1. The petitioner got up a dance which he advertised in the 'Madras Mail' on 13th April last (Ex. I-A). Tickets for this dance were to cost 12 annas for a gentleman and eight annas for a lady and were purchasable at a certain place in Madras, and if tickets were bought at the door at the time of the entertainment they were to cost one rupee. I do not think there is any doubt that a perusal of this advertisement shows that these were the sums which were chargeable for the tickets themselves. The tickets that were issued were not stamped with any embossed or adhesive stamp showing that any tax had been paid, as is required by Section 4, Madras Local Authorities Entertainments Act, and accordingly the petitioner has been convicted under Section 6 of not complying with the terms of Section 4 and has been sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 30 together with the amount of the tax. His defence is that the cost of admission to his entertainment was no more than four annas and that the rest of the cost of the tickets was to go towards certain accessory expenses which the affair committed him to. If a ticket costs no more than four annas it is exempt from tax under Section 3(2) of the Act. The lower Court has not accepted this, position and I am unable to say' that it is wrong in the view which it takes.
2. An examination of the tickets shows that to all appearances they were sold for the sums already specified, and the various components which the petitioner would now say formed part of those sums were not expressly stated. Nor do I think that if they had been so stated the position would have been really different. Such things as programmes, setting accommodation, lighting, ventilation by electric fans, etc., if they are provided to persons who frequent entertainments, must necessarily be regarded as accessories to those entertainments and included in the price of the tickets which give admission to it, and it seems to me that the Act could be very easily evaded if the purveyor of an entertainment were himself to fix the amount at which he valued admission to it and then to tack on to it a number of other charges which the persons admitted would have to pay but which would not be liable to the assessment of the tax. Such a position of course cannot be upheld for a moment. I find accordingly that the lower Court has applied the law in the only reasonable manner to the acts of the case and that there is no ground for revising its order upon that score. As regards the amount of the tax levied, there was the evidence of the assessing officer, P. W, 1, that 82 persons, comprising 47 gentlemen and 35 ladies, attended the entertainment, which would make up the amount levied from the petitioner. His own evidence consists in producing the unsold tickets and the retained portions of those that were sold. I am unable to say that the lower Court was not justified in refusing to accept evidence of that character as conclusive.
3. As regards the amount of the fine it is pleaded that what was done, was done in ignorance of how the law stood, but I cannot find that the petitioner took any sufficient steps to ascertain the correct course, and his letter to the Revenue Officer expressing his intention of charging only four annas for admittance, the remainder being for incidental charges, was written only on the 13th, two days before the Ball and did not reach the addressee until two days later. The reply to that letter was delivered to the petitioner on the 15th asking him for certain particulars and saying that on receipt of them the tax would be fixed. But that letter, which appears to have given him an opportunity to avoid a prosecution received no reply. In these circumstances I am not disposed to interfere with the fine of Rs. 30 which has been imposed. The revision petition is dismissed.