1. In this case, the petitioner hag been convicted under Section 76(b), Bengal Embankment Act 2 of 1882. It appears that he constructed a hut on the space between the river Peali and the embankment of this river and thereby obstructed the course of the river within the meaning of Section 76(b) of the Act. It is contended by the learned advocate for the petitioner that Section 76(b) cannot apply in a case in which the course of a river has been obstructed, and he maintains that this part of the Section is only intended to apply to watercourses such as those mentioned in the definition of the expression 'water-course' in Section 3 of the Act. This definition is however not exhaustive. With regard to this matter, I agree with the view held by M.C. Ghose J. in Emperor v. Lakshmi Narain : AIR1934Cal836 . In that case the learned Judge observes:
The definition of 'water-course' in the Embankment Act includes a line of drainage, weir, culvert, pips or other channel, whether natural or artificial, for the passage of water. It is to be noted that the definition is not exhaustive. It only mentions certain items by the word 'includes'. In ordinary language, every river is a water-course.
2. In this connexion it is significant that the definition of the term 'water-course' in the Oxford English Dictionary is 'a stream of water, a river, or a brook; also an artificial channel for the conveyance of water'. I am therefore of opinion that Section 76(b) of the Act clearly applies in a case such as this, in which there has been a diversion or obstruction of a river. Having regard to the findings contained in the judgment of the Court below, I consider that the conviction of the petitioner is quite proper and it will therefore be maintained. The rule is accordingly discharged.