1. The petitioners are being prosecuted before the Second Additional First Class Magistrate, Trichinopoly, for failure to comply with an order requisitioning their paddy stocks issued by the grain purchase officer, Trichinopoly, an offence punishable Under Rule 75A (7), Defence of India Rules. The petitioners raised a number of preliminary objections to their trial which have been overruled by the Additional District Magistrate and the petitioners pray, in the petition now under consideration, that the order of the Additional District Magistrate be revised. Rule 75A, Defence of India Rules, provides that the Central or the Provincial Government may requisition any property, moveable or immovable; and the principal argument advanced in support of the petition is that the provision for requisitioning moveable property is ultra vires the Government of India Act, Section 102(1), Government of India Act, empowers the Governor-General, if he has declared by proclamation that a grave emergency exists, to make laws for a Province with respect to any of the matters enumerated in the Provincial Legislative List; and, it is said, since the acquisition of moveable property is[ not a matter enumerated either in the Federal or the Provincial Lists, Rule 75A, Defence of India Rules in so far as it relates to the requisitioning of moveable property is ultra vires Section 102, Government of India Act. The argument is enforced by reference to Section 299 (2), Government of India Act, which provides that neither the Federal nor a Provincial Legislature shall have power to make any law authorizing the compulsory acquisition for public purposes of any land etc., unless the law provides for compensation, and also by reference to the fact that the compulsory acquisition of land is enumerated as item 9 of the Provincial Legislative List.
2. In my opinion the references to Section 299, Government of India Act and item 9 of the Provincial Legislative List do not assist the main argument, and the argument itself breaks down because the requisitioning of moveable property although not specifically enumerated in the Provincial Legislative List is clearly included in more general subjects which find a place in that list. Section 299, Government of India Act, has no application because, in the present case, there is no question of requisitioning without compensation; and the fact of the inclusion of the 'compulsory acquisition of land' as a subject in the Provincial Legislative List does not mean that the acquisition of all other kinds of property is excluded. The acquisition of land is a matter with which Governments are consistently concerned and it is natural that it should be placed in a separate category. If the other items are examined it is seen that in item 27 is included 'trade and commerce' within the Province and in item 29 'production, supply and distribution of goods.' It has to be remembered that there is no imitation of the powers of Provincial Governments with respect to the subjects included in the Provincial Legislative List except in so far as the power is controlled by some provision of the Government of India Act. Section 297, Government of India Act does restrict the powers of Provincial Legislatures in regard to matters listed in items 27 and 29 in certain respects, but not in respect of the power to requisition goods within the Province. The power of the Provincial Legislature to make laws with respect to trade and commerce within the province and with respect to the 'production, supply and distribution of goods', I have no doubt, includes the power to requisition goods for public purposes.
3. The objection with regard to the validity of Rule 75A, Defence of India Rules, in so far as it authorizes the requisition of moveable property is the only objection raised which, if accepted, would justify the dismissal of the case in limine. It is argued that the grain purchase officer had, in any event, no power to require the delivery of the paddy to him. The manner in which delivery is to be taken of the paddy is a matter for evidence, and this and any of the other objections are matters which must be raised in the course of the trial. For the reasons given above, the petition is dismissed.
4. Further order. -- There is a question of law, but, not in my opinion a substantial question; and, for that reason I do not admit the criminal revision petition. Leave to appeal to the Federal Court is refused.