1. The accused is the proprietor of a rice-mill in Bezwada. He was convicted under the Municipal Act, Madras Act V of 1920, under Sections 199, 216 and 250 read with Section 317 and sentenced to fines of various amounts for the offences.
2. On appeal, the Appellate Magistrate, holding that it was unnecessary to punish him for an offence under Section 199 of the Act, he being liable to be punished under Section 250 of the Act, as the two offences really overlapped, acquitted him, of the offence under Section 199 and remitted him the fine on that charge, but confirmed his conviction under the other two Sections, 216 and 250. It is argued in revision that no offence under Section 250 has been made out and that he ought to be acquitted under that section.
3. As I understand the finding of the lower Court, part of the accused's rice-mill where the Sheller Machinery was installed was burnt down some time ago and what he did was to put up a brick building to install the old Sheller Machinery in it and he did so without obtaining the permission of the Municipal Chairman under Section 199, and, further, in spite of a notice sent to him by the Chairman he carried on his work and completed it. The Machinery that was installed in the new room was, as I understand, the old Sheller Machinery that was in the Factory itself.
4. Section 250 of the Act, it seems to me, cannot well be applied to this case. For, the accused cannot be said to have established any Factory, or installed any new machinery in any Factory; he was not bound to apply in writing to the Council for permission to put in the old Sheller Machinery which was already in the Factory, in the room newly built. Section 250 only applies when a person intends for the first time to construct or establish any Factory, workshop or workplace in which it is proposed to employ steam-power, water-power or other mechanical power or electric power. But it does not apply to a case like this where the machinery has not been interfered with, only the shed in which the machinery was kept has been altered by changing the original room into a new room of brick and mortar. The accused, therefore, must, I think, be acquitted on the charge under Section 250. Section 256 itself expressly exempts the application of Section 197 in Clause (5) and accused was, therefore, clearly punishable for having put up the brick building that he did without the sanction of the Municipal Chairman. He has, however, been acquitted of this offence and &n; no steps have been taken to have that acquittal set aside, I regret I cannot interfere with the acquittal in revision. That acquittal, therefore, must stand. There can be no doubt whatever of his guilt under Section 216 read with Section 317, for he dearly disobeyed the Chairman's notice by constructing this new building without his permission. That being so, the conviction tinder Sections 216 and 317 must be confirmed. In the result, the fins that has been imposed upon him under Sections, 250 and 317 must be remitted, but the fine under Sections 216 and 317, viz., Rs. 25 or simple imprisonment for five days in default must be confirmed.