1. This was a rule on the District Magistrate of the 24 Pergannahs to show cause why the order sanctioning the petitioner's prosecution should not be set aside on the ground that the statement in question was not necessarily a fake statement to the petitioner's knowledge.
2. It appears that one Damodar Shah built premises on land belonging to the petitioner and that the petitioner obtained a license to keep a liquor shop on the said premises. It has been found in some civil litigation between the petitioner, as a matter of fact, that Damodar Shah was virtually the owner of the premises and business and that Rakhal Chunder Shaha, the petitioner was to receive 2 annas share of the profits. The statement made by Rakhal, which is impugned, runs as follows:
The country-spirits shop at No. 38, Beltollah Road, Bhowanipore, is exclusively owned by me and is my property.
3. In the Excise Rules a person to whom a license is granted is for bidden to sub-let his shop or transfer his license to any other person or to allow any person to sell liquor under his license.
4. It appears that the license is a purely personal one for the benefit of the individual to whom it is given. The license runs that so and so is here by authorized to open a shop at such and such a place for retail sale of spirituous liquor. From this it appears that the word 'shop' means the business of selling liquor at particular premises. It has been held, in the case of Behary Lal Shaha v. Jagodish Chandra Shaha 8 C.W.N. 635 : 31 C. 798 that all contracts to evade these provisions of the Excise rules are altogether illegal and void. This being so, it is at any rate possible that in making the statement which is impugned. Rakhal may have unconsciously deviated into the truth because it may be that the interest that Damodar claims; in the liquor shop is without legal justification. We, therefore, make the rule absolute and set aside the proceedings.