Decided on April 20,1900

SAMUEL LUKE Respondents


Burkitt, J - (1.) This is an application in revision against the conviction and sentence passed on the applicant by a Sub-Divisional Magistrate in the Philibhit district under Section 19(f) of the Indian Arms Act, No. XI of 1878. The Magistrate found that the petitioner had fire-arms in his possession in contravention of the prohibition contained in Section 14 of the Act.
(2.) The learned Government Pleader very properly admits that the conviction and sentence cannot be supported. The plea raised by the learned Counsel who appeared for the applicant is that "as a volunteer petitioner is exempted from the operation of the Section under which he has been convicted." That plea, in my opinion, is a good plea, and must be allowed.
(3.) The Magistrate who convicted the petitioner admits that the petitioner is a volunteer. It would therefore, prima facie, appear that under the provisions of the Government Notification No. 458, dated the 18 March 1898, the petitioner did not commit any offence in having fire-arms in his possession. The Magistrate, however, has an easy way of getting over that difficulty. He contemptuously brushes it aside by holding that though the petitioner is a volunteer, and as such "is exempt from the operation of the Arms Act, 1878," . . . . . . . "he is exempt only for the purposes of volunteering. He is not exempt from possessing fowling pieces, which he did (sic) in spite of his fowling piece having been confiscated by the District Magistrate." The Magistrate further found that in spite of the previous warning the applicant "has again possessed himself of the fowling pieces," and "uses these fowling pieces in shooting wild animals." (The former case mentioned by the Magistrate is one in which in another district the applicant was convicted of a similar offence under the Arms Act. In that case he was let off with a warning, and his gun was confiscated. The Sessions Judge on appeal held that he ought to have been fined under Section 19(e) of the Arms Act, 1878). The Magistrate goes on to add that the petitioner "should have obtained a license under the Arms Act, 1878, if he wanted fowling pieces for the protection of his cultivation. As a volunteer he is not entitled to keep fowling pieces, nor is he entitled as such to use them for the purpose of protecting his cultivation." Acting on his view the Magistrate inflicted a fine on the applicant and directed his guns to be confiscated.;

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