1. This is a reference by the learned Sessions Judge of Budaun who has recommended that the conviction of one Raghubar Dayal under Sub-clauses (i) and (j), Clause (1), Rule 12, United Provinces-Sugarcane Rules, should be set aside. Raghubar Dayal was a licenced purchasing agent under the rules. The allegation made against him was that he made-deductions from the weight of cane recorded on account of unsuitability and' that he made deductions from the price of the cane purchased which reduced such price to a figure below that calculated at the prescribed minimum rate-otherwise than was provided in a certain rule. The Magistrate found that Raghubar Dayal had made deductions of 10 seers per cart from a number of carts supplied by a number of witnesses and that he had charged three pies in the rupee on the price which he was paying on the ground that this money was to go to charity in the form of a gaushala. He found that the price ultimately paid was below the minimum. One objection taken to the order of the Magistrate is that there was no proper complaint under Rule 14(1), which says that:
No prosecution shall be instituted under these rules except upon complaint made by or under authority from the District Magistrate.
2. It appears that the Sub-divisional Magistrate was in camp at a certain village where he heard complaints that Raghubar Dayal was deducting 10 seers of the weight of every cart on account of the unsuitability of the cane. He afterwards-consulted the rules, and having found that this was illegal asked the Tahsildar to go to the village and record the statements of persons who were prepared to substantiate the complaint. The Tahsildar went to the village and recorded some statements and made a report in which he said that the witnesses had told him that 10 seers per cart was deducted from the weight and that one pice per rupee was deducted from the price on account of a gausbala. The Sub-divisional Magistrate then sent a report to the District Magistrate, suggesting the prosecution of Raghubar Dayal. In that report he did not mention anything about the deduction on account of charity.
3. The District Magistrate apparently agreed to make a complaint because he endorsed on the report that the case should go to a Deputy Magistrate for trial. It seems to me that it cannot be said that the District Magistrate either complained or authorized a complaint about the charge on account of charity and therefore there was no proper complaint about the offence of making deductions of one pice per rupee from the price of the cane purchased which reduced the price below the minimum. It may be thought that this is a very technical matter; but it is a question of general principle and it is obvious that Rule 14 was introduced into the rules to prevent sugar factories from being harassed by frivolous complaints and accusations. It was intended that the District Magistrate should satisfy himself that a complaint was not frivolous before he allowed it to reach a Court. It is therefore necessary that no sentence should be supported if it is passed in a case which was not based on a complaint made by the District Magistrate or under his authority. The learned Magistrate who tried the case has referred in his explanation to the fact that in a summons case an accused person may be convicted of an offence other than the offence with which he was originally charged. That is not the question here. The question here is that there could be no prosecution at all unless the District Magistrate made a complaint and there can be no prosecution in respect of a charge which is not mentioned in that complaint. I am therefore in agreement with the learned Sessions Judge that the conviction under Rule 12(1)(j) cannot stand.
4. The main complaint about the conviction on the other charge is that the Magistrate examined a number of witnesses who said that deductions had been made from the weights of their own carts and that there were in fact a number of separate charges against Raghubar Dayal extending over a period of three months. The learned Sessions Judge has come to the conclusion that a defect of this nature would not vitiate this particular trial because Raghubar Dayal could; not really have been prejudiced by the form which the trial took. I agree with this opinion. Each witness came in and gave evidence it is true about the particular instances with which he himself was concerned and it may be that a number of what should have been separate charges were gathered together in this one case. The complaint however is that Raghubar Dayal found it difficult to meet all these various charges, and I do not think there is any force in it.
5. It seems to me that the only way in which a person can meet a charge of this nature is by producing his books, which should show what the weight of the cane was, what the price paid was and what the amount of cane was which was sent to the sugar factory and used there. There should be books which would be sufficient to enable a Court to discover that the charges were false, if they were false. The learned Sessions Judge has made the reference because he thinks that the evidence is too vague, referring as it does to a period of more than three months. I do not think that Raghubar Dayal could have been prejudiced in any way. I have no doubt that he must in fact have been making these deductions and that no real failure of justice has occurred, although there may have been irregularities in the trial. I set aside the conviction of Raghubar Dayal under Rule 12(1)(j) of the rules and the sentence of fine passed under that rule. If the sum of Rs. 50 which Raghubar Dayal has been fined under that rule, or if any part of it has been paid, it shall be refunded. I see no reason to interfere with the conviction and sentence under the other rule. The order for fine and cancellation of the licence under that rule will stand.