1. The applicant Krishnarao was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine1 of Rs. 100/- under Section 7, Essential Supplies (Temporary Powers) Act, 1946 by the Additional District Magistrate, Wardha, for contravention of Clause 3, Central Provinces and Berar Foodgrains Control Order, 1945; and his appeal was dismissed by the Sessions Judge, Wardha. He has now come up in revision to this Court. Janrao, Bhaiyya and Pandurang, his servants, were discharged by the trial Court.
2. The prosecution case was, briefly stated, to the effect that, although the applicant was not licensed to deal as a wholesale dealer, he had on each of 4 occasions purchased and sold grain which exceeded 5 maunds in weight during March and April 1950 at Wardha.
3. The applicant admitted in examination that these transactions had taken place, but he claimed that as he was not an 'arhatiya' within the scope of the Central Provinces and Berar Foodgrains Control Order, 1945, he was not required to be licensed. He added that he did not deal personally in the purchase, sale or storage of grain. In his written statement he asserted that an 'adatya' under the grain market rules was not an 'adatya' or commission agent as contemplated by that Order, that he 'bona fide' believed that it was not necessary for him to have a licence and that until 9.7.1950 he was shown as the agent of his son Vinayak, with whom he is joint, in Vinayak's licence. Of the four defence witnesses examined, three declared that the applicant was a mere 'dalal' (broker) or 'kaccha adatya'.
4. The applicant was a licensed 'adatya' in the Wardha grain market and his name was duly registered therein under Rule 30(2) of the rules framed under Section 5, Central Provinces Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1935. The explanation to Rule 3 'ibid' is as follows:
An 'adatya' means a general commission agent who, in consideration of 'adat' or commission, offers to make, or makes, purchases or sales of agricultural produce or offers to do, or does, things necessary for completing and carrying out those purchases or sales for and on account of others, that is, his principals or constituents.
5. Rule 34 defines a 'broker' as any agent (not being a private servant) habitually employed on commission to make contracts for the purchase or sale of agricultural produce for the purchase of which he does not advance any money, or of which he is not entrusted with the possession or documents of title. There is thus a distinction under the Agricultural Produce Market Rules between an 'adatya' and a broker; and, as shown, the applicant was a duly registered 'adatya' in the grain market in question. Clause 2(a), Central Provinces and Berar Foodgrains Control Order, 1945 contains the following definition:
'deal in foodgrains' means to engage in the business of purchase, sale, or storage for sale of foodgrains whether on one's own account or on account of or in partnership or in association with any other person or as a commission agent or 'arhatiya', and whether or not in conjunction with any other business; and the words 'dealer' and 'dealing' shall be construed accordingly.
6. Under that definition a person who as a commission agent or 'adatya' engages in the business of purchase, sale, or storage for sale of food-grains is a person who deals in food-grains; and Clause 3(1) 'ibid' inhibits a person from dealing in food-grains as a wholesale dealer except under and in accordance with a licence issued by the Deputy Commissioner of the district. On this view, the applicant was liable for contravention of Clause 3 of that Order. It is true that there was material to show that the applicant did not at any time purchase or sell the goods for himself and that he acted only on behalf of the purchasers who were present on the spot, but the definition in Clause 2(a) of the Order is wide enough to cover his activities. He apparently brought buyers and sellers together and, after the grain was sold, obtained commission from them. He was thus an 'adatya' or general commission agent as defined in Rule 3 of the rules framed under Section 5, Central Provinces Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1935. He too, as shown, was a registered 'adatya' under those rules and being a commission agent or 'adatya' of the type contemplated in Clause 2(a) of the aforesaid Order, was rightly adjudged liable for contravention of Clause 3 'ibid'.
7. The learned appellate Judge has also given good reasons for holding that the case was one in which there was 'mens rea' on the applicant's part and that he had not in the transactions in question acted as an agent of his son Vinayak or as a member of the joint family consisting of Vinayak and himself. It is true that for many years licences were not demanded from 'adatyas', such as the applicant, in grain markets either by food or police officers, but this did not necessarily connote that such 'adatyas' were not required to be licensed for the purpose of Clause 3, Central Provinces and Berar Foodgrains Control Order, 1945.
8. The conviction is, therefore, affirmed. The sentence was not harsh and, indeed, the learned Additional District Magistrate, when awarding it, took into consideration the fact that the applicant and other 'adatyas' had an impression that they were not required to obtain licences. The sentence is maintained.
9. The application is dismissed.