At, High Court of Andhra Pradesh
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R.M. BAPAT
For the Appearing Parties: S. Ashok Anand, Advocate.
R.M. BAPAT, J.
( 1 ) C. C. NO. 17 of 1997 was filed by the assistant Commissioner of Central Excise (Legal) Headquarters Office, Hyderabad in the Court of the Special Judge for Economic offences, Hyderabad against the accused- respondents herein. There were two charges levelled against the accused-respondents herein. The first charge was under section 9 (1) (b) of Central Excise Act and the second charge was under Section 9 (1) (b) read with Section 9 (1) (d) of the Central excise Act, 1944. On evidence, the learned special Judge for Economic Offences came to the conclusion that all the accused were guilty of the charges levelled against them. Therefore he proceeded to convict A-1 and was sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000/- and in default of payment of fine amount, A-2 was made to suffer S.. for three months as a-1 being a Company. Further A-2 to A-4 were found guilty of the offences charged against them and they were convicted and sentenced each of them to pay a fine of rs. 5,000/- and in default to suffer S.. for three months each. This order was passed on 7-1-1999.
( 2 ) AGGRIEVED by the aforesaid order of conviction and sentence thinking to be inadequate, the Assistant Commissioner of central Excise (Legal) Headquarters Office, hyderabad has preferred the present appeal.
( 3 ) THE appeal came up for hearing before this Court to-day.
( 4 ) THE learned Counsel Mr. Ashok Anand kumar appearing on behalf of the accused- respondents herein raised a preliminary objection regarding the maintainability of the appeal by the Assistant Commissioner of central Excise (Legal) Headquarters Office, hyderabad without being authorized by the central Government to file the present appeal.
( 5 ) THE learned Counsel Mr. Ashok Anand kumar pointed out a provision contained in sec. 377 (2) Cr. P. C, which reads as under:"if such conviction is in a case in which the offence has been investigated by the delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (25 of 1946) or by any other agency empowered to make investigation into an offence under any Central Act other than this Code (the Central Government may also direct) the Public Prosecutor to present an appeal to the High Court against the sentence on the ground of its inadequacy. "
( 6 ) THE learned Counsel also invited my attention to a ruling reported in Assistant collector of Central Excise, Madras vs. V. Krishnamoorthy and others in which their lordships of the Supreme Court were pleased to hold that the appeal under section 377 Cr. P. C. has to be filed by the public Prosecutor duly authorized by the central Government. But in this case it was fairly admitted by the Special Public prosecutor appearing on behalf of the appellant herein that the appellant was not empowered by the Central Government to file the present appeal.
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Moreover, the appeal is filed through the Special Public Prosecutor and not through the Public Prosecutor as contemplated under Section 377 (2) Cr. P. C. ( 7 ) CONSIDERING the above legal position at the preliminary stage, this Court holds that the appeal is not maintainable and therefore it is dismissed.