1. Lewis and Company carry on a carrier's business. They have taken out a trade license under Section 198 of the Calcutta Municipal Act. They have also taken out a license under Section 193 of the Municipal Act for keeping carriages and animals under Section 188 of the Calcutta Municipal Act. The Municipality contends that they are persons who are using certain premises for the purpose of keeping horses and cattle and that, under Section 466, these premises ought to be licensed. Their contention is that these animals are let cut on hire by the Company. The learned Magistrate has held that Section 466 is not applicable. The evidence on the record on behalf of the prosecution is that the Company keep horses, buffaloes and bullocks in the premises in question, for hire, and they use them for their business. In cross examination the witness, S.N. Banerjee, License Impostor, says: 'I never saw their cattle being sold nor their horses or cattle being let out on hire singly, that is, without carts.'
2. The accused did not examine any witnesses, but apparently relied upon certain contracts which were produced before the Court.
3. It is argued on their behalf that, inasmuch as they are carrying on business as carriers and inasmuch as they have also taken out a license for keeping their horses, buffaloes and bullocks, no further license can be taken. from them, because they do not hire out their cattle or horses. They strongly rely on these contracts which they contend are for traction only, a certain sum being paid to them for the purpose of carrying goods to and from certain Railways. The contract with the East Indian Railway says that, 'the contractors shall and will at their own expense during the continuance of the contract by means of suitable covered vans drawn by horses or by any other faster or speedier power convey and carry loads to and from Howrah Railway Station,' and certain other places therein named, and for that work they are to get so much per month.
4. The contract with the Eastern Bengal Railway is that, the company is to provide at their own expense a sufficient number of serviceable covered vehicles and means of traction for the carriage of goods, and they are to get a certain sum of money as specified in the contract.
5. The contract with the Bengal Nagpur Railway is that, the contractors shall provide at their own expense a sufficient number of covered vans drawn by horses for the carriage of goods, for this work they are to get RS. 400 per month.
6. The evidence given on behalf of the prosecution in this case has not been contradicted that carriages and horses are let out on hire by the Company. There is no evidence that their work solely consists in carrying goods for the Railways, Even if that were so, they dearly let out their vehicles and draught animals on hire. The payment of a lump sum is by way of hire. No doubt the Municipality first tomb the view that since, for such carriages, horses and drivers were necessary, it could not be said that the horses alone, were being hired out. A different view has now been taken by them and, we think, rightly. Section 466 is clear. The marginal note is no portion of the section. The Municipality is entitled to exercise control over the places where animals for hire and for other purposes mentioned in the section are kept. Take the case of a person doing business in milk. He has to take out a trade license for it. If he keeps mulch cows he has also to take out a license for keeping them. If he keeps them in a particular place Section 466 requires the premises to be licensed. A carrier, similarly, is called upon to take out a trade license. He must take out a license for his animals if he keeps them, and the premises where he keeps them must also be licensed under Section 466. It is not disputed that the accused employ wagons and horses for his business. There is no evidence against the evidence given by the prosecution. We think that this case comes under the provisions of Section 466. But, as this is a test case and inasmuch as the Municipality itself told them at one time that they did not require a license under Section 466, we think a nominal fine of Rs. 1 (one rupee) only ought to be imposed, and we order accordingly.