HC cautions magistrates from passing mechanical orders

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 02 Oct 2017 09:32:18


Staff Reporter,

Summoning of accused in a criminal case is a serious matter and Magistrate must apply mind to facts of case, says HC while quashing criminal case against Volvo

Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has cautioned the trial court and Magistrates not to pass mechanical orders to set criminal law into motion and not to be silent spectator at the time of recording of preliminary evidence before summoning of the accused. “Summoning of an accused in a criminal case is a serious matter. Criminal law cannot be set into motion as a matter of course. The order of the magistrate summoning the accused must reflect that he has applied his mind to the facts of the case and the law applicable thereto.

He has to examine the nature of allegations made in the complaint and the evidence both oral and documentary in support thereof and would that be sufficient for the complainant to succeed in bringing charge home to the accused,” Justice Vinay Deshpande noted while quashing a criminal case initiated against M/s Volvo India Limited by Department of Legal Meteorology.

A complaint was filed in the court of JMFC, Hingna against applicant-company by one Umesh Gour, Inspector of Weights and Measures department for breaching provisons of section 39 of the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and Rules 6 (1B) and 23 (7) of the Rules made thereunder and therefore they are liable for prosecution under Section 63 of the Act.

The authority after a surprise visit to the premises of M/s V E Commercial Vehicles Limited at Waddhamna, Amravati Road found that three spare parts, break chamber, fuel level sensor and differential housing part had price stickers covering original price and charged the company with breach.

The applicant company headquartered in Banglore stated that M/s V E Commercial Vehicles Limited had submitted for compounding of the offence under section 73 and Deputy Commissioner by an order dated 30-04-2010 accepted it and accordingly M/s V E Commercial Vehicles Limited, paid Rs 35,000 to the department. The company claimed that it did not compounding because at no point of time, it had committed any wrong and claimed that it was unnecessarily implicated in the matter without an iota of evidence against it. There was no tacit approval of putting price sticker over original price tag and even that breach done by one of its distributor at Nagpur has been compounded.

The High Court also noted that there was no consent by Volvo to M/s V E Commercial Vehicles nor the additional price tag was affixed at Banglore from where the said spare parts were dispatched to its dealer at Nagpur while describing the order by JMFC Court, Hingna on 14-10-2010 as “ passed in the most mechanical manner,” and quashed the order and summary criminal complaint against applicant-company. Adv K H Parekh and Adv P Shukla appeared for the applicant while APP R S Nayak represented State.