1. This is a reference made by the Sessions Judge of Belgaum reporting for the orders of this Court a case in which one Babaji Manaji Patil has been convicted of an offence under Section 19 (f) of the Indian Arms Act and sentenced to a day's simple imprisonment and a line of Rs. 40.
2. The weapon in respect of which the accused was convicted was a Jambia, a kind of dagger, which the Sub inspector of Police found in his house when searching the house for stolen goods. The possession of such a weapon is not an offence under the Indian Arms Act unless Section 15, which makes the possession of arms of any description without a license an offence, is applicable to the District of Belgaum. It is clear from Schedule II to the Indian Arms Act 1878, as amended up to date, that throughout British India, with the exception of the Punjab, Burma and the Delhi Province, all arms except those coming under the general classification of fire-arms are excluded from the operation of all prohibitions and directions contained in the Act, provided that the local Government may, by notification in the local official Gazette,1 retain all or any of the prohibitions and directions contained in the Act in respect of any arms in the case of any class of persons or of any specified area. The possession of this weapon is not, therefore, an offence under Section 19 of the Act unless the prohibition contained in Section 15 of the Act has been retained by some notification of the local Government. The notification of the Bombay Government in connection with Schedule II is published at page 2093 of the Bombay Government Gazette, dated August 6, 1925, and from this it appears that the only prohibition which has been retained is that contained in Section 18. We, therefore, accept the recommendation of the Sessions Judge, set aside the conviction and sentence and direct the fine, if paid, to be refunded.
3. I agree.