J.P. Mttter, J.
1. This is a petition for revision of an order of conviction under Section 5 of the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950. Each of the petitioners was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for six months. The copper telegraph wires concerned were confiscated.
2. The prosecution case inter alia was that on the morning of 16-2-1954, the petitioner boarded the Ghatal-Midnapore bus with two suit cases in each of which was a certain quantity of copper wires. The copper wires were alleged to be telegraph wires. At first the petitioners were charged with offences under Sections 379 and 411, Penal Code. These charges had to be abandoned owing to lack of evidence. Thereafter upon a complaint made by the Additional Superintendent of Police, Midnapore, on 26-4-1954, each of the petitioners was charged with an offence under Section 5 of the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950, for being in unlawful possession of telegraph wires. The learned Magistrate upon a consideration of the evidence before him convicted the petitioners' and sentenced them as aforesaid. The petitioners' appeal to the learned Sessions Judge was dismissed.
3. Mr. Sarnbhunath Banerjee on behalf of the petitioners has taken the point that in the absence of any compliance with the provisions of Section 7 of the Telegraph Wires (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1950, the convictions and sentences concerned were without jurisdiction. In our view, this contention must succeed. Section 7(1) of the Act is as follows:
'No Court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this Act, save on complaint made by or under the authority of the Central Government or by an officer specially empowered in this behalf by that Government.'
4. On behalf of the Prosecution no evidence was adduced to show that any complaint was made by or under the authority of the Central Government or by an officer specially empowered in that behalf by that Government. There was no evidence led to show that the Additional Superintendent of Police, Midnapore, was an officer specially empowered by the Central Government to make a complaint under Section 7 of the Act. That being the position, the trial court had no power to take cognizance of the offence and the conviction of each of the petitioners by him was without jurisdiction.
5. Mr. Amaresh Chandra Roy on behalf of the State suggested that this case might be adjourned to enable the State to try and discover if the Additional Superintendent of Police, Midnapore, had any such authority. Mr. Roy is not in a position to say whether the officer concerned had the authority. It is clear that we cannot adjourn the hearing of this Rule on the off chance of the Stat being able to discover something which would enable the State to meet the point raised by Mr. Banerjee.
6. For the reasons stated the conviction of each of the petitioners and the sentence passed upon him are set aside. The petitioners are discharged from their bail bonds.
7. The Rule is accordingly made absolute.
Renupada Mukherjee, J.
8. I agree.