1. In these cases the Government appeals against the acquittal of certain accused persons who were guilty of certain acts in breach of the abkari licenses granted to their employers.
2. The Second-Class Magistrate has acquitted the accused on the ground that, under Section 56 of the Abkari Act I of 1886, only the holder of the license, but not his servants or employees can be convicted.
3. This view is erroneous. It was held by this Court in Criminal Revision Case No. 639 of 1886 that Sections 56 and 64 of the Abkari Act must be read together and that the words ' being the holder of a license ' in Section 56 must be taken to include any person in his employ and acting on his behalf for the time being, as otherwise the words in Section 64 ' for any offence committed by any person in his employ and acting on his behalf under Section 56' would have no meaning or application. This view of the law is, in our opinion, correct.
4. We set aside the acquittal in each case and we convict each of the accused Mahalingam Servai and Venkatachalam Servai of offences punishable under Sections 56 and 64 of Madras Act I of 1886, and we sentence Mahalingam Servai to pay a fine of Rs. 15 (fifteen rupees) or in default to suffer rigorous imprisonment for three weeks, and Venkatachallam Servai to pay a fine of Rs. 10 (ten rupees) or in default to suffer rigorous imprisonment for fourteen days.
5. As regards Ramasami Servai, accused in Criminal Appeal No. 583, we direct that he be re-tried in accordance with law, as the Magistrate does not appear to have gone into the facts in his case.