1. The petitioners have been convict. ed of an offence punishable under B, 81 (4)/l21, Defence of India Rules for taking certain cattle from the District of Noakhali to the District of Chittagong inspite of an order of the District Magistrate of Noakhali prohisiting such transport. The order was made by the District Magistrate under the provisions of Rule 81 (2)(a) which empowers the making of orders for regulating amongst other things transport of articles or things kept for sale.
2. The rule was issued upon ground No. 1 attached to the petition. It raises the question whether the term 'articles or things' is confined to inanimate objects or is wide enough to include cattle.
3. Mr. Dutta concedes that the term 'thing' according to its dictionary meaning is wide enough to include cattle. The real question, however, is whether it is intended to include cattle as used in this rule. It is quite obvious that in many contexts it would be impossible for it to include cattle. It is, therefore, necessary to consider this question with regard to this language used in the rules.
4. In this connection my attention has been drawn to the provisions of E. 78-b (i)(b) which empowers the making of orders for the protection of any animals, articles or things. From this it seems quite clear that in these rules the term ''articles or things' is intended to apply to inanimate and not to animate objects.
5. The rule is accordingly made absolute, the order of conviction and sentences are set aside and the fines, if paid, will be refunded.