Bhagwati Saran & ANR Vs. The State
of Uttar Pradesh  INSC 18 (20 January 1961)
AYYANGAR, N. RAJAGOPALA AYYANGAR, N.
RAJAGOPALA SINHA, BHUVNESHWAR P.(CJ) DAS, S.K.
CITATION: 1961 AIR 928 1961 SCR (3) 563
CITATOR INFO :
RF 1965 SC1185 (5) RF 1972 SC1324 (12) D 1980
SC 506 (10)
Iron and Steel Control-Notification fixing
maximum pricesWhether ultra vires-If notification discriminates between
"controlled stockholders" and " registered stockholders "Report
to Magistrate--Facts constituting the offence, meaning of-New Point-Iron and
Steel (Control of Production and Distribution) Order, 1941, Cl. 11-B Essential
Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946 (XXIX of 1946), s. 11Constitution of
India, Art. 14.
A police officer made a report under s. 11 of
the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946, regarding a contravention
of cl. 11-B(III), Iron and Steel (Control of Production and Distribution)
Order, 1941, read with s. 8 of the Essential Commodities Ordinance, 1955, to
the Magistrate against the appellants who were registered stockholders that
they had sold iron bars at prices higher than the controlled rate. After
enquiry the Magistrate framed a charge against the appellant under S. 7, Essential
Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946, read with cl. 11-B(III) of the Control
Order. The appellants contended that the charge ought to be quashed on the
grounds, (i) that the notification of the Controller fixing the maximum sale
price of the several categories of iron and steel was ultra vires the
rule-making power in cl. 11-B(i) of the Control Order, (ii) that the
notification was discriminatory and violated Art. 14, and (iii) that the
complaint could not be taken cognizance of by the Magistrate because the report
of the police officer did not set out the facts constituting the offence as
required by s. II of the Act. The first two grounds were raised for the first
time before the Supreme Court.
Held, that the notification fixing the rates
was intra vires cl. 11-B(i) of the Control Order. The notification did not omit
any class mentioned in cl. 11-B(1) from its purview;
it included 564 "registered
producers" and it was not shown that there were any "producers "
other than " registered producers " enumerated in the notification.
The notification governed " registered stockholders " also as they
were included in the residuary category of persons other than " registered
producers " and " controlled stockholders ".
The notification was not discriminatory and
did not offend Art. 14 of the Constitution. The notification no doubt permitted
the grant of credit facilities and the right to charge for cutting and wastage
in sales to " controlled stockholders " but not to " registered
stockholders " in regard to sales by them. Differentiation was not per se
discrimination. There was no material to show that there was any unfair or
irrational discrimination which could attract Art. 14.
Held, further, that the police report on
which the prosecution was launched satisfied the requirements of s. II of the
Act. The purpose of s. II was to eliminate private persons from initiating
prosecutions and to confine it to public servants. The requirement of the
section that the report should be in writing and should set out the facts
constituting the offence was to ensure that there was a record that the public
servant was satisfied that a contravention of the law had taken place. If the
contravention was sufficiently designated in the report the requirements of the
section were satisfied. Section II did not require the mention in the report of
details which would be necessary to be proved to bring home the guilt to the
Dr. N. G. Chatterji v. Emperor (1946) 47 Cr.
L.J. 876 and Rachpal Singh v. Rex (1947) 50 Cr. L.J. 469, not applicable.
Additional grounds, other than those urged
before the High Court, would not be permitted to be raised before the Supreme
Court as a matter of course, but only, in exceptional circumstances like cases
of subsequent legislation or where questions of fundamental and general
importance were raised.
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Criminal
Appeal No. 16 of 1959.
Appeal from the judgment and order dated
November 18, 1958, of the Allahabad High Court in Criminal Reference No. 452 of
B. V. S. Mani, for the appellants.
G. C. Mathur and C. P. Lal, for the
1961. January 20. The Judgment of the Court
was delivered by AYYANGAR, J.-Having heard the learned Counsel for the
appellants in full we did not consider it necessary to call on the respondent
since, we were clearly 565 of the opinion that the contentions raised in the
appeal possessed no merit.
The legality of a prosecution for
contravention of the notification fixing the maximum prices at which certain
categories of iron & steel could be sold is the subject matter of this
appeal. The appellants are two in number, related to each other as husband and
wife. The second appellant-Sushila Devi-is " a Registered Stockholder
" and is stated to be the proprietor of the firm " Balwanta Devi
Sushila Devi " situated in Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh and the first
appellant Bhagwati Saran, her husband, the manager of the said firm.
There has been some previous history before
the present prosecution was initiated but it is sufficient for the purposes of
this appeal to start with the report to the Judicial Magistrate, Amathi, by the
officer incharge of the Police station, Sultanpur, dated August 20,1955. It was
headed " Offence-Section II B Iron &Steel Control Order, 1941"
and set out the following facts:
" Bhagwati Saran used to work as a
Karinda in the firm of Balwanta Devi Sushila Devi and had all along been doing
sales and purchases at the shop, and also issued receipts under his signatures.
Shrimati Sushila Devi is the wife of accused Bhagwati Saran and she was the
proprietor. Balwanta Devi has died. Hence she alone is the proprietor. In the
course of investigation it was also revealed that Bhagwati Saran had from time
to time sold some iron-bark; on behalf of this firm after receiving price more
than the control rate, which he had all along been getting printed, and' had
been getting some other receipts checked fictitiously under the Control Act
from the office of the Supply Officer. An information relating to it was given
to Shri P. N. Kapoor, the then D. M., Sultanpur by his munim Kalapnath and on
it a case was registered at this police station and the investigation was
made...... .................. On the report of the P.P. the S.P. ordered
another charge-sheet to be submitted under section 8 of Essential Commodities
Ordinance of 1955. Hence this charge-sheet under section 11-B 566 (III) Iron
and Steel Control of Production and Distribution Order, 1941, read with s' 8 of
Essential Commodities Ordinance of 1955 is sent against both the accused. The
accused persons after being arrested were released on bail. It is, therefore,
prayed. that the accused persons after being summoned may be punished."
The report further stated that 4 volumes of cash memos, and 5 volumes of
register of Permits were deposited in the Malkhana and would be produced in
evidence and followed it with a list of 13 prosecution witnesses. The Judicial
Magistrate registered the case and issued summons to the accused on September
16, 1955, the case being directed to be called on September 30, 1955. The
accused were thereafter examined before the Magistrate under s. 364 of the
Criminal Procedure Code on March 23, 1956, and on the next day the Magistrate
framed a charge against them which read as follows:
" That you between 10th January 1952 and
27th February 1952 in Sultanpur sold 11 Cwt. 12 lb.
iron bars on 11th January 1952 %ad 3 Cwt.
iron bars on 18-2-52 and Cwt. iron bars on 26th February 1952 at the rate of
Rs. 21-13-9 per Cwt. though the controlled rate as notified in Government of
India Gazette dated 1st July 1952 for the commodity was Rs. 21-2-4 per Cwt. and
thus you charged Rs. 1-15-0, Rs. 2-2-3 and Rs. 4-4-6 respectively excess and
more than the controlled price and thereby committed an offence punishable
under s. 7 E. S. Temp. P. Act 1946 read with s. 1 1 B (iii) of Iron and Steel
Control of Production and Distribution Order of 1941 and I hereby direct that
you be tried by the said Court on the said charge." The two appellants
thereupon moved the. Court of the Sessions Judge, Sultanpur, to revise the
order of the Magistrate dated March 24, 1956, framing charges against them
under s. 7 of the Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946-Act XXIV of
1946 (referred to hereafter as the Act).
The points urged at that stage were mainly
(1) That the notification by the Controller
under 567 cl. 11-B(1) fixing the maximum prices which were stated to have been
contravened not having been filed before the Court, the Magistrate erred in
framing a charge, and (2) that the report of the police was not in conformity
with the provisions of s. 11 of the Act. The learned Sessions Judge upheld the
second of the above contentions which was, that the report made by the police
officer did not set out " the facts constituting the offence" as
required by s. II of the Act. He rejected the other point put forward by the
appellants but in view of his conclusion that there was a defect in the report
which went to the root of the jurisdiction of the Magistrate to take cognizance
of the case, he made a reference to the High Court with a recommendation that
the charge framed against the appellants be quashed. This reference was heard
by a Single Judge of the High Court, who disagreed with the learned Sessions
Judge in his view that the report did not satisfy the requirements of s. 11 of
the Act. Before the learned Judge, however, a further point was urged, that s.
11-B of the Iron & Steel Control of Production and Distribution Order, 1941
(which will be referred to hereafter as the Control Order) was itself ultra
vires. This further objection was referred to a Division Bench for decision.
The point urged before the learned Judges of the Division Bench was that the
power to fix prices vested in the Steel Controller by cl. 11-B of the Control
Order was unconstitutional, as violative of the right to carry on business
guaranteed by Art. 19(1) (g) of the Constitution. The learned Judges answered
this point against the appellants and the case thereafter came back before the
learned Single Judge for final disposal of the reference by the Sessions Judge.
The learned Counsel for the appellants once again made a submission to the
learned Judge regarding the report of the police officer dated August 20, 1955,
not satisfying the requirements of s. 11 of the Act and pressed before him the
view which found favour with the learned Sessions Judge. In a more detailed
judgment, the learned Judge again rejected this contention and dismissed the
reference and directed the prosecution to continue. It is this 73 568 order of
the High Court. of Allahabad that is the subject matter of appeal now before
us. on a certificate granted by that Court.
It would be seen that the only two points in
controversy before the High Court were: (1) whether the report of the police
officer dated August 20, 1955, contained " the facts constituting the
offence " with which the appellants were charged, as to satisfy the
requirements of s. 11 of the Act, and (2) whether el. 11-B of the Control
Order, violated the fundamental right to carry on business guaranteed by Art.
19(1)(g). In the grounds of appeal to this
Court and in the statement of case, however, the appellants have raised various
other grounds and have also filed a petition for leave to urge these additional
grounds, We desire to make it clear that grounds additional to those urged
before the High Court would not be permitted to be raised before this Court as
a matter of course and that petitions for such purpose would not be granted
save in exceptional cases. It has to be noticed that in hearing and dealing
with such additional grounds the Court is handicapped in not having the
advantage of the opinions of the High Court on the points urged. It is the
correctness of the decisions of High Courts that are sought to be challenged in
appeals and it is but proper that the correctness of these judgments should,
save in exceptional cases like for instance subsequent legislation or questions
of fundamental and general importance etc., be assailed only on grounds urged
before such Courts. Besides, when among the grounds thus urged as in this case
is included a violation of Art. 14, the handicap is accentuated, since the
material facts on which the classification might rest could not be properly,
investigated or evaluated on the basis of the affidavits filed in this Court
without a careful sifting of the facts which a consideration by the High Court
would afford. If in the appeal now before us, we have departed from this rule,
and permitted the appellants to urge the additional grounds it was because of
the circumstance that the prosecution was pending and learned Counsel submitted
that he would seek to sustain his contention 569 regarding the violation of
fundamental rights on the materials already on record.
The ground regarding the constitutionality of
el. 11-B of the Control Order has been the subject of elaborate consideration
by this Court in Union of India v. Messrs.
Bhana Mal Oulzari Mal (1) and is, therefore,
no longer open to argument. Learned Counsel for the appellant therefore did not
challenge the correctness of the judgment of the High Court upon this point.
Besides the ground based on a non-compliance
with s. 11 of the Act which we shall consider later, learned Counsel urged
before us two points with reference to the notification issued by the Steel
Controller fixing the maximum prices at which the several categories of iron
and steel could be sold by producers and stockholders. These were: (1) that the
notification of the Controller dated July 1, 1952, for the contravention of
which the appellants were being prosecuted, was ultra vires the rule-making
power conferred upon him by el. 11-B(1) of the Control Order, (2) if, however,
the notification was held to be within his power, the same was unconstitutional
in that it was discriminatory and violated Art. 14 of the Constitution. As we
have indicated earlier, these grounds of challenge to the validity of the
notification were not made in any of the Courts below including the High Court,
but for the reasons indicated we permitted learned Counsel to argue them before
In order to appreciate the contention
presented in the two forms, it is necessary to set out the terms of el. 11-B(1)
which conferred power upon the Controller to fix the maximum base-prices at
which the several varieties of iron and steel could be sold. Clause 11-B(1)
" 11-B. Power to fix prices.-(1) The
Controller may from time to time by notification in the Gazette of India fix
the maximum prices at which any iron or steel may be sold (a) by a Producer,
(b) by stockholder including a Controlled Stockholder and (c) by any other
person or class of persons. Such price or prices may differ for iron and steel
obtainable from (1)  2 S.C.R. 627.
570 different sources and may include
allowances for contribution to and payment from any equalization fund
established by the Controller for equalising freight, the concession rates
payable to each producer or class of producers under agreements entered into by
the Controller with the producers from time to time, and any other
disadvantages." Clause (2) of the Control Order defines " producer as
" a person carrying on the business of manufacturing iron or steel ",
and " registered producer " as " a producer who is registered as
such by the Controller ". The same clause defines " stockholder
" as " a person holding stocks of iron or steel for sale who is
registered as a stockholder by Controller " and " Controlled
stockholder " as " a stockholder appointed by the Con. troller to
hold stocks of iron or steel under such terms and conditions as he may
prescribe from time to time ". The notification of the Controller dated
July 1, 1952, impugned in these proceedings runs in these terms, quoting only
the material words:
" Under Ministry of Commerce and
Industry Notification............ the prices of all items of steel under
columns 1, 11 and III in the schedule of Base Prices of the attached price
circular No. 1 of 1951 have been increased by Rs. 50/per ton with effect from
1st July, 1952, except item 19(b), i.e., Billets which has been increased by
Rs. 45/per ton......... The other General and Special Conditions of sale
mentioned in the attached Price circular remain the 571 The price circular
dated July 1, 1951, referred to here consisted of eight columns which ran thus:
(Price in rupees per ton) Maximum Base Prices
at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras
----------------------------------------------------------Base Materials Column
I Column II Column III Price Item For sales by For sales by For sales by
Registered controlled all persons No. Producers. stockholders. other than
Registered Producers and controlled stockholders.
Untested Untested Untested Untested Tested Rs. Rs. Rs. Rs. Rs. Rs.
Structural and plates etc.
Bars and Rods 303 333 328 363 348 383 (Rounds
and squares below 3" and flats up to and including 5" wide) 2 to 42..
This was followed by General Conditions and
Special Conditions which inter alia made provision for the purpose of rounding
off inequalities in freight caused by places being situated at varying
distances from the place of production etc. It was the operation of some of these
conditions that was urged as giving rise to the discrimination complained of,
but it will, however, be convenient to deal with them later, after disposing of
the argument regarding the notification not being within the powers of the
Controller under cl. 11-B (1).
The 'ground urged in support of the
contention that the notification by the Controller was not in conformity 572
with cl. 1 1 -B (1) was this: Whereas under cl. 1 1 B (1) the Controller was
directed to fix the maximum prices which could be charged by three different
classes, viz., (a) Producers, (b) Stockholders including Controlled
stockholders, and (c) Other persons, the impugned ,notification departed from
this scheme in two respects: (1) The clause contemplated that the notification
should apply to all " producers " whereas " producers "
other than " Registered producers " were wholly left out by the
Controller with the result that no limitation was placed upon the price they
could charge, (2) Whereas the clause directed the Controller to include both
the types of stockholders" Registered " as well as " Controlled
"within the same class and make the same limit of prices applicable to
both, the notification had included only " Controlled stockholders "
as the second category of dealers and " registered stockholders " had
not been specified eo nomine by him. This meant either that "Registered
stockholders " were wholly outside the class of dealers governed by the
notification or that they were intended to be included in the residuary class
in column III. On these premises learned Counsel urged that if "
registered stockholders " like the second appellant were not within the
notification, the prosecution must fail because the maximum prices chargeable
by her had not been fixed. If on the other hand such dealers had been separated
from " Controlled stockholders " and included in the residual
category, such a classification was not countenanced by cl. 11-B(1) and was
therefore ultra vires.
We consider that these submissions are wholly
without any substance. Before the argument that " producers " other
than " registered producers " had not been included in the
notification can be accepted, it has to be established that there is any such
producer. There is a list of " registered producers " appended to the
notification and learned Counsel admitted that he could not say that there were
any besides these, who were "Producers" of iron and steel within the
meaning of the Control Order. If therefore, every " producer " was
registered, there is no scope for the argument that 573 any persons had been
left out and permitted to sell at prices of their choice.
The other part of learned Counsel's argument
that registered stockholders " were not governed by the notification
because they were not included in column II thereof and that dealings by them
were not subjected to the maxima of prices fixed by it, has only to be stated
to be rejected. The heading of the last column shows that all categories of
dealers other than "registered producers.," and " controlled stockholders
" were included in the residuary category. The related contention that the
Controller acted outside his powers in differentiating between "
controlled stockholders " and " registered stockholders " and in
fixing different maxima of prices that could be charged by the two categories
of dealers, does not deserve serious consideration either.
If we understand the classification aright,
it is like one between wholesale dealers and retailers and it is on this basis
that the maximum price that could be charged by the " Registered
Stockholders " who fall under column III is fixed at Rs. 20/per ton above
that permissible to " Controlled Stockholders " in respect of the
category of steel which we have extracted earlier. The classification which
gives persons in the category of the appellants this advantage is certainly not
one regarding which a complaint could be made.
Even when this advantage conferred on
registered stockholders by the classification by the Controller was pointed out
to learned Counsel for the appellant he persisted in his argument that
"registered stock. holders". should have been put in column II along
with " controlled stockholders " and should have been permitted to
sell only at the same maximum prices. This is sufficient to show that the
argument regarding the classification was frivolous and could not have been
urged with any seriousness. This apart, we consider that even on the terms of
cl. 11-B (1), the Controller is not prevented from drawing a distinction within
the three classes which are specified in it. The purpose and policy of the
enactment is to ensure that an essential commodity like iron and steel is made
available, to 574 the consumer at reasonable prices and in the achievement of
this objective classification of producers or of other stockholders based upon
rational grounds would obviously be within the power of the Controller. Taking
for instance the last class (c) " any other person or class of
persons," it cannot be that this group could not be sub-classified, if there
was any reason or necessity to do so. If head (c) is susceptible of this
interpretation, as it obviously must, we see no reason why head (b) should not
be similarly construed. We have therefore no hesitation in rejecting the
contention of learned Counsel, that the notification of the Controller fixing
maximum prices is beyond his power, as not warranted by the terms of el. 11 -B
(1) of the Control Order.
The argument next advanced in challenge of
the validity of the notification was, that some of the General Conditions
appended to the notification were discriminatory of the class of
"registered stockholders" as compared with the " controlled
stockholders " invoking for this purpose Art. 14 of the Constitution.
Learned Counsel did not challenge the legality of the creation of the
equalisation fund by the allowances for what is termed as " place extra
". Learned Counsel, however, urged two matters wherein facilities had been
afforded or price increases permitted, to " controlled stockholders"
which were denied to " registered stockholders " and that these had
been done without any rational basis.
These were: (1) The 3rd of the special
conditions for sale by " controlled stockholders " read: "The
question of credit facilities will be a matter for negotiation between the
customers and the controlled stockholders. " (2) Similarly, Condition 5
also relating to " controlled stockholders" read: ,The base-prices
are. for sizes and length available in Size. Customers requiring material cut
to length or size not available in stock will be required to pay cutting and
wastage charges agreed between the customers and the stockholders. "
Coming now to the special conditions for sale " by persons other than
producers and controlled stockholders, " i.e., the conditions which
governed sales like those by the second appellant, special condition 1 575
read: " The base-rates given in column III above are exsite and apply to
sales by all persons other than Producers and Controlled
Stockholders............ and are not subject to additional charges for cutting
or for credit facilities.
" Neither of these points-cutting
charges or credit facilities-could be held to be discriminatory without a full
investigation of the facts and circumstances which led to the imposition of these
special conditions. Differentiation could never per se be discrimination, nor
is there any presumption that the adoption of different rules for groups
differently situated is unequal treatment violative of Art.
14. On the other hand, the presumption is the
other way and the party that alleges unjustifiable discrimination should
establish it to the satisfaction of the Court. We consider that there is no
material on the basis of which an argument could be sustained that the special
conditions to which learned Counsel adverted contained any element of unfair or
irrational discrimination to attract Art. 14.
There was a slight and subsidiary point
raised in regard to the allowance of credit facilities and cutting charges. It
was said that these charges were indeterminate and that the Controller having
been directed by cl. 11-B (1) to fix definite maximum prices had departed there
from by permitting increases of undefined amounts. This argument again has no
substance. The base-price for the commodity having been fixed, there are
incidentals which by their very nature were incapable of definite
quantification, since they were dependent on each individual case. This
contention also we therefore reject. In passing, we might observe that the
matter before this Court in Union of India v. Messrs. Bhana Mal Gulzari Mal (1)
related to a prosecution for a contravention of a notification of an earlier
date, but in terms identical with the present, except as to the prices, wherein
the dealers in the commodity were classified in the same manner as has been
done in the notification now before us and with the same general and special
conditions. The respondent then before this Court was " a registered (1)
 2 S.C.R. 627.
74 576 stockholder " who was being
prosecuted for effecting sales in excess of the maximum prices fixed. The fact
that on that occasion no contention was urged challenging the validity of the
notification as beyond the powers of the Controller, on the grounds now put
forward clearly indicates, that the matters now urged never appeared then, as a
possible source of grievance to a party situated similarly as the second
appellant. We hold that the notification fixing the prices together with the
conditions appended thereto are valid and enforceable.
The last point that remains to be dealt with,
is the contention that the initiation of the prosecution against the appellants
was invalid for non-compliance with the requirements of s. 11 of the Act. This
Section runs :
" 11. Cognizance of offences.-No Court
shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act except on report
in writing of the facts constituting such offence made by a person who is a
public servant as defined in section 21 of the Indian Penal Code (XLV of
1860)." Learned Counsel for the appellants urged that though two of the
conditions specified by the statute, viz., (1) a report in writing, (2) by a
public servant were satisfied, the third requisite, viz., that the report
should set out the " facts constituting such offence " was lacking
and that by reason of this defect the Magistrate could not lawfully take
cognizance of the case against the appellants. In elaboration of this point
learned Counsel pointed out that the report did not specify: (a) the date when
the alleged sales took place, (b) the quantity sold, (c) the person in question
who was the buyer and who paid the excess over the controlled price, (d) the
class or category of iron and steel which was the subject of the sale by the
appellants, (e) the precise maximum price which had been fixed for such
variety, (f) the amount which the appellants were alleged to have received in
excess. The learned Judge of the High Court rejected this contention and, in
our opinion, correctly. In the report which we have already extracted the provision
577 of the law which the appellants were stated to have contravened was set
out, and it was there stated that being " registered stockholders "
they had sold the goods above the price notified and that they had further, in
order to conceal their crime, fabricated evidence. It is to be noticed that the
report is required to contain only " a statement of facts constituting the
offence " and its function is not to serve as a charge sheet against the
accused. The function or purpose of the second of the above three requirements
of s. 11 is to eliminate private individuals such as rival traders or the
general public from initiating a prosecution and for this purpose before
cognizance is taken the complaint is required to emanate from " a public
servant ". The two further requirements, viz., that the report should be
in writing and regarding the contents of the report, are to ensure that there
shall be a record that the public servant is satisfied that a contravention of
the law has taken place. If the contravention in question is sufficiently
designated in the report, and in the present case that cannot be disputed,
since besides a reference to the notification stated to have been contravened,
the report states that the accused had effected sales above the maximum prices
specified in the notification, the requirements of the section are satisfied.
The details which would be necessary to be
proved to bring home the guilt to the accused and which comprised the several
matters enumerated by learned Counsel which we have set out, will be details
which would emerge at a later stage, when after notice to the accused a charge
is framed against them, and of course at the stage of the trial. They would all
be matters of evidence and s. 11 does not require the report to be or to
contain either the charge-sheet or the evidence in support of the charge, its
function being merely to afford a basis for enabling the magistrate to take
cognizance of the case.
In support of his submission regarding the
construction of s. 11 reliance was placed on two decisions: Dr. N. G. Chatterji
v. Emperor (1) and Rachpal Singh v. (1) (1946) 47 Cr. L.J. 876.
578 Rex (1). Both these were cited before the
learned Judge and we agree with the manner in which he has dealt with and
distinguished them. No doubt, in both these cases it was held that the
requirement of r. 130 (1) of the Defence of India Rules (whose language was
similar to is. 11 of the Act) as to the Statement of " facts constituting
the contravention " was not complied with, but the " reports "
dealt with in them, bear no resemblance to the report in the case before us. In
the first of these decisions, the recital in the report was that the accused
was guilty of a " prejudicial act to the interest of the public " and
" had prejudiced the success of financial measures with a view to the
efficient prosecution of the war ". These words were held to be absolutely
vague, even the particular rule or provision of law which was said to have been
contravened, not even being mentioned in the report. The other decision in 50
Criminal Law Journal does not bear any analogy to the present case either. The
report there in question ran:
"On the statement of the informant an
offence under s. 81(2), Defence of India Rules, has been committed for which
the charge-sheet is being submitted." On this it was held that the facts
alleged to constitute the contravention were not set out in the report and that
the Magistrate had therefore no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the case.
Obviously this case could not assist the learned Counsel to sustain a
contention that the report in the present case was defective. We consider that
the report on which the prosecution was launched satisfied the requirements of
s. 11 of the Act.
In the result the appeal fails and is
(1) (1947) 50 Cr. L.J. 469.