1. In this case a Rule was issued to show cause why an order of injunction under Section 144, Criminal P.C., should not be set aside. The Subdivisional Officer having received information that there was a likelihood of trouble between the owners of two rival hats and their adherents, passed an order on 4th July last that the second party were not to assemble another hat to the detriment of the first party 'on Sunday next,' i. e., 6th July, and to show cause, if any, against the order by 14th July. On 18th July he passed an order that 'the order of 4th July stands good for two months hence.' It is difficult to understand what the Magistrate really meant by this order. He might have meant that the second party were not to hold a hat upon any Sunday during the next two months. But read literally the order is meaningless because obviously an order not to hold a hat on 6th July cannot 'stand good' for two months after that date.
2. On 6th August he passed fresh orders of injunction under Section 144, Criminal P.C., restraining the second party from holding hats on Sundays and Wednesdays. This order, if read literally, means that the second party are not to hold hats, in future on Sundays and Wednesdays. The second party therefore complain that this order was in the nature of a perpetual injunction and was beyond the jurisdiction of the Magistrate. The Magistrate in his explanation says that it is not quite correct' to say that a perpetual order of injunction was issued and he explains that what he meant to do was to pass an order preventing the holding of the hat on the two days, Sundays and Wednesdays, for a period of two months, during which further inquiry would be made by him. All injunctions, should be clear and definite. They should be free from any kind of ambiguity. It is clear from what I have said that these are not free from ambiguity.
3. The learned Magistrate himself has used the expression that 'It is not quite correct to say that a perpetual order of injunction was issued.' Where the order is indefinite it is equally clear that it would not be right to prosecute anybody for disobeying it. I have no doubt that the second party knew quite well what the Magistrate intended, and deliberately flouted his order. Unfortunately we have no other alternative but to set the orders aside owing, as I have already said, to their being ambiguous. It may be that no harm will be done because the trouble anticipated may have been avoided permanently. However, if any further trouble arises, the Magistrate can issue a new order, making it quite clear what the second party is forbidden to do. The Rule therefore is made absolute.
S.K. Ghose, J.
4. I agree.