Bachchoo Lal Vs. State of Uttar
Pradesh & ANR  INSC 120 (25 April 1963)
District Board-Lease to collect Tah Bazari
dues-Obstruction- Complaint- "Penalty for obstructing persons employed by
Board"-Scope-United Provinces District Board Act, 1922 (Act X of 1922), s.
One Raja Sahib took a lease from the District
Board, Allahabad,. with respect to the realisation of bayai and bazar dues on
the sale of commodities in the bazar. The appellant was his employee to collect
these dues. A peon of Raja Sahib asked Shyam Lal, P.W. 2, who had sold linseed
to Mewa Lal, respondent No. 2, to come to the Munim and pay the beyai dues.
Mewa Lal asked Shyam Lal not to pay those dues. The peon took Shyam Lal to the
appellant. The respondent No. 2 armed with a lathi, came there and on
appellant's asking him as to why he was creating obstruction in the realisation
of the dues, filthily abused him and threatened to kill him. The appellant,
thereafter, on obtaining sanction of the District Magistrate, instituted a
complaint against Respondent No. 2 for prosecuting him for an offence under s.
107 of the United Provinces District Board Act. The trial Magistrate convicted
him of the offences under ss. 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code and also of
an offence under s. 107 of the Act. On appeal, Sessions judge acquitted him of
all the charges. Against acquittal, the appellant filed an appeal to the High
Court which was dismissed. On appeal by certificates three contentions were
raised by the appellant in this Court: (i) The order of the Sessions judge
aquitting Mewa Lal was bad as no notice of hearing of the appeal was issued to
the appellant, on whose complaint the Magistrate convicted him, (ii) The High
Court was wrong in holding that the Raja could not collect the Tah Bazari dues
through his agents, and (iii) that the appellant had requisite sanction under
s. 182 of the Act, for prosecuting Mewa Lal, respondent No. 2.
Held that s. 107 of the Act does not make
obstruction or molestation of an employee of the person under contract with 359
the Board, an offence. The section speaks of the obstruction or molestation of
two classes of persons. One class consists of persons employed by the District
Board under the Act. The Raja or the appellant is not an employee of the
District Board. The second class consists of those persons who are under
contract with the Board under the Act.
Surely, the person under contract with the
Board is the Raja and not the appellant. The appellant is only an employee of
the Raja. In view of these considerations, the acquittal of the respondent No.
2 could not be interfered with merits.
The appeal, therefore, must be dismissed.
The appeal was not heard on merits. If was
considered not necessary to decide the first contention and the Court did not
express any opinion on the second contention as the terms of the lease were not
known. The third contention was held to be correct.
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION: Criminal
Appeal No. 126 of 1961.
Appeal from the judgment and order dated
May3,1961 of the Allahabad High Court in Criminal Appeal No. 381- of 1960.
O. P. Rana, for the appellant.
The respondent did not appear.
1963. April 25. The judgment of the Court was
delivered by RAGHUBAR DAYAL J.-Raja Kamlakar Singh of Shankargarh, U.P.
took a lease from the District Board,
Allahabad, with respect to the realisation of bayai and bazaar dues on the sale
of commodities in the bazaar of Shankargarh. Bachchoo Lal was his employee to
collect these dues. On April 13, 1959, Bahadur Singh , a peon of the Raja
Sahib, asked Shyam Lal Kurmi, P.W. 2, who had sold two bullock load of linseed
to Mewa Lal, respondent 2, in that 360 bazaar, to accompany him to the Munim in
order to pay the bayai dues there. Mewa Lal asked Shyam Lal not to pay those
dues. The peon, however, took Shyam Lal to Bachchoo Lal, appellant, at the
grain godown. Mewa Lal, armed with a lathi, came there and on Bachchoo Lal's
asking him as to why he was creating obstruction in the realisation of the
dues, filthily abused him and threatened to break his hand and feet and kill
him. Bachchoo Lal, thereafter, instituted a complaint against Mewa Lal, on
obtaining sanction of the District Magistrate for prosecuting Mewa Lal for an
offence under s. 107 of the United Provinces District Board Act, 1922 (U.P. Act
No. X of 1922), hereinafter called the Act.
The trial Magistrate, the II Class Tashildar
Magistrate of Karchana, convicted Mewa Lal of the offences under ss. 504 and
506, I.P.C., and also of an offence under s. 107 of the Act. On appeal, the
Sessions Judge, Allahabad, acquitted Mewa Lal holding that proper authority in
favour of Bachchoo Lal for prosecuting Mewa La] under s. 10 7 of the Act had
not been proved, that the Magistrate had no jurisdiction to try an offence
under s. 506, Part II, I.P.C. which was triable by a Magistrate of the I Class,
and that the prosecution case under s. 504 I.P.C., was suspicious.
Bachchoo lal filed an appeal against the
acquittal of Mewa Lal, after obtaining the permission of the High Court under
sub-s. (3) of s. 417 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, hereinafter called the
Code. The High Court dismissed the appeal repelling the contentions for the
appellant to the effect that the appellant, being the complainant and therefore
a party to the criminal case against Mewa Lal, ought to have been given notice
of the appeal by the Sessions judge and also ought to have been given an
opportunity to be heard and that such notice and opportunity of hearing were
necessary on the principles of natural justice and in view of the fact that s.
417 (3) of the Code conferred a 361 substantive right of appeal on the
complainant. The High Court further held that though the Sessions judge was
wrong in holding that the sanction required by s. 182 of the Act had not been
proved, the sanction was in the name of Raja Sahib of Shankargarh and not of
Bachchoo Lal and therefore the complaint was not a valid complaint and that the
Raja Sahib could not collect Tah Bazari through his agents. It also held that
the acquittal of the accused of the offence under s. 506 I.P.C., was justified
and that the acquittal of the offence under s. 504 I.P.C. could not be said to
be erroneous and that in any case the matter was too petty for interfering with
an order of acquittal even if it had taken a different view of facts from the
one taken by the Sessions judge. The High Court, accordingly, dismissed the
Bachchoo La] has preferred this appeal after
obtaining the requisite certificate from the High Court under Art. 134 (I.) (c)
of the Constitution. The State of U.P. is the first respondent and Mewa Lal,
the accused, is respondent No. 2.
Three questions have been raised on behalf of
One is that the Assistant Sessions judge
ought to have issued a notice of the hearing of the appeal to the appellant on
whose complaint Mewa Lal was convicted by the Magistrate and against which
order of conviction he had filed an appeal. No such notice was issued to him
and therefore the order of the Assistant Sessions Judge acquitting Mewa Lal was
not a good order.' The second contention is that the High Court was wrong in
holding that the Raja of Shankargarh could not collect the Tah Bazari dues
through his agents. The third contention is that Bachchoo Lal had requisite
sanction under s. 182 of the Act for prosecuting Mewa La] and, therefore, the
finding to the contrary is wrong.
362 The third contention is correct. The
requisite authority under s. 182 of the Act is in favour of not only the Raja
of Shankargarh, but also in favour of several of his employees including
Bachchoo Lal, the appellant.
We need not express an opinion on the second
contention as we do not know the terms of the lease executed by the District
Board in favour of the Raja of Shankargarh and as we are not concerned with the
civil rights with respect to the manner of collecting the dues which he could
collect under the lease. We are, however, of opinion that s. 107 does not make
obstruction or molestation of an employee of the person under contract with the
Board an offence.
Section 107 of the Act reads "Whoever
obstructs or molests a person employed by, or under contract with, the Board
under this Act in the performance of his duty or in the fulfillment of his
contract, or removes a mark set up for the purpose of indicating any levels or
direction necessary to the execution of works authorised by this Act, shall be
liable on conviction to a fine which may extend to fifty rupees." The
section speaks of the obstruction or molestation of two classes of persons. One
class of persons consists of persons employed by the District Board under the
Act. The Raja of Shankargarh or Bachchoo Lal is not an employee of the District
Board. The second class of persons consists of those who are under contract
with the Board under the Act.
Surely, the person under contract with the
Board is the Raja of Shankargarh and not Bachchoo Lal. Bachchoo Lal is only an
employee of the Raja.
363 We did not hear the learned counsel on
the merits of the case under s. 504 of the Code and accept the finding of the
In view of the considerations mentioned, no
interference is possible with the acquittal of the respondent No. 2 on merits.
It is, therefore, not necessary to decide the first question raised for the
We accordingly dismiss the appeal.