1. Although the procedure followed by the learned Magistrate who heard the appeal does not directly conflict with the provisions of Section 423, Criminal P. C., it was nevertheless contrary to the practice of the Courts, which is that if the parties are to be heard at all they must be heard in each others' presence, and further that if the respondent is heard the appellant shall have a right to reply. It may further be pointed out that these departures from the ordinary practice would not have taken place if the Magistrate had complied with the provisions of Section 366 read with Section 424, Criminal P. C,, and had pronounced judgment either immediately after the hearing of the appeal or at some subsequent time after notice had been given to the parties or to their pleaders.
2. The procedure followed offended against the principles governing the manner in which criminal appeals should be heard to such an extent as to render it unnecessary for this Court to consider whether any prejudice was actually caused, thereby. The rule is accordingly made absolute, the judgment of the appellate Court it; set aside, and the appeal is ordered to be re-heard by some other Magistrate and disposed of according to law,