1. This is an appeal from an order of Coutts Trotter, J., directing the third defendant to be committed for contempt for disobeying four orders of the Official Referee to produce certain documents alleged to be in his possession. The account books in question were admitted by the 3rd defendant in his affidavit of documents to be then in his possession. He was in charge of the Bezwada branch of the suit business, and the accounts which were the accounts of the branch were kept there. They had been sent to Madras for the purpose of an arbitration in the present suit and then taken back to Bezwada, and the correspondence shows that they were again sent to Madras in connection with the arbitration in February 1913. The arbitration fell through, as appears from a summons taken out on 3rd March, 191.7 relating to the further prosecution of the suit. There is evidence that the books in question were sent back to Bezwada on the 6th of March, where it appears they were wanted for the purpose of making up accounts with the Bombay branch of the business. Read with this evidence Ex. XXXV dated 20-5-17 clearly establishes in our opinion that the missing books were then at Bezwada, as it would have been impossible to make up the accounts for the successive years 1911, 1912, 1913 and 1914 without them, and we cannot accept the 3rd defendant's story that these accounts were written up in Bezwada from materials obtained from the books in Madras. The 3rd defendant was in possession of the books in May and should have produced them with the rest of the books produced by him at the beginning of August. He has neither produced them nor given any satisfactory account of what has become of them, and we are unable to interfere with the finding of Coutts Trotter, J., that he has been guilty of wilful disobedience to the order of the Official Referee, and has rendered himself liable to commitment for contempt under Rule 119 of the Original Side Rules. The fact that the order for production was made by the Official Referee to whom the case had been referred makes no difference. Dharandhar Das Sakha Ram v. Bhan Govind (1873) 10 Bom H.C.R. The order, as drawn up, contains this 'until such time as he shall comply in all respects with the said orders of the Official Referee and purge himself of the said contempt.' It is not clear whether at the date of the application for committal the missing books were in his possession or that of the 1st defendant who has now fallen out with him, and in these circumstances we modify the order by substituting for the words ' until such time as he shall ' the words 'for a term of three months from the date of his arrest unless he shall at any time before the expiration of the said term,' a form of order approved in Exparte. Fernandez (1861) 10 C.B. 3; and by Matthew, J., in In re Maria Annie Davies (1888) 21 Q. B. D. 236. Otherwise the appeal is dismissed with costs of plaintiff.
2. Memo of objections dismissed with costs payable by plaintiff.