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Emperor Vs. Behari Lal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported in13Ind.Cas.101
AppellantEmperor
RespondentBehari Lal and ors.
Excerpt:
ferries act (iv of 1878), section 22 - unauthorised collection by servants of lessee--liability of lessee--master and servant--act done beyond scope of duty. - - 'we fail to see how it can be contended that, under these circumstances, a delivery of goods by the man in charge would not be a delivery by the owner of the shop? it is the delivery which the act makes penal and the delivery by the manager is clearly in this case a delivery by the licensee. if it were an act done by the servant within the scope of their employment, then the conviction of the master would, in the present case, be a good one. the conviction of the lessees is bad in law......employment, then the conviction of the master would, in the present case, be a good one. but, in my opinion, the principle laid down in attorney-general v. siddon 1 c. & j. 220 : 1 tyr 41 : 9 l.j. (o.s.) does not apply to the present offence. the conviction of the lessees is bad in law. i accept the reference and set aside the conviction and sentence. the fine, if paid, be refunded.
Judgment:

Tudball, J.

1. This is a reference by the Sessions Judge of Farrukhabad, The facts of the case are as follows: The applicants for revision in the Court below, namely, Behari Lal and Bashir-ud-din, are the lessees of Singhi Rampore Ferry. As such lessees they employed certain persons to attend to the ferry and collect the tolls. These servants in contravention of the law extorted unauthorized and excessive toll from certain passengers thereby committing an offence under Section 22 of the Ferries Act. The lessees, who apparently were not present and took no part in the extortion, have been prosecuted for this offence, and have been convicted and fined, apparently, on the ground that whatever the servants have done in the course of their employment that act is the act of the masters. The learned Government Advocate has called my attention to a ruling in Queen-Empress v. Tyab Alli 24 B. 423. That is a case under the Arms Act. The accused therein was a licensed vendor of arms and ammunition and he employed a certain man as a salesman. The latter sold certain Military Ammunition to certain persons without previously ascertaining that such persons were legally authorized to possess the same. It was pointed out in the judgment of that case that the question for decision was whether the accused had or had not 'delivered' the stores, as Section 22 of the Indian Arms Act, 187S,makes p&asla;,' delivery' of Military stores et cetra. The learned Judges who decided the case remarked as follows: 'We fail to see how it can be contended that, under these circumstances, a delivery of goods by the man in charge would not be a delivery by the owner of the shop? It is not a question of intention, of mens rea, or of knowledge; it is the delivery which the Act makes penal and the delivery by the Manager is clearly in this case a delivery by the licensee.' The rule laid down in Attorney-General v. Siddon (1830) 1 C. & J. 220 : 1 Tyr 41 : 9 L.J. (O.S.) runs as fallows: 'Whatever a servant does in the course of his employment with which he is entrusted and as a part of it, is the master's act.' The offence in the present case is a very different one. It consists of extortion of unauthorized tolls from passengers. The servants in doing this act did something which was outside the scope of their employment. In this very offence there is decidedly a mens rea, a criminal intent. If it were an act done by the servant within the scope of their employment, then the conviction of the master would, in the present case, be a good one. But, in my opinion, the principle laid down in Attorney-General v. Siddon 1 C. & J. 220 : 1 Tyr 41 : 9 L.J. (O.S.) does not apply to the present offence. The conviction of the lessees is bad in law. I accept the reference and set aside the conviction and sentence. The fine, if paid, be refunded.


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