1. This is an appeal against the conviction and sentence of the accused under Sections 11 and 14 of the Hyderabad Arms Regulation No. 13 of 1358 Fasli and a legal question has arisen.
2. The facts briefly are that the accused was charge-sheeted for unlawfully keeping in possession one spear-head. The question arises whether the possession of the said weapon it an offence under the said Regulation. Section 10 of the said Regulation lays down that - no person shall have in his possession or under his control any cannon, fire arms, ammunition or Military stores, except under a licence and in the manner and to the extent permitted thereby.
3. It is clear that the accused had neither a cannon nor fire-arms, nor ammunition, nor Military stores in his possession. It is only, the possession of these four categories of articles that has been prohibited unless under a licence by the Act. The spear-head in question in this case is not included in that category. Hence, the provisions of Section 10 do not apply to this case and it cannot be said that the possession of the spear-head is an offence under the said Section of the Regulation. The learned Government Advocate has relied upon S, 11 of the Regulation. The lower Court also has held that Section 11 of the Regulation applies to this case. The Urdu version of the Regulation Section 11 was read before us, and it appears to us that there is a lacuna in the Urdu Section. We, therefore, referred to the original Regulation which is in English and published in the Government Gazette for 1358 Fasli Vol. 80 Extra-ordinary Gazette No. 12 dated 29th Bahaman 1358 Fasli. That Section reads thus:
Any person possessing arms, ammunition or Military stores, the possession whereof, has in consequence of the cancellation or expiry of a licence or of an exemption or otherwise become unlawful, shall without unnecessary delay deposit the same either with the Officer-in-charge of the nearest Police Station or at his option and subject to such conditions as the Government may by rules prescribe with a licensed dealer.
From the wording of this sub-section, it is clear that the person possessing the articles referred to in this Section should deposit them with the Police or with a licensed dealer when licence to possess the same has been cancelled or its period expires or on account of non-applicability of the exception or for some other reason the further possession becomes unlawful. This section pre-supposes for its application, that originally the possession of the person must have been lawful and has become unlawful due to subsequent events. Such is not the case of the spear-head regarding which the accused has been charged. Hence, in our opinion, Section 11 is not applicable to the facts of the case. The only Section applicable could have been Section 10, if the article in question was one of those mentioned in the said section.
In our opinion, the mere possession of the1 spear-head in question is not unlawful under Section 10. We are fortified in our opinion by - Government of Bombay v. Dodyama 9 Bom 478, in which it has been held that the possession of swords and daggers without a licence is not punishable. Such is also the view expressed in - Pakir Ahmad, In re 1 Weir 666, in which it has been held that the possession of a sword without licence in a place to which Section 15, Indian Arms Act, has not been rendered applicable, is not punishable under Section 19(f). We, therefore, hold that mere possession of the spear-head in this case is no offence and, therefore, no offence has been committed by the accused. We quash the sentence of the lower Court and acquit the accused. The bail bond entered into by the accused is cancelled and the fine if paid should be refunded.