Sankaran Nair, J.
1. The Sub-Divisional Magisate of Sattur passed an order requring the petitioners, six in number, to show cause why they should not be made to execute bonds for good behaviour as he had information that each of them 'is so desperate and dangerous as to render his being at large without security hazardous to the community' - see Section no, Clause (f) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
2. After taking evidence he passed bis final order directing them to give security. This is a petition against that order. The main contention is that there is no legal evidence on which the order can be sustained.
3. All the prosecution witnesses except the first two and the fourth give evidence of accused being habitual offenders by repute-The first two speak to an assault by some of the accused for which there were tried and acquitted The fourth witness speaks to another assault, but the Magistrate thinks, and I agree with him, that he cannot be believed without corroboration which is not forthcoming.
4. The only remaining evidence is of general repute and hearsay, and such evidence is only admissible under Section 117 to prove that a person is a habitual offender under Section no, but not to prove a charge under Section no, Clause (f) of being a desperate and dangerous character. See Emperor v. Bidhyapathi I. L. R. (1903) A. 273 where the question is discussed with reference to Section 107; see also Kalai Haldar v. Emperor I. L. R. (1904) C. 779. The ruling in Kalai Haldar v. Emperor I. L. R. (1904) C. 779 bas not been in any way shaken but is followed in Wahid Ali Khan v. Emperor 11 C.W.N. 789.
5. It is argued by the Public Prosecutor that though evidence of general repute is not admissible to prove a charge under Section no Clause (f) it is admissible to prove that a person is a habitual offender under Section 117 and the fact so proved is evidence which the Magistrate may consider to prove a charge under Clause (f) and he relies upon Parasulla v. the King-Emperor (1909) 13 C.W.N. 244 where a person was charged under both Clauses (a) and (f).
6. Whether, where a person is tried jointly for charges under Clause (f) and under any other clause, a finding that he is an habitual offender under the other clause may be taken into consideration when deciding the charge under Clause (f), it is unnecessary to consider, and probably it will not be of any practical use to consider that question, as in that case an order could be passed without reference to Clause (f). But lam clearly of opinion where a person is solely charged under Clause (f) evidence of general repute is not admissible, as a provision of law which is an exception to the general rules of evidence must be only applied to cases to which it is confined by the Legislature. Excluding such evidence, there is none to support the order appealed against and it is accordingly set aside.