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Azad Transport Company Pvt. Ltd and Others Versus The State of Bihar and Others

Whether the State Police has the jurisdiction to entertain, institute and investigate offences under the VAT Act especially in view of Section 86(2)(a) read with Section 83 of the VAT Act - Held that:- no authority as appointed under Section 9 of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 (corresponding to section 10 of the VAT Act) has been conferred powers of an Officer-in-Charge of a Police Station for investigation of a cognizable offence as has been brought under CrPC. Further, no notification as publishe .....

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gation of cognizable offence and that the said powers have been saved under Section 94 of the VAT Act and thus the Police Authorities stand divested of the powers to investigate offences which constitute an offence under the VAT Act as well as the IPC. The said argument cannot be countenanced in absence of any notification having been published under Section 51(3)(i) of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 conferring the Bureau of Investigation with the power of an Officer-in-Charge of a Police Station. .....

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981 or under Section 86(2)(a) of the VAT Act. The powers that have been vested with the Bureau of Investigation is the power to investigate offences as provided under Section 49 of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 and the corresponding Section 81 of the VAT Act but in absence of any power of Officer-in-Charge of a Police Station having been vested with the Bureau of Investigation it would not be possible for the Bureau of Investigation to inquire into the offences that would constitute an offence bot .....

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stigation of offences under the Tax law which also or exclusively constitutes an offence under the IPC. A reading of Sections 83 and 86 of the VAT Act along with Government Order No. 2775 dated 20.04.1983 would make it apparent that no power under the special Act vesting them with the powers of a police officer qua investigation of an offence under Chapter XII of the CrPC. A deeper reading of Chapter XII and Chapter XIV of the VAT Act would further show that no procedure of investigation has bee .....

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the CrPC and more so when no power of Officer-in-Charge of a Police Station has been conferred upon any of the officers under section 83 of the VAT Act or upon the Bureau of Investigation under Section 86 of the VAT Act. The contention thus that the Bureau of Investigation constituted under the VAT Act is only competent authority to investigate in respect of any offence under the VAT Act, which means no other authority can carry out investigation or hold inquiry into any case of alleged or suspe .....

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urisdiction in the police to investigate the offence. A mere fact that VAT Act speaks of investigation by the Bureau of Investigation or an officer as designated under Section 83 of the VAT Act and that it does not refer to any investigation by the Police would thus oust the jurisdiction of Police is also not an argument that would pass the muster of the test of legality. Thus the institution of the FIR cannot be urged to be an abuse of the judicial process - "Generalia specialibus non-derog .....

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evail. The doctrine is not only applicable vis-à-vis two statutes or provisions within a Statute or even within the legal instruments. But the said doctrine is to be invoked only as to whether there is a special conflict between the two provisions of which one is specific with regard to a subject matter while the other is general and covers the same subject-matter apart from other subject matter. “The general/specific canon does not mean that the existence of a contradictory specific provision v .....

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er any conflict between the provisions of two statutes nor does there appears to be any attempt to cover the filed of CrPC with regard to investigation. In fact, to the contrary, where there was even an avenue available to cover the said field of grant of police powers to the authorities/ Bureau of Investigation - under the VAT Act has voluntarily and consciously been not taken by the State Government. - Decided against the appellant - Criminal Writ Jurisdiction Case No.1060, 1085, 1087 of 2012, .....

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a common challenge to the various First Information Reports instituted against the various petitioners by the Taxing Authority for serious violation of the provisions of Bihar Value Added Tax Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as VAT Act ) to be more precise for violation of Section 56(4) of the VAT Act read with various provisions of Indian Penal Code (hereinafter referred to as IPC ). 2. The common sliver that runs through the various applications under consideration is that the petitioners a .....

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-IX were being transported with intention to cheat the State Government of the revenue that would have accrued to it on account of proper documentation of the goods accompanying Form D-IX. 3. The main thrust of the argument of the petitioners revolve around the jurisdiction of the Taxing Authority to institute a First Information Report. The argument of the petitioners raise the following issues for consideration of the Court: (a) Whether the State Police has the jurisdiction to entertain, insti .....

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il - has been resorted to ? (c) Whether the institution and investigation by the police can be termed as an abuse of the judicial process ? 4. It is the contention of the petitioners that section 83 of the VAT Act invests the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes to authorize any person subordinate to himself to investigate any offence punishable under the VAT Act and the person so authorized shall investigate the said offence and shall have the power of an Officer-in-Charge of a Police Station, for .....

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ion of the court to provisions of Section 86 (2) (b) of the VAT Act which provides that the Commissioner may, by a Gazetted Order authorize the officer of the Bureau of Investigation to exercise power of an authority appointed under Section 10 of the VAT Act. It is the thrust of the argument of the petitioners that in view of the specific provision conferring the power on the Bureau of Investigation to conduct investigation with regard to the offences punishable under the VAT Act, the Police Off .....

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its predecessor Act being Bihar Finance Act, 1981 (Bihar Act 5 of 1981) and wherein similar power had been vested with the Bureau of Investigation where too the official of the Bureau of Investigation could have been vested with the power of an Officer-in-Charge of a Police Station. Based on the con-joint reading of Section 86 of the VAT Act and Section 51 of the repealed Bihar Finance Act, 1981 it has been urged, on behalf of the petitioners, that the power of the police to institute and inves .....

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- being in the nature of VAT Act or its erstwhile predecessor Bihar Finance Act, 1981 - no court shall take cognizance of the cases instituted by the police nor any investigation can be conducted by the police. It is thus submitted, by the petitioners, that offences under the IPC shall not be attracted and even if there is mention of infraction of the penal provisions under the IPC, the jurisdiction of the police to investigate such offence shall remain ousted. 8. It is also one of the contenti .....

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[Hindustan Lever Limited versus The State of Bihar & Ors.]; (b) Cr. Misc. No. 808 of 1998 [Om Prakash Sah versus the State of Bihar]; (c) 2015(3) PLJR 660 [M/s Torque Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. versus The State of Bihar]; (d) Cr. Misc. No. 11663 of 1992 and analogous case [Ganesh Kumar Agrawal versus The State of Bihar]; (e) 1993 (2) BLJ 318 [M/s. Regent Cinema, Patna versus The State of Bihar & Ors]. 10. Per Contra, it has been argued by the State that the contentions of the petitioners .....

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no applicability to the present lis. 11. It is urged by the State that the provisions of law as were subjected to interpretation by the Hon‟ble Supreme Court, in the case of Narayan K. Patodia (supra), is pari materia with Sections 83 and 86 of the VAT Act and therein it was held that institution of an FIR was not barred and that the provisions under the relevant Statute also do not prohibit institution and carrying out of investigation by the police under relevant provision of the IPC. I .....

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r Finance Act, 1981 :- VAT Act, 2005 Section 82 - Cognizance of offences.- (1) Save as provided in section 81, the punishments inflicted under the said section shall be without prejudice to any penalty which may be imposed under the provisions of this Act. (2) No court shall take cognizance of any offence under this Act except with the previous sanction of the Commissioner or any officer specially empowered in this behalf and no court inferior to that of a Magistrate of the first class shall try .....

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y officer so authorized shall, in the conduct of such investigation, exercise the powers conferred by the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, (2 of 1974) upon an officer in-charge of a police station for the investigation of a cognizable offence. Section 86 - Bureau of Investigation.- (1) The State Government may, by an order published in the Official Gazette, constitute a Bureau of Investigation and it shall consist of such personnel and such number of officers and such hierarchy of supervision a .....

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tigation with the powers of an officer in-charge of a police station under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, (2 of 1974) and with such other powers under different Act, as it may consider necessary. (b) The Commissioner may, by an order published in the Official Gazette, authorize an officer of the Bureau of Investigation to exercise the powers of an authority appointed under section 10 in respect of such matters as may be specified in the order. (3) The Bureau of Investigation shall functio .....

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fied by the State Government in the said order: [Provided that if authorities appointed under sub-section (1) of Section 9 are specified as such it shall without prejudice to the powers under sub-section (1) of Section 9, exercise the powers of an authority under Sections 31, 32, 33, 34 and 35 for carrying out the purpose of this part.] (2) An officer of the Bureau of Investigation shall without prejudice to any powers vested in it under sub-section (3) exercise the powers of an authority appoin .....

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igation to exercise the powers of an authority appointed under Section 9 in respect of such matters as may be specified in the order. (4) The Bureau of Investigation shall function under the control and supervision of the Commissioner, and shall discharge duties as may be assigned to it by the Commissioner, including investigation of offences under Section 49 of this part. 13. In the course of argument it was queried - if any Bureau of Investigation has been constituted by the State Government i .....

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advanced detailed arguments on the import of Sections 86 and 83 of the VAT Act. The court was left to undertake the inquiry on its own. 14. It has been brought to the notice of this court that no Bureau of Investigation has either been constituted under the provisions of Section 86(1) of the VAT Act - after the repeal of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 by Act No. 27 of 2005 - much less the vesting of an officer of the said Bureau with the powers of the Officer-in-Charge of a Police Station under Se .....

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936 dated 16.07.1984. The said notification had been issued under sub-section (3) (ii) of Section 51 of Bihar Finance Act, 1981 whereby the Commissioner had authorized the officers of the Bureau to exercise the power of an authority appointed under Section 9 (1) of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 for the purposes of Section 31 of the said Act. Further, under sub-section (4) of Section 51 of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 the State Government by Order No. 2775 dated 20.04.1983, had set up the Bureau of .....

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x Act, 2005 on 23.06.2005. Section 94 of the VAT Act provides for repeal and savings clause. To quote:- 94. Repeal and savings.- (1) The Bihar Finance Act, (Bihar Act, 5 of 1981) (hereinafter referred to as the repealed Act ) is hereby repealed from the date of commencement of this Act. (2) The repeal shall not affect,- (a) … … …. (b) … … …. (c) … … …. 3. All rules, orders and appointments made, notifications published, certificates .....

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Act that rules, orders and appointments made, notifications published, certificates granted, powers conferred and other things done under the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 shall continue to be in force and would be deemed to have been made, published, granted, conferred or done under the VAT Act. It would thus be apparent that the Notifications and Orders published under the provisions of section 51 of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 are to remain in force unless they are inconsistent with or until they .....

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he VAT Act and 51 of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 along with the notifications published thereunder makes it apparent that the Bureau of Investigation constituted under sub-section 51(4) of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 (corresponding to section 86 (1) of the VAT Act) has been constituted - by Government Order No. 2775 dated 20.04.1983 - to investigate offences under Section 49 of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 (corresponding to section 81 of the VAT Act) and by Notification No. SO 936 dated 16.07.198 .....

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f a Police Station for investigation of a cognizable offence as has been brought under CrPC. Further, no notification as published under Section 3 (i) of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 (corresponding to Section 86 (2) (a) of the VAT Act) has been brought to the notice of the court nor has it come to the notice of the court - upon its own inquiry. 23. It has been argued on the part of the petitioners that in view of section 51 of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 read with Notifications and the Government .....

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er Section 51(3)(i) of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 conferring the Bureau of Investigation with the power of an Officer-in-Charge of a Police Station. The only notification being Government Order No. 2775 dated 20.04.1983, constituting the Bureau of Investigation, also does not support the argument of the petitioners. 24. The claim of the petitioners that the Bureau of Investigation was vested with the powers of the Officer-in-Charge of the Police Station does not stand substantiated in absence o .....

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the Bureau of Investigation it would not be possible for the Bureau of Investigation to inquire into the offences that would constitute an offence both under the Indian Penal Code as well as the VAT Act. 26. It is also of salience to note that in so far as the writ petitions are concerned they seek quashing of First Information Reports which have been registered under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 409 and 120 B of the IPC and Sections 81(1)(c), 81(2)(a) and 81(4) of VAT Act. In none of these cas .....

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us non-derogant‟ would come into play would follow in succeeding paragraphs. 27. The next issue that would be all relevance to be addressed would be - if an FIR can at all be registered for the offences under the IPC where there is an alleged infraction of provision of the VAT Act? 28. It has been argued, on the strength of Sections 4 and 5 of the CrPC that the VAT Act being special Act, it ousts the jurisdiction of CrPC and thus the procedure of investigation as provided under the CrPC an .....

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re appears to be a basic fallacy in reliance of the petitioners upon these set of judgments to argue that VAT Act would oust the jurisdiction of the police to institute and investigate an FIR as the VAT Act is a special Act and as the same is a complete Code in itself to institute and investigate a case relating to infraction of its provisions - as such no First Information Report can be instituted for the offences under the IPC and vest power in the police to investigate offences. To substantia .....

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, 1940 and this Court, upon reviewing the provisions of the said Act had concluded that the said Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 was a complete Code as it provided not only for the method of collecting samples by the Drug Inspector but it also provided as to how the Drug Inspector was to proceed in getting the sample tested and set the criminal judicial process in motion. The entire spectrum of institution of the complaint to investigation and filing of memorandum of prosecution was covered and ha .....

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is not a complete Code in itself to oust the jurisdiction of the police to institute and investigate an offence, especially when the offence alleged constitute an offence both under the VAT Act and the IPC. 30. Section 4 and section 5 of the CrPC may be profitably referred to understand the contours of the legal proposition that a special Act (VAT Act in the present case) shall override the provisions of the general Act (CrPC in the present case) and would thus oust the jurisdiction of the poli .....

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er or place of investigating, inquiring into, trying or otherwise dealing with such offences. Section 5. Saving.- Nothing contained in this Code shall, in the absence of a specific provision to the contrary, affect any special or local law for the time being in force, or any special jurisdiction or power conferred, or any special form of procedure prescribed, by any other law for the time being in force. 31. It is apparent from section 4 of the CrPC that the provisions of the CrPC shall be appli .....

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ling with such offences. In which case an enactment will prevail over those of CrPC unless there is specific provision to the contrary in CrPC. 32. The jurisdiction under Section 4 of CrPC is comprehensive and to the extent that till no valid machinery is set up under any Act for investigation or trial the jurisdiction of the machinery provided under CrPC cannot be said to have been excluded. 33. In the case of Bhim Sen vs. State of U. P. reported in AIR 1955 SC 435 their lordships have held: Th .....

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der the U. P. Panchayat Raj Act for the trial of any particular case the jurisdiction of the ordinary criminal court under S. 5, Criminal P. C., cannot be held to have been excluded. Exclusion of jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction, can be brought about by the setting up of a court of limited jurisdiction, in respect of the limited field, only if the vesting and the exercise of that limited jurisdiction is clear and operative. Where, as in this case, there is no adequate machinery fo .....

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f the CrPC and has stated thus: Section 190 thus confers power on any Magistrate to take cognizance of any offence upon receiving a complaint of facts which constitute such offence. It does not speak of any particular qualification for the complainant. Generally speaking, anyone can put the criminal law in motion unless there is a specific provision to the contrary. This is specifically indicated by the provision of sub-section (2) of Section 4 which provides That all offences under any other la .....

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and simultaneously specifies the manner or place of investigating, inquiring into, trying or otherwise dealing with such offences, the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure shall apply in respect of such offences and they shall be investigated, inquired into, tried and otherwise dealt with according to the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure. 35. In A. R. Antulay versus Ramdas Srinivas Nayak reported in AIR 1984 SC 718, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court while examining th .....

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arent statute which provides for investigation, inquiring into and trial of cases by criminal Courts of various designations. 36. In the light of the above discussion with regard to Section 4(2) and Section 5 of CrPC that the provisions of Sections 83 and 86 of the VAT Act is to be analysed to see if the same provides for any special procedure for investigation of offences under the Tax law which also or exclusively constitutes an offence under the IPC. A reading of Sections 83 and 86 of the VAT .....

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register and investigate the offence. 37. The word investigation‟ is defined under Section 2(h) of the CrPC and it includes all proceedings under this Code for collection of evidence conducted by a Police Officer or by any person (other than Magistrate) who is authorized by a Magistrate in this behalf. What constitutes an investigation has been succinctly dealt with by Hon‟ble Supreme Court in the case of Directorate of Enforcement vs. Deepak Mahajan and Anr. reported in (1994) 3 SC .....

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of decisions of this Court as well as of the various High Courts explaining in detail, what the word 'investigation' means and is? It is not necessary for the purpose of this case to recapitulate all those decisions except the one in H. N. Rishbud v. State of Delhi, 1955 (1) SCR 1150 : (AIR 1955 SC 196). In that decision, it has been held that: "under the Code investigation consists generally of the following steps: (1) Proceeding to the spot, (2) Ascertainment of the facts and circ .....

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there is a case to place the accused before a Magistrate for trial and if so taking the necessary steps for the same by the filing of a charge-sheet under Section 173. 38. The VAT Act is silent with regard to the procedure that has to be followed by the Bureau of Investigation while making any investigation with regard to any of the offence and as such it cannot be emphasized that the jurisdiction of the Police Station stands ousted by virtue of Section 4(2) and Section 5 of the CrPC and more so .....

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as well as malpractices connected therewith cannot be countenanced and more so when the alleged infraction would also constitute a penal offence under any other statute. 39. At this juncture one would gainfully refer to the judgment of Supreme Court in the case of State of West Bengal vs. Narayan K. Patodia (supra) - relied upon by the State. The case involved impersonation by the Respondent therein who obtained registration under the West Bengal Sales Tax (Registration and Turnover) Rules decla .....

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istration on 01.12.1997 in the fictitious name of Suredra Luhariwala and had defrauded the State Government of Tax worth ₹ 32 lacs. A complaint was presented by the Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Taxes to the Deputy Superintendent of Police attached to the Bureau of Investigation of West Bengal Sales Tax Act. The said complaint was forwarded to Hare Street Police Station, Calcutta and the same was treated as First Information Report and an FIR was registered under Sections 403, 409, .....

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ted evasion of tax as well as malpractices connected therewith. It also appears that under the provisions of Section 7(3) no complaint is required to be presented before any authority as has been done in the instant case but only a report is required to be submitted before the Commissioner. Section 7(3) of the West Bengal Sales Tax Act, 1994 clearly says that the Bureau may, on information or of its own motion, or when the State Government or the Commissioner so directs, carry out investigation .....

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ns of law" and the said Deputy Superintendent of Police Forwarded the same to Hare Street Police Station.......... ." 40. Upon challenge by the State of West Bengal before the Supreme Court, the said order was reversed. The Hon‟ble Supreme Court opined: 14. We did not come across any provision in the Sales Tax Act which inhibits the powers of the police as conferred by the Code. Chapter X of the Act deals with "Offences and penalties." Section 88 falls within the said c .....

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provided by any law for the time being in force, be liable also for the offence of dishonest misappropriation of property under Section 403 of the Indian Penal Code, and shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to two years or with fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees or with both. (7) Whoever knowingly produces incorrect accounts, registers or documents, or knowingly furnishes incorrect information or suppresses .....

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ated in sub-section (6) cannot get displaced for the sole reason that the accused has committed the offence falling under sub-section (6) of Section 88. 17. Section 7(1) of the Sales Tax Act empowers the State Government to constitute a Bureau of Investigation for discharging the functions referred to in sub-section (3) thereof. It empowers the Bureau to carry on the investigation or hold enquiry into any case or alleged or suspected case of evasion of tax or malpractice created thereof and send .....

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vely inquiring into all the ramifications of the offence. As in this case if offences falling under the Indian Penal Code or any other enactment are also detected during the course of investigation conducted by the Bureau there is no inhibition to pass over the investigation to the regular police. 18. If the view of the learned single Judge gets approval it would lead to startling consequences. The consequences of such an interpretation would be that if the person who commits the offence under S .....

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the investigating agency should have been different ? By lodging FIR alone no investigation is conducted by the police. It is the first step towards starting investigation by the police. If High Court was of the opinion that investigation has to be conducted by the Bureau then also there was no need to quash the FIR. Any way we take view that as offences under the Indian Penal Code are also involved, efficacious investigation can be conducted by entrusting it to the police investigating agency. .....

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of offences made against a person to remain consigned in stupor perennially. Hence, instead of achieving ends of criminal justice, the impugned order would achieve the reverse of it. 41. It is thus evident as a day of light that in absence of a power of an Officer-in-Charge of a Police Station having been vested with the Bureau of Investigation or the designated officer under Section 86(2)(a) and Section 83(2) of the VAT Act, respectively, it is not open to the petitioners to allege lack of jur .....

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no such sequatur. The silence of a statute has no exclusionary effect except where it flows from necessary implication… … …. . 43. A mere fact that VAT Act speaks of investigation by the Bureau of Investigation or an officer as designated under Section 83 of the VAT Act and that it does not refer to any investigation by the Police would thus oust the jurisdiction of Police is also not an argument that would pass the muster of the test of legality. 44. Thus it cannot but be s .....

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ions under the Sales Tax Act was supplemental to any other penalty provided by any law for the time being . The said argument was repelled stating thus: 15. The said case has been tried to be distinguished by Shri Jaiswal on the ground that sub-section (6) of Section 88 also provides that the accused shall also be liable for prosecution under Section 403 and, therefore, on facts the said case would not be applicable to the facts of the present case. With great respect to the arguments advanced b .....

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IPC which are not common with any of the offences as provided under the VAT Act. 45. In so far as the reliance of the petitioner on an unreported decision of this Court passed in the case of Ganesh Kumar Agrawal (supra) is concerned, it has to be noted that a Single Judge Bench of this Court quashed the order taking cognizance for the offences punishable under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC and Sections 49(2)(c)(h) and 49(3)(a) of the Bihar Finance Act, 1981 placing reliance on the de .....

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t and by virtue of the later judgment of the Apex Court in the matter of Narayan K. Patodia (supra), the earlier judgment of this Court in the matter of Ganesh Kumar Agrawal (supra), which had declared the law differently, would no longer be treated as good law as Article 141 of the Constitution of India enacts that the law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India. 46. In the case of M/s. Regent Cinema, Patna vs. The State of Bihar & Ors (sup .....

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l as provided under the CrPC would apply for the trial of the offences under the Bihar Cinema (Regulation) Act, 1954 and in that view of the matter District Magistrate was not a competent authority to hold trial and impose fine on the petitioner and accordingly the order passed by him was without jurisdiction. The State tried to justify the impugned order on the ground that the District Magistrate was the competent authority to impose fine under Section 7(1) of the Bihar Cinema (Regulation) Act. .....

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ial pronouncement, it is clear that the same is of no help to the case of the petitioners in these writ applications as the facts and the law involved in these cases are clearly distinguishable from that of the case relied upon. 47. The last issue that this Court needs to deal with is the issue of generalia specialibus non-derogant‟ . It has further been argued by the petitioners that the jurisdiction of the police to investigate the offence should be repelled by this Court for the reason .....

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the police to investigate does not stand ousted. It would still be relevant to deal with the contours of the doctrine generalia specialibus non-derogant‟. What the doctrine states is if there is a conflict between a general provision and special provision, it is the special provision that shall prevail. The doctrine is not only applicable vis-à-vis two statutes or provisions within a Statute or even within the legal instruments. But the said doctrine is to be invoked only as to whe .....

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specialibus non-derogant‟ - the specific would govern the general is not an absolute rule of statutory interpretation. An overview of various judgments would show that to invoke the said doctrine one will have to not only examine the subject matter involved in the two statutes/provisions/legal instruments but also if the nature of the Statute is comprehensive and was intended to be a complete code in itself with regard to the subject-matter. Further, one also will have to see if the speci .....

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this may be added a rider : in a case of reasonable doubt, the construction most beneficial to the subject is to be adopted. But even so, the fundamental rule of construction is the same for all statutes, whether fiscal or otherwise. "The underlying principle is that the meaning and intention of a statute must be collected from the plain and unambiguous expression used therein rather than from any notions which may be entertained by the Court as to what is just or expedient." The expre .....

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n in its most comprehensive sense, would overrule the former, the particular enactment must be operative, and the general enactment must be taken to affect only the other parts of the statute to which it may properly apply." But this rule of construction is not of universal application. It is subject to the condition that there is nothing in the general provision, expressed or implied, indicating an intention to the contrary; see Maxwell on Interpretation of Statutes, 11th Edn., at pp. 168- .....

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; 3. What remedy Parliament has appointed; and 4. The reason of the remedy." 51. The Apex Court considered a plethora of judgment on the said doctrine of generalia specialibus non-derogant‟ in the case of Commercial Tax Officer, Rajasthan vs. Binani Cements Limited and Another, reported in (2014) 8 SCC 319 and then concluded - construction that special governs the general is not an absolute rule but is merely a strong indication of statutory meaning that can be overcome by textual ind .....

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pany would fall into all the three categories of industries referred to in the Scheme, that is to say it is a new unit which is a large-scale unit‟, a prestigious new unit and also a very prestigious unit ; (b) the classification of a new unit, viz. small scale, medium scale and large scale under Item 1-E on the basis of scale of investment does not denude a new industrial unit of any type of the special status of pioneer , prestigious and very prestigious unit under Items 4 and 5 to also .....

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ry rule or statutory notification, there are two expressions used, one in general terms and the other in special words, under the rules of interpretation, it has to be understood that the special words were not meant to be included in the general expression. Alternatively, it can be said that where a Statute contains both a general provision as well as specific provision, the later must prevail. 33. We are mindful of the principle that the Court should examine every word of a statute in its cont .....

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e colour. Neither can be ignored. Both are important. That interpretation is best which makes the textual interpretation match the contextual. A statute is best interpreted when we know why it was enacted. With this knowledge, the statute must be read, first as a whole and then section by section, clause by clause, phrase by phrase and word by word. If a statute is looked at, in the context of its enactment, with the glasses of the statute-maker, provided by such context, its scheme, the section .....

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s in its place. 34. It is well established that when a general law and a special law dealing with some aspect dealt with by the general law are in question, the rule adopted and applied is one of harmonious construction whereby the general law, to the extent dealt with by the special law, is impliedly repealed. This principle finds its origins in the latin maxim of generalia specialibus non derogant, i.e., general law yields to special law should they operate in the same field on same subject. ( .....

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ion in cases of there being two statutes: general or specific with the latter treating the common subject -matter more specifically or minutely than the former. Corpus Juris Secundum, 82 C.J.S. Statutes § 482 states that when construing a general and a specific statute pertaining to the same topic, it is necessary to consider the statutes as consistent with one another and such statutes therefore should be harmonized, if possible, with the objective of giving effect to a consistent legislat .....

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Marrero, 417 U.S. 653 (1974)) 36. The maxim generalia specialibus non derogant is dealt with in Volume 44 (1) of the 4th ed. of Halsbury's Laws of England at paragraph 1300 as follows : The principle descends clearly from decisions of the House of Lords in Seward v. Vera Cruz, (1884) 10 App Cas 59 and the Privy Council in Barker v Edger, [1898] AC 748 and has been affirmed and put into effect on many occasions.... If Parliament has considered all the circumstances of, and made special provis .....

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ration of the general enactment in the light of admissible circumstances that Parliament's true intention was to establish thereby a rule of universal application, then the special provision must give way to the general. 37. The question in Seward v. Vera Cruz (1884) 10 A C 59 was whether Section 7 of the Admiralty Court Act of 1861, which gave jurisdiction to that Court over any claim for damage done by any ship also gave jurisdiction over claims for loss of life which would otherwise come .....

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v. University of Delhi, (1992) 1 SCC 558 as follows: 140. …The golden rule of interpretation is that words should be read in the ordinary, natural and grammatical meaning and the principle of harmonious construction merely applies the rule that where there is a general provision of law dealing with a subject, and a special provision dealing with the same subject, the special prevails over the general. If it is not constructed in that way the result would be that the special provision woul .....

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re, (1968) 1 SCR 661, Patna Improvement Trust v. Lakshmi Devi, 1963 Supp (2) SCR 812, Ethiopian Airlines v. Ganesh Narain Saboo, (2011) 8 SCC 539, Usmanbhai Dawoodbhai Memon v. State of Gujarat, (1988) 2 SCC 271, South India Corpn. (P) Ltd. v., Board of Revenue, Trivandrum, (1964) 4 SCR 280, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education v. Paritosh Bhupeshkumar Sheth, (1984) 4 SCC 27.] 39. In J.K. Cotton Spg & Wvg. Mills Co. Ltd. v. State of U.P., (1961) 3 SCR 185, this .....

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torney-General seemed to suggest that while this rule of construction is applicable to resolve the conflict between the general provision in one Act and the special provision in another Act, the rule cannot apply in resolving a conflict between general and special provisions in the same legislative instrument. This suggestion does not find support in either principle or authority. The rule that general provisions should yield to specific provisions is not an arbitrary principle made by lawyers a .....

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ule is, that whenever there is a particular enactment and a general enactment in the same statute and the latter, taken in its most comprehensive sense, would overrule the former, the particular enactment must be operative, and the general enactment must be taken to affect only the other parts of the statute to which it may properly apply.‟ The rule has been applied as between different provisions of the same statute in numerous cases some of which only need be mentioned: De Winton v. Brec .....

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special provisions of clause 23 are applicable. 40. Lord Cooke of Thorndon pointed out, however, in Effort Shipping Co Ltd. v. Linden Management, SA [1998] AC 605 that the maxim is not a technical rule peculiar to English statutory interpretation, rather it represents simple common sense and ordinary usage". Bennion, Statutory Interpretation, 5th ed. (2008), p. 1155 states that it is based, like other linguistic canons of construction, "on the rules of logic, grammar, syntax and punctu .....

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ere is an apparent conflict between two independent provisions of law, the special provision must prevail. In CCE v. Jayant Oil Mills (P) Ltd., (1989) 3 SCC 343 this Court has accepted the aforesaid rule as the basic rule of construction that is to say a more specific item should be preferred to one less so. In Sarabjit Rick Singh v. Union of India, (2008) 2 SCC 417 this Court has in fact followed the aforesaid precedents thus: (SCC p. 438, para 58) 58. The Act is a special statute. It shall, th .....

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axing Act one has to look merely at what is clearly said. There is no room for any intendment. There is no equity about a tax. There is no presumption as to a tax. Nothing is to be read in, nothing is to be implied. One can only look fairly at the language used.‟ To this may be added a rider: in a case of reasonable doubt, the construction most beneficial to the subject is to be adopted. But even so, the fundamental rule of construction is the same for all statutes, whether fiscal or other .....

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ial provision, the latter shall prevail. The said principle has been stated in Craies on Statute Law, 5th Edn., at p. 205, thus: The rule is, that whenever there is a particular enactment and a general enactment in the same statute, and the latter, taken in its most comprehensive sense, would overrule the former, the particular enactment must be operative, and the general enactment must be taken to affect only the other parts of the statute to which it may properly apply.‟ …When the .....

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appointed; and (4) The reason of the remedy.‟ (emphasis supplied) 43. In LIC v. D.J. Bahadur, (1981) 1 SCC 315 this Court was confronted with the question as to whether the LIC Act is a special legislation or a general legislation and while considering the rule in discussion, this Court observed thus: (SCC page 349, para 49) 49. …the legal maxim generalia specialibus non derogant is ordinarily attracted where there is a conflict between a special and a general statute and an argumen .....

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to subjects specially dealt with by earlier legislation, you are not to hold that earlier and special legislation indirectly repealed, altered, or derogated from merely by force of such general words, without any indication of a particular intention to do so. There is a well-known rule which has application to this case, which is that a subsequent general Act does not affect a prior special Act by implication. That this is the law cannot be doubted, and the cases on the subject will be found co .....

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terms. (emphasis supplied) 44. In Ashoka Marketing Ltd. v. Punjab National Bank, (1990) 4 SCC 406 this Court has placed reliance upon Bennion, Statutory Interpretation and J.K. Cotton Spig. & Wvg. Mills case, AIR 1961 SC 1170, amongst others, and explaining the rationale of this rule has reiterated the law as under: 52. In U.P. SEB v. Hari Shanker Jain, (1978) 4 SCC 16, this Court has observed: (SCC p. 27, para 9) 9. … In passing a special Act, Parliament devotes its entire considerat .....

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, an Act may be general and for certain other purposes it may be special and we cannot blur distinctions when dealing with finer points of law.‟ 45. In U.P. SEB v. Hari Shankar Jain, (1978) 4 SCC 16, this Court has concluded that if Section 79(c) of the Electricity Supply Act generally provides for the making of regulations providing for the conditions of service of the employees of the Board, it can only be regarded as a general provision which must yield to the special provisions of the .....

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again received consideration from Parliament. Vide London and Blackwall Railway v. Limehouse District Board of Works, (1856) 3 K & J 123: 69 ER 1048 and Thorpe v. Adams. (1871) LR 6 CP 125 46. In Gobind Sugar Mills Ltd. v. State of Bihar, (1999) 7 SCC 76 this Court has observed that while determining the question whether a statute is a general or a special one, focus must be on the principal subject-matter coupled with a particular perspective with reference to the intendment of the Act. Wit .....

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of the legislation is to exclude the general provision then the rule general provision should yield to special provision is squarely attracted. 47. Having noticed the aforesaid, it could be concluded that the rule of statutory construction that the specific governs the general is not an absolute rule but is merely a strong indication of statutory meaning that can be overcome by textual indications that point in the other direction. This rule is particularly applicable where the legislature has .....

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