Ghose and Wilkins, JJ.
1. We think that this rule must be made absolute. The District Registrar has made an order directing the prosecution of the petitioner in respect of certain statements made by him before the Sub-Registrar with reference to a certain document presented for registration. It appears that the Sub-Registrar had refused to register the document, and under Section 73 of the Registration Act an application was made to the District Registrar for the purpose of obtaining registration. The District Registrar, without inquiring into the matter himself, as enjoined by Section 74 of the Act, delegated his functions to the same Sub-Registrar, who took the evidence of the petitioner, Mata Dayal, on oath, and made a report to the District Registrar that the document was not true. The District Registrar, relying upon that report, ordered the prosecution of the petitioner under Section 82 of the Registration Act.
2. It seems to us that the District Registrar was not competent to delegate his functions, as prescribed by Section 74 of the Act, to the Sub-Registrar, nor was the Sub-Registrar competent to receive the statements of the petitioner in the matter of the registration of the document in question.
3. Section 82 of the Act says: 'Whoever commits any of the following offences shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both: (a) 'intentionally makes any false statement, whether on oath or not, and whether it has been recorded or not, before any officer acting in execution of this Act, in any proceeding or inquiry under this Act,' and so on.
4. Now the question is, whether the Sub-Registrar, in this instance, was 'acting in execution of this Act in any proceeding or inquiry under this Act,' within the meaning of the Section. No doubt he was authorized by the local Government to perform certain functions under the Act; but the functions prescribed by Section 74 were entirely in the Registrar himself; and if he could not delegate his functions to any body, it could not be said that the Sub-Registrar was acting within the meaning of Section 82 of the Act.
5. In this view of the matter we think that the sanction to prosecute the petitioner, granted by the District Registrar, was wrong in law, and, therefore, should be set aside.