1. I referred this case to a Bench of two Judges not because I had doubts as to the propriety of the conviction but because of a recent ruling of this Court in Lachchi Ram v. Emperor 65 Ind. Cas. 852 : 20 A.L.J. 218 : 23 Cr. L.J. 196 : (1922) A.I.R. (A.) 61. A point was raised, based on that decision, which, although not relevant to this case, was argued and it seems to me would be argued in every case, practically under the Gambling Act in future unless it was differentiated. In this case according to the evidence, the Sub-Inspector found a number of persons collected together in a market-place which was open to the public, that is to say, in a public place within the meaning of the Act, betting on satta in cotton. There were two forms of gambling going on.
(1) Persons bet that when the price of cotton was received by telegram from Bombay the last digit would be what they said. If they guessed right they were paid nine times their stake. If they were wrong they paid.
(2) The other form of gambling was buying and selling in differences.
2. It has been found that neither party in the second form of transactions intended to buy or to sell. They simply were betting on what would be the price of cotton according to when the telegram arrived from Bombay and they won or lost according to the figure given in the trelegram. So far, if the Sub-Inspector is believed on this point, there can be no question, it seems to us, that these persons were gaming in a public place within the meaning of the Act, as amended by Act I of 1917 of the Local Legislature. A difficulty arose in the case owing to the fact that certain documents and telegrams were found which could not be deciphered. The presumption of the prosecution was that these telegrams and documents were connected with the gambling. The telegram presumably gave the price in Bombay and the documents were memoranda of bets or so-called contracts. However, as the prosecution could not decipher these documents the Court could not hold that they were proved to be implements of gaming. Indeed, according to the decision of this Court already referred to at the beginning of this judgment, they would not be implements of gaming within the meaning of the Act such as, if found in a house, would enable a Court to presume that the house was 'a common gaming house.' The Court, however, held that, inasmuch as the accused claimed to be doing legitimate business and that these documents were connected with that business, it was for them to show that they were innocent. However, we need not press this point. The propriety of the conviction does not really rest on these documents or telegrams. The Magistrate certainly believed the evidence of the Sub-Inspector and one witness who supported him and the Judge has not disbelieved them and we think in fact that he has believed them, and we are not prepared to differ from him. The result is that this application fails and is rejected.