1. Budh Singh And Ganga Singh have been convicted by Babu Murari Lal, Magistrate first Class, Etawah, under Section 176, I.P.C., and each of them has been sentenced to pay a fine of
2. The facts on which the applicants have been convicted, as appears from the judgment of the lower Court, are that they are zamindars of village Dadra and that they have, been realizing more than the recorded rent from their tenants for a long time without giving any information about it to the officials concerned. The learned Magistrate was of opinion that the applicants omitted to perform a legal obligation by intentionally withholding the information. The applicants in revision have set forth several grounds on which they impugn the judgment of the lower Court, but the only point argued before me is that the facts as found by the Magistrate do not' constitute an offence under Section 176, Indian P.C. I think the ground taken by the applicants is correct in law.
3. Looking to Section 46 of the Land Revenue Act, I find it laying down:
any person, whose rights, interests or liabilities are required by any enactment for the time being in force, or by any rule under any such enactment, to be entered in any official register by a Qanungo or Patwari, shall be bound to furnish, on the requisition of the Qanungo or Patwari, or of any Revenue Officer engaged in compiling the register, all information necessary for the correct compilation thereof.
4. It will thus appear from this section that the applicants were bound to give correct information about the rents that they were realizing from the tenants on the requisition of the Qanungo or Patwari or of any officer engaged in compiling the register. Section 176, I.P.C., lays down:
Whoever being legally bound to give any notice or to furnish information on any subject to any public servant as such, intentionally omits to give such notice or to furnish such information in the manner and at the time require by law, etc.
5. Looking to these two sections, it appears to me clear that the applicants would have been bound to give correct information about the rent that they were collecting when they would have been asked by the Revenue Officers, and if the information would not have been supplied or wrong information would have been given, then the applicants would have been guilty under Section 176, I.P.C. Without being asked to give information on the subject by the Revenue Officers, I think the applicants were not bound themselves to give information on the subject. The case was tried summarily and so there are no notes of evidence and the conclusion at which the lower Court arrived on the evidence before it was only that the applicants were realizing more rent than was recorded in the papers and they did not give the information of the rent that they were realizing from the tenants to the officers concerned. In my opinion these facts do not constitute an offence under Section 176, Indian P.C.
6. I therefore submit the record to the Honourable High Court with the recommendation that the conviction and the sentence be set aside.