1. The petitioner seeks for revision of an order of the Court of Sessions confirming an order of the Stationary Sub-Magistrate of Anantapur dismissing the petitioner's complaint for a breach of contract by the 1st accused under Section 2(1) of the Workman's Breach of Contract Act.
2. The facts are that the 1st accused having taken a loan of Rs. 100 from the petitioner on 10th June, 1924, entered into a contract with the petitioner that he and his minor son would do service under the petitioner for one year on a wage of Rs. 30 per annum plus housing and clothing, and that for the balance of Rs. 70, if unpaid at the end of the year, they would continue to serve. The 1st accused did serve up to 9th May, 1925, and then left. The petitioner complained to the Sub-Magistrate who, after hearing the parties, passed an order on 18th June, 1925 that the 1st accused should serve for a further period of two years, four months and 23 days. First accused served for a few days and again left. The petitioner again complained to the Sub-Magistrate on 5th January, 1926. The Sub-Magistrate held that the order of 18th June, 1925, was ultra vires and unenforceable and that the delay of 6 months in complaining had not been properly explained and he dismissed the complaint. The Sessions Judge dismissed a revision petition and the petitioner comes up here.
3. There can be no doubt that the order of 18th June, 1925, was beyond the jurisdiction of the Sub-Magistrate. Under Section 2(1) of the Act the Sub-Magistrate cannot order the accused to work for more than one year. Under the original contract, if the balance was not re-paid at the end of the year, the 1st accused had an option of paying up the Rs. 70 or continuing the service. Under it, then, the 1st accused was not bound to serve for more than one year. He did serve for 11 months and, being in default in serving the remaining month, it was open to the Magistrate on the 18th June, 1925, to have directed him to serve for one, year more. But the order was obviously contrary to the law and the 1st accused cannot, therefore, be punished for not complying with it. Nor is it an order which will come within the ambit of Section 2(2) as an order made under Section 2(1). The petitioner's only remedy, therefore, was to get a fresh order passed in place of the illegal order of 18th June, 1925. He does not ask for that, nor will this Court be justified in passing an order of such a nature nearly two years after the breach.
4. It further appears to be certainly open to doubt whether this is a case under the Act at all. The service does not seem to be restricted to agricultural work but embraces any kind of service including domestic service which the petitioner may demand from the accused. The loan also obviously is not a loan advanced for any particular work to be performed. It is merely a general loan on condition of the accused entering into a contract of service. The ruling in Tangi Joghi v. Hall 23 M. 203 : 1 Weir 687 : 8 Ind. Dec. 541 would seem to apply to the case.
5. In the circumstances I decline to interfere with the order of the lower Courts and dismiss this petition.