2013 ALL MR (Cri) 2909
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY (AURANGABAD BENCH)
A.P. BHANGALE, J.
Padmakar S/O. Haribhau Mulay & Ors. Vs. The State Of Maharashtra & Ors.
Criminal Writ Petition No. 19 of 2002
13th June, 2013
Petitioner Counsel: Mr. D.V. SOMAN
Respondent Counsel: Mr. K.S. PATIL
Seeds Act (1966), S.14 - Criminal P.C. (1973), S.482 - Quashing of FIR and charge-sheet - Offence in respect of quality of seeds - Accused were prosecuted pursuant to investigation done by Police authorities - Such case is required to be investigated by Seed Inspector, who alone can launch proceedings in respect of quality of seeds - Police authorities cannot investigate in relation to offence alleged in respect of quality of seeds being non-cognizable by Police authorities - FIR as also charge sheet are not sustainable - Continuation of prosecution which cannot attain success according to law would be nothing but waste of time - FIR and charge sheet liable to be quashed. (Paras 2, 4)
Korra Srinivas Rao s/o Krishnamurthy & Anr. Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors., 2001 ALL MR (Cri) 697=2002 (4) Mh.L.J.368 [Para 3]
Ajit Madhukarrao Mulay & Ors. Vs. State of Maharashtra & Ors., Criminal Application No.1839/2001, Dt.3/8/2009 [Para 3]
Padmakar s/o Haribhau Mulay & Ors. Vs. The State of Maharashtra, Criminal Application No.3528/2004, Dt.26/2/2007 [Para 3]
JUDGMENT :- The petitioners have challenged first information report as well as charge-sheet filed in R.C.C.No.276/2000 pending in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Parbhani whereby the petitioners were prosecuted pursuant to investigation done by Police authorities.
2. Learned Counsel on behalf of petitioners submitted that breeding seeds were manufactured by Punjabrao Krushi Vidyapeeth, which were released on 19.6.1991. Release order for cotton variety was passed on 25.5.1993 in respect of seeds, while complaint in respect of quality of the seeds was lodged on 9.6.1994 and panchnama was drawn on 18.6.1994. The petitioners were charge-sheeted after about six years on 3.6.2000 alleging that they had committed offence punishable under Section 406, 420 read with sec.34 of Indian Penal Code. Learned Counsel for the petitioners contended that it is mandatory that such case is required to be investigated under Seeds Rules 1968 by seed Inspector, who alone can launch proceedings in respect of complaint of farmers regarding failure of crop due to defective quality of seeds. The complaint must precede a detailed investigation by Seed Inspector. In other words Police authorities cannot investigate in relation to offence alleged in respect of quality of seeds being non-cognizable by Police authorities.
3. Reference is made to ruling in Korra Srinivas Rao s/o Krishnamurthy and another vs. State of Maharashtra and ors. reported in 2002 (4) Mh.L.J.368 : [2001 ALL MR (Cri) 697]. Ruling delivered by this Court on this point canvassed, which appears to have been followed later on also by this Court. Two unreported judgments were relied upon i.e. in Ajit Madhukarrao Mulay and others vs. State of Maharashtra and ors. delivered by this Court in Criminal Application No.1839 of 2001 on 3.8.2009, as also ruling in Padmakar s/o Haribhau Mulay and others vs. The State of Maharashtra in Criminal Application No.3528 of 2004 delivered by Nagpur Bench of this Court on 26.2.2007 following the ruling in Korra Srinivas Rao's case, [2001 ALL MR (Cri) 697] (supra). The issue is no more res integra as learned A.P.P. left it to the discretion of this Court.
4. Hearing these submissions, the impugned first information report as also the charge-sheet filed in R.C.C.No.276/2000 are not sustainable, as its effect would go to the root of the matter and continuance of prosecution which cannot attain success according to law would be nothing but waste of time not only of the trial Court but also of all those concerned, with the criminal case.
5. The petition is, therefore allowed. The impugned first information report as well as charge-sheet filed in R.C.C.No. 276/2000 before the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Parbhani are hereby quashed and set aside. Rule made absolute accordingly. No costs.