Lancelot Sanderson, C.J.
1. In this case a Rule was granted to the petitioners calling upon the District Magistrate and on the opposite party to show cause why the present order should not be set aside and the matter re considered by the Munsif, allowing the petitioners to cross-examine the peon and to produce the documents which they had already produced.
2. The matter arose in connection with an application by certain decree holders for sanction to prosecute the judgment-debtors and certain other persons who are alleged to have forcibly released certain properties that had been seized by a peon of the learned Munsif's Court on the strength of a writ of attachment issued in a money execution case, and also to have assaulted the peon and criminally intimidated him and the decree-holder's men. The matter first came before the learned Munsif, according to the record which is now before us, on the 31st of May 1919 when he directed that a notice should be issued upon the opposite parties directing them to show cause, within a week of receiving the same, why they should not be criminally prosecuted. The matter was allowed to drag on until the 18th of November 1919, roughly speaking about six months. At one time the learned Munsif apparently had made up his mind that he would hear the witnesses on both sides, and he adjourned the case from time to time in order that those witnesses might attend, but eventually, on the 18th of November 1919, he granted sanction, and he came to the conclusion that it was not necessary to held an elaborate enquiry in connection with the application, and apparently the only witness who was examined before him was the peon. The learned Munsif came to the conclusion that a prima facie case had been made out upon the evidence of the peon against the three petitioners and he therefore granted sanction to prosecute them. It, therefore, seems to me that he might have done within a week of the notice being served what he took six months to do. He might have examined the peon within a reasonably short time after the notice had been served and if he had some to the conclusion then that the peon had made out a prima facie case he might have granted sanction. He took six months to come to the same conclusion. On appeal, the learned District Judge refused to revoke the sanction. I desire to say that the facts connected with this application disclose a lamentable state of affairs. That a simple application for sanction to prosecute the three petitioners, which, as I have already pointed out, was disposed of upon the evidence of one witness only, should take six months before a final conclusion is arrived at is nothing short of lamentable, and I sincerely hope that such a thing, will not come to my notice again.
3. It is unnecessary for me to deal with the question of jurisdiction which was raised by Mr. Sanyal on behalf of the opposite party, because, in my judgment, on the merits this Rule ought to be discharged. In my judgment it was within the jurisdiction of the learned Munsif, if he was satisfied on the evidence of the peon that he had made out a prima facie case for the prosecution of the petitioners, to sanction the prosecution. The only thing to be complained of is that he ought have done within a short time what he took nearly six months to do.
4. For these reasons the Rule is discharged.
5. I agree.