1. This is an application for revision of a sentence passed upon one Jafu Bapu under Clause (f) of Section 19 of the Indian Arms Act of 1878. That clause provides a penalty for any person who has in his possession or under his control any arms in contravention of the provisions of Sections 14 and 15. The accused was the servant of one Chhotabhai who was exempted from the provisions of the Arms Act; in other words, was licensed to bear this particular arm, a gun. Chhotabhai, however, died two years ago, and the search of the quarters belonging to the accused has revealed the existence of the gun in those quarters. It is said the responsibility cannot be attributed to the accused but ought to be attributed to Vithaldas who succeeded Chhotabhai in the management of the property, and whose business it was, it is said, to renew the license which Chhotabhai had enjoyed. It appears to me that whatever may be the value of that argument on the question of moral responsibility, it has no value when the question is as to the meaning of Section 19 (f) of the Arms Act. The gun in this case is an unlicensed gun, that is to say, it was possessed in contravention of the provisions of Sections 14 and 15. It appears to me impossible to say that the gun was not in the possession or under the control of the accused person, for his master who alone had been exempted died two years before this discovery. For over two years the gun had remained with the accused, and he was the only person who can properly be said to have had the possession and the control of this weapon; in my opinion, therefore, this application must be rejected, so far as regards the point of law.
2. We observe, however, that the sentence inflicted was a line of Rs. 50 or in default one month's rigorous imprisonment. We have asked the learned Government Pleader whether he has instructions to defend this sentence on the ground that for some particular reason its apparent severity was necessary. He has told us, however, that he has no such instructions, and he leaves the point entirely to us. That being so, we think, that the sentence is unnecessarily harsh and we reduce it to a fine of Rs. 10 or in default one week's rigorous imprisonment. The excess fine, if paid, to be refunded.