Kuppuswami Ayyar, J.
1. The petitioners are accused 1 and 2 in C.C. No. 26 of 1943 on the file of the Special First Class Magistrate of Ambasamudram. The first accused has been convicted for an offence punishable under Section 332 and the second accused for an offence punishable under section 379, Indian Penal Code.
2. The case against them was that P.W. 1 the talayari of Iyan Pittalpudur, went to the village for demanding and collecting kist, under the directions of his villagemunsiff. The first accused asked P.W. 1 whether he was 'still collecting kist for an unjust Government, even though that Government has perished.' P.W. 1 asked him not to interfere with his kist collection work. Thereupon the first accused abused him and beat him on his left shoulder and they were pushing each other when the second accused came and stole the purse containing Rs. 8-2-0 out of which Rs. 8 was the kist collected that morning. A number of witnesses to the occurrence have been examined and they have proved the fact that the first accused assaulted P.W. 1 in the manner stated above and that the second accused took away the purse by force. The Magistrate has discussed the evidence and apart from the evidence of P.Ws. 1 and 2 there is the evidence of a number of disinterested witnesses who were present there and witnessed the occurrence and I therefore see no reason to interfere with the findings of fact arrived at by the Magistrate.
3. The only point urged before me is that the talayari is not a public servant, and that he was not beaten at the time when he was discharging his duty as a public servant and that consequently no offence under Section 332, Indian Penal Code, was committed. From the evidence of P.W. 1 which was read over by counsel for the petitioners, it is seen that he as a talayari used to go and demand kist and that he would be collecting it from those who paid it to him. It is a well-known fact that the talayari is generally sent by the village munsiff to make collections of kist and if parties pay the kist to him, he would receive and pay it to the village munsiff. Under section 21 (9)n Indian Penal Code, the words 'public servant' denote:
Every officer whose duty it is, as such officer, to take, receive, keep or expend any property on behalf of Government or to execute any revenue process, or to investigate or to report, on any matter affecting the pecuniary interest of Government.
4. In this case, it is stated for the petitioners that the word 'officer' must be taken to mean a person who exercises any delegated function of the Government. It is the function of the Government to collect kist; and if as stated by the talayari, P.W. 1, he could go and collect kist from those who pay him, then he is a person exercising a delegated function of the Government in collecting kist. to a limited extent. According to the evidence, in the case it was when he went to the village to collect kist that he was assaulted. The case reported in Venkatigadu, In re (1879) 1 Weir 342 has no application to the facts of this case. There it was found that the talayari has not got the functions of a police officer. In this particular case, it is not the case that he was acting as a police officer. It was when he was assisting the village officer in the matter of the collection of the kist that he was assaulted. The other case also has no bearing on the point in question. Arjan Mal v. The Crown I.L.R.(1922) Lah. 440 relates to a case of chowkidar. The talayari is a permanent servant of the Crown and he exercises some of the functions referred to in Section 21(9) of the Penal Code and while he was exercising such functions he was assaulted. The first accused was therefore rightly convicted. There is evidence to show that the second accused stole the purse that was in the possession of P.W. 1. The sentences of fine of Rs. 50 and Rs. 40 respectively imposed on them are not excessive for the offences under sections 332 and 379, Indian Penal Code.
5. The petition is rejected.