1. The petitioners state that a criminal case, in which the petitioners were complainants, and Ameer Majee and others were defendants, was pending in the Deputy Magistrate's Court of Jungipore. This case was transferred to the Sub-divisional Officer of Lallbagh by an order of the Officiating Magistrate of the District, purporting to have been passed under Section 48 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The petitioners have applied to this Court to set aside the order of transfer, on the grounds (i) that it is not warranted by Section 48; (ii) that it should not have been passed without any notice to them, they being entitled to be heard in the matter; and (iii) that it would be extremely inconvenient to them to attend the Court at Lallbagh, which is at some distance from their homes.
2. By the order of the Officiating Magistrate referred to above he directed that 'all criminal cases occurring in Chuckla Ramchundrapur, and all cases if there be any, or any shall arise occurring near there and connected with the disputes there going on' be withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the Sub-divisional Officer of Jungipore, and be tried by the Sub-divisional Officer of Lallbagh.
3. It is doubtful whether the Officiating Magistrate's order is warranted by Section 48; but even supposing that he had the power of transferring the case at the stage in which it was under this section, he is clearly in error in exercising this power without giving the plaintiffs any notice or giving them any opportunity to be heard in the matter; see the case of In the matter of Jaffer Ali (Criminal Motion, No. 302 of 1877, dated the 26th February 1877), also Umrao Singh v. Fakir Chand I.L.R. 3 All. 749. The order of the Officiating Magistrate transferring this case is, therefore, quashed, and the Sub-divisional Officer of Jungipore will now proceed to dispose of it in accordance with the law.