1. The petitioner, who is the defendant No. 6 in a suit pending in the Subordinate Judge's Court at Howrah, examined a witness--Manada Dasi--from whom the petitioner claims to have derived title to the property in dispute. Manada was examined on commission and the opposite party, who is the plaintiff in the suit, put to her the question as to whether she was made pregnant by one Hari Das Ghose. Objection was taken to this question and the matter was brought before the Court. The learned Subordinate Judge held that it was a relevant question.
2. Against that order, the petitioner moved this Court and obtained this Rule.
3. It is stated that the question is insulting and scandalous. But the opposite party contends that it was put because the plaintiff's case was that the witness did not inherit the property by reason of her unchastity during the lifetime of her husband.
4. The form in which the question was asked does not show what period it referred to--whether the lifetime of the witness's husband, or after his death If the plaintiff's sue was that she did not inherit the property of her husband by reason of her unchastity during his lifetime, then the question would be relevant. If, however, it was asked for impeaching her credit as a witness, the Court will have to consider the provisions of Sections 146 and 148 to 152 of the Evidence Act.
5. It is contended on behalf of the opposite party that the statements made in the plaint, taken with those made in the petition opposing the issue of commission for examining the witness, go to show that his case was that the witness did not inherit the property by reason of her unchastity during her husband's lifetime, and as such the question was relevant. The learned Subordinate Judge, however, has not stated any reasons for holding that the question was relevant.
6. In the circumstances, we think that the case should go back to the learned Subordinate Judge. He will consider, having regard to the plaint, the petition, and the issues as framed, whether the question, as it stands, is relevant; and if not, whether the question is allowable, having regard to the provisions of the Evidence Act.
7. No order as to costs.