1. As regards the preliminary objection that we have no power to revise the order in question we are of opinion that Section 15 of the Charter Act is sufficiently wide to cover a case of this nature see Somasundara Chettyar v. Manikka Vasaka Desika Gnana Sambanda Pandara Sannadhi I.L.R. (1907) M. 40 and Veerabhadra Chetty v. Nataraja Desikar I.L.R. (1904) M. 28 though it may be doubted whether the words of Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code of 1908 were intended to apply to interlocutory orders. It is not, however, necessary to decide the latter question.
2. On the merits we think there can be very little doubt that by the words 'production * * is not in the interests of the public service' in the letter of the Engineer to the District Munsif, it was intended to convey that in the opinion of the Engineer the production of the documents would be detrimental to the interests of the public service within the meaning of Section 124 of the Evidence Act under which the privilege was claimed. It is also contended that the District Munsif's finding that the communication in question was made in official confidence is not based on sufficient data and that he was wrong in not inspecting the documents.
3. We are unable to say upon the materials placed before us and in the exercise of our powers of revision that the District Munsif was wrong in the circumstances of the case in saying that the communication in question, being from a subordinate officer, was prima facie of a confidential nature. The petitioner, it must be noticed, did not ask the District Munsif to take any evidence on the point. As regards the refusal of the District Munsif to inspect the documents, Section 162 of the Evidence Act leaves the matter to the court's discretion, and we are not in a position to hold that the discretion has not been properly exercised in this case. This petition is dismissed with costs.