1. This is an application for the transfer of a criminal case from the Court of a Magistrate in the Naini Tal District. The case arose out of a complaint that the accused persons had entered the complainant's house and used violence towards her. One of the persons accused was discharged by another Magistrate, and after that there was an application in revision against the order of discharge and an application for the transfer of the case. The application for revision was rejected, but the application for transfer was allowed because the Magistrate had discussed the evidence for the prosecution in his order of discharge and it was supposed that he might be considered to have formed some final opinion about its value so as to prejudice him in deciding the case of those accused who were still being tried. The case was delayed when it came to the Court which is now trying it because proceedings were stayed till orders were received upon the application for revision. The case came on for hearing early in May. The Magistrate was not able to devote more than an hour or so to the case every day, but he was very anxious to get it finished within a period of six weeks from its institution, that is, within a period of six weeks from 7th April. He had suggested that it would be advisable for certain Police Officers to be examined, and on that suggestion counsel for the accused made an application that they should be summoned. The complainant had made some strictures upon the conduct of the police in this matter, and it was urged on her behalf that it was unfair to examine these police witnesses who would in effect be witnesses for the defence. The Magistrate however summoned them. He also said to the complainant that he was determined that the case should be finished within six weeks and he would so finish it in some way or other either by dismissing it for default or discharging the accused or any other way.
2. The complainant then made the present application for the transfer of the case. There were some allegations of partiality against the Magistrate, but those have now been withdrawn in the course of argument, and the only point pressed is that the remark made by the Magistrate justified the complainant in fearing that she would not be given a fair opportunity of producing her evidence and that the accused might be discharged without sufficient cause. It may be that in the circumstances the complainant had some justification for making this application,,. but the question now is whether any advantage can be gained for either party by transferring the case to some other Court. It is not suggested now that the Magistrate is not quite impartial or that he is prejudiced in any way about the merits of the case. It may be that he was unduly anxious in the month of May to finish the case within the prescribed period. It is a salutary rule no doubt that Magistrates should ordinarily finish cases within six weeks and that they should submit explanations of delay if any case lasts longer than that period; but the rule should not be allowed to interfere with the course of justice or with a fair decision of any case. However that may be, there is no reason to suppose that the applicant will now have any apprehension about this matter. The case has already lasted for very much longer than six weeks and nobody, I am sure, can blame the Magistrate for the delay, nor do I think that it matters very much whether the case is finished within a particular time or not. On the whole less time is wasted if Magistrates act strictly according to the letter and the spirit of the law without making any special efforts to expedite cases by using, extraordinary means.
3. I am sure that the Magistrate now will give the complainant every opportunity to produce her evidence and therefore there is no reason for transferring the case from his Court. It has been urged before me that the complainant is entitled to a transfer because she justly felt that she was prejudiced by the remarks made by the Magistrate. I do not go so far as to say that a complainant has no rights whatever in a criminal matter, but it is a common mistake to suppose that criminal oases based upon complaints are in the nature of private suits between private parties. They are nothing of the sort and consequently too much cannot be made of the alleged rights of a complainant. If a complainant is really anxious to get; compensation for some private wrong, his proper procedure is to file a suit in the civil Court for damages. It can hardly be said that a private complainant is wronged if an accused person is discharged or acquitted. Any personal rights that the complainant may have can be vindicated in other tribunals. I reject this application for transfer.