1. This is an application for the revision of an order of a Magistrate of Agra acquitting the opposite party Kashi Ram of an alleged offence under Section 187 read with Section 268 of the Cantonment Act, 1924. The applicant had applied to the Cantonment Authority under Section 179 for permission to build a room and a gate in the Cantonment, and eventually sanction was given under Section 181 in a letter dated 27th April 1931, in which it was remarked by the Executive Officer that the site on which the construction proposed to be built was claimed on behalf of the Government, but that there was no 'Municipal objection' to the construction except the gate which has been rejected. Later on in a letter of 4th July, it was explained that the plan was sanctioned' subject to your civil rights. Kashi Ram proceeded with the building but on 25th February 1932, the Municipal Board sent a registered notice under Section 187 of the Act requiring him
to demolish the unauthorized construction which you are constructing over Cantonment land without permission.
2. He did not comply with this notice. He was prosecuted but he was acquitted 'by the Magistrate, who found that Kashi Ram had not attempted to build the gate to which objection had been taken by the Cantonment Board and that for the rest the Board had no right to prosecute him under the Act but could only proceed against him in the Civil Court. I am asked to hold that this decision was wrong. It is to be observed that the Cantonment Authority first gave sanction for the construction of the buildings-qualified sanction, it is, true, but qualified merely by the intimation that Kashi Ram would build at his own risk-and as soon as he proceeded to build they served him with a notice requiring him to demolish the building. It is argued that under Section 187 of the Cantonment Act the Board could require Kashi Ram to demolish a building for which he had not had 'the permission in writing of the Cantonment Authority' as expressed in Clause (1) of that section. It is argued that the 'sanction' referred to in Section 181, which was the sanction which he had obtained, is a distinct thing from the 'permission' referred to in Section 187 and that Section 181 only refers to what is called 'municipal sanction' which is given after the Board had considered whether there are any of the objections enumerated in Section 181. Those objections refer to public convenience and safety and have no relation to any question of title. What the Board did in this case evidently was to say that there was no municipal objection, but that there was a question of title, and warned Kashi Ram that if he built on the land he would do so at his own risk. It is maintained however that in spite of having received this sanction Kashi Ram was acting without the permission in writing of the Board in proceeding with the building. It is not suggested that there is any proof on the record that there was a
projection or structure overhanging projecting into, or encroaching on, any street or any drain, sewer or aqueduct therein
as referred to in Section 187. There is no suggestion in the notice issued by the Board under Section 187 that Kashi Ram has set up any such projection etc. He is only directed to demolish 'unauthorised construction.' The answer to this might well be that there is no unauthorised construction because he had sanction from the Board to build the room and it has been found by the Magistrate that he had not built anything except the room. I cannot accept the argument that Kashi Ram had not had permission in writing from the Board to proceed with his building in face of the letters to which I have already referred. I have not been shown that any other permission in writing is required for building by any of the provisions of the Cantonment Act except that referred to in Sections 181 and 187 and it seems to me preposterous to suggest that when Kashi Ram had had the sanction of the Board in writing under Section 181 he did not have the permission in writing of the Cantonment Authority. Moreover the notice, as I have already remarked, does not suggest that there was any projection etc., such as that referred to in Section 187.
3. It has been further argued that whether the notice itself was regular or not Kashi Ram had no right to go behind it and to proceed with the building or to refuse to demolish the building on the ground that the notice was not a legal one. I have been referred to the decision in the case of Har Prasad v. Emperor : AIR1932All673 in which it has been held that in a case of failure to comply with a notice issued under Sections 186 and 211, Municipalities Act, 1916, there is nothing which indicates that it is the duty of the Court to satisfy itself that the notice was lawfully issued by the Municipal Board and it has been represented that the Cantonment Act is very similar to the Municipalities Act and that the same reasoning must apply. The notice in this case however merely directed Kashi Ram to demolish an unauthorised construction and as I have already remarked there was no construction for which he had not had the sanction of the Board to build. I do not believe that it has ever been held or that it ever could be held that a person is bound to comply with any notice whatever however illegal or premotory merely because it was issued to him by a Municipal Board or a Cantonment Authority, and that if he fails to comply with it he renders himself liable to a fine under the Act. In the present case the Magistrate has decided that the question between the parties was a purely civil one and as a matter of fact that Kashi Ram had not exceeded the authority given him by the Board in sanctioning his application for building. In these circumstances I see no reason to interfere with the orders of the Magistrate which appear to me to be proper orders. The result is that the application fails and is dismissed.