1. This is an application in revision by the accused in case in which he stands charged with having contravened the provisions of Section 3, Hyderabad Cinematograph Act (VIII of 1348 F.) hereinafter referred to as the Act. The accused before the commencement of the trial raised a preliminary objection that the learned Magistrate of Jogipet had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the charge inasmuch as the only authority mentioned in S.C of the Act was the licensing authority and the licensing authority in Section 4 of the Act is mentioned to be the Taluqdar (Collector of the District.) Therefore the Taluqdar will be deemed to be the person who can lawfully impose the fine as provided in Section 6 of the Act in case the contravention of provision of Section 3 be held as proved. This argument did not find favour with the learned Magistrate. Consequently he overruled the objection and ordered the trial to proceed.
2. In this revision the same argument has been repeated before us, in our opinion it is devoid of any force. Section G of the Act provides:
(1) If the owner or a person in charge of a cinematograph uses the same or allows it to be used, or if the owner or occupier of any place permits that place to be used, in contravention of the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder or of the conditions and restrictions upon or subject to which any licence has been granted under this Act, 'he shall be punished' with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees and in the case of a continuing offence with a further fine which may extend to one hundred rupees for each day during which the offence continues, and his licence (if any) shall be liable to be revoked by the licensing authority.
(2) If any person is convicted of an offence punishable under this Act committed by him in respect of any film, the convicting Court may further direct that the film shall be forfeited to the Government.
Even a cursory reading of the Section would show that the contravention of the provisions of the Act or the rules made, thereunder, etc., are made punishable and the convicting Court is further endowed with the power to forfeit the film in respect of which an offence has been committed. It is also significant that the Legislature has used two distinct expressions 'Licensing authority' and 'Convicting Court', which goes to show that the licensing authority has no power to forfeit the film to the Government or the Convicting Court to revoke the licence. In other words, these two expressions are not synonymous. Apart from this, it is to be observed that the term 'offence' is denned in Section 2(30), Hyderabad General Clauses Act, to mean any act or omission made punishable under any law by a Criminal Court. The same expression has been defined in Section 3(1), Hyderabad Criminal procedure Code, to mean any act or omission made punishable by any law. Sub-section (2) of Section 5 of the Code provides that all offences other than those under the Penal Code shall also be tried and otherwise dealt with according to the provisions of the Code. Chapters II and III of the Code respectively enumerate the classes of Court, their territorial divisions and powers. The combined effect of these provisions of laws in 'parimateria' with each other undoubtedly show that the acts and omissions made punishable under Section 6 of the Act are offences and the expression 'convicting Court' means the Criminal Court. Thus it would appear that the test to determine whether an act or omission is an offence is whether that act or omission is made punishable by any law in force. If it is not made an offence but simply a penalty is attached to the violation of the Provisions of the Act or the rules framed thereunder, it cannot be brought within the category of offence so as to be triable by a Criminal Court. Section 6 of the Act expressly makes the contravention of the provision of the Act or Rules made thereunder punishable with fine and forfeiture. Therefore, the learned Magistrate was right in holding that he had jurisdiction to take cognizance of the charge preferred against the petitioner. In the result we dismiss the petition and discharge the rule.