1. The eight petitioners have been fined under Section 424, Indian Penal Code, for removing crops attached by the Village Court. Under Section 52, Act I of 1889, a Village Court can only attach moveables. The definition of moveables must, by provision of the Madras General Clauses Act, 18671 be sought for in the Penal Code; and under Section 22 moveables do not include crops. Therefore a Village Court cannot attach crops. The petitioners committed no fraud in removing them, and the conviction must be cancelled and all the fines be refunded.
2. Naturally it causes great confusion in the minds of simple villagers that under Section 2 (13), Civil Procedure Code, move-able, property includes growing crops, and under Section 22, Indian Penal Code, or Section 3 (19), General Clauses Act, move-able property does not include growing crops. I would suggest that the legislature make it abundantly plain what a Village Court can do in regard to crops as such. It might at the same time make it plain what is meant by 'Personal property' in Section 13 of the Act. I have held that personal property includes crops in Sundara Naicker v. Potti Naicker : AIR1927Mad192 but I admit that it is arguable either way. If personal only means moveable as defined in Indian Penal Code moveable should be the word employed.