondent search was conducted as

complaints were received that Star Traders

is engaged in the business of ration

articles illegally and the room in the

possession of first accused, where Star

Traders is being run in building bearing

door No.10/171 consisting of two rooms.

From there it was found that 48 sacks

containing 50 Kgs.each having a total

weight of 24 quintal of boiled rice, 37.62

quintal of raw rice in 76 sacks consisting

of 49= Kg. per sack and 12.87 quintal having

49= kgs. of boiled rice and 1 quintal of

Crmc 2955/08
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wheat consisting of two sacks, 27 quintal of

boiled rice in 36 sacks of 75 kgs. each and

13.5 quintal of raw rice in 18 sacks

consisting of 75 Kgs.each and 57.75 quintal

of raw rice in 77 sacks weighing 75 Kgs. per

sack and 417 sacks of raw rice each weighing

50 Kgs., with total weight of 208.50

quintal and 118 sacks of paddy weighing

48.15 quintal were seized. Complaint is

lodged against the petitioners also on the

allegations that first accused was engaged

in storing the ration articles in violation

of order, in the building owned by the

petitioners and building was permitted to

be used by the petitioners and they thereby

committed the offence. Petition is filed

under Section 482 of Code of Criminal

Procedure contending that continuation of

Crmc 2955/08
4

the proceedings against the petitioners is

an abuse of process of the court as they

were implicated for the sole reason that

they are the owners of godown, when final

report itself shows that godown was in the

possession of the first respondent

exclusively.

2. Learned counsel appearing for

the petitioners pointed out that except the

allegation that petitioners are owners of

the godown, from which ration articles were

seized, there is no material to connect the

petitioners with the ration articles seized

or the offence committed and hence, the

case is to be quashed. It was also argued

that there is no material, whatsoever to

connect petitioners with the ration articles

seized, especially when the building from

Crmc 2955/08
5

where it was seized was in the possession of

first accused exclusively.

3. Annexure-A complaint does not

show that first respondent has a case that

the building, from where ration articles

were seized, was in the possession of the

petitioners exclusively or was in the joint

possession of the petitioners and first

accused. On the other hand, the very case is

that first accused was in exclusive

possession of the building, though the

building was owned by the petitioners. When

possession of building was transferred to

first accused, first accused alone could

be tried and convicted for keeping any

material, like ration articles or any other

contraband articles in that room, on the

basis that the building belongs to the

Crmc 2955/08
6

petitioners. That exactly is the case

herein. Though sixteen witnesses were shown

in Annexure-A complaint, purpose of

examination of the witnesses do no show that

any of the witnesses is to be examined to

prove that the building from where ration

articles were seized was in the possession

of the petitioners. On the other hand, it

is the specific case of the prosecution that

the building was in the exclusive

possession of the first accused. Therefore,

in the absence of any material to show that

there was a criminal conspiracy or a common

intention with the first accused for the

petitioners, to keep the ration articles in

that room, petitioners cannot be prosecuted.

Even if petitioners are to be tried

consequent to the lack of materials, there

Crmc 2955/08
7

is no likelihood of a successful

prosecution. In such circumstances, it is

not in the interest of justice to continue

the prosecution as against the petitioners.

Petition is allowed. C.C.1049/2008

on the file of Judicial First Class

Magistrate, Kunnamkulam as against the

petitioners, accused 2 and 3, is quashed. It

is made clear that the case as against

first accused can be proceeded.

M.SASIDHARAN NAMBIAR,
JUDGE.

uj.

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