Abdur Rahim, J.
1. In this case the conviction is attacked on the ground, that the complaint in respect of the offence which consisted in a breach of the District Municipalities Act (Mad. Act IV of 1884) was not made by one of the persons referred to in Section 280 of that Act, That section says: "No person shall be tried for any offense against the provisions of this Act.... except upon complaint made by the Police, or by the Municipal Council or by the Chairman, or by a person expressly authorised in this behalf by the Municipal Council, or the Chairman." Mr. V.P. Row was the Ex Office Chairman of the Municipality of Tiruppathur and he, by an order, Exhibit D. dated 30th January 1919, authorised, under Section 32, Sub-section (4), of the Act. Mr. A.N. Ardbanari Aiyar, a Municipal Councilors, to exercise all the powers conferred, and to perform all the duties imposed, on the Chairman by the said Act, with the exception of signing checkups and incurring expenditure, in anticipation of Council's sanction. It is the Councillor, Mr. Ardhanari Aiyar, that made the complaint in respect of the offense charged against the petitioners.
2. It was argued that, in spite of any general delegation of power under Section 32, Section 280 requires that a person, other than the Chairman, or the Municipal Council or the Police, cold only lodge a complaint if he is specifically authorised to do so in that particular matter, and that Mr. Ardhanari Aiyar not being a person so expressly authorised was not entitled to instituted a proceeding, which led to conviction of the petitioners. The argument has certain plausibility about it; but the answer is really quite plain. The Chairman undoubtedly could make a complaint by the express words of Section 230. That being to, the person whom the Chairman lawfully authorised under Section 32 to exercise his powers, including the power to lodge a complaint, would also, be entitled to exercise that power, so long as the authorisation lasts. I may mention that I was at first inclined to think that there was some substance in the objection of petitioner; but our further consideration I am persuaded that two objection is without any force. The petition is, therefore, dismissed.
3. The petitioners in this case were convicted of an offences under Section 189, District Municipalities Act (Mad. Act IV of 1884) and their convection confirmed on appeal. We are asked to sat it aside on the total ground that the case was not instituted as required by Section 280 of the Act, which runs as follows:
So person shall be triad for any offence against the provisions of this Act, or of any bye-law made under Section 155 except upon a complaint made by the Police, or by the Municipal Council or by the Chairman, or by a person expressly authorised in this behalf by the Municipal Council, or the Chairman.
4. The case was admittedly instituted not by the Chairman, but by the Chairman delegate vide definition in Section 32(4) of the Act. The delegation in Exhibit D It authoresses the Chairman delegate to exercise all the powers conferred and to perform all the duties imposed, on the Chairman by the District Municipalities Act, with the exception of signing cheques and incurring expenditure, in anticipation of Council's sanction, On the face of it, therefore, the delegation would seem to include the power of instituting a case on complaint under Section 280.
5. It is, however, contended that this is not enough and that Section 280 requires an express authorisation in this behalf. In my opinion, the words by a person expressly authorised in this behalf by the Municipal Council or the Chairman," refer to an authorisation to prefer a specific complaint not to the general power of completing, They are intended to obviate the necessity for the complaining Council or Chairman, as the case may be, of having to attend personally to make the complaint in the Magistrate's Court. This appears to be the interpretation put upon them by Sadasiva Aiyar and Oders, JJ., in a recent case reported as Kaliaperumal Naidu v. Emperor 55 Ind. Cas. 599 : 11 L.W. 120 : 21 Cr. L.J. 327, J see no ground for holding that the delegation of the power of Complaining by a Chairman to a Chairman delegate need be in a particular form; or that by reason of the words in question Exhibit D, is in operative in this respect.
6. The other contention is that the term Chairman in Section 280 does not include Chairman delegate.
7. The word Chairman is not among the definitions in the Act and it is curious that, although Section 32 defines Chairman delegate, the latter phrase if, as far as I can see, used in no subsequent sections. In numerous sections the Chairman is invested with certain powers or charged with certain duties without any reference to a Chairman delegate. I may instance Section 30 which deals with the duty of presiding at meetings. Section 102 which gives a Chairman power over the Municipal Staff. Section 102 which relates to the Collection on taxes. Section 147 et teq regarding water supply, and Section 183 which gives emergency power in case of dangerous buildings. Unless it be conceded that the term Chairman in those sections includes a Chairman delegate (provided the latter's order of delegation covered the matters referred to), it would seem to follow that none of these powers could be exercised by a Chairman delegate. The delegation of a Chairman's powers may last as long as three month; but even in much shorter periods a Chairman delegate's inability to exercise some of these powers might be disastrous. In fast, unless the effect of delegation be to clothe the Chairman delegate with all the powers of a Chairman, so far as the delegation order extend the delegation is meaningless.
8. If the word Chairman, in the section I have referred to, includes a Chairman delegate, I fail to see why it should not be so in Section
280. The object of that section is simply to prevent prosecutions for offenses under the Act being instituted by private persons and I tee no reason why the legislature should have intended that in this special particular a Chairman delegate should be placed in the position of importance.
9. Section 32(4) empowers the Chairman, with the previous permission of the Council, to delegate to a Councillor any of his powers or duties and it appears to me that the effect of delegation is to place a Chairman delegate, so far as the delegated powers extend, in precisely the same position as a Chairman subject to the three provisos contained in the clause, none of which affects the present of use. It seems to me that the tern Chairman in Section 280 includes 'Chairman delegate' (if the delegation under Section 34 is wide enough), and that the, present prosecution was properly instituted.
10. I would dismiss the petition.