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Bishan Singh Vs. Emperor - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKolkata
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1924)ILR51Cal573
AppellantBishan Singh
RespondentEmperor
Excerpt:
'arms' - knife sharp throughout one edge and at the point of the other, and attached to a cross guard and handle--arms act (xi of 1878) section 4. - .....have been imported by the accused from germany are 'arms', within the meaning of section 5 of the indian arms act, as defined by section 4 of that act. the articles in question were sent by the accused's brother from germany on his own initiative. there was apparently some doubt at the custom house whether they are 'arms' within the meaning of the arms act of 1878, and the question was referred to the appraisers there for their decision. in the result the appraisers held that the articles fell within the definition of cutlery, and that they were not 'arms' within the meaning of the indian arms act of 1878. on behalf of the accused, evidence was called of mr. brown, who is a partner in messrs. manton & co., and also of an employee in the firm of messrs. lyon and lyon, and of other.....
Judgment:

Greaves and Panton, JJ.

1. The question that arises in this appeal is whether certain articles that have been imported by the accused from Germany are 'arms', within the meaning of Section 5 of the Indian Arms Act, as defined by Section 4 of that Act. The articles in question were sent by the accused's brother from Germany on his own initiative. There was apparently some doubt at the Custom House whether they are 'arms' within the meaning of the Arms Act of 1878, and the question was referred to the appraisers there for their decision. In the result the appraisers held that the articles fell within the definition of cutlery, and that they were not 'arms' within the meaning of the Indian Arms Act of 1878. On behalf of the accused, evidence was called of Mr. Brown, who is a partner in Messrs. Manton & Co., and also of an employee in the firm of Messrs. Lyon and Lyon, and of other witnesses connected with firms which sell hunting knives and such like articles. Mr. Brown distinctly stated in his evidence that in his opinion the articles in question were not daggers, within the meaning of the Indian Arms Act, but that they were hunting knives, and he referred in his evidence to a catalogue of the well-known cutlers Rodgers (at page 68) for the purpose of showing that for an article to be a dagger it must be sharpened on both sides. We have had before us various exhibits (B), (D), (E) and (G) which were purchased from the shops of Messrs. Manton & Co., and Messrs. Lyon & Lyon and from other shops as hunting knives, and there is no doubt that, although the articles imported are inferior in quality, they do bear some considerable resemblance to the articles which are sold generally in Calcutta as hunting knives. But taking the matter as a whole we have come to the conclusion that the learned Magistrate was right in his decision, and that these articles fall within the definition of 'arms' as given in Section 4 of the Act. Whether they are 'daggers' it is not, we think, necessary for us to decide, for Section 4 does not purport to give an inclusive definition, for all that it says is that 'arms' include, among other things, 'daggers.' This being so, we think that the conviction was correct, and that these articles fell within Section 5 of the Indian Arms Act of 1878, and within the definition of arms to be found in Section 4. But, having regard to the fact that the Custom appraisers considered that they were cutlery and that various witnesses of repute have considered that they were hunting knives, we think that it is not necessary to impose the somewhat heavy penalty that was imposed by the Second Presidency Magistrate. We think that, in importing these articles in the manner in which they were imported, the accused did not intend to controvert the provisions of the Indian Arms Act of 1878, and we, accordingly, reduce the penalty inflicted on each of the three counts to one of Rs. 50 in each case. The fines paid in excess of the amount which we have directed will be refunded.

2. Let the knives produced on behalf of the defence, namely, exhibits, (A), (B), (C), (D), (E) and (G) be returned.


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