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Emperor Vs. Mahamad Nathu - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Case Number Criminal Application for Revision No. 176 of 1916
Judge
Reported in(1916)18BOMLR940
AppellantEmperor
RespondentMahamad Nathu
Excerpt:
prevention of gambling act (bombay act iv of 1867), section 12 - playing with cards for insignificant stakes-sentence.;the accused, who were peous and mill hands, on a hot afternoon, betook themselves to the cool shades of a masjid, where they amused themselves by playing cards for insignificant stakes. the trying magistrate convicted them under section 12 of the bombay prevention of gambling act and sentenced them each to fifteen days' simple imprisonment: -;that the sentence passed was altogether out of proportion to the criminality of the acts charge and that a small fine would have been sufficient. - .....persons before the magistrate who convicted five of them and actually sentenced them to fifteen days' imprisonment. such a sentence in such circumstances appears to us to be monstrous and altogether out of proportion to the criminality of the acts charged. if the police had thought it worthwhile to bring such persons before a magistrate on such ' charges, we should have thought that the magistrate would have seen that this was no serious matter, and if he had felt it necessary upon the evidence to convict the accused persons at all, he would have let them go with a small fine. unfortunately they appear to have undergone seven days' imprisonment before they were released on bail by this high court.2. we, therefore, now remit the unexpired portion of the sentence. we do not interfere.....
Judgment:

1. We think it a pity that the gambling laws, through the injudicious activity of the police and want of discretion on the part of the Magistracy, should sometimes be , worked so harshly as they have been in this case. Without going into a discussion of the points raised by the learned Counsel for the applicants it will be sufficient to say that every feature of the case convinces us that it was of the most trifling character and one which might have been passed over by the police with a caution or, if brought before the Magistrate, dealt with by him in a very different way from that in which he has dealt with these offenders, They are peons and mill-hands, and on a hot afternoon betook themselves to the cool shades of the Daskroi Musjid where, adopting the Magistrate's finding of fact, they were amusing themselves by playing cards for very insignificant stakes. The police raided the place arid dragged nine of these persons before the Magistrate who convicted five of them and actually sentenced them to fifteen days' imprisonment. Such a sentence in such circumstances appears to us to be monstrous and altogether out of proportion to the criminality of the acts charged. If the police had thought it worthwhile to bring such persons before a Magistrate on such ' charges, we should have thought that the Magistrate would have seen that this was no serious matter, and if he had felt it necessary upon the evidence to convict the accused persons at all, he would have let them go with a small fine. Unfortunately they appear to have undergone seven days' imprisonment before they were released on bail by this High Court.

2. We, therefore, now remit the unexpired portion of the sentence. We do not interfere with the conviction, because in the circumstances there is no occasion for us to do so


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