JUSTICE R.K. PATTANAIK

Indrajit Sengupta & Anr v. State of Odisha & Ors

Case Number: CRLMC No.2240 of 2009

Date of Decision: 7th April, 2022

In this case, the Petitioners had challenged the correctness of the impugned order of cognizance dated 25th April, 2008 passed in G.R. Case No.130 of 2007 on various grounds inter alia contending that such prosecution is in violation of Article 20 of the Constitution of India, 1950 and also Section 300 Cr.P.C. as they could not have been prosecuted once again for the self-same incident which amounts to double jeopardy. The Petitioners had been convicted in 2 CC No.84 of 2007 for an offence punishable under Section 14 the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 and were subsequently charge-sheeted under Section(s) 342 and 323 read with 34 of I.P.C.

The Petitioners contended that pursuant to the complaint filed by the District Labour Officer, order of cognizance for an offence under Section 14 of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 was passed and the petitioners were put to trial and later on convicted and sentenced. Therefore, once having been convicted for an offence under Section 14 of the Act, 1986, for the same incident and set of facts, another prosecution under Section(s) 342 and 323 read with 34 I.P.C. cannot be maintained. On the other hand, the Opposite Party submitted that the offences under the Special Act and IPC are not identical; hence a case of double jeopardy is not made out.

The Court held that the expression ‘same offence’ appearing in Section 300 Cr.P.C. read with Article 20(2) of the Constitution of India means that the offence for which the accused has been tried and the offence for which he is again being tried must be identical. The subsequent trial is barred only if the ingredients of the two offences are identical and not when they are different even though may have resulted from the commission or omission arising out of the same set of facts. The Court observed that the offence under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 is quite different and distinct from the IPC offences and therefore, the Petitioners cannot claim immunity against the criminal prosecution in G.R. Case No.130 of 2007. Accordingly, the CRLMC being devoid of merits was dismissed.

Sukumari Mohanty & Ors v. State of Odisha & Ors

Case Number: W.P.(C) No.6568 of 2008

Coram: Dr. S. Muralidhar CJ and Justice R.K Pattanaik

Date of decision: 19th April, 2022

In this case, the Petitioners had assailed the order dated 29th July, 1995 passed in O.E.A. Revision Case No.16 of 1994 by the Member, Board of Revenue, Orissa (Opposite Party No.5) for having confirmed order dated 23rd November, 1983 passed by the OEA Collector-cum-Tahasildar, Bhubaneswar (Opposite Party No.4) in OEA No.66 of 1993, rejecting their predecessor’s claim for acceptance of rent as a tenant under the State Government on the ground that the decision is per se illegal, perverse and without jurisdiction.

The Petitioners contended that the original tenant produced materials in support of lease and acceptance of tenancy by the State Government after ekpadia was submitted by the exintermediary, therefore, the impugned decision of Opposite Party No.5 concurring the findings of Opposite Party No.4 dismissing such claim cannot be sustained.

On the other hand, the Opposite Party-State contended that Opposite Party No.5 did not commit any error or illegality and rightly held that the lease in favour of the original tenant could not be established nor the possession in respect of the schedule property immediately prior to the date of vesting. Since, the material documents for the purpose of recognizing tenancy could not satisfy Opposite Party No.5, the impugned order under suffers from no legal infirmity.

This Court observed that under Section 8(1) of the OEA Act, the OEA authority does not have any authority either to settle the land in favour of a tenant under the ex-intermediary or fix any rent for the purpose of its collection from him while exercising jurisdiction thereunder but shall have powers only for an enquiry to ascertain the existence of tenancy and accept the fixed rent. The Court opined- “In the case of the Petitioners, when ekpadia was claimed to have been submitted and received by the authority from the ex- intermediary, the original tenant should have immediately after vesting of the estate applied for acceptance of rent which he failed to do instead approached after nearly 30 years and therefore, the case also suffers from delay and laches on his part.” Accordingly, the Court without finding any justifiable reason to disturb the observations of Opposite Party No.5, dismissed the writ petition.