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Hans Hotz and anr. Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject Electricity
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1940All5
AppellantHans Hotz and anr.
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
- - the learned magistrate in a well-reasoned judgment came to the conclusion that it was certain that mr......u.p. made a complaint in the court of the district magistrate against the applicants hans hotz and kishan prasad on the ground that the applicants had committed a breach of rule 48(1), electricity rules of 1937. according to the complaint accused 1, mr. hotz, was of hotz's family and was seen instructing accused 2, kishan prasad, in respect of re-wiring of electric installation which kishan prasad was seen carrying out in laurie hotel. the district magistrate initiated proceedings against the applicants and made over the case to a magistrate subordinate to himself who upon a consideration of the evidence found the offence proved and convicted and sentenced the applicants to a fine of re. 1 each. the applicants denied the charge and pleaded not guilty. several questions of law and facts.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Mohammad Ismail, J.

1. This is an application in revision directed against an order of the learned Sessions Judge of Agra affirming an order of a Magistrate of the First Class of that district. On 14th November 1938 the Electrical Inspector to Government, U.P. made a complaint in the Court of the District Magistrate against the applicants Hans Hotz and Kishan Prasad on the ground that the applicants had committed a breach of Rule 48(1), Electricity Rules of 1937. According to the complaint accused 1, Mr. Hotz, was of Hotz's family and was seen instructing accused 2, Kishan Prasad, in respect of re-wiring of electric installation which Kishan Prasad was seen carrying out in Laurie Hotel. The District Magistrate initiated proceedings against the applicants and made over the case to a Magistrate subordinate to himself who upon a consideration of the evidence found the offence proved and convicted and sentenced the applicants to a fine of Re. 1 each. The applicants denied the charge and pleaded not guilty. Several questions of law and facts were urged on their behalf in the Courts below but were repelled. In revision I must accept the finding of the Court below as final. The learned Magistrate in a well-reasoned judgment came to the conclusion that it was certain that Mr. Hotz actually supervised Kishan Mistri when he did the re-wiring in some portion of Laurie Hotel. Upon this finding I have to consider whether the applicants were rightly convicted. The first question urged by learned Counsel for the applicants is that in the present case there is no evidence that the rewiring had the effect of altering the capacity or the character of the electrical installation. According to learned Counsel it is not permissible to convict an accused person for breach of Rule 48(1) unless it is affirmatively established that the new installation has had the aforesaid effect. In my opinion, it is not in every case that the prosecution is called upon to prove that a rewiring has altered the capacity or character of old installation. It is only when there is replacement of lamps, fans, fuses, switches and other component parts of the installation that the alteration in capacity and character have to be examined. This exception however will not apply to electrical installation work including additions, alterations, repairs and adjustments of existing installations. It appears from the evidence which has not been controverted that the old system of wiring has been changed. The wires originally were fixed on the surface and now they are buried in the walls. This is certainly an alteration in the system and not a case of replacement. By replacement I would understand that the old wires were changed for new ones. In my opinion the Courts below have come to a correct conclusion that the applicants have committed a breach of Rule 48(1). The next question to be determined is whether the applicants are guilty under Rule 123 for breach of Rule 48. The above rule provides that

where any electrical installation work specified in Rule 48 has been carried out otherwise than...the consumer or owner, the contractor, (if any) through whom the work was carried out and the person under whose immediate supervision it was parried out shall each be punishable....

2. The question is whether the applicants committed the breach of the above rule. Mr. Hans Hotz is merely a beneficiary while the trustees of Hotz's trust are different individuals who are not before me. Under these circumstances it would be difficult to describe Mr. Hans Hotz as an owner or consumer. The learned Magistrate has found that the re-wiring was done under the instructions of Mr. Hotz. The evidence produced on behalf of the prosecution proves that Mr. Hotz gave instructions to Kishan Prasad who carried out the rewiring. In view of this finding it must be held that the installation was carried out under the immediate supervision of Mr. Hotz and therefore he will be guilty under Rule 123, Electricity Rules. With regard to Kishan Mistri it has been held that he is an employee of the hotel and he carried out the rewiring under the instruction and supervision of Mr. Hotz. The action attributed to Kishan Prasad, namely the rewiring does not appear to me to be punishable under Section 123. The person who actually carries out the installation is not guilty of any offence under Rule 123, Electricity Rules; it is only the person under whose immediate supervision the work is carried out that is liable to punishment, On the findings arrived at by the learned Magistrate and according to my reading of the rules I consider Kishan Prasad to be entitled to an acquittal. The learned Magistrate very properly has taken a very lenient view of the offence. Mr. Hotz is not a licensed contractor but is a qualified engineer and is in every way capable of supervising installation work, but under the rules unless a person is licensed he is not entitled to carry on installation work either as a supervisor or as a contractor. Mr. Hotz has been sentenced to a fine of only Re. 1. It seems to me unnecessary to inflict any fine under the circumstances of the case. In my opinion the case can be adequately dealt with under Section 3, United Provinces First Offenders Probation Act. It appears that Mr. Hotz was trained as an engineer in England. It is not suggested that the wiring carried on under his supervision was in any way defective. Having regard to the nature of the offence and the character and antecedents of the offender while upholding the conviction, I set aside the sentence imposed upon Mr. Hans Hotz and release him on admonition. I hope that he will in future comply with the rules framed for the guidance of persons who are engaged in the supply of electrical energy and in the allied trades. I set aside the conviction and sentence passed upon Kishan Prasad and direct that the fines, if paid, be refunded.


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