1. This is a petition by the Chairman of Chicacole Municipality, seeking to set aside the judgment of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate in Cr. A. No. 67 of 1923, reversing the judgment of the Sub-Magistrate of Chioaeole, in C.C. No. 147 of 1923.
2. The Chairman issued a notice to the respondent under Section 219(1) of the Madras Act, V of 1920, calling upon him to remove a dangerous tree. The respondent failed to comply with this notice and was prosecuted under Section 313(c) of the same Act. The only points for determination in such a case are whether the order under Section 219(1) is lawful, and whether that order has not been complied with. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate has gone into the question, whether the Chairman was right in thinking the tree to be dangerous. He can at most consider whether the tree never appeared to the Chariman to be dangerous, without considering whether the Chairman was justified in forming such an impression; for in-stance, if a tree were one foot high, a Court might hold absolutely that it never appeared to be dangerous. But in this case it is proved that the tree is a sloping cocoanut palm which overhangs a house, and was reported by the Sanitary Inspector to be dangerous. On this evidence, a Court cannot hold that there were no grounds on which the Chairman could form an opinion. Whether he was justified in forming his opinion is not a matter to be decided. The notice on the facts stated by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate was quite lawful and it was clearly disobeyed. The petition is allowed and. the order of the appellate Court is reversed. The appeal should be re-heard in the light of the above remarks. Possibly there is room for compromise.
3. Most cocoanut trees can be rendered safe with stay ropes and a platform under the head of the palm; but the matter is entirely within the discretion of the local authorities.