1. This is a reference made by the District Magistrate (Judicial), North Arcot, at Vellore, in the following circumstances.
2. The Wireless Licence Inspector, Vellore, filed a complaint against the accused herein in the Court of the Sub Magistrate, Tirupattur on 3-9-1957, for having been in possession of a wireless receiving set in his residence at Tirumattur from 1-1-1955 to 23-12-1955 without a valid broadcast receiver licence, an offence punishable under Section 6 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act (XVII of 1933). The licence fee and surcharge claimed by the Indian Posts and Telegraphs Department for the year 1955 were as follows :
Broadcast receiver licence fee from 1-1-1955 to 31-12-1955 .... Rs. 15-0-0 ............. Re. 1 forevery month of delay or portion there of commencing from 1-2-1955 till date of payment. By a letter dated 20-9-1957 (No. N. R. 54/T.P.T.) addressed to the Sub Magistrate, TirupaWur, the Wireless Licence Inspector represented that the Department has incurred an expenditure of Rs. 27-12-0 by way of traveling expense to attend the Court on 3rd, 10th and 20th September 1957, and requested the Sub Magistrate to take into consideration this sum of Rs. 27-12-0 also while imposing a fine, if deemed necessary.
3. The Sub Magistrate, Tirupattur, examined the accused under Section 242, Cri. P. C and on the admission of the accusation by the accused, sentenced him to pay a fine of Rs. 28, or, in default of payment of the fine, to suffer simple imprisonment for 3 weeks, in addition to the sum of Rs. 47 due to the department (licence fee Rs. 15 plus surcharge Rs. 32). The Sub Magistrate has not however taken into consideration the claim of Rs. 27-12-0 made by the Wireless Licence Inspector in his letter dated 20-9-1957. The following note is made by the Sub Magistrate on the above said letter under date 20-9-1957, 'Request Inspector to -give concrete instance in other Courts for seeking clarification from District Magistrate'.
4. The fine amount of Rs. 28 and the licence lee of Rs. 47 have been realised and credited to Government and the Post and Telegraphs Department respectively.
5. The learned District Magistrate rightly points out that there is no provision in the Wireless Telegraphy Act authorising criminal Courts to collect any amount due to the department, as if it were a fine and so the order of the Sub Magistrate in directing the recovery of the licence fee and surcharge of Rs. 47 from the accused is illegal.
6. In the circumstances reported by the District Magistrate the entire sum of Rs. 75 will he treated as fine and the sum of Rs. 47 paid over to the Posts and Telegraphs Department will be treated as part of fine which has been awarded as compensation to the department for loss caused to it towards licence fee and surcharge. This is regularising what has been irregularly done.
7. The reference is accepted accordingly.
8. Reference accepted accordingly;