1. We do not agree with the Sub-Magistrate that it is necessary for the prosecution to prove that a cart-stand is 'offensive' or 'dangerous,' or that fees are levied in the cart-stand in order to justify a conviction under Section 189 of the Madras District Municipalities Act IV of 1884, though, no doubt, those are matters regarding which the Court would usually require evidence to be given in order to guide it in finding whether the alleged cart-stand is such as the Section contemplated and also to guide it in passing sentence in the event of conviction.
2. The heading 'Offensive and dangerous trades' is manifestly not exhaustive of the matters dealt with in the succeeding Sections, nor can it be taken to restrict the plain terms of the Sections. Again, the levying of fees is not necessary in order to constitute a place where carts stand a 'cart-stand' within the meaning of the Section. On the other hand, we think that a place is not necessarily a 'cart-stand' within the meaning of the Section, merely because one or more carts stand there. It cannot have been intended to apply to the keeping, let us say, of one or two carts on the premises of the owner of the carts any more than the words horse lines' in the same Section can be held to include the ordinary stables attached to a dwelling house. The term must be construed reasonably with due regard to all the circumstances of the case, e.g., how many carts use the place from time to time, whether they belong to one or more persons, whether fees are levied, how long the carts remain there, and the purpose for which they go there, whether for the sale of goods to the owner of the premises or to others, or for the purpose of being engaged for hire, and so forth.
3. In the present case it appears that the place was licensed as a cart-stand last year, but that the municipality refused to renew the license this year for some reason which is not stated. It also appears that as many as thirty carts are found there at one time, and that they belong to different persons, and, according to the first witness for the defence, carts for hire go there and carts from that place go for hire elsewhere. These facts would seem to indicate that the place is used as a cart-stand within the meaning of the Section. These matters have not been sufficiently considered by the Magistrate.
4. We, therefore, resolve to set aside the acquittal and direct the Magistrate to re-try the case, taking further evidence as to the character of the alleged 'cart-stand,' and to dispose of the case according to law and with reference to the above remarks.