1. This was an application made by Srimati Din Tarini Debi asking that she might be examined by commission and not examined on oath in Court under Section 503 of the Code. In her application she sets forth that she was a purdah-nashin and a Brahmini, connected with a family of acknowledge! respectability and possessed of considerable property, and she prayed that what had been done in some previous cases might be done in her case, namely, that she might not be compelled to appear in Court. On that application a rule was issued to show cause, and cause has been shown by the Presidency Magistrate of Calcutta and by the Crown. The Crown objects, because the lady in her petition said that it was a degradation for her to appear in a public Court, and the learned Advocate-General argued that it would be intolerable to allow such a principle to receive the sanction of this Court. No doubt the phrase is objectionable, and it would be impossible, as the learned Advocate-General says, to admit the fact that merely appearing in Court is a degradation. Yet we do not think that disposes of the case.
2. There is no doubt that such applications have been granted under Section 503, and granted on the principle that in matters of procedure the customs and habits of the people should be taken into consideration. The learned Presidency Magistrate has shown cause by saying that it is the invariable custom for purdah nashin ladies to be examined in palkis in Court, but that is not exactly the question. The question is whether a commission ever issued in regard to purdah-nashin ladies in his Court. Of that he makes no mention. He also says that this lady travels from Goverdanga to Calcutta, but he does not say that she does so publicly. So far therefore as cause has been shown by the learned Magistrate, it does not seem that the facts stated by him affect the reasons upon which such commissions have been granted. Looking to the nature of the application and to the fact that the lady has actually taken a house in Calcutta not far from the Magistrate's Court where she can be examined; that no possible inconvenience can arise to any person; and further that the lady has volunteered to pay the expenses of the commission, and even the defence do not require her to be examined in open Court, we can see no reason why this rule should not be enforced and we make it absolute.
3. We further direct by consent that the petitioner shall be bound to pay all costs consequent on the issue of the commission in Calcutta, which the learned Magistrate in the Court below shall deem reasonable and proper.