S. Acharya, J.
1. The petitioner stands convicted under Section 14 of the Bihar and Orissa Places of Pilgrimage Act. 1920 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), and has been sentenced thereunder to pay a fine of Rs. 30/- in default to undergo S. I. for five days.
2. The prosecution case, in short is that the petitioner who admittedly is the owner of Lodging House in Holding No. 286/295 in Basali Sahi in Puri town, had at the relevant time, accommodated in the said lodging house, without the requisite licence under the Act. ten pilgrims (Jatris) for gain.
3. The petitioner denied to have accommodated any pilgrim for gain in that house. His case is that the said house is not a lodging house, but the same being an Ashram, people come and stay. there as guests of the Ashram.
4. The court below, on an appreciation of the evidence on record has arrived at the finding that the prosecution has been able to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the petitioner accommodated pilgrims in the said house for gain without having the requisite licence under the Act, On the aforesaid finding he convicted the petitioner as stated above,
5. Mr. Harichandan. the learned Counsel for the petitioner, contends at first that there is nothing in the Act to enable P. W. 1 to file this complaint against the accused, and accordingly the prosecution launched against the petitioner on the complaint of P. W. 1 is bad in law.
The Act does not restrict the filing of complaints to any particular individual or class of persons officers or authorities against persons committing offences under this Act. The point raised by Mr. Harichandan has been decided in the case reported in (1969) 35 Cut LT 1014 Lodging House Fund. Puri, v. Durga Prasad Sukla. I am fully in agreement with the reasonings on which Hon'ble Ray. J. disallowed such a contention raised in that case. For the reasons given in the said decision, there is no substance in the above-mentioned contention of Mr. Harichandan.
6. It is next urged by Mr. Harichandan that there is no finding in the impugned judgment that any part of the money collected by the petitioner from the pilgrims was towards the rent for their occupation of the said house, and so it cannot be said that the petitioner collected any amount from them for his own gain. There is no substance and/ or weight in this contention either.
Accommodating pilgrims for gain in a house without license is punishable under Section 14 of the Act. The word 'gain' has not been defined in the Act. The dictionary meaning of the word 'gain' is profit, emolument, resources or advantages of any kind, acquisition of wealth viewed as an object of desire, sums acquired by trade or such other ways. The restrictive meaning sought to be seven by Mr. Harichandan to this word 'gain' appearing in Sections 8 and 14 of the Act. is not at all called for either on the scope and provisions of the Act. or on any other acceptable basis. 'Gain' as seen above, has its own wide implication. and Mr. Harichandan has not been able to show anything on which a restrictive meaning, as urged by him. can be attributed to this word in the said Sections. Accordingly, I do not find any merit in this contention.
7. On the evidence on record it is quite evident that on the relevant date there were ten pilgrims in the said loading house. P. W. 1 has categorically stated in his examination-in-chief that he found ten pilgrims in that house on the date of his inspection. His evidence to the above effect has not at all been challenged in cross-examination or controverter in any other manner. It has not at all been suggested to either of the two prosecution witnesses that the persons found in the said lodging house on that date were not pilgrims. As that fact stands unchallenged and unassailed. the court below was perfectly justified in holding that the persons found in that house on that date were all pilgrims.
P. W. 1. in his cross-examination, has stated that the petitioner was paid in that house some money by those pilgrims towards Atika and Charan Puia in the presence of P. W. 1. It is well known, and is conceded by Mr. Harichandan. that a portion of the money taken towards Atika goes to the benefit of the person who accepts that money. From the acceptance of the above money in that house by the petitioner from the said pilgrims, a portion of which goes towards the personal benefit of the petitioner, it becomes evident that he was accommodating pilgrims in that house for his gain. Therefore, the court's finding to this effect is correct and justified.
8. On the aforesaid considerations I am satisfied that the conviction of the petitioner is well founded.
9. Accordingly, there is no merit in this revision which is hereby dismissed.