Pandrang Row, J.
1. This is a case in which the petitioners who are dhobies by occupation have been convicted of criminal trespass and sentenced to pay a fine of Rs. 5/- each Under Section 447, I.P.C. After a mere perusal of the complaint itself and the sworn deposition, any Magistrate who applied his mind to the provisions of Section 203, Criminal P.C., would certainly have had no difficulty in dismissing the complaint Under Section 203, Criminal P.C., and it would have been his duty to do so.
2. The alleged trespass was on a piece of vacant site and it happened at a time when neither the complainant nor any one on his behalf was in actual possession; the complainant himself was not able to say on what date the alleged trespass took place. The accused were admittedly owners of the adjoining land and undoubtedly there was a dispute about the boundary. The complaint should, as I have already said, have been dismissed in limine Under Section 203, Criminal P.C. Not only was this not done but there was a long and protracted trial of these poor washermen from March 1936 till July 1936, the interval between the closing of the case and the pronouncement of the judgment being nearly two months. The judgment of the Bench Magistrates does not give a single reason in support of their finding that the accused are guilty. They do not state what the evidence is either of the alleged encroachment or trespass or of the intention that lay behind it. The judgment does not fulfil the elementary requirements of the law. Even in cases tried summarily where there is a conviction there must be a brief statement of the reasons for it and there is nothing that is worthy to be called a reason to be found in the judgment in support of the conviction. On the material before me I have no doubt that either the complaint should have been dismissed at the very outset or the Magistrates ought to have acquitted the petitioners and even ordered the complainant to pay compensation for dragging them unnecessarily to a Criminal Court on a false and vexatious complaint, with the object of compelling them to come to terms. This is a case which engenders some doubt as to the desirability of entrusting the disposal of cases coming Under Section 447, I.P.C., to Bench Courts. There seems to be a difficulty felt by Bench Courts in distinguishing between cases of civil trespass and cases of criminal trespass. In this particular case there is no doubt that the conviction of the petitioners was quite wrong on the merits and that the judgment is not according to law.
3. The convictions and the sentences are therefore set aside and the petitioners acquitted. The fines paid by them should be refunded.