1. Rasiklal Popatlal, the accused, is a merchant having his shop at Dholera. It was alleged that he Kept an unauthorised weight of thirty seers (Kachha) and used the same for his trade purposes. The accused was, therefore, charged under Section 34 of the Bombay Weights and Measures Act.
2. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and stated that he used the weight only for weighing cotton, which was given to labourers for taking out Pods from Kapas and then while getting back the Kapas, for, again weighing It and that it was not used for trade. The learned advocate for the accused-respondent has stated before us that the weight in question was used in order to ascertain the amount of wages to be paid to the labourers, to whom the cotton in question was given for removing the pods and some annas pen maund were given to the labourers for removing the pods from the cotton. The Inspector, Pandya, in his statement deposed that the weight in question was used to weigh cotton when it was returned after taking out the cotton and removing the pods.
3. On this evidence, the learned Magistrate acquitted the accused stating that the transaction, for which the weight in question was used, did not amount to trade and, therefore, .no offence was committed.
4. This is an appeal against the said order of acquittal. On a careful examination of the provisions of law and the evidence in this case, we find ourselves unable to agree with the opinion of the learned Magistrate. Under Section 12 of the Act, all dealings or contracts had or made in the area to which the Weights and Measures Act applies, for any work to be done or goods to be sold or delivered by weight or measure, shall be deemed to be had or made according to the standard weight or measure, and it shall not be lawful to use any other weight or measure in relation to any such dealing or contract. The explanation to this Section makes it clear that any dealing or contract will be called 'trade.' In the case before us, it is clear that the weight was used for ascertaining the proper weight of cotton, when cotton containing the pods was given to the labourers, for separating the pods and was returned after doing that work. If the weight of the removed cotton, together with the removed seeds did not tally with the original weight, then proportionate decrease was made in the wages. It is clear, therefore, that the provisions of Section 12 apply to this easels this is a work done by the labourers with respect to the cotton. It is moreover a contract with the labourer for his work. The opinion of the lower Court that the transaction does not amount to trade is, in our opinion, erroneous. We, therefore, hold that the accused 19 guilty of contravening the provisions of Section 34 of the Act. We convict him of the same and sentence him to a fine of Rs. 5.
5. The appeal of the State is, therefore, allowed as above and the judgment of the lowerCourt set aside.
6. Appeal allowed.