Kuppuswami Ayyar, J.
1. This is a petition by the Panchayat Board of Tondi for revising the order of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Devakottai setting aside the conviction of the accused under Section 193, Madras Local Boards Act, in C. C. No. 75 of 1942 on the file of the Additional Sub-Magistrate of Tiruvadanai. The accused applied on 5th December 1941, to the Panchayat Board for a licence in which he stated that he proposed to instal and run a rice mill with a 24 H. P. engine driven by crude oil at the place mentioned in the application. On 26th December 1941, the Panchayat Board sent a letter to the accused saying that the locality referred to for the installation was not suitable as it would cause nuisance and inconvenience to the people and that therefore the licence applied for will not be granted. Subsequently on 10th August 1942, the accused sent a letter to the board stating that it was in continuation of his previous application and that he was sending a detailed plan in duplicate and prayed that the plan may be approved at an earlier date to enable him to start the business as early as possible, to which a reply was sent on 2nd September 1942, that the plan of the site and the building for the proposed installation had been forwarded to the District Health Officer of Ramnad for his opinion regarding the fitness for the purpose as per Government orders and that the matter will receive attention and that final orders will be issued shortly after its decision and that the sum of Rs. 5-4-0 sent by him by moneyorder was kept under deposit; vide Exs. C and 2. Later, on 13th November 1942, the accused was informed that the erection of the rice mill and the working of the same would be unlawful and that he was not granted the licence. He was prosecuted for offences punishable under Sections 193, 194 and 207, Local Boards Act, the charge being that he erected the mill building without a permit and that he was running the mill without a licence. He was fined Rs. 50 in respect of the offence punishable under Section 194, Local Boards Act, and Rupees 5 for the offence punishable under Section 193. On appeal, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Devakottah confirmed the conviction for the offence punishable under Section 194 read with Section 207, Local Boards Act, and acquitted him with respect to the other, i.e., the offence punishable under Section 193, Local Boards Act. It is to revise the order acquitting the accused that this petition has been filed. The appellate Magistrate has found that under Section 212, Clause (11), Local Boards Act, it must be deemed that the licence had been granted to the accused and therefore he should not have been convicted for the offence punishable under Section 193, Local Boards Act. This is how Section 212, Clause (11) runs:
The acceptance by a Local Board of the prepayment of the fee for a licence or permission shall not entitle the person making such pre-payment to the licence or permission as the case may be, but only to refund of the fee in case of refusal of the licence or permission; but an applicant for the renewal of a licence or permission shall until communication of orders on his application be entitled to act as if the licence or permission had been renewed; and save as otherwise specially provided in this Act, if orders on an application for licence or permission are not communicated to the applicant within 30 days after the receipt of the application by the president, the application shall be deemed to have been allowed for the year or for such less period as is mentioned in the application, and subject to the law, rules, by-laws, regulations and all conditions ordinarily imposed.
In this ease Ex. A is the first application and it is therein stated that the accused proposed to instal and run the rice mill and he requested the board to grant a licence for the same at an early date. It is stated for the board that this cannot be taken to be an application for a licence to run the mill, because a mill could be run only after it is installed and it could not be installed without permission and therefore, till the permission is granted and it is installed, there could be no scope for the application for a licence for running the mill. I do not think I will be justified in accepting this contention, because from Ex. 2 it is seen that the application of the petitioner which was before the installation was permitted was treated as an application for installation and running of the mill. As a matter of fact, in Ex. A he prays for licence and states that he proposed to instal and run a mill. For installation a permission is required and it is only for running the mill that a licence has to be procured. Exhibit A clearly indicates that the accused even in that application applied for a licence. There can be no scope for the application of Section 212, Clause (11), Local Boards Act, in this case; as within a month from the date of Ex. A a communication had been sent to the accused, viz., Ex. B stating that the licence could not be granted. The words used there are 'the licence applied for will not be granted.'
2. It is, however, urged that Ex. C must be considered to be a later application and since it is dated 10th August 1942, and Ex. C-8 the order stating that he should not erect the mill is dated 13th November 1942, and as more than one month had expired after the date of Ex. C the licence must be deemed to have been granted. There is no force in this contention that Ex. c should be taken as a fresh application for licence. It is stated therein that it was only a communication in continuation of his previous application. It is stated by learned Counsel for the accused that the place referred to in Ex. C relates to a different place and not to the site that was referred to in Ex. A. But then even if Ex. 0 is treated as a fresh application, within a month a communication had been sent by the board stating that the matter was receiving the attention and that it had been referred to the Health Officer and final orders would be communicated only after the matter was ascertained. I therefore do not think that it could be said that this is not an order as contemplated by Section 212, Clause (11). It may not be an order refusing to grant licence or granting a licence, but it will still be an order in the sense that it communicated to the accused definitely that the question of issuing licence had not been decided and that the board retained the right to grant or refuse the licence on receipt of further information. In the face of Ex. 2, I do not think the Magistrate was justified in finding that there has been no communication of any order within a month from the date of Ex. C and in deeming that the licence was granted. I therefore set aside the order of the Magistrate setting aside the conviction of the accused for the offence punishable under Section 193, Local Boards Act, and remand the appeal to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Devakottai for disposal in the light of the observations contained herein.