1. We are unable to agree with the Magistrate that the accused in this case was justified in refusing to allow the 1st prosecution witness to leave the depot without the permission of Messrs. Binny & Co. No doubt the story told by the 1st prosecution witness as to the circumstances under which he went to the depot in the evening and remained there until nearly noon on the next day is one that cannot be believed.
2. We think that he either was, or pretended to be, an intending emigrant, and went to the depot and was there treated as such, receiving meals and an advance of money. But these facts did not confer on Messers. Binny & Co., or their watchman, the accused, any power to prevent him from leaving the depot when he desired to do so. The accused was therefore guilty of wrongful restraint, but under extenuating circumstances as he, no doubt, thought he was justified by the orders of Messrs. Binny & Co., in refusing to let the 1st prosecution witness leave without the firm's permission.
3. The Crown Prosecutor, on behalf of Government, stages that he does not press for anything more than a correction of the erroneous decision of the Magistrate as to the powers of restraint exercisable by Messrs. Binny & Co., and their agent, the accused.
4. In all these circumstances the case is one that calls for only a nominal sentence. We set aside the acquittal and convict the accused, Shaik Ahmed, of an offence punishable under Section 341 of the Indian Penal Code, and sentence him to pay a fine of one Rupee or, in default, to suffer one week's simple imprisonment.