Govinda Menon, J.
1. The Public Prosecutor, Madras, appeals against the acquittal of the respondent by the learned Assistant Sessions Judge of Sivaganga of an offence under Sections 6 and 19(c) as well as under Section 20 of the Indian Arms Act (XI of 1878). There cannot be much dispute about facts. The respondent who held a licence for possessing arms in the then Indian State of Pudukottah was found, on return from Ceylon at the Dhanushkodi pier to be in the possession of 25 live cartridges. He tried to hide them but the Customs Authorities were able to detect his act. The learned Assistant Sessions Judge has held that since he is entitled to possess ammunition in the State of Pudukottah for which he held a valid licence, he has not imported in contravention of the provisions of Section 6 and therefore no offence under Section 19(c) was committed. The learned Judge also holds that since it cannot be said that an offence under Section 19(c) has been committed, no offence under Section 20 has also been committed.
2. It is unnecessary to consider the questions as to whether the act committed by the respondent amounts to an offence under Section 6 read with Section 19(c) because exconcessis it will be difficult to say that it is not an offence under Section 20.
3. Section 20 is in the following terms:
Whoever does any act mentioned in Clause (a), (c), (d) or (f) of Section 19, in such manner as to indicate an intention that such act may not be known to any public servant as defined in the Indian Penal Code, or to any person employed upon a railway or to the servant of any public carrier,
and whoever, on any search being made under Section 25, conceals or attempts to conceal any arms, ammunition or military stores,
shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.
Therefore the doing of an act indicating an intention that the act may not be known to the public servant is sufficient to make it an offence. Even if the act of the respondent was not an offence under Section 19(c) it was certainly an act as contemaplated by Section 19(c). He has brought cartridges by sea from Ceylon into British India. That being so he has committed an act under Section 19(c) and the finding of the learned Judge is that there was an intention on his part to hide his act from the observation of the Customs Officers or other public servants. That being so it has to be held that the respondent is guilty of an offence under Section 20 of the Arms Act. The appeal is therefore allowed and the respondent convicted of the offence under Section 20. He is sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 1,000 or in default rigorous imprisonment for six months.