Decided on July 15,1954

STATE Respondents


- (1.) THIS revision petition is directed against the conviction of the petitioner under Section 4-A, Madras Prohibition Act, and the sentence of a fine of Rs. 30/- in default imprisonment for 20 days.
(2.) THE charge against the petitioner, a Prohibition Guard, attached to the Prohibition Police Station, Yellamanchilli, is that he was found in a state of intoxication on 28-9-1952, The case for the prosecution is that the petitioner was quarrelling with a rickshaw-puller on the relevant night and that on seeing P. Ws. 5 and 6 passing that way, he began to run. This roused the suspicion of these two witnesses and they gave chase to him, caught' hold of him and found that he was smelling liquor. By then a number of people including P. Ws. 1 and 2, two of the local advocates, collected there. The plea of the accused was of denial. The prosecution evidence was accepted by the trial Court and a conviction followed.
(3.) IT looks to me that it is very doubtful whether the prosecution has brought home even the charge that the petitioner was smelling arrack. P. Ws. 5 and 6 are admittedly the enemies of the petitioner and even as regards P. Ws. 1 and 2 it is very doubtful whether they could be definite that the smell of arrack emanated from the petitioner. However, it is not necessary for me to get into this question as the revision petition can be disposed of on a shorter ground, viz. , whether, assuming the prosecution case to be true, the petitioner can be said to have committed an offence under Section 4-A, Madras Prohibition Act, which enacts that whoever is found in a state of intoxication in any public place and whoever, not having been permitted to consume any liquor or intoxicating drug in pursuance of this Act, is found in a state of intoxication in any private place, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.;

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