1. Cr.R.C. Nos. 852 and 861 of 1927. - In these two petitions, the only question that needs consideration is whether there was a notification under Section 249(1) of the District Municipalities Act. The Lower Court has addressed itself to the question of the resolution of the Council. Evidently it was misled by the cross-examination on behalf of the accused. If there was a valid notification under Section 249(1) of the District Municipalities Act, the persons who carry on the trades mentioned in the notification would be bound to take out licenses. The notification that is now produced is dated 26th January, 1926, and Mr. Jayarama Aiyar contends that there was no resolution of the Council before that date authorising the publication of the notification. No doubt, in the evidence of the first witness he speaks of the first resolution of the Council of 2nd February, 1926. From that it cannot be inferred that there was no previous resolution. This is a question of fact which will have to be determined by the Trial Court. The trial of the Lower Court was incomplete and the Court did not address itself to the real question in dispute, namely, the publication of the notification as required by Section 249(1) of the District Municipalities Act. I set aside the orders of acquittal in both the cases and direct that the cases be retried. The accused will be entitled to raise any contention that is open to them.
2. Cr.R.C. Nos. 851 and 849 of 1927. - There is no question of law. Dismissed.
3. Cr.R.S. Nos. 850, 853, 854, 857, 858, 859, 860 and 862 of 1927. - There is no reason to interfere with an order of acquittal. The petitions are dismissed.
4. Cr.R.C. Nos. 848 and 856 of 1927. - There is no reason to interfere with an order of acquittal. The petitions are dismissed.
5. Cr.R.C. Nos. 855 and 847 of 1927. - In these cases applications were made for license on 26th March, 1927. There does not seem to be an order of the Chairman refusing to grant a license. Mr. Bhashyam Aiyangar argues that the applications not having been made not less than 30 clays before the end of the year, the applications were refused. Clause 5 of Section 249 of the Act runs as follows:
Applications for renewal of such licenses shall be made not less than 30 days before the end of every year and applications for licenses for places to be newly opened shall be made not less than 30 days before they are opened.
6. With regard to the opening of new places, the section requires that applications should be made 30 days before they are opened so as to enable the municipal authorities to satisfy themselves that the new places to be opened would not affect the health or the convenience of the neighbourhood. But when it is a question of renewal of license, though the section speaks of 30 days there is no bar to the issue of a license by reason of the applications not having been made not less than 30 days before the end of the year. The provisions of the Municipal Act should be understood and worked in such a way as to avoid friction and without causing hardship to the public. Municipalities are statutory bodies and they are created by statute for the benefit of the public, and it is not proper that any provision of law relating to them should be so construed as to work hardship if not injustice. The provisions like the one referred to above should not be understood as if it is one of the articles of the Limitation Act standing in the way of the Chairman granting a license. In these cases the Chairman would have been well advised to have granted the licenses to the applicants and his action in refusing the money orders is to say the least uncalled for. The petitions are dismissed.