Chandra Reddi, J.
1. This revision petition is directed against the conviction of the petitioner under Section 4-A, Madras Prohibition Act, and the sentence of a fine of Rs. 30/- in default imprisonment for 20 days.
2. The charge against the petitioner, a Prohibition Guard, attached to the Prohibition Police Station, Yellamanchilli, is that he was found in a state of intoxication on 28-9-1952, The case for the prosecution is that the petitioner was quarrelling with a rickshaw-puller on the relevant night and that on seeing P. Ws. 5 and 6 passing that way, he began to run. This roused the suspicion of these two witnesses and they gave chase to him, caught' hold of him and found that he was smelling liquor. By then a number of people including P. Ws. 1 and 2, two of the local advocates, collected there. The plea of the accused was of denial. The prosecution evidence was accepted by the trial Court and a conviction followed.
3. It looks to me that it is very doubtful whether the prosecution has brought home even the charge that the petitioner was smelling arrack. P. Ws. 5 and 6 are admittedly the enemies of the petitioner and even as regards P. Ws. 1 and 2 it is very doubtful whether they could be definite that the smell of arrack emanated from the petitioner. However, it is not necessary for me to get into this question as the revision petition can be disposed of on a shorter ground, viz., whether, assuming the prosecution case to be true, the petitioner can be said to have committed an offence under Section 4-A, Madras Prohibition Act, which enacts that
whoever is found in a state of intoxication in any public place and whoever, not having been permitted to consume any liquor or intoxicating drug in pursuance of this Act, is found in a state of intoxication in any private place, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
4. The question for consideration is whether on the prosecution evidence, the petitioner can be brought within the terms of Section 4-A of the Act. As already pointed out, the only evidence for the prosecution is that the accused was smelling alcohol, In my opinion this does not amount to his being found in a state of intoxication within the meaning of Section 4-A. A person can consume alcohol without being intoxicated. The expression 'intoxication' is synonymous with drunkennness, In the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the meaning of the word 'intoxication' is given as 'make drunk, excite, exhilerate, beyond self-control'. In the 14th volume of the Encyclopedia of Britanica (11th edition) the meaning of the word 'intoxication' is given as
poisoning or the action of poisoning, whether of drug, baectorial products or other toxic sub-stances and hence the condition resulting from such poisoning, particularly the disorder of the nervous system produced by excessive drinking of alcohol.
It is thus seen that the intoxication implies excessive drinking bringing about drunkenness.
5. To constitute an offence of being found in a state of intoxication it is not sufficient to snow that a person smelt liquor. Something more is necessary and that is that he was in a state of drunkenness, as a result of excessive drinking. For this reason, I must hold that an offence under Section 4-A of the Prohibition Act has not been committed by the petitioner and he is therefore entitled to an acquittal.
6. The petition is allowed and the conviction and sentence are set aside. The fine, if paid, will be refunded.
7. Criminal Revision Case No. 1366 of 1953.- In view of my finding in Criminal Revision Case No. 1255 of 1953 that no case under Section 4-A of the Prohibition Act was made out, the question of enhancement of sentence does not arise. Petition is, therefore, dismissed.