1. The two petitioners in whose favour this Rule has been issued have been bound down under Section 118, Criminal P.C., to be of good behaviour for three years, each in a bond of Rs. 500 with two sureties of the like amount. One of the grounds of the Rule is to the effect that the proceedings were inexpedient or illegal in view of the fact that the petitioners had already been registered as members of a criminal tribe. The other ground on which the Rule has been issued is to the effect that the security demanded is excessive. In support of the first of the grounds reliance has been placed upon the decision of this Court in the case of Sheikh Ghulam Rasul v. Emperor  20 Cr. L.J. 30. In that case the question of legality or propriety of instituting proceedings under Section 110, Criminal P.C., against persons who had already been registered as members of a criminal tribe came up before this Court for consideration. The learned Judges declined to quash the proceedings in that case as the facts had not yet been gone into in the trial Court. Richardson, J., expressed the view that while it could not be laid down as a fixed and immutable rule a person who has once been registered under the Criminal Tribes Act cannot be proceeded against under Section 110, Criminal P.C., the fact of such registration was an important factor which should be taken into consideration before an order is made binding down under Section 118, Criminal P.C., a parson so registered. Huda, J., was of opinion that the proceedings were inexpedient as the control which is obtained over a person as soon as he is brought under the Criminal Tribes Act should ordinarily be sufficient to attain the preventive object which Section 110, Criminal Procedure Code, aims at, and also because the inevitable consequences of demanding surety from such a person would be to send him to jail.
2. Having examined the provisions of the Criminal Tribes Act (3 of 1911) and perused the rules framed thereunder it seems to me that while the control that is obtained over a person by registering him as a member of a criminal tribe is sufficient to prevent him from committing many of the acts for which preventive action under Chapter 8 of the Code of Criminal Procedure may be necessary, he has, notwithstanding such control, enough liberty left in him to pursue a career of crime bringing him within some of the Clauses (a) to (e) of Section 110 or to prove himself dangerous to society within the meaning of Clause (f) of that section. Each case therefore has to be scrutinized on its merits, the information upon which proceedings are asked for being scanned and the question whether preventive action is called for or not being considered, due regard being also had to the consequences which in most cases will inevitably follow, namely, that there would be failure to furnish sureties. If such proceedings appear to be necessary in view of the exigencies of any particular case, evidence of general repute which is bound to be affected in a large measure by the very fact of the person proceeded against being a member of a criminal tribe, should be, if at all, acted upon with great caution and scrutiny.
3. The proceedings in the present case alleged that the petitioners are by habit dacoits, house-breakers and thieves, and associate themselves for the purpose of committing there offences, and are so desperate and dangerous as to render their being at large without security hazardous to the community. The two petitioners were registered under Section 4 of the Criminal Tribes Act in December 1924 and the proceedings under Section 110, Criminal Procedure Code, were started in October 1925. The evidence of general repute that has been adduced against the petitioners is not of much importance, firstly because they are members of a criminal tribe; and secondly because they may have had the same reputation when they were registered under Section 4 and the fact that their reputation continued a before does not show that further preventive action is necessary. The important thing is to see what these two persons may have done after such registration. On this point the evidence is singularly weak. As against the petitioner Badu Mir there is only the fact that in February 1925 his name was mentioned in the first information in connexion with a dacoity, in which it was alleged that he was recognized as one of the culprits. He was not, however, sent up for trial in that case. As regards Tear Bap alias Asraf Khan he appears to have been implicated by evidence of doubtful value in a dacoity which took place in March, 1925. This man at the time of his arrest appears to have had a das in his hand, and taking the worst view of the evidence, was about to commit an assault on the Sub-Inspector when he was on the point of arresting him. It is hard to say that these materials are sufficient to bind down the two petitioners when they are already registered members of a criminal tribe.
4. We accordingly make the Rule absolute. The order passed under Section 118, Criminal Procedure Code, against the two petitioners is discharged.