Harnam Singh, J.
1. This order disposes of Cri, Revns. Nos. 510 to 514 of 1950.
2. In these proceedings Mr. Shamair Chand, learned Counsel for the convicts-petitioners urges that the confiscation of carts is not justified.
3. To appreciate the point arising in these cases it is necessary to mention that the convicts in all these cases have been convicted unders Section 7 of Act XXIV 24. of 1946 hereinafter referred to as the Act, for attempting to export without permit issued by the Director of Pood Purchases, gram from the Punjab State into the State of Delhi. The relevant law is contained in Section 7A of the Act and Article 3 (1) and 7, Foodgrains Movement Control Order, 1947, as amended by Notfn. No. 5076-FP-49/24194 dated 4-7-1949, hereinafter referred to as the order. Section 7A of the Act reads :
Forfeiture of certain property used in the commission of the offence.-- Wherever any offence relating to cotton textiles or foodstuffs which is punishable under Sub-section (1) of Section 7 has been committed, the Court may. if the order made under Section 3 so provides, direct that the packages, coverings or receptacles in which any property liable to be forfeited under the said subsection is found, and the animals, vehicles, vessels or other conveyances used in carrying the said property shall be forfeited to Government.
Provided that no Court trying an offence under this Act shall declare any such package, covering, or receptacle or any such animal, vehicle, vessel or other conveyance forfeited to Government unless it is proved that the owner thereof knew that the offence was being committed or was to be or was likely to be, committed.
Article 3 of the Order roads :
No person shall export or import any foodgrains except under and in accordance with a permit issued in that behalf by the Director of Food Purchase.
Article 7 of the Order amended by Notfn. No. 507C-FP-49/24194 made on 4-7-1949 then provides :
If any person contravenes the provisions of this Order, then without prejudice to any other punishment to which he may bo liable any Court trying the offence shall order that the stock or quantity of foodgrains, together with the packages and coverings thereof, and the animals, vehicles, vessels or other conveyances used in carrying foodgrains, in respeet of which the Court is satisfied that the offence has been committed shall be forfeited to the Government of East Punjab unless for the reasons recorded in writing the Court is of opinion that the direction should not be made in respect of the whole or as the case may be a part of the foodgrain.
4. From what I have said above it appears that it is discretionary with the Court under 3. 7A of the Act to direct the forfeiture of the animals, vehicles, vessels or other conveyances used in carrying the foodgrains in respect of which the offence has been committed.
5. Mr. Shamair Chand points out that in the case of Lakhi petitioner gram weighing 22 maunds 23 seers has been forfeited to the Government and Lakhi petitioner has undergone rigorous imprisonment for three months. The position in other cases is also similar. In sotting aside the order of forfeiture with regard to oxen the Court of appeal said :
The order of confiscation of the gram and the cart shall stand hut the oxen shall bo restored to the appellant to enable him to cultivate his land and earn, his livelihood,
16. Mr. Shamair Chani urges that no agriculturist can effectively cultivate his land and earn his livelihood if he does not possess a cart. Considering, then that the petitioners in the various cases have been sufficiently punished by the forfeiture of the foodgrains and the imprisonment imposed upon them, I think that the forfeiture of carts in cri. Revns. Nos. 510 to 514 should be set aside.
7. In the result, I allow the petitions and set aside the order of forfeiture of the cart in each case, cri Revns. Nos. 510 to 514.
8. In allowing these petitions I direct that the carts should be made over to the owners of those carts. In all other respects the orders passed in appeal are maintained.