To arrive at the real meaning, it is always necessary to get an exact
conception of the aim, scope and object of the whole Act; to consider, according
to Lord Coke:
R M D Chamarbaugwalla vs The Union Of India
- What was the law before the Act was passed
- What was the mischief or defect for which the law had not provided;
- What remedy Parliament has appointed; and
- The reason of the remedy.
The petitioners, who were promoting 'and conducting prize competitions in the
different States of India, challenged the constitutionality of ss. 4 and 5 Of
the Prize Competitions Act (42 of 955) and rr. xi and 12 framed under S. 20 Of
the Act. Their contention was that 'prize competition' as defined in S. 2(d) of
the Act included not merely competitions that were of a gambling nature but also
those in which success depended to a substantial degree on skill and the
sections and the rules violated their fundamental right to carry on business
Intention Of Legislature
The object of the legislation is, as stated in the short title and in the
preamble, " to provide for the control and regulation of prize competitions ".
Section 2(d) of the Act defines "prize competition" as meaning "any competition
(whether called a cross-word prize competition, a missing-word prize
competition, a picture prize competition or by any other name), in which prizes
are offered for the solution of any puzzle based upon the building up,
arrangement, combination or permutation of letters, words or figures ". Sections
4 and 5 of the Act are-. the provisions which are impugned as unconstitutional,
and they are as follows:
4. No person shall promote or conduct any prize competition or competitions in
which the total value of the prize or prizes (whether in cash or otherwise) to
be offered in any month exceeds one thousand rupees; and in every prize
competition, the number of entries shall not exceed two thousand.
5. Subject to the provisions of section 4, no person shall promote any prize
competition or competitions in which the total value of the prize or prizes
(whether in cash or otherwise) to be offered in any month does not exceed one
thousand rupees unless he has obtained in this behalf a licence granted in
accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder.
The argument in support of the petitions is that prize competition as defined in
s. 2(d) would include not only competitions in which success depends on chance
but also those in which it would depend to a substantial degree on skill; that
the conditions laid down in ss. 4 and 5 and rr. II and 12 are wholly unworkable
and would render it impossible to run the competition, and that they seriously
encroached on the fundamental right of the petitioners to carry on business;
that they could not be supported under Art. 19(6) of the Constitution as they
Respondent disputes the correctness of these contentions. He argues that 'prize
competition' as defined in s. 2(d) of the Act, properly construed, means and
includes only competitions in which success does not depend to any substantial
degree on skill and are essentially gambling in their character; that gambling
activities are not trade or business within the meaning of that expression in
Art. 19(1)(g), and that accordingly the petitioners are not entitled to invoke
the protection of Art. 19(6); and that even if the definition of 'prize
competition' in s. 2(d) is wide enough to include competitions in which success
depends to a substantial degree on skill and ss. 4 and 5 of the Act and rr. 11
and 12 are to be struck down in respect of such competitions as unreasonable
restrictions not protected by Art. 19(6), that would not affect the validity of
the enactment as regards the competitions which are in the nature of gambling,
the Act being severable in its application to such competitions.
Mischief Rule Application
Turning first to the history of the legislation, its genesis is to be found in
the Bombay Lotteries and, Prize Competitions Control and Tax Act (Bom. LIV of
1948). That Act was passed with the object of controlling and taxing lotteries
and prize competitions within the Province of Bombay, and as originally enacted,
it applied only to competitions conducted within the Province of Bombay. Section
7 of the Act provided that "a prize competition shall be deemed to be an
unlawful prize competition unless a licence in respect of such competition has
been obtained by the promoter thereof." Section 12 imposed a tax on the amounts
received in respect of competitions which had been licensed under the Act.
With a view to avoid the operation of the taxing provisions of this enactment,
persons who had there to before been conducting prize competitions within the
Province of Bombay shifted the venue of their activities to neighbouring States
like Mysore, and from there continued to receive entries and remittances of
money therefor from the residents of Bombay State.
In order to prevent evasion of the Act and for effectually carrying out its
object, the legislature of Bombay passed Act XXX of 1952 extending the
provisions of the Act of 1948 to competitions conducted outside the State of
Bombay but operating inside it, the tax however being limited to the amounts
remitted or due on the entries sent from the State of Bombay.
having regard to the history of the legislation, the declared object thereof and
the wording of the statute, we are of opinion that the competitions which are
sought to be controlled and regulated by the Act are only those competitions in
which success does not depend to any substantial degree on skill.
If the State legislatures felt that there was any need to regulate even those
competitions, they could have themselves effectively done so without resort to
the special jurisdiction under Art. 252(1)
If it was intended that Parliament should legislate also on competitions
involving skill, the word, control' would seem to be not appropriate. While
control and regulation would be requisite in the case of gambling, mere
regulation would have been sufficient as regards competitions involving skill.
The use of the word control' which is to be found not only in the resolution but
also in the short title and the preamble to the Act appears to us to clearly
indicate that it was only competitions of the character dealt with in the Bombay
judgment, that were within the contemplation of the legislature.
Nor does the restriction of the impugned provisions to competitions of a
gambling character affect either the texture or the colour of the Act; nor do
the provisions require to be touched and re-written before they could be applied
to them. They will squarely apply to them on their own terms and in their true
spirit, and form a code complete in themselves with reference to the subject.
The conclusion is therefore inescapable that the impugned provisions, assuming
that they apply by virtue -of the definition in s. 2(d) to all kinds of
competitions, are severable in their application to competitions in which
success does not depend to any substantial extent on skill. In the result, both
the contentions must be found against the petitioners.
Kanwar Singh vs Delhi Administration
The members of a raiding party led by the Licensing Inspector of the Delhi
Corporation having taken into custody 25 or 30 stray cattle, were, while taking
them to the cattle pound, belaboured with lathis by the three appellants and
their friends, as a result of which they received injuries.
It was contended on behalf of the appellants that:
(i) there was no proper delegation 'of authority to impound cattle in favour of
the persons forming the raiding party, by the Commissioner, whose personal
presence to supervise the exercise of the delegated authority was, in any case,
required by the very order delegating the authority;
(ii) the cattle were not "abandoned" in the sense of being "ownerless", and
therefore could not be legally impounded; and
A more serious contention is that under s. 418, cattle, which the Corporation
can impound, must be ownerless or tethered on any street or public place or land
belonging to the Corporation. Admittedly the cattle in question were not
tethered on any such place and, therefore, their seizure was not permissible. In
support of his contention that "abandoned" implies the complete leaving of a
thing as a final rejection of one's responsibilities so that the thing becomes
"ownerless", appellant has referred us to the Law Lexicon and Oxford Dictionary.
The meanings relied on by him are as follows:
"A thing banned or denounced as forfeited or lost, whence to abandon, desert, or
forsake as lost and gone." Wharton's Law Lexicon. "To let go, give up, renounce,
leave off; to cease to hold, use or practise."
(iii) that the injuries were inflicted by the appellants in the lawful exercise
of their right of private defence of property.
In the Oxford Dictionary the word is also said to mean "to let loose; to set
free; to liberate"
- The order of the Commissioner placed before the Court along with the statement of case proved that the Commissioner had authorised licensing Inspectors to impound stray cattle.
- In the context in which the word "abandoned" occurred in section 418(1), the meaning which can reasonably be attached to it is "let loose" in the sense of being "left unattended" and certainly not "ownerless".
- It is the duty of the Court in construing a statute to give effect to the intention of the legislature so as to "advance the remedy and suppress the mischief".
- Intention Of Legislature: The legislature when it used the word "abandoned" in section 418(1) did not intend to say that the cattle must be "ownerless".
- Section 99 of the Indian Penal Code specifically says that there is no right of private defence against an act which does not reasonably cause the apprehension of death or of grievous hurt, if done, or attempted to be done by the direction of a public servant acting in good faith, tinder colour of his office. The protection extends even to acts which will not be strictly justified by law. In the present case, the act was fully justifiable by the law.
There was thus no right of private defence that could be claimed by the
The power to impound stray cattle is contained in s. 418(1) of the Delhi
Municipal Corporation Act,1957 (66 of 1957), which runs thus :
"If any horses, cattle or other quadruped animals or birds are kept on any
premises in contravention of the provisions of section 417, or are found
abandoned and roaming or tethered on any street or public place or on any land
belonging to the Corporation, the Commissioner or any officer empowered by him
may seize them and may cause them to be impounded or removed to such place as
may be appointed by the Government or the Corporation for the purpose and the
cost of seizure of these animals or birds and Of impounding...... or removing
them and of feeding and watering them shall be recoverable by sale or by auction
Of those animals or birds;"
The proviso which would be relevant in connection with another point runs thus:
"Provided that any one claiming such animal or bird may, within seven days of
the seizure, get them released on his paying all expenses incurred by the
Commissioner in seizing, impounding or removing and in feeding and watering such
animal or bird, and on his producing a licence for keeping these animals and
birds issued under the provisions of section.
It will thus be seen that the meaning to be attached to the word 'abandoned'
would depend upon the context in which it is used. in the context in which it
occurs in S. 418(1), the meaning which can reasonably be attached to the word
"abandoned" is 'let loose' in the sense of being 'left unattended' and certainly
If, therefore, giving a literal meaning to a word used by the draftsman,
particularly in a penal statute, would defeat the object of the legislature,
which is to suppress a mischief, the court can depart from the dictionary
meaning or even the popular meaning of the word and instead give it a meaning
which will 'advance the remedy and suppress the mischief'
In the Act before us when the legislature used the word "abandoned" it did not
intend to say that the cattle must be ownerless. This is implicit in the proviso
to sub- s. (1) of S. 418 which says that any one 'claiming' an animal which has
been impounded under that sub-section can, within 7 days of seizure, get it
released on fulfilling certain conditions. Such a claim could only be made by a
person who is the owner of the animal impounded or who has at least the custody
of the animal.
The Commissioner Of vs Sodra Devi
The only question which arose for the consideration of the Tribunal was whether
the income falling to the share of the three minor sons was liable to be
included in the total income of the assessee.
Whether on a true construction of the provisions of section 16 (3) (a) (ii) of
the Indian Income-tax Act, 1922, the income of the three minor sons of the assessee
is liable to be included in her total income.
The common question of law is to determine whether the word " individual " in s.
16 (3) (a) (ii) of the Act includes also a female and the income of the minor
sons derived from a partnership to the benefits of which they have been admitted
is liable to be included in the income of the mother who is a member of that
Section 16(3) of the Act provides:
In computing the total income of any individual for the purpose of assessment,
there shall be included:
- so much of the income of a wife or minor child of such individual as arises directly or indirectly:
- from the membership of the wife in a firm of which her husband is a partner;
- from the admission of the minor to the benefits of the partnership in a firm of which such individual is a partner;
- from assets transferred directly or indirectly to the wife by the husband otherwise than for adequate consideration or in connection with an agreement to live apart;
- from assets transferred directly or indirectly to the minor child, not being a married daughter, by such individual otherwise than for adequate consideration;
- so much of the income of any person or association of persons as arises from assets transferred otherwise than for adequate consideration to the person or association by such individual for the benefit of his wife or a minor child or both.
(a) so much of the income of a wife or minor child of such individual as arises
directly or indirectly:
(i)from the membership of the wife in a firm of which her husband is a partner;
(ii)from the admission of the minor to the benefits of the partnership in a firm
of which such individual is a partner;
(iii)from assets transferred directly or indirectly to the wife by the husband
otherwise than for adequate consideration or in connection with an agreement to
live apart; or
(iv)from assets transferred directly or indirectly to the minor child, not being
a married daughter, by such individual otherwise than for adequate
(b)so much of the income of any person or association of persons as arises from
assets transferred otherwise than for adequate consideration to the person or
association by such individual for the benefit of his wife or a minor child or
Section 3 of the Act may also be referred to in this context and it runs as
Section 3. Charge of Income Tax:
Where any Central Act enacts that income-tax shall be charged for any year at
any rate or rates, tax at that rate or those rates shall be charged for that
year in accordance with, and subject to the provisions of this Act in respect of
the total income of the previous year- of every individual, Hindu undivided
family, company and local authority, and of every firm and- other association of
persons or the partners of the firm or the members of the association
The section only talks of " individual " capable of having a wife or minor child
or both. It therefore necessarily excludes from its purview a group of persons
forming a unit or a corporation created by a statute and is confined only to
human beings who in the context would be -comprised within that category.
The Revenue urges before us that the word " individual " as used qua human
beings is capable of including within its connotation a male as well as a female
of the species and having regard to the context in which the word has been used
in s. 16(3), it should be construed as meaning a male of the species when used
in Juxtaposition with " a wife " and as meaning both a male and a female when
used in juxtaposition with "minor child" so that when s. 16(3) talks of such
individual" in sub-cls. (ii) and (iv) of cl. (a) thereof it refers to both a
male and a female of the species so as to include within its compass not only a
father of the minor child but also a mother.
The assessees, on the other hand, contend that the word " individual " used in
s. 16(3) is not used in its generic sense but is used in a restricted and
narrower sense as connoting only human being and if it is thus restricted there
is ample justification for restricting it still further to the male of the
species when regarded in the context of s. 16(3). Sub-clauses (i) to (iv) of cl.
(a) are specific cases where the income of a wife or a minor child of, such
individual" arising directly or indirectly from the several sources therein
indicated is to be included in computing the total income of the "individual"
for the purpose of assessment and the word could not have been 'Used in a
different sense for the purposes of sub-cls. (i) and (iii) and sub cls. (ii) and
(iv) of cl. (a). The word " such individual " as used in sub-cl. (a) can only
have been used in one sense and one sense only and if that is the sense in which
it could have been used " such individual " should be one who is capable of
having a wife or minor child or both and that individual can only be a male of
the species and not a female.
" In construing any statutory enactment, regard must be had not only to the
words used, but to the history of the Act and the reasons which led to its being
passed. You must look at the mischief which had to be cured as well as at the
Earlier Condition & Mischief
Before the enactment of s. 16 (3) of the Act by the Indian Income-tax
(Amendment) Act, 1937 (IV of 1937), there was no provision at all for the
inclusion of the income of a wife or a minor child in the computation of the
total income of " any individual " for the purpose of assessment. Whatever may
have been the income of a wife from her membership in a firm of which her
husband was a partner or from assets transferred directly or indirectly to her
by her husband otherwise than for adequate consideration or in connection with
an agreement to live apart, her income was not included in the income of her
husband in computing the total income of the husband for the purpose of
Similar was the position in the case of income derived by a minor child from the
admission of the minor to the benefits of partnership in a firm of which "such
individual" was a partner or from assets transferred directly or indirectly to
the minor child, not being a married daughter, by "such individual" otherwise
than for adequate consideration. The income derived by such minor child could
not be added to the income of the father for the purpose of assessment.
The income derived by the wife or minor child could only be included in
computing his or its total income for the purposes of assessment and neither the
husband nor the father could be made liable for income-tax in respect of such
income, whatever may be the reason which actuated them in providing such income
for the wife or the minor child.
The position was pregnant with difficulties for the Revenue
Husbands entering into nominal partnerships with their wives and fathers
admitting their minor children to the benefits of the partnerships of which they
Income Tax Enquiry Report, 1936
This evil was so rampant that the Income Tax Enquiry Report, 1936, recognised
the same and made the following recommendations for remedying the situation
- Wife's Income. Our attention has been drawn to the extent to which taxation is avoided by nominal partnerships between husband and wife and minor children. In some parts of the country, avoidance of taxation by this means has attained very serious dimensions.
- We recommend, therefore, that the incomes of a wife should be deemed to be, for income tax purposes, the income of her husband,
- Income of Minor Children. There is also a growing and serious tendency to avoid taxation by the admission of minor children to the benefits of partnership in the father's business.
We suggest that the income of a minor should be deemed to be the income of the
These recommendations were duly considered by the Government and as a result
thereof Act IV of 1937 was enacted introducing a. 16(3) in the Act.
Mischief was sought to be remedied by the enactment of s. 16(3) in the Act. If
this background of the enactment of s. 16(3) is borne in mind, there is no room
for any doubt that howsoever that mischief was sought to be remedied by the
amending Act, the only intention of the Legislature in doing so was to include
the income derived by the wife or a minor child, in the computation of the total
income of the male assessee, the husband or the father, as the case may be, for
the purpose of assessment.
The words" any individual" and "such individual" occurring in s. 16(3) and s.
16(3)(a) of the Act are restricted in their connotation to mean only the male of
the species, and do not include the female of the species, even though by a
disjunctive reading of the expression "the wife" or "a minor child" of "such
individual" in s. 16(3)(a) and the expression "by such individual" for the
benefit of his wife or a minor child or both" in s. 16(3)(b), it may be possible
in the particular instances of the mothers being connected with the minor
children in the manner suggested by the Revenue to include the mothers also
within the connotation of these words.
Such inclusion which involves different interpretations of the words "any
individual" or "such individual" in the different contexts could never have been
intended by the Legislature and would in any event involve the addition of the
words "as the case may be" which addition is not normally permissible in the
interpretation of a statute.
Bengal Immunity Co Ltd vs State of Bihar
The appellant company is an incorporated company carrying on the business of
manufacturing and selling various sera, vaccines, biological products and
medicines. Its registered head officeis at Calcutta and its laboratory and
factory are at Baranagarin the district of 24 - Perganas in West Bengal. It is
registered as a dealer under the Bengal Finance (Sales Tax) Act and its
registered number is S.L. 683A. Its products have extensive sales throughout the
Union of India and abroad.
The goods are dispatched from Calcutta by rail, steamer or air against orders
accepted by the appellant company in Calcutta. The appellant company has neither
any agent or manager in Bihar nor any office, godown or laboratory in that
State. On the24th October, 1951 the Assistant Superintendent of Commercial
Taxes, Bihar wrote a letter to the appellant company which concluded as follows:
�Necessary action may therefore be taken to get your firmregistered under the
Bihar Sales Tax Act. Steps may kindly be taken to deposit Bihar Sales Tax dues
in any Bihar Treasury atan early date under intimation to this Department�.
The principal question is whether the tax threatened to be levied on the
sales made by the appellant company and implemented by delivery in the
circumstances and manner mentioned in its petition is leviable by the State of
Bihar. The legal- capacity of the State of Bihar to tax these sales is
questioned on the following grounds, namely:-
- That the sales sought to be taxed having taken place in the course of inter-State trade or commerce and Parliament not having by law provided otherwise, all States are debarred from imposing tax on such sales by reason of article 286(2);
- That even if the ban under article 286(2) did not apply, the State of Bihar is not competent to impose tax on such sales on a correct reading of article 246(3) read with Entry 54 of List II in the Seventh Schedule and article 286(1);
- That the Bihar Sales Tax Act, 1947 can have no extra-territorial operation and cannot, therefore, impose tax on such sales by a non-resident seller;
- That on a true construction of the Act itself, it does not apply to the sales sought to be taxed.
The reason for issuing this notice, as recited therein, was that on information
which had come to his possession the Superintendent was satisfied that the
appellant company was liable to pay tax but had nevertheless wilfully failed to
apply for registration under the Act.
The contention of the appellant company is that the Act which authorises the
assessment, levying and collection of sales tax on inter- State trade
contravenes and constitutes an infringement of article 286 and is, therefore,
ultra vires, void and unenforceable. If, therefore, this contention be well
founded, the remedy by way of a writ must, on principle and authority, be
available to the party aggrieved.
In view of the importance of the issues involved in this appeal the States of
Madras, Uttar Pradesh) Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Punjab, Pepsu,
Mysore, Travancore- Cochin and Rajasthan applied for. and obtained leave to
intervene in this appeal. Similar leave was applied for by and was granted to
Tata Iron and Steel Company Ltd., and one M. K. Kuriakose. The State of West
Bengal, Tata Iron & Steel Company Ltd., and M. K. Kuriakose have supported the
appellant company while the rest of the interveners have opposed the appeal.
Before the High Court the question of maintainability of the. petition was
raised by the respondents as a preliminary objection and it was answered in
their favour by the High Court. In its judgment the High Court noticed that
facts bad not been investigated nor had the liability of the appellant company
been determined and that in fact no order of assessment had been made.
It pointed out that it was not a case for the Sales Tax Officer usurping a
jurisdiction not vested in him by law or acting in excess of his jurisdiction or
acting mala fide. The High Court took the view that the Act undoubtedly
conferred jurisdiction on the Sales Tax Officer to investigate the question of
liability of a dealer to Sales Tax under the Act and accordingly he was acting
well within his jurisdiction in issuing the impugned notice.
If on assessment the Sales Tax Officer erroneously holds the appellant liable to
any tax, the Act provides for rectifying that error by appeal or revision under
sections 24 and 25 of the Act. According to the High Court such a decision,
however erroneous, will, nevertheless, be a decision within the ambit of his
jurisdiction and the High Court cannot interfere with it by a writ of
prohibition or certiorari to quash. The High Court accordingly held that the
petition was not maintainable and was liable to be dismissed.
In the Impugned Act there are various provisions laying down conditions which
dealers must comply with or submit to, namely, to give only a few instances,
compulsory registration of dealers (Section 10), filing of returns (Section 12),
attendance and production of evidence in support of the return (Section 13),
production, inspection and seizure of books of account or documents and search
of premises (Section 17). Section 26 prescribes penalties for contravention of
the provisions of the Act. These and other like provisions in the Act
undoubtedly constitute restrictions on the fundamental right to carry on
business which is guaranteed to every citizen of India by article 19(1)(g) of
It appears that this rule is equally applicable to the construction of article
286 of our Constitution. In order to properly interpret the provisions of that
article it is, therefore, necessary to consider how the matter stood immediately
before the Constitution came into force, what the mischief was for which the old
law did not provide and the remedy which has been provided by the Constitution
to cure that mischief.
Earlier Law -
The position with respect to taxation on sales or purchases
of goods that prevailed in the country had better be stated in the language of
Patanjali Sastri, C. J. who delivered the majority judgment in The State of
Bombay v. The United Motors (India) Ltd. (supra). After expressing the view,
based on the authority of the Walk" Brothers' Case, 1948 F.C.R. 1 that in the
case of sales tax, it was not necessary that the sale should take place within
the territorial limits of the State in the sense that all the ingredients of a
sale, like the agreement to sell, the passing of title, delivery of the goods,
etc., should have a territorial connection with the State and that, broadly
speaking, local activities of buying and selling carried on in the State in
relation to local goods would be a sufficient basis to sustain the taxing power
of the State, provided of course that such activities ultimately resulted in a
concluded sale to be taxed.
Chaos and confusion that was brought about in inter- State
trade or commerce by indiscriminate exercise of taxing power by the different
Provincial Legislatures founded on the theory of territorial nexus between the
respective Provinces and the sales or purchases sought to be taxed
to cure this mischief of multiple taxation and to preserve the
free flow of inter-State trade or commerce in the Union of India regarded as one
economic unit without any provincial barrier that the Constitution makers
adopted article 286 in the Constitution which runs as follows�
- No law of a State shall impose, or authorise the imposition of, a tax on
the sale or purchase of goods where such sale or purchase takes place (a)
outside the State; or (b) in the course of the import of the goods into, or
export of the goods out of, the territory of India. Explanation. -For the
purposes of sub-clause (a), a sale or purchase shall be deemed to have taken
place in the State in which the goods have actually been delivered as a
direct result of such sale or purchase for the purpose of consumption in
that State, notwithstanding the fact that 2under the general law relating to
sale of goods the property in the goods has by reason of such sale or
purchase passed in another State.
- Except in so far as Parliament may by law otherwise provide, no law of a
State shall impose, or authorise the imposition of, a tax on the sale or
purchase of any goods where such sale or purchase -takes place in the course
of inter-State trade or commerce:
Provided that the President may by order direct that any tax on the sale or
purchase of goods which as being lawfully levied by the Government of any
St-ate immediately before the commencement of this Constitution shall,
notwithstanding that the imposition of such tax is contrary to the
provisions of this clause, continue to be levied until the thirty-first day
of March, 1951.
- No law made by the Legislature of a State imposing, or authorising the
imposition of, a tax. On the sale or purchase of any such goods as have been
declared by Parliament by law to be essential for the life of the community
shall have effect unless it has been reserved for the consideration of the
President and has received his assent".
No law of a State shall impose or authorise the imposition of a tax on the
sale or purchase of goods where such sale or purchase takes place, (a) outside
the State or (b) in the course of import or export or (c) except in so far as
Parliament otherwise provides, in the course of inter-State trade or commerce
and lastly (d) that no law made by the Legislature of a State imposing or
authorising the imposition of a tax on the sale or purchase of any such goods as
have been declared by Parliament by law to be essential for the life of the
community shall have effect unless it has been reserved for the consideration of
the President and has received his assent.
The appeal is allowed and an order shall be issued directing
that, until Parliament by law provides otherwise, the State of Bihar do forbear
and abstain from imposing Sales Tax on out-of State dealers in respect of sales
or purchases that have taken place in the course of inter- State trade or
commerce even though the goods have been delivered as a direct result of such
sales or purchases for consumption in Bihar.
Smith v/s Hughes
Is the term " streets" was included in section 1(1) of Street Offences Act, 1959
Is soliciting from the balconies of the houses of the common prostitutes
amounted to an offence under section 1(1) of Street Offences Act,
Section 1 (1) of the Street Offenses Act, 1959
"it shall be an offence for a common prostitute to loiter or solicit in a street
or public place for the purpose of prostitution"
It was argued, with other arguments, that the soliciting was done "in a street"
so it comes under the gambit of section 1(1)
Defendant argued, with other arguments, that the balcony is not "in a street" as
under section 1 (1) of the Street Offences Act, 1959, it does not come under the
gambit of section 1(1).
On analysing Section 1(1) of Street Offenses Act, 1959, it is analysed that this
act was implemented to stop the crime against men passing of the street so that
they can walk around the town without being disturbed or harassed or approached
by common prostitutes of UK. If we interpreted to meaning soliciting from
streets and only streets then the intention of legislature and the purpose of
this act is lost.
In this case it is clear that no literal interpretation is done by the judges of
Section 1(1) of Street Offenses Act, 1959, but in a way to give more wider
approach, meaning and effect to it and convicting the defendants for the offence
of soliciting. If it is to be interpreted in its literal sense then as stated by
Hilbery J, by applying the mischief it does not really matter if the prostitute
is soliciting on the street, at a doorway, on a balcony, or at a window, or
whether the window is closed, open, or partially open; in each scenario, her
intent to solicit is directed towards a person walking down the street.
Written By: Akshat Bhararia,
a Seventh Semester student of College