1. This case has been decided by the Police Patil on the special oath of the complainant. The special oath was offered to the complainant at the instance of the accused and the decision is based on that oath. It has been held by this Court in Queen Empress v. Murarji Gokuldas I.L.R (1888) 13 Bom. 389 that Sections 9 to 11 of the Indian Oaths Act are not intended to apply to criminal proceedings. It is clear that the provision of the Indian Oaths Act relating to the special oaths cannot properly apply to criminal proceedings. Section 11 of the Act provides that the evidence given on special oath as against the person, who offered to be bound by it is con-elusive proof of the matter stated. It seems to me that in criminal matters the truth has to be ascertained by the Court; and the matter stated on special oath cannot be and ought not to be accepted as conclusively proved by such an oath in a criminal proceeding. The scheme of these sections shows that they are not intended to apply to criminal proceedings.
2. It is urged, however, on behalf of the Crown that though that view may be right with reference to the criminal proceedings generally it does not apply to proceedings before the Police Patil under the Village Police Act (VIII of 1867). It seems to me that the proceedings before the Police Patil under Sections 14 and 15 are essentially criminal proceedings; and the same rule which applies to criminal proceedings ought to apply on general grounds to proceedings before the Village Patil so far as the effect of any special oath is concerned.
3. Generally speaking, we are very slow to interfere with any decision of a Police Patil. But having regard to the nature of the error in this case, I am of opinion that it would not be right to allow the decision to stand.
4. I would, therefore, make the rule absolute and set aside the conviction and sentence.
5. I agree. The case was not properly tried. The provisions of Sections 9 to 11 of the Indian Oaths Act, 1873, have in their nature no application to criminal proceedings, as indicated in the case of Queen-empress v. Murarji GokuldasI.L.R (1888) Bom. 389.