1. This is an application by the plaintiff for an injunction restraining the defendants from preventing or hindering the plaintiff from acting as a member of the Board of shebaits and restraining them from spending any money belonging to the debutter estate for the purposes of this litigation without the leave of the Court. The plaintiff also prays that the defendant Sm. Sarnalatika Dassee be restrained from acting as a member of the Board of Shebaits until the disposal of this suit. There was some litigation regarding this debutter estate before matters in dispute were referred to arbitration and a scheme of management was prepared by the arbitrator Mr. S.N. Banerjee, Barrister-at-Law. According to that scheme there was to be a Board of Shebaits consisting of five members selected periodically. Pursuant to that scheme there was a selection by lot on 5th February 1939 and five persons including the petitioner Sm. Hemangini Dassee were selected. A sixth name was drawn at the selection and it was that of Sm. Sarnalatika Dassee. Of these six persons, four were present and they accepted their appointment as members of the Board of Shebaits. Under directions from Mr. S.N. Banerjee who presided at this selection the Secretary of the outgoing Board was directed to notify to Hemangini Dassee that she had been selected and to ask her whether she accepted the appointment. According to the petitioner no communication was sent to her at all. She heard later on that she had been selected and on 31st March 1939 she wrote to the Secretary accepting the appointment. She then came to know that Sm. Sarnalatika Dassee had been appointed in her place on the allegation that she had refused to accept her appointment on the Board. Her case is that some of the members of the Board conspired and deliberately kept back from her the fact that she had been selected and by this device got Sm. Sarnalatika Dassee on the Board.
2. On behalf of the defendants it is contended that a letter was duly sent to Sm. Hemangini Dassee informing her of her selection on 8th February 1939 and that a certificate of posting was obtained. As the Secretary of the Board received no reply to this letter he sent a letter to Sm. Sarnalatika Dassee asking her whether she would accept a position on the Board and she replied stating her acceptance. It was suggested by learned Counsel on behalf of the defendants that this application has been engineered by Adhar Lal Mitter and Jiban Krishna Mitter and that Hemangini Dassee has really nothing to do with the matter. I was told that the lady was paralysed and incapable of taking any part in the management of the debutter estate. At the request of both sides and with their consent I visited the place where the lady resides and saw her in the presence of the attorneys on both sides. I found her to be a very very old lady who was partially paralysed. I questioned her and found that she was unable to articulate. She could just make certain sounds which were unintelligible. She was weak and bed-ridden. I am inclined to accept the suggestion of the defendants that this application is really not the lady's application but an application by others who are using her for their own purposes.
3. I see no good reason to hold that Hemanginee Dassee did not receive the letter intimating to her that she had been selected. There is the certificate of posting. Learned Counsel on behalf of the petitioner mentioned a case where it was proved that a certificate of posting had been forged. That may be so, but it would be entirely wrong for me to work on the presumption that the certificate of posting was a forgery. On the other hand I should presume that the letter was posted and that it reached its destination unless something is shown to the contrary. There is another circumstance which causes me to suspect the story which is now being told on behalf of the lady. I have not yet been told when and how the lady came to know that she had been selected. If the letter had not reached her she must have come to know about it through some other means. She does not disclose in any of affidavits how and when she came to have this knowledge. This is extremely suspicious. Again, the correspondence between the two groups of shebaits, who are on the Board, show that after the selection and before the letter of acceptance dated 31st March had been written by Hemangini Dassee a quarrel was going on between the two groups of shebaits. It was in the course of this quarrel that the question was raised about the validity of Sarnalatika's appointment. I do not wish to prejudice the suit. All my remarks are based on the materials that are at present before me. On these materials I am not satisfied about the bona fides of this suit or of this application and I am unwilling to pass any order restraining the present members of the Board from functioning. It seems to me that the Board is properly constituted and I do not think that I would be justified in interfering with the activities of the Board. The result is that this application must be dismissed. Costs will be costs in the cause.
4. The hearing of the suit will be expedited. The written statement is to be filed within a week from date. Cross orders for discovery within a week thereafter. Inspection forthwith thereafter. The suit is to be placed on the appropriate prospective list a month from now. Liberty to apply. The interim injunction is dissolved.