1. This is a reference by the District Magistrate of Allahabad under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. A complaint was brought against three persons by one Meghai of the wrongful seizure of cattle under Section 20 of Act No. I of 1871. The complaint was dismissed as frivolous and vexatious, arid the Magistrate who tried the case awarded compensation to each of the accused persons from the complainant under Section 560 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. That section authorises a Magistrate to award compensation to a person accused of an offence. A wrongful seizure of cattle is not made punishable under any law, and is not therefore an offence within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure. That being so, a complaint of the illegal seizure of cattle was not a complaint of an offence, and Section 560 was not applicable. The award of compensation by the Deputy Magistrate was consequently illegal. This view is supported by the rulings of the Madras High Court in Pitchi v. Ankappa I.L.R. 9 Mad. 102, Kottalanada v. Muthayya I.L.R. 9 Mad. 374 and of the Calcutta High Court in Kala Chand v. Gudadhur Biswas I.L.R. 13 Cal. 304 and Nedaram Thakur v. Joonab I.L.R. 23 Cal. 248.
2. I set aside the order of the Magistrate, and direct the compensation awarded to be refunded.