1. It is argued on the authority of the decision of Ayling J. in Criminal Revision Case No. 328 of 1922 that the District Magistrate had no power to stay the trial of a Criminal Case in the Court of a Subordinate Magistrate in his District.
2. It is undeniable that the High Court is under the Government of India Act invested with powers of superintendence over all the Courts of justice in the Presidency and it has been held in Anna Ayyar v. Emperor I.L.R. (1906) Mad. 226, that those powers include a power to direct 'the stay of proceedings in such Courts.
3. Section 17 of the Code of Criminal Procedure which declares all Magistrates and Benches of Magistrates in any District to be Subordinate to the District Magistrate of that District who is invested with powers to make rules and give special orders and Rule 122 of the Criminal Rules of Practice, which treats of his powers of supervision over their Magisterial work, suggest that a District Magistrate has wide powers of superintendence over his subordinate Magistrates which might be considered to justify special directions being issued by him to stop or go on with particular proceedings pending before them.
4. I therefore do not wish to rest order on the ground that the District Magistrate's order was entirely without authority but on general reasons of expediency.
5. As pointed out in Raj Kumari Debi v. Bama Sundari Debi 63 I. C. 825. the plaintiff in a Civil suit has command of it and can within certain limits protract its disposal at his pleasure.
6. It is not known when the suit instituted by Respondents will be disposed of and when judgment is given there may be an appeal and even a second appeal. It is undesirable that this complaint of rioting and mischief should remain undisposed of till the Civil Court has pronounced on the question of title, especially when it is realised that the Criminal Court will in any case have to decide questions of possession etc., upon which the judgment of the Civil Court will not operate as resjudicata. The Magistrate will have to decide the question of the Criminality of the acts alleged to have been committed by the accused for himself.
7. I set aside the District Magistrate's order and direct that the Sub. Magistrate of Nanguneri do proceed with the Criminal case pending before him.