1. The Police of Parasurampur, Chitaldrug District, prosecuted the petitioner under Rule 17(1) read with Rule 19 of the Articles of Food Acquisition (Harvest) Order 1949 framed under Rr. 75 and 81 of the Defence of India Rules as applied to Mysore and continued by the Supplies, Service.? and Miscellaneous Provisions Act XX of 1947 for securing and maintaining food supplies. On 20-1-1950, the petitioner (accused) is said to have been driving a double bullock cart with seven bags of paddy in it without a permit to transport the paddy. The paddy was seized and delivered to the Government Depot at the control rate and the price fetched was deposited; the cart and bullocks were also taken possession of by the Police. A charge-sheet was placed before the Special First Class Magistrate, Chitaldrug. The accused admitted the circumstances and pleaded guilty to the charge and was convicted to pay a fine of Rs. 25/-. In addition, the learned Magistrate made an order directing that the price of paddy seized and the cart and bullocks should be forfeited to Government.
2. Sri B.S. Puttasiddiah, the learned Counsel for the petitioner, contended that the law under which the petitioner was convicted does not permit the Magistrate to order forfeiture of the money as also the can and bullocks. Rule 19 Clause (2) provides that -- 'Any property in respect of which the order has been contravened shall be forfeited to Government'. The paddy Is the property in respect of which the order was contravened and is liable to forfeiture; the fact that it was converted into money does not render it less the 'property', the subject-matter of the offence. So, I agree with the view of the learned Magistrate that the price of paddy seized is liable to forfeiture. But in respect of the order of forfeiture of the cart and bullocks, the contention of the learned Advocate for the petitioner is not without force. On behalf of the respondent it was argued that the Magistrate has jurisdiction to order forfeiture of the cart and bullocks under this general law empowering the disposal of the property. This contention is obviously rested upon the expression found in Clause (1) of Section 517 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that the Court may make such order as it thinks fit for the disposal. .... of any property ..... 'which has been used for the commission of any offence', implying thereby that the cart and bullocks were used as a vehicle for the commission of the offence.
3. From the order, it appears to me that it is more in the nature of penalty imposed, under Rule 19 of the Harvest Order rather than one made for the disposal of the property concerned in the offence. The Harvest Order under consideration is a special law framed under the Defence of India Rules for meeting a particular emergency. If a special law provides a specific penalty for the contravention of any order contained therein, the operation of the general law to that extent is rendered inapplicable, in a Full Bench case reported in 'Hansraj v. Emperor' AIR (31) 1944 Bom 292, it is laid down that
'The provision in Rule 81(4), the Defence of India Rules, is that the order of confiscation may be made if the order so provides. That shows a clear intention of the Legislature that no order for confiscation can be made if the order did not provide for it. The words 'if the order so provides' limit the Court's power to order confiscation under the general provisions of Section 517, Criminal P. C.'
Harries C. J. in the Full Bench case of the Lahore High Court 'Abdul Majid v. Emperor', AIR (32) 1945 Lah 149 observed thus:
'It appears to me clear that Rule 81, Sub-rule (4), Defence of India Rules, impliedly limits the operation of Section 517, Criminal P. C. To hold otherwise would be to hold that the words 'II the order so provides' in Rule 81, Sub-rule (41, Defence of India Rules, are redundant and absolutely meaningless'.
The said two decisions have been recently followed with approval by Thadani C. J. while interpreting Section 7 of the Essential Supplies Act Vide 'Pad Kumar v. Rex', AIR (37) 1950 Assam 132. The view expressed in the latter case is
'under Section 7, the vehicle in which the articles are carried cannot be one of the items of property in respect of which an order made under the Act has been contravened and having regard to the restricted scope of the section, the general provisions of Section 517, Criminal P. C., cannot override the specific provisions in Section 7'.
The portion of Section 7(1) of that Act relating to forfeiture runs thus.
'Any Court... .may direct that any property in respect of which the Court is satisfied that the order has been contravened, shall be forfeited to His Majesty'
and the direction for forfeiture in that section is similar to that contained in Rule 19 of the Order under consideration. I am, therefore, in respectful agreement with the view expressed by the learned Judges in all those cases. Applying the principles, I am of opinion that Rule 19 of the Harvest Order restricts the power of confiscation to the specific property in respect of which the Order has been contravened. It cannot be said that the vehicle with the bullocks used to convey the property in respect of which the order is contravened forms the property for the purpose of contravention of the order.
4. In the result, I set aside the order of forfeiture relating to the cart and bullocks; the conviction and sentence together with the forfeitureof the price of the paddy are confirmed. Withthe modification indicated above, the petition isdismissed.
5. Order accordingly.