1. The petitioner stood bail for a person charged with an offence under Section 395, Indian Penal Code, in the sum of Rs. 6.000. The bond is in form No; 42, which is in accordance with Section 499, Criminal Procedure Code. The bond was taken when the case was committed to the Sessions, and the part of the bond signed by the accused states that he undertook to appear on the 1st November 1917 at the Court of Session at Madura to answer a charge against him. The part which is signed by the petitioner is in these words: 'We jointly and severally hereby declare ourselves and each of us sureties for the said Alagappa Tevan that he shall attend Court every day of the preliminary enquiry, and as the case has been sent for trial to the Sessions Court, Madura, that he shall appear before the said Sessions Court, to answer the charge against him (the words in the printed book 'should the case be sent' being a mistranslation) and in case of his making default therein, we bind ourselves to forfeit to His Majesty the King-Emperor of India the sum of Rs. 1,000.' By some oversight apparently, the words in the form as given in the Code 'that he shall attend Court every day of the preliminary enquiry' were left standing though the case had already been committed. But the next passage makes it clear that the case had been committed to the Sessions Court. The result would be that as the preliminary enquiry was over, the undertaking that the accused shall attend Court during the preliminary enquiry must be treated as surplusage, but the undertaking that the accused shall appear before the Sessions Court to answer the charge against him still remained. The date when the accused was to appear at the Sessions Court is given in that part of the bond which is signed by the accused. The argument before us of the learned Pleader for the petitioner is that we must treat the portion signed by the accused and the portion signed by the petitioner as two separate bonds quite independent of each other, and must be read one without reference to the other. That is not a sound contention. The bond is in accordance with the form given in Section 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code and it is clear that it is to be regarded as one document. That that was the intention of the Legislature is to be gathered from the terms of Section 499, for it speaks only of one bond to be signed by the accused, and if he is released on bail, to be signed by the sureties. No doubt the word is 'and' not 'also,' but the meaning is perfectly plain. That being so, the surety who stands bail must be taken to know the date on which the accused has undertaken to appear, and if the accused does not appear, the surety bond is liable to be forfeited.
2. The case in which the question arises was fixed for trial at the Sessions Court on the 1st November 1917. But the accused did not appear on that date and the case in which other persons were also implicated had to be proceeded with in the absence of the accused for whom the petitioner had stood bail. The petitioner, however, produced the accused op the 6th November, but his undertaking was that the accused should appear on the 1st, and as he failed to do that, the bond was rightly forfeited.
3. We have been asked to reduce further the amount forfeited: but, the Sessions Judge taking into consideration that the case had to be tried over again and evidence of the witnesses recorded, some of whom had to come from distant parts, thought that the petitioner should forfeit at least half the amount of the bail. We are not prepared to say that he has not exercised his discretion properly. The petition must be dismissed.