1. The question in this case is whether the complainant at the time he is said to have been wrongfully confined by the petitioners was protected from arrest by reason of Section 135, Sub-section 2, Civil P.C. It appears that the first petitioner had a civil Court decree outstanding against the complainant. On his application the Munsiff issued a warrant for the complainant's arrest and made over the warrant for execution to petitioner 2 who is a Court peon. It is a common ground that the petitioner was arrested on his way from the Munsif's Court at Tejpur to the Tejpur Local Board Office at 4 p.m. on 27th June 1931. It appears that on that day two civil suits to which the complainant was a party were on the list for hearing in the Munsiff's Court at Tejpur. The complainant had accordingly gone to the Court in connexion with the suits and had a consultation with his pleader. The 27th June was a Saturday and the latest hour at which it is suggested the Court was actually sitting was 3 p.m. It has been found as a fact that the complainant when he was arrested explained to the petitioners that he was going to the Court in connexion with two suits and that he could not be arrested on a civil Court process. Therefore no question can arise of the petitioners' having no notice of the business which had taken the complainant to Court on that date.
2. Although I consider that a reasonably wide construction must be given to Section 135, Sub-section 2, Civil P.C., and that it is not the intention of the legislature that a person holding a warrant of arrest on a civil Court process should be able to pounce upon a person against whom the warrant has been issued the moment the Court, that the person has been attending, rises for the day. I do not think, however, that it clearly appears that the complainant in this case is covered by the subsection. He certainly was not going to the tribunal when he was arrested; nor can it be that he was at the time attending such a tribunal for the purpose of a matter pending before it. To my mind when he was on his way from the tribunal to the Local Board Office at least an hour after the Munsif had concluded the business of the day he could not be said attending the tribunal at all. No explanation is furnished how he occupied himself in the interval and simply from the facts that the Local Board Office is in the same compound as the Munsif's Court and he was on his way from the Munsif's Court an hour after the Munsif had risen I cannot draw the conclusion that he could at the time he described as attending the Court.
3. It is not said that he was returning from the tribunal and there is no evidence that the Local Board Office is on the way from the Court to his residence. As I have said I should be sorry to read Section 135 in a narrow fashion and to hold that the slightest deviation for the purpose of business or refreshment robs a party to a litigation of the protection which Sub-section 2 gives him. The facts here seem to me to be too meagre to admit of my holding that there is evidence on which it can be safely said that the complainant when he was arrested was attending the Munsif's Court for the purpose of a litigation to which he was a party.
4. In the circumstances the Rule is made absolute and the convictions and sentences are set aside, and the petitioners are acquitted. The fines, if paid, will be refunded.