The Howrah Offences Act, 1857
Act 21 of 1857
[10th July 1857.]
An Act to make better provision for the order and good government [* * *] of the station of Howrah.
Whereas Acts have been passed for regulating the police and for the conservancy and improvement of the town of Calcutta and of the other presidency-towns; and whereas large portions of [* * *] the station of Howrah are not less populous than parts of the said town, and it will conduce to the order and good government of the said [* * * *] station that some of the provisions of the said Acts, with certain necessary modifications, should be extended to the said [* * *] station; It is enacted as follows :-
1. Cases under this Act by whom to be tried. - Whoever is charged with having committed any of the offences mentioned in this Act, within the limits of the said [* * * *] station, as described in the schedule hereunto annexed, may be tried for any such offence by the Magistrate within whose jurisdiction the offence is alleged to have been committed;
and, on conviction, may be sentenced by such Magistrate to the punishment hereinafter prescribed for the offence.
2. Possession of stolen property by one who fails to account satisfactorily for the possession. Power to summon persons declared to have had possession of stolen property within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate. Penalty if such possession fraudulent. - Clause 1. - Whoever has in his possession, or conveys in any manner, anything which may be reasonably suspected of being stolen or fraudulently obtained, shall, if he fail to account satisfactorily how he came by the same, be liable to a penalty not exceeding one hundred rupees, or to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding three months.
Clause 2. - If any person, charged with having or conveying anything stolen or fraudulently obtained, shall declare that he received the same from some other person, or that he was employed as a carrier, agent or servant to convey the same for some other person,
the Magistrate may cause every such other person, and also, if necessary, every former or pretended purchaser or other person through whose possession the same shall have passed (provided that such other person shall be alleged to have had possession of the same within the jurisdiction of such Magistrate) to be brought before him and examined, and shall examine witnesses touching the same;
and if it appear to such Magistrate that any person so brought before him had possession of such thing, and had reasonable cause to believe the same to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained, such person shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding one hundred rupees, or to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding three months.
3. Apprehension and punishment of reputed thieves, etc. - Any person found, between sunset and sunrise, armed with any dangerous or offensive instrument whatsoever, with intent to commit any offence against the person or property of another;
any reputed thief found, between sunset and sunrise, on board any vessel or boat, or lying or loitering in any bazar, street, road, yard, thoroughfare or other place, who shall not give a satisfactory account of himself;
any person found, between sunset and sunrise, having his face covered or otherwise disguised, with intent to commit any such offence as aforesaid;
any person found, between sunset and sunrise, in any dwelling-house or other building whatsoever, without being able satisfactorily to account for his presence therein;
and any person having in his possession, without lawful excuse (the proof of which excuse shall be on such person), any implement of house-breaking,
shall be liable to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding three months;
and any such person may be taken into custody by any police-officer without a warrant.
4 to 6. Penalty for carrying arms without authority; order for maintenance of wives or children; penalty for harbouring deserters from merchant-vessels. - Repealed by Bengal Act 3 of 1884.
7. Brothels. - On the complaint of three or more householders that a house in their immediate neighbourhood is used as a common brothel or lodging-house for prostitutes or disorderly persons of any description, to the annoyance of the respectable inhabitants of the vicinity, the Magistrate may summon the owner or tenant of the house to answer the complaint;
and on being satisfied that the house is so used, and is therefore a source of annoyance and offence to the neighbours, may order the owner or tenant to discontinue such use of it;
and, if he shall fail to comply with such order within five days, may impose upon him a fine to the extent of twenty-five rupees for every day thereafter that the house shall be so used.
8, 9. Licenses for retail sale of spirituous or fermented liquors. - Repealed by Bengal Act of 1884.
10. Penalty for owning or keeping, or having charge of a gaming-house, etc. - Repealed by W.B. Act 32 of 1957.
11. Penalty for being found playing in a gaming-house. - Repealed by W.B. Act 32 1957.
12. Magistrate may authorize certain police-officers to enter a gaming-house for the purpose of search and seizure. - Repealed by W.B. Act 32 of 1957.
13. On conviction for keeping a gaming-house, instruments of gaming to be destroyed, etc. - Repealed by W.B. Act 32 of 1957.
14. Portion of fine may be paid to informer. - Repealed by W.B. Act 32 of 1957.
15. Gambling in the streets. - Repealed by W.B. Act 32 of 1957.
15A. Exemption of games of mere skill. - Repealed by W.B. Act 21 of 1957.
16, 17. Pawnbrokers, etc., to report stolen property, pawnbrokers, etc., when to be deemed receivers of stolen goods. - Repealed by Bengal Act 3 of 1884.
18. Manufacture or possession of gunpowder. - Whoever manufactures gunpowder,
or, without a license form the Magistrate, has in his possession in any house, shop, warehouse or other building, at any one time, a greater quantity of gunpowder than ten pounds,
shall be liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred rupees, and also to forfeit such gunpowder so manufactured or possessed, together with the vessel or receptacle in which it may be contained.
19. Licenses by Magistrate for sale and deposit of gunpowder, etc. - The Magistrate may grant to any person a license of the sale or keeping in deposit of any quantity of gunpowder not exceeding fifty pounds on such conditions, and for such term not exceeding one year, as shall be specified in the license;
and any person who shall be guilty of a breach of any of such conditions shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred rupees, and to forfeit all gunpowder so kept in deposit contrary thereto, and the vessels containing it, and also to forfeit his license.
20. Penalty for drunkenness, or riotous or indecent behaviour in public. - Whoever is found drunk and incapable of taking care of himself or is guilty of any riotous or indecent behaviour in any street or thoroughfare or in any place of public amusement or resort,
and whoever is guilty of violent behaviour in any police-office,
shall be liable to a fine not exceeding twenty rupees, or to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding fourteen days.
21. Penalty for committing nuisance in streets. - Whoever wilfully and indecently exposes his person, or commits a nuisance by easing himself in or by the side of or near to any public street or thoroughfare or place, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding ten rupees, or, in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding fourteen days.
22. Beggars. - Whoever, in any public road, street, thoroughfare or place, begs or applies for alms, or exposes or exhibits any sores, wounds, bodily ailment or deformity with the object of exciting charity or of obtaining alms,
or whoever seeks for or obtains alms by means of any false statement or pretences,
shall be liable to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding one month.
23. Penalty for the offences in public streets, etc. - Whoever, in any public street, road, thoroughfare or place of public resort, commits any of the following offences, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding twenty rupees :-
(i) Whoever drives or rides any animal or drives any vehicle in a manner so rash or negligent as to indicate a want of due regard for the safety of others:
(ii) Whoever negligently lets loose any horse, or suffers to be at large any ferocious dog without a muzzle, or sets on or urges any dog or other animal to attack, worry or put in fear any person, horse or other animal:
(iii) Whoever, being in charge of a cart, carriage or horse, leaves it at such a distance as not to have the same under due control:
(iv) Whoever fastens any animal so as to cause obstruction or danger to passengers:
(v) Whoever cruelly beats, abuses or tortures any animal:
(vi) Whoever sets fire to or burns any straw or other matter, or lights any bonfire, or wantonly discharges any firearm or air-gun, or lets off or throws any firework, or sends up any fire-balloon.
24. Beating drums, tomtoms, etc. - Repealed by Bengal Act 3 of 1884.
25 to 32. Penalty for depositing dirt on street, etc.; allowing sewerage to flow on street; future obstructions in street; taking up pavement; removal of projections from houses; houses projecting to be set back when taken down; power to-trim hedges bordering on roads. - Repealed by Bengal Act 5 of 1876.
33 to 37. Houses in dangerous state; sale of materials of such houses; penalty for not removing filth; filthy houses, etc.; filthy cattle-stalls, etc. - Repealed by Bengal Act 3 of 1884.
38. Licensing of public necessaries. - Repealed by Bengal Act 5 of 1876.
39. Neglecting private drains, etc. - Repealed by Bengal Act 3 of 1884.
40 to 45. Penalty for fouling water; power to fill up unwholesome tanks; power to drain off stagnant pools, penalty for not lighting deposits of building materials or excavations; enclosing of dangerous places; penalty for establishing slaughter-house without license. - Repealed by Bengal Act 5 of 1876.
46. Unclean slaughter-house. - Repealed by Bengal Act 3 of 1884.
47 to 50. Offensive trades; burial and burning grounds; stray dogs. - Repealed by Bengal Act 5 of 1876.
51. Police-officer may arrest without warrant on view of offence. - Any police-officer may arrest without a warrant any person committing in his view any offence against this Act, if the name and address of such person be unknown to him.
52. Police-officer may take into custody, without warrant, persons, charged with aggravated assault recently committed. - Any police-officer may take into custody, without a warrant, any person who is charged with committing an aggravated assault, in every case in which he shall have good reason to believe that such assault has been committed although not in view, and that, by reason of the recent commission of the offence, a warrant could not have been obtained for the apprehension of the offender.
53. Persons taken into custody by a police-officer, without warrant, may be detained in police-office until brought before Magistrate or bailed. - Every person taken into custody without a warrant by a police-officer under this Act shall be taken to the nearest police-office, in order that such person may be detained until he can be brought before the Magistrate, or until he shall enter into recognizances, with or without sureties for his appearance before the Magistrate.
Any person so detained and not entering into recognizances shall be carried before the Magistrate within twenty-four hours from the time of his being taken into custody.
54. Procedure on information or complaint laid before the Magistrate of an offence against this Act. - Upon any information or complaint laid before the Magistrate of any offence committed against this Act, the Magistrate may summon the person charged to appear at a time to be mentioned in the summons, or, if he sees sufficient cause for so doing, may issue a warrant for his apprehension.
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In all cases of offences punishable with fine only, if after due service of summons the person charged shall not appear in pursuance thereof, the Magistrate, at his discretion, may hear and determine the case in his absence.
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55. Recovery of costs or expenses. - Repealed by Act 1 of 1903.
56. Jurisdiction. - Any Joint Magistrate or Deputy Magistrate duly authorized to exercise the powers of a Magistrate, and any Assistant vested with special powers may, in cases referred to him by the Magistrate, exercise all the powers vested in a Magistrate by this Act.
57. Application of fines. - Omitted by the Government of India (Adaptation of Indian Laws) Order, 1937.
58. Supersession of Act 21 of 1841. - Repealed by Act 12 of 1891.
59. Interpretation. - Repealed by W.B. Act 32 of 1957.
Of places included in the [* * * * *] Station of Howrah
[* * * * * *]
Station Of Howrah.
Chandmari (with Tandel Bagan).
South Betra Ichapur.
Khurat (with Kasaondiya).
Guddr Hat (with Kinkar Chatterjea's Hat).
Sibpur (with Baji Sibpur, Majerhat, Bharpara, Bhattatala, Sriharinaupara, Bishop's College and Company's Botanical Garden).
Bandaghat, (with Haraganj and Banurjyapara).
Ghoosery (with Bhat Bagan).
Belgachhiya (with Paikan Belgachhiya).
Chaurasta (with Dharmtala, Goghata and Babudanga).
Golabari (with Fillkhana).