R.L. Narasimham, C.J.
1. This is a revision petition against an interlocutory order dated 1-5-1963 passed by the Subdivisional Magistrate of Khurda in a case under Sees, 426, 379 and 447 I. P. C. pending in his file.
2. On 12-3-1963 the learned Magistrate framed charges against the accused persons and some other persons and then adjourned the case for cross-examination to 1-5-1903, writing in the order sheet.
Complainant take steps to produce witnesses for cross-examination (after charge) on 1-5-63.
As early as 28-1-1963 the prosecution witnesses had been examined in chief. Then on 1-5-1963 the complainant being unable to bring his witnesses asked. for time. The learned Magistrate refused to grant him time and expunged the evidence of those wit-nesses, namely Jagannath Mohapatra, Narendranath Mohanty, Satrughna Singh and Golakh Sethi. His efforts to dispose of the case were however not successful because when the complainant was being cross-examined he fell down due to hysterical fits, and the case had to be adjourned to 22-5-1963.
3. Though speedy disposal of criminal cases is undoubtedly very desirable, it should not be done at the cost of justice, and the prosecution should be given a fair opportunity to prove its case and the accused also should get fair opportunity to defend himself according to law. It has been repeatedly laid down by this Court see Bharata Rona v. Rama Nahak 26 Cut LT 525 : AIR 1960 Orissa 135 that once a charge is framed it is the lookout of the Court to see that the prosecution witnesses are produced for the cross-examination on the next adjourned date and that, for that purpose, it is desirable to take a P. R. bond from each witness so as to ensure his prompt attendance on the date fixed. If, however the complainant himself undertakes to produce his witnesses on the dates fixed there may not be any necessity to take such P. B. bonds. But in that decision I also observed that the Magistrate should expressly question the complainant on the point and note in the order-sheet whether the complainant undertakes to produce his witnesses on the next dates.
I find that this direction has not been complied with by the Magistrate in this case. When the prosecution witnesses were examined in chief on 28-1-1963 no reason was given for not taking the P. R. bonds from them. The Magistrate only adjourned the case to 19-2-1963 for framing charge. In a simple case of this type adjournments should not have been granted merely for the purpose of framing charge. Again on 19-2-1963 he adjourned the case to 12-3-1963 for the same reason. These adjournments could have been avoided. Having thus himself delayed the hearing of the case for nearly three months, the Magistrate on 1-5-1963 suddenly became strict and expunged the evidence of the witnesses who had been produced by the complainant for the purpose of cross-examination. There is no note in his order sheet dated 12-3-1963 to show that the complainant undertook to produce his witnesses on the next date for the purpose of examination. A mere direction by the Magistrate to that effect will not suffice, in view of the decision of this Court cited above.
4. I would therefore set aside the order of the Sub-divisional Magistrate, Khurda, dated 1-6-68 expunging the evidence of prosecution witnesses Jagannath Mohapatra, Narendranath Mohanty, Satrughna Singh and Golak Sethi, and direct the Magistrate to summon them and to use the coercive processes permitted by the law to secure their presence for the purpose of cross-examination on a date to be fixed by him, After such cross-examination is over, the case may be disposed of according to law.