1. The appellant was tried by a Special Magistrate at Dacca, appointed Under Section 24, Bengal Act 12 of 1932, for the commission of offences Under Section 19(f) and Section 20, Arms Act, and was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for three years and five years respectively, under the above provisions of law, the sentences so passed running concurrently. The charge against the appellant who was tried along with two other persons was, first, that he had in his possession or under his control twenty live rifle cartridges without license and thereby committed an offence punishable Under Section 19(f), Arms Act; secondly, that he had in his possession or under his control twenty live rifle cartridges without license in such a manner as to indicate an intention that such Act may not be known to any public servant (viz., police officer) and thereby committed an offence punishable Under Section 20, Arms Act.
2. It appears that the prosecution was started with the previous sanction of the District Magistrate of Dacca, in the matter of the offence Under Section 19(f), Arms Act, as required by Section 29 of the said Act; there was no sanction required or obtained in the matter of the offence Under Section 20 Arms Act. Although it was argued before us that no sanction having been obtained for prosecution Under Section 20. Arms Act, the trial and conviction under the said section was bad in law, we can find no authority in support of such contention, regard being had to the provision relating to sanction as contained in Section 29, Arms Act. The authority of decisions of this Court in cases Under Section 20, Arms; Act, do not in any way indicate that any sanction was required for a prosecution Under Section 20, Arms Act. The decision in the case of Ahmed Hossein v. Queen-Empress, (1900) 27 Cal 692. cited before us, does not support the argument advanced in this behalf. A question was raised before us, as to the applicability of Section 20, Arms Act, and it was suggested that the scope of the section was in this case misunderstood, inasmuch as the intention to do an act in the matter of unlicensed possession of fire-arms or ammunitions, must relate to export or import of arms. The contention so raised appears to us to be wholly untenable on the provisions of the law as they stand, and such an argument does not appear to have been raised in this Court before. 'We are unable to hold that Section 20, Arms Act, could apply to cases of export or import of arms only, and not to cases of the present description.
3. On the merits, so far as the case before us is concerned, the facts were within a narrow compass. It was for the prosecution to establish that the appellant had in his possession or under his control, ammunitions, twenty live rifle cartridges, without license; further that such possession or control indicate his intention that his possession or control of the ammunitions may not be known to any police officer. The evidence in the case was placed before us in its entirety, and we have given our careful consideration to the same. The evidence established the fact that the appellant and two other persons who were jointly tried with him, were in possession of a room in which the ammunitions were found. The three persons were in joint occupation from sometime previous of the room where the articles were found at the time of the search made by the police on 23rd August 1933. The search could not be held to be illegal or irregular in any way, and the evidence before us established the fact that the unlicensed ammunitions, of which mention has been made above, were discovered in a suitcase under a cot. The appellant denied the ownership and knowledge of the suit-case, and refused to deliver its key to the police who demanded it from him. The suit-case was broken open and the live partridges were found in side the suit-case. During the progress-of the search by the police, when the contents of the suit-case were brought out, a key was found underneath the bedding which belonged to the appellant. The key fitted the lock of the suit-case. In this connexion, it may be mentioned that the defence theory that the suit-case might have been planted in the room underneath the cot, is wholly unworthy of consideration on the facts and in the circumstances appearing from the materials on the record; on the other hand, the fact that;-the suit-case was kept underneath the cot, which was very low, clearly indicated the intention of hiding the suitcase containing unlicensed ammunitions, and also the intention on the part of the accused that the presence of the suit-case and its contents may not be known to any body, and that intention continuing till the search party led by police officers, were in the room of which' the appellant was in possession, along: with two other persons.
4. The joint possession of the room by the appellant, taken along with the possession of the suit-case and its contents, which must on the evidence before us, be attributed to the appellant alone, established the case for the prosecution, so far as the appellant was concerned. There was clear evidence of the intention to conceal from the police officers, the suit-case and its contents, evidence-coming from witnesses, whose testimony we are unable to reject. On the evidence before us, it appears to us to be abundantly clear that it was the deliberate intention of the appellant to do all that was necessary to prevent the fact of his having twenty live cartridges in his possession and control, from coming to the knowledge of the police. The ammunitions forming the subject-matter of the charge were unlicensed, and the appellant must, on the evidence in the case, be held to have committed offences Under Section 19(f) and the first part of Section 20, Arms Act, as mentioned in the charges framed in the case; and in our judgment, he has been rightly convicted under those provisions of the law by the Special Magistrate, who tried the case. It may be mentioned that the view we have taken of this case, based on the evidence before us, is in consonance with the recent decisions of this Court in 1933 Cal 692 (2) and 1933 Cal 516 (3) and we are in entire agreement with the propositions of law laid down in those decisions, bearing upon Sections 19(f) and 20, Arms Act. The conviction of the appellant is upheld. The sentence passed on the appellant by the Special Magistrate does not, on the materials before us, appear to us to be severe. The appeal is dismissed.