1. The petitioner in this case has been convicted of adultery and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one month and to pay a fine of Rs. 100 with a further one month's rigorous imprisonment in default of payment.
2. The case against the petitioner rested on oral and documentary evidence. As regards the oral evidence the learned Chief Presidency Magistrate remarks:
As foe the witnesses examined it must be admitted that on their evidence alone it would be difficult to found a conviction.
3. Then from his judgment it appears that the documentary evidence which had most influence on his decision was a letter Ex. 2. This letter admittedly was written by the complainant's wife. From the terms of that letter it appears that she was writing most affectionately to the accused, and if the letter was really a piece of genuine correspondence between them it would go very far to support a charge of adultery. It appears, however, that this letter was received by the complainant from an anonymous correspondent. There is no evidence that the letter was ever in the possession of the accused or was ever seen by him. This being so we think the learned Magistrate was wrong in treating it as evidence of any value as against the accused. To hold otherwise would put it in the power of any adulterous wife to implicate a third party in order to screen her real lover. The evidence being such as it is we must hold that the conviction was not justified.
4. We accordingly make this Rule absolute and set aside the conviction of the petitioner and acquit him and direct that the fine if paid be refunded to the petitioner. The petitioner will now be discharged from his bail bond.