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Mahamad Nathu and ors. Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in37Ind.Cas.305
AppellantMahamad Nathu and ors.
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
bombay prevention of gambling act (bom. act iv of 1887), section 2 - playing cards for very insignificant stakes near a masjid--offence, trifling--sentence. - .....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 romit the unexpired portion of the sentence. we do not interfere with.....
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 Masjid where, adopting the Magistrate's finding of fact, they were amusing themselves by playing cards for very insignificant stakes The Police raided the place and 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 romit 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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