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Mahabir Singh Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1916All169; 36Ind.Cas.479
AppellantMahabir Singh
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
assam labour and emigration act (vi of 1901), section 164 - keeping houses for recruiting without license--assisting persons to emigrate. - interpretation of statutes definition clause: [markandey katju & h.l. dattu, jj] meaning given to an expression in one statute cannot be applied to another statute. - i am satisfied that this block of buildings was kept by mahabir singh......that the conviction under section 164 of act vi of 1901 was illegal. it was contended (1) that mahabir singh had committed no act which would bring him under section 164 of act vi of 1901,(2) that separate convictions under section 342 and under section 164 of act vi 1901 for the same offence were contrary to law.2. mahabir singh is in no way licensed under act vi of 1901; he is a person entirely outside the act so far as any license or authority is concerned.3. the idea set out is that if he committed any act at all it. was the act of financing ram lakhan or other licensed recruiters. under the act such financing is not forbidden by law and no conviction can lie for it. it has, however, been found on the evidence that mahabir has taken such active part in collecting persons for.....
Judgment:

Geore Knox, J.

1. Mahabir Singh has been convicted of an offence under Section 342 of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 164 of Act VI of 1901. No attempt was made on his behalf so far as the offence under Section 342 is concerned. The whole effort made by the learned Counsel who appeared on his behalf was to show that the conviction under Section 164 of Act VI of 1901 was illegal. It was contended (1) that Mahabir Singh had committed no act which would bring him under Section 164 of Act VI of 1901,(2) that separate convictions under Section 342 and under Section 164 of Act VI 1901 for the same offence were contrary to law.

2. Mahabir Singh is in no way licensed under Act VI of 1901; he is a person entirely outside the Act so far as any license or authority is concerned.

3. The idea set out is that if he committed any act at all it. was the act of financing Ram Lakhan or other licensed recruiters. Under the Act such financing is not forbidden by law and no conviction can lie for it. It has, however, been found on the evidence that Mahabir has taken such active part in collecting persons for emigration as even a licensed recruiter could not do, that he has kept a block of houses for the purpose of putting in persons for recruiting and that he has no license or certificate. One important piece of evidence in the case is the evidence given by Pandit Grur Saran Newas. He says that by order of the District Magistrate on the 15th of June 1915, he, accompanied by another Deputy Collector, the Superintendent of Police and others came down upon certain houses in Nai Basti. From one house came out Mahabir Singh, that house was the one to the north, from, the house towards the south came out Balwa and Ram Lakhan, there was a middle house which was empty; at the time of the search coolies were found in the house to the south. One of these coolies was the witness Ashrai. Ashrai's evidence is also very important. He says that he was brought to the house and told to sit down. On his rising up to go Mahabir Singh said to him, do not go. In his presence also Musammat Laohminia, when she wished to go was stopped, Mahabir Singh told him that he would have to go to the tea garden. He declined to go, but he told Ram Lakhan and Balwa to see that he did not leave the depot. I see no reason to doubt the statement made by Ashrai, arrived at by the Additional Sessions Judge, whatever may have been the outside statement prepared for the benefit of the Magistracy. I am satisfied that this block of buildings was kept by Mahabir Singh. Ram Lakhan who is apparently a licensed recruiter was there also, but the moving person in the whole matter was Mahabir Singh; he may have and probably did finance the concern but he did more than finance it, he actively assisted persons to emigrate and in contravention of the provisions of the Act. The argument addressed to me that if Ram Lakhan was a properly licensed recruiter, persons not being amateurs, if we may so call them, may detain coolies without a license under the Act and with impunity, is one. which I cannot accept. To do so would be tantamount to saying that there was really no necessity for the Act so long as one kept on the establishment as a mere figure a licensed recruiter. In the course of the argument, my attention was called to Government Appeals Nos. 932 and 933 of 1915. I have carefully studied that judgment and I do not see that it in any way militates against the view I am taking. Mahabir Singh, who had no authority to do so, was keeping this depet for the purpose of collecting coolies to be despatched to Assam. His action as regards both Ashrai and Lachminia was action which might have been to some extent justified in the case of Ram Lakhan. It was quite without justification in the case of Mahabir Singh. It is contended that the sentence errs on the side of severity. I do not agree with this contention. The application is dismissed.


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