W. Comer Petheram, C.J. and Beverley, J.
1. We think that in this case the rule must be discharged. The question is a very simple question of law, and is, whether a Magistrate, to whom a seizure of property by the Police has been reported, under Section 523 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as property which they suspect to have been stolen, is justified in detaining the property and issuing a proclamation specifying the articles of which such property consists, and requiring any person who may have a claim to appear before him and establish his claim within six months from the date of such proclamation, until he has first called upon the person in whose possession the property was when it was seized to show cause why this should not be done.
2. The case has been argued before us by Mr. Barrow for the petitioners, but we think that he failed to show anything on the face of these sections which imposes any such obligation on the Magistrate. The duty of the Magistrate, when the matter is reported to him, is to deliver over the property to the person entitled to the possession of it, if there is no doubt about such property belonging to him; but if there is any doubt about it, he is to detain it and issue a proclamation to ascertain whether or not there are any claimants to the property; and it is clear to us that it is not intended that any final steps should be taken by the Magistrate, or that he is bound to take any final steps, to ascertain whether the property belongs to the person in whose possession it was found, until after the expiry of the six months, but when the proclamation has been issued and the six months have expired, then the provisions of Section 524 come in, and the person in whose possession it was found can come forward and show that it is his own. We cannot say that the Magistrate has in any way exceeded his powers, and, therefore, these two rules must be discharged.