| FUel penalties |
Jorhat, Sept. 19: The owner of a restaurant here was today sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine for using a domestic LPG cylinder commercially.
The court of the chief judicial magistrate Darak Ullah found Lalbabu Pandey, owner of a restaurant on MG Road near the old public bus stand here, guilty (in CR case No. 13/13) of possessing a domestic LPG cylinder (in use) at the restaurant a year back.
The CJM, after finding Pandey guilty, sentenced him to six months’ RI and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000, failing which he will have to undergo a simple imprisonment of one month.
In his judgment, the CJM observed: “I am of the opinion that the alleged offence has an impact upon the public distribution system and, thereby, affects the people.... and also encourages black marketeering of essential commodities, thus destroying and destabilising the entire scheme and object of public distribution system.”
The judgment stated that in view of oral and documentary evidences on record, the court had come to the conclusion that the prosecution had been able to establish the case against the accused person beyond all reasonable doubt.
It said Pandey was guilty of violating clause 7 (1) c of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Regulation of Supply and Distribution) Order, 2000, and thereby committing an offence under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
The judgment said the recovery of a domestic-category LPG cylinder on the premises of the restaurant for commercial use was an offence under the relevant law under which Pandey has been prosecuted.
It said under sub-clause 1(C) of clause 7 of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Regulation of Supply and Distribution) Order, 2000, “no person shall possess filled or empty LPG cylinders, gas cylinder valve or pressure regulator unless he/she is a consumer or a distributor”.
The judgement comes about two months of framing of charge in the case.
The charge was framed in the court on July 16, 2013, after a team of food and civil supplies and consumer affairs officials, led by the then Jorhat subdivisional officer (sadar), G.S. Paneswar, visited the restaurant on October 8, 2012 and found a domestic LPG cylinder in use for commercial purpose.
Prasanta Chetia Pator (inspector) and V. Krishna (sub-inspector) of food and civil supplies and consumer affairs were part of the team.